The HTC First, the first handset to come with Facebook Home pre-loaded, is now available stateside for the Facebook-enthused.
After roughly a week of being available for pre-order, the HTC First is available exclusively on AT&T stores and online for $99 (£65) on two-year contract. It is offered in white, black, red and baby blue, and if you're not the contract type, you can pay the full $449.99.
"The HTC First will offer the best Facebook Home experience on mobile, right out of the box, said Ralph de la Vega, AT&T chief executive. "That’s why we’re committed to this phone and making it exclusive in our stores.”
The HTC First features a 4.3-inch display running at 341PPI (not bad), a 2200mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, 5-megapixel rear-camera, 1.6-megapixel front-camera, Bluetooth 4, NFC and access to AT&T's 4G network.
As its base software, the HTC First is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with Facebook Home on top, of course. Facebook Home is the social network's initiative to bring the experience of Facebook friends to the home and lockscreen of Android through Cover Flow.
There are no gestures to see the content flowing from your Facebook friends, it's simply just loaded in the background when the handset is sleeping. You can even comment and interact from Home. Several other features are found, which we've covered in our review.
"Home is a completely new experience for your phone," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder. "With Home available right out of the box, you're getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends."
As for a UK launch, EE will have the exclusive on the HTC First sometime this summer.
Facebook Home will be available soon from Google Playnfor download on the The HTC One, HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4, and Samsung Galaxy Note II. In the meantime, read our review and five things that need to be changed about the platform.
As we previously reported, HTC confirmed to Pocket-lint that a user can disable Facebook Home on the HTC First to run stock Android on the handset instead. Interestingly, the HTC First is the first smartphone out of the Taiwanese-based company since the 2010 T-Mobile G2 handset not to run HTC's custom Sense overlay.
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