AT&T today announced that the HTC Status, the first device with a dedicated Facebook button, will be launching on the network on July 17, 2011, in time for back-to-school shopping season. The device is now available for preorder at att.com for $50 with a two-year contract (a minimum $15 data plan is required). It will be available in AT&T stores and online, while Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile standalone stores will feature an exclusive mauve edition.
AT&T retail and online stores will also offer exclusive custom cases and a screen protector for the HTC Status, including hard-shell and soft-shell case options from Speck and AGF. The HTC Status will be compatible with a number of universal micro-USB charging options, Bluetooth headsets, and corded stereo headsets.
The HTC Status is really the HTC Chacha, which was announced back in February 2011, rebranded for AT&T. The HTC Status lets you share music, photos, location, and status updates via the dedicated Facebook button:
- Press the Facebook button from your home screen to instantly post on your wall.
- Take a picture or shoot a video and share it instantly with a press of the Facebook button. You can even post pictures automatically as you're taking them.
- Hold the Facebook button to check in your location with Facebook Places.
- See something cool on the web? Share your latest find with a quick press of the Facebook button.
- The Facebook button glows when playing music; press it to share what you're listening to.
The HTC Status also features a chat widget that allows you to see when your friends are online. You can start a live instant chat and juggle between as many private conversations as you want, all straight from the device. Furthermore, every time you get or make a call, you see your friend's profile picture and latest status update right on the call screen (if it's their birthday that week, you'll see that too).
Last but certainly not least, here are the technical specifications of the device:
- Platform: Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) + HTC Sense
- Display: 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 320 resolution
- Network: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900
- Memory: 512MB of RAM, 512MB of ROM
- Processor: MSM7227, 800 MHz
- Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 1250 mAh
- Camera resolution: 5MP main camera with autofocus, VGA front-facing camera
Facebook's stance on devices like this one is that they are a prime example of a manufacturer using the company’s public APIs to innovate in the mobile space. That being said, the Taiwanese mobile manufacturer (or any company for that matter) is not allowed to market any of its devices as a "Facebook phone." On the other hand, Facebook hopes more such devices will follow.