Facebook and HTC on Thursday unveiled the first smartphone developed collaboratively with the aim at frequent users of the social network. The handset promises an entirely new Facebook experience, called Home, which brings Facebook’s news feed and notifications directly on the home screen and introduces a number of FB-optimized features.
"Home is a completely new experience for your phone. With Home available right out of the box, you are getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and chief executive.
HTC First is based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 system-on-chip with two Qualcomm Krait general-purpose cores and Adreno 305 graphics core. The smartphone features 4.3” display with 1280*720 resolution, 1GB RAM, 16GB NAND flash storage, 2000mAh battery, 5MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera and so on. HTC first runs Android 4.1.2 operating system with HTC Sense 4.5 and Facebook Home. The smartphone supports worldwide 3G/4G and multimode 4G/LTE connectivity.
Facebook Home brings News Feed to the surface, immediately giving users the content they care about right on the home screen without having to open an app or access a mobile website. With Home, Facebook users will get friends' updates directly on their home screen, messages and notifications will reach them no matter what they are doing, and photo sharing becomes even easier.
Facebook Home consists of several key features:
- Cover feed: A constant, fresh stream of photos and updates from your newsfeed, cover feed is always present when you wake up your phone. It lets you stay up-to-date on your friends’ latest activities in real-time, all the time. You can swipe through to see more photos and updates, double tap to “like” a post and comment right from cover feed. To learn more about cover feed, check out this video.
- Notifications: Notifications from apps and friends appear right on your home screen. It’s easier to see when you have a missed call, calendar reminder or new message. Open a notification with a double tap or clear them away to see your Cover Feed. To learn more about notifications, check out this video.
- Chat Heads: The mobile messenger lets you jump in and out of conversations while you do other things, like watch a video and browse the web. Reply right from chat heads, or move them around if you're not ready to respond. Plus you can send and receive texts and Facebook messages from the same spot. To learn more about chat heads, check out this video.
- App Launcher: See your favorite apps and post right to Facebook from the same spot. You choose what’s on your app launcher—press and hold an app then drag it anywhere.
- Instagram: HTC First is the only phone that comes with Instagram pre-loaded.
"True to HTC’s track record of providing cutting edge design, and being first to offer new smartphone experiences to the market, the HTC First offers a unique Home experience to Facebook's many users," said Peter Chou, chief executive of HTC.
HTC First will be available in four colors: black, white, red and pale blue. HTC First will be available in the U.S. for pre-order today for $99.99 with a two-year commitment and available exclusively in AT&T stores and online starting April 12. The HTC First will be available from with Orange France and EE in the UK starting this Summer.