Facebook is the focus of the HTC ChaCha and Salsa smartphones, which boast one-touch access to the site.
maker HTC announced two phones built with an
emphasis on social networking, combining the user-friendly platform of HTC
Sense with connectivity to Facebook. As part of an extended portfolio of six HTC
Sense-based devices being unveiled at Mobile World Congress here, the company's
ChaCha and Salsa smartphones feature a dedicated Facebook button for one-touch
access to the key functions of the Facebook service that are integrated
throughout the HTC Sense platform.
The smartphones will be available to customers across major European and
Asian markets during the second quarter of 2011, with AT&T bringing them to
the United States
later in the year.
The Facebook button on the ChaCha and Salsa is context-aware, gently pulsing
with light whenever there is an opportunity to share content or updates through
Facebook. With a single press of the button, users can update their status,
upload a photo, share a Website, post what song they are listening to, "check
in" to a location and more. For example, users can take a photograph of
friends on their phone and upload it instantly to Facebook by pressing the
button. In order to let friends know what song they're listening to, users
press the button while listening to music on the phone; the track is
automatically identified and shared on Facebook.
"HTC has always understood that
different people want different things, and the ChaCha and Salsa offer special
new ways to experience Facebook on a mobile device," said Peter Chou, CEO
of HTC. "With more than 500 million
active users worldwide, Facebook has become synonymous with the social web, and
we wanted to create the ultimate socially connected phones with mass market
The handsets also make it possible to stay in touch with friends using Facebook
Chat and Messages on the phone. Facebook messages and conversations are
integrated within the phone and appear within text and e-mail inboxes alongside
regular conversations. Henri Moissinac, head of mobile business for Facebook,
said the company worked closely with HTC for
several years on bringing Facebook to its devices. "HTC
is enabling people to connect and share easily whenever they want, wherever
they are," he said.
The new devices feature Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 and the latest version of HTC's
Sense technology. When a user makes a phone call, the dialer screen displays
the friend's latest status and photos, and also tells the user if their
birthday is approaching. The same updates are also displayed when a user
receives a call from a Facebook friend. Consumers can also use the phone's
existing contacts to help connect with them on Facebook or personalize the
handset further with a number of new, Facebook-branded widgets.
The Salsa handset offers a 5-megapixel camera and a 3.4-inch, 480-by-320
resolution touch display, as well as a VGA forward-facing camera providing
video calling capability. The ChaCha features a tilt design, which shapes the
display and physical QWERTY keyboard so it is easier to view and type. A
2.6-inch, 480-by-320 resolution landscape touch screen, a 5-megapixel color
camera with auto-focus and LED flash, and a VGA front-facing camera round out