HTC First Android phone (preview)
The HTC First is best described as a mid-range Android phone that comes pre-loaded with Facebook's new Android launcher, Facebook Home
- Facebook Home looks attractive
- Minimalist, simple design
- No plans for AU launch
- No microSD card slot
- No 4G for Australia
The HTC First is best described as a mid-range Android phone that comes pre-loaded with Facebook's new Android launcher, Facebook Home.
The long-rumoured "Facebook phone" is here and it's called the HTC First. Well, sort of. The HTC First is best described as a mid-range Android phone that comes pre-loaded with Facebook's new Android launcher, Facebook Home.
Many will classify the HTC First as a "Facebook phone" but this is really not the case. The First is a fairly standard, mid-range Android phone with a Facebook launcher. That launcher is Facebook Home, a new software overlay for Android phones that gives quick access to Facebook services from the lock and home screens.
Facebook Home obviously puts Facebook front and center on the First. Both the lock and home screens of the device are filled with content your friends post, called "Cover Feed". Regular functions like the app drawer are still accessible but this has been pushed to the background.
In addition to Facebook posts, Facebook Home has a big focus on messaging. The launcher has a feature called "Chat Heads" which pops up a circular icon when you receive a message. This icon can remain on the edge of the screen while you're using other apps and a pop-up box can be displayed when you want to type a message. The Chat Heads feature works with both Facebook messages and regular text messages.
Interestingly, you can turn Facebook Home off on the First if you wish. This will revert to Google's stock Android launcher and not HTC's Sense UI. The First will initially ship with the 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Android, but there's been no word on an update cycle.
Aside from Facebook Home, the First is a relatively straightforward, mid-range Android handset. It has a 4.3in touchscreen with a 720p HD resolution of 1280x720, 16GB of internal memory and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. Disappointingly, the HTC First does not have a microSD card slot, so users won't be able to expand the 16GB of built-in storage.
The HTC First will be available in black, white, blue and red colour variants. Its design is very simple and straightforward with a smooth, uninterrupted finish on the back, slightly curved sides and a flat front. Below the screen are three capacitive buttons (back, home and multitasking) but the icons used differ from the stock Android buttons.
The HTC First is powered by a Qualcomm 8930AA 1.4GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and includes a 2000mAh non-removable battery. The First is a quad-band 3G device but it isn't compatible with the 1800MHz 4G network band used in Australia by Telstra and Optus.
Despite launching in multiple global markets including the US, UK and France, a HTC spokesperson confirmed to PC World Australia that the company has no plans to launch the device in Australia at this stage.
A promotional video of HTC Home can be seen below.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- BlackBerry readies a more secure version of the Samsung Galaxy S7
- Android device updates: Nougat rollout begins for the Moto Z Play
- Android device updates: Nougat is coming to the Moto G4, G4 Plus
- Beyond smartphones, Samsung wants its Exynos 9 chip in VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- TPGIS Resource Data & TestingQLD
- TPTechnical ArchitectVIC
- TPSAP BA - Source to PayQLD
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCICT Strategist and AdvisorNSW
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- FTSystem EngineersVIC
- FTSoftware Tech Lead - C++ Back Office Trading SystemsNSW
- FTAgile CoachVIC
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- CCChange AnalystVIC
- FTProject AnalystACT
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- FTLead Network Project ManagerNSW
- CCSofware Developer/Architect - Media and telco Network Operations - MelbourneVIC
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- FTPolicy & Programme OfficerACT
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW