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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 14, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Video: Hands-on the Facebook phone

Here’s a quick video showing the photo-sharing feature on the HTC Status, the new phone that HTC developed with Facebook. It goes on sale Sunday for $50 with a two-year AT&T contract and a minimum $15 per month data plan.

The device has a dedicated Facebook button below the keyboard that you press to post or share photos on the social networking site.

It’s billed as “one click” sharing, but it actually takes more than one press — the blue “F” button starts an application where you can compose a message and post with another tap on the touchscreen.

The button’s best trick works if you’re using the phone as a camera. Once the camera is activated, you can press the F it works like a shutter button. When you take a picture, the screen shifts to “upload to Facebook.” You post with a tap on the screen, or use drop-down menus to decide where on the site the photo should be posted and who can see it, and add tags and a description.

It has a few new Facebook applications built into HTC’s Sense interface.

A Facebook window streams updates onto the phone’s screen, just below the HTC clock. There’s also a Facebook Chat application that shows which friends are available to chat, and a “FriendStream” app pre-loaded on the phone. Plus its “share” button includes Facebook and other sites by default.

There’s no Facebook Skype application yet.

Facebook aside, it’s a nice phone, especially for the price. It has a horizontal screen and qwerty keypad, with about the same proportions as a BlackBerry.

The hardware is smooth and curved plastic, with rounded corners above the screen that look like they were lifted from the Nexus. From the side, the phone has the kicktail that first appeared on the G1.

IMG_1724.JPG

If you’re used to the big 4-inch screens on smartphones the 2.6-inch touchscreen on the Status feels a little small and it’s harder to read text on a Web page. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a small TV set.

HTC originally called the device the ChaCha and the name flashed on the screen during setup. It’s a better name than Status, which fortunately doesn’t appear anywhere on the case.

The phone is white and silver, or mauve if you buy a special version available at Best Buy.

The phone is AT&T’s first to use Google’s Android 2.3.3 “Gingerbread” operating system and has Google apps including Talk and Places.

It also has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and video capability; a front-facing camera for taking self-portraits; and a 2 gigabyte memory card pre-installed. It weighs 4.3 ounces and is 4.5 by 2.5 by 0.4 inches.

The device claims to have 6.5 hours of talk time and 26.6 days of standby time on a single battery charge.

Comments | More in | Topics: AT&T, Facebook, facebook phone

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