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HTC First – The Phone With Everything Ordinary Besides Facebook

Where To Buy: AT&T Wireless

The Good: as the introductory handset for Facebook Home, this HTC first gives the user a total experience with Android skin with the Android 4.1 functioning at quite a reasonable price. The ones looking for stock OS would get this by having the Facebook Home disabled.

The Bad: only Facebook Home is a glaring feature of this set and there is nothing new about its utilitarian design or the camera hardware. A slot for microSD and removable battery are missing too.

The Bottom Line: the ones obsessed with Facebook and Android will enjoy their experience with HTC first.

Product Specifications:

Manufacturer HTC
Part Number 6580242

General:

Product Type   Smartphone
Width 2.56 in
Depth 0.35 in
Height 4.96 in
Weight 4.34 oz
Diagonal Size 4.3 in

Cellular:

Technology LTE
Service Provider AT&T
Operating System  Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

Processor:

Type  QUALCOMM
Processor Core Qty   Dual Core

It is basically Facebook home that draws users towards it. Besides that, everything else is just the basic associated with any Android set and also doesn’t include any features as HTC’s well-crafted flair or the care about details. HTC and Facebook have both been on this together. The HTC First isn’t limited like HTC Status and provides great midtier features as the HD screen, 5 megapixel camera and dual-core processor. Though, even physical design cannot deliver some unique experience like the aspirations of Facebook mobile. It could be said that the phone is affordable and serviceable but provides a very ordinary experience.

The Significant Feature “Facebook Home”
This feature is the major reason for HTC First to exist. The user gets to have rotating carousel regarding the photos of friends and status updates on Facebook. The aim is to get a glance of all what your friends are up to, quickly. Even while you navigate around, you can have the conversations stay on the screen. Meanwhile, the android features stay intact, also including Google Now, app tray, and notifications so the smartphone could be used for purposes other than Facebook.

The Build And Design
The phone is fully unremarkable if Facebook Home is taken away from it. It has well-rounded corners, shingle-like design and is covered in soft-touch material. The phone is totally sealed except for the port for Micro-USB charging and headset jack.

The pale blue, red and white colour options are available with HTC First. It feels comfortable while holding, is 5-inches tall, 2.6-inch wide and 0.35-inch deep. This soft-touch material provides some grip that keeps the handset from slipping away from hands while updating status or flipping through the News Feed.

It has HD screen of 4.3-inch and provides 16 million rich and bright colours. The front-facing camera is of 1.6 megapixel. A welcome change is that the home button is stylized like a circle. For other features, volume rocker is found on left spine, headset  jack and power button is on the top, slot for SIM card and charging port is towards the right. At the back is camera with 5 megapixel and LED flash.

Like other HTC phones, this one also has the battery fully embedded and one cannot increase internal memory of 16GB.

Apps And The Android OS

You can get to use fully the Jelly Bean 4.1 platform if Facebook Home is stripped away. However, Google Now could still be used by pressing and holding center button. To view list of recent apps, this circle is given double tap.

Settings could be accessible via Google’s notifications and from app drawer, so you get all the features as Android Beam, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. The First could also be turned into mobile hot-spot for as more as eight  devices.
Google Play provides all the app needs, whereas Google account causes the operation to stay afloat, either with Facebook or without it.

First’s Cameras
The phone has two ways by which photos could be taken, through the regular app for camera and “Facebook photo uploader tool”.

  • Regular camera mode and photo uploader Facebook tool

As First uses Android’s stock version, there is built-in panorama mode, settings regarding white balance, exposure and control flash.

It has “scene modes” for action, sunset, party and night. “4x optical zoom” is also there. Default images of 5-megapixel could be taken but image size could be stepped down to the low QVGA resolution.

Photo uploader could be launched when one presses photo button on top of page of app shortcut. Your photo gallery from camera roll will be shown to you, along with the button of camera icon and the photos taken here will get uploaded on the Facebook directly.

  • Quality of image

For 5 megapixel camera, the quality of image isn’t bad. Other than the green which got oversaturated when capturing plant life, all the other colours were a bit towards cool side. The detail captured wasn’t as much as is in 8 megapixel iPhone 5 neither like that in the HTC One with 13 megapixel. Images taken outside were quite less noisy compared to those taken indoors.

Generally the close-ups did look good with much sharp edges. Also, First’s continuous autofocus is a good feature.

  • Quality of video

The quality of video happens to be really good, especially for the mobile of such caliber. It takes clips of 720p according to default settings but they could be changed to HD 1080p. Colors are sharp, edges sharp and the subjects sounded and looked clear, though the audio level and quality is dependent on the distance of mic from subject.

Playback and video recording both are without jerkiness and are smooth.

Except for the effects “silly face” everything else is mostly the same in the video settings.

Quality Of Audio
The audio quality in calls is overall fair though the volume is bit low with the voices significantly fuzzy around edges but still the distortion isn’t distracting. No interruptions or background noise is heard in the call.

The speakerphones, however, are associated with much echo and are mushy. Sounds and syllables are normally sharply defined but at times, it is difficult to make out one consonant from the other.

The Phone’s Performance
4G LTE of AT&T makes the phone data demon. The LTE speeds are quite fast on rhe diagnostic app “Ookla Speedtest.net”.

Test in the real-world also produced fast results, with the Web pages quickly loading and downloads being completed in few seconds. Video and music above 4G could be streamed seamlessly.

The smooth and quick running of the phone is also due to the processor of 1.4GHz dual-core.

Should HTC First Be Bought?
One of the major aspect causing sales of the phone is the preloaded Facebook but HTC One isn’t the sole phone with Facebook coupled with Android experience. It has all the characteristics required for Jelly Bean Android and also good considerations for hardware, including HD screen of 720p and HD video of 1080p, though the absence of card slot for micro-SD and non removable battery turns potential users away.

With the debut of HTC One, HTC One X+ and HTC One X are available at the same price and both are compatible with “Facebook”. So, one would rather buy these than HTC One.

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