HTC finally put a long-standing rumor to bed this morning with the announcement of two “Facebook Phones”. Making their debut in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, the ChaCha and Salsa both run Android 2.3 and feature the latest version of HTC Sense.  A dedicated Facebook button on each phone ensures that sharing your information is but a quick tap away.  Wanna let people know what song you are listening to?  Bingo.  How about where you are going to be dining for the next few hours?  Presto!  As part of developing tighter integration with the social networking experience, HTC brings Facebook data front and center with new widgets and contact/caller information.  

When you make a phone call, the dialer screen displays your friend’s latest status and photos, and even tells you if their birthday is approaching. The same updates are also displayed when you receive a call from a Facebook friend. You can also use your phone’s existing contacts to help you connect with them on Facebook or personalize your handset further with a number of new, Facebook-branded widgets.

The ChaCha features a “tilt” design and offers a phyiscal QWERTY below a 2.6-inch landscape touch screen.  A 5-megapixel  camea lets users take high definition pictures while the front-facing VGA camera allows for video chat from wherever they might be.  As for the Salsa, this touch only device has a 3.4-inch touch screen, 5-megapixel camera, and a front-facing VGA camera as well.

Look for these two to begin rolling out over the course of the second quarter of this year (Q2 ’11).  For those of you in the United States, you’ll be pleased (or not) to learn that the Facebook phones will be AT&T exclusives when they arrive.

HTC UNVEILS TWO SOCIAL PHONES WITH ONE-TOUCH FACEBOOK ACCESS

HTC raises the bar for mobile social phones with HTC ChaChaTM and HTC SalsaTM

BARCELONA, SPAIN – Mobile World Congress – February 15, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of smartphones, today announced two new phones built entirely to be social, combining the simplicity, ease-of-use and depth of HTC SenseTM with the power and connectivity of Facebook®. As part of an extended portfolio of six new HTC Sense-based devices being unveiled at Mobile World Congress, HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa feature a dedicated Facebook® button for one-touch access to the key functions of the Facebook service that are integrated throughout the HTC Sense experience.

“HTC has always understood that different people want different things and the new HTC ChaCha and Salsa offer special new ways to experience Facebook on a mobile device,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “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 appeal.”

“We have worked closely with HTC for several years on bringing Facebook to their devices and HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa are the next stage,” said Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business for Facebook. “HTC has brought Facebook to these two new devices in an innovative way enabling people to connect and share easily whenever they want, wherever they are.”

The Facebook button on HTC ChaCha and HTC 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, you can update your status, upload a photo, share a Website, post what song you are listening to, ‘check in’ to a location and more. For example, you can take a photograph of friends on your phone and upload it instantly to Facebook by simply pressing the button. Or let your friends know what song you’re listening to by pressing the button while listening to music on the phone. The track is automatically identified and shared on Facebook.

The new devices feature Android Gingerbread 2.3.3, the latest version, and use the latest iteration of HTC Sense to integrate Facebook throughout the HTC Sense experience. When you make a phone call, the dialer screen displays your friend’s latest status and photos, and even tells you if their birthday is approaching. The same updates are also displayed when you receive a call from a Facebook friend. You can also use your phone’s existing contacts to help you connect with them on Facebook or personalize your handset further with a number of new, Facebook-branded widgets.

The HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa smartphones make it simple to stay in touch with your friends using Facebook Chat and Messages on your phone. Your Facebook messages and conversations are integrated within your phone and appear within your text and email inboxes alongside your regular conversations.

Stay connected with the smartphone for the Facebook generation – HTC ChaCha
The HTC ChaCha smartphone is designed to provide a seamless, social experience by enabling you to stay in touch with your friends anytime, anywhere. The unique tilt design shapes the display and physical QWERTY keyboard so it is easy to view and comfortable to type. Capture special moments in crisp, High-Definition detail or video chat with your friends using the dual cameras, including a 5-megapixel color camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera. The ChaCha smartphone also brings the Internet to your fingertips with a 2.6-inch, 480 x 320 resolution landscape touch screen.

Your Facebook friends never felt closer – HTC Salsa
Boasting the same deep Facebook integration as the HTC ChaCha smartphone, the HTC Salsa smartphone provides a fast, high-performance smartphone experience. Capture the moment in high-resolution stills or video with the 5-megapixel camera and immediately share it with friends on the generous 3.4-inch, 480 x 320 resolution touch display. Upload your photos to Facebook at the touch of a button. For face-to-face conversations on the move, the VGA forward-facing camera enables high-quality video calling.

Availability
The HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa smartphones will be available to customers across major European and Asian markets during Q2 2011. In the United States, HTC plans to bring this unique user experience to market later this year exclusively with AT&T.

About HTC
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “When you make a phone call, the dialer screen displays your friend’s latest status and photos, and even tells you if their birthday is approaching. The same updates are also displayed when you receive a call from a Facebook friend. You can also use your phone’s existing contacts to help you connect with them on Facebook or personalize your handset further with a number of new, Facebook-branded widgets.”

    My phone does this already. I thought it was an android thing

  2. Okay so the facebook button seems interesting. But displaying the callers last status and data until birthday is nothing new. The Evo displays that info now as long as the contact if linked with their facebook account. If you gave the contact linked with twitter is flickr it displays that info. It’s easy enough to post from the phone I have. A button is not enough to make me run out and buy a new phone.

  3. Check ReChat (Android messenger):
    – Facebook, Yahoo!®, Google Talk, WLM/MSN, Jabber/XMPP;
    – group chat (Yahoo!®, Google Talk, WLM/MSN, XMPP);
    – free voice calls to ANY contact;
    – free SMS worldwide BETA (with replies for USA/Canada);
    – plain/bubble view, font packs, send image/video, copy/paste, password, add/remove contacts.

    Facebook: upload image/video, send image/video, send message (as private event or wall post).
    Yahoo!®: conferences (create/invite).
    Google Talk: group chat, new email notification, unread emails w/o content.
    WLM/MSN: rooms (create/invite).
    Jabber/XMPP: rooms (create/invite).

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