HTC Salsa Android phone (preview)

HTC Salsa preview: The HTC Salsa has a dedicated Facebook button, a 3.4in touch screen and 5-megapixel camera with flash

The HTC Salsa Android phone is one of two new smartphones from HTC that includes a dedicated Facebook button, attempting to provide easier interaction with the world's most popular social networking service.

Check out our guide to the best upcoming smartphones in 2011, and read our reviews of other top HTC phones.

Officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain, the HTC Salsa was introduced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It is a very similar handset to the HTC ChaCha, except the Salsa lacks a physical keyboard and has a much larger display.

The HTC Salsa's Facebook button works contextually and lights up whenever the user can share multimedia content or status updates through the social networking service. For example, after a photo is taken with the HTC Salsa's camera, you simply push the Facebook button to automatically upload the image. You can also press the button once to automatically check in through the Facebook Places feature.

Other features of the HTC Salsa include the ability to view a friend's latest Facebook status and photos on the dialler when you make a call, and when you receive calls. The Salsa also has a dedicated Facebook chat widget, which is part of HTC's Sense user interface.

The HTC Salsa has a reasonably sized 3.4in capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 480 x 320. The phone is powered by an 800MHz processor, but has a healthy 512MB of RAM and runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system, 2.3 Gingerbread. The HTC Salsa also has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a front facing VGA camera for video calls, and a microSD card slot for extra storage.

The HTC Salsa is available exclusively through Vodafone from 6 July. It can be purchased for $0 upfront on Vodafone's $29 cap over 24 months, or for $0 upfront on the $45 infinite plan over 24 months. The $29 Vodafone cap provides $180 worth of calls and text, along with 200MB of data and unlimited Vodafone to Vodafone and 3 standard voice calls within Australia, while the $45 infinite plan includes unlimited calls and text and 500MB of data per month. Both plans include free, unlimited access to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, FourSquare and LinkedIn social networking services within Australia.