HTC Status: First impressions

CNET goes hands-on with the HTC Status Facebook phone for AT&T.

HTC Status
HTC Status Bonnie Cha/CNET

NEW YORK--AT&T held a special event today to showcase some of its current and upcoming products, including the HTC Status.

Available starting July 17 for $49.99 with a two-year contract, the Status is the U.S. version of the HTC ChaCha, which was first introduced at Mobile World Congress. Designed in collaboration with Facebook, it's the first handset optimized for the social networking site and features a dedicated Facebook button, so you can easily post status updates, share links and music tracks, upload photos, check in, and more.

We were given a review unit to take with us, so look for our full evaluation soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share some our initial impressions with you.

  • The Facebook button truly makes it easy to interact with the social networking site without having to open the app. A short press of the button brings up a screen where you can post a status update or post something on a friend's wall. Meanwhile, a long press allows you to check into a location. The button is also context aware, meaning that if you're in an app, such as the camera or the browser, the key will illuminate as a reminder that you can upload the photo or share a link via Facebook.

  • The QWERTY keyboard is excellent. It features large, oval-ish buttons with a good amount of spacing and raised keys, so it felt very comfortable to type on; even people with larger thumbs shouldn't have too many problems with it.

  • The 2.6-inch HVGA touch screen is really small. Even though HTC optimized Sense and the Android menus for the smaller display, we found it difficult to read smaller text on screen and to navigate the phone. Granted, we've grown accustomed to testing devices with 3.5- to 4-inch screens, so it's hard to adjust back to something so small.

  • Once again, HTC's done a nice job with the design and build quality. The Status is nice and compact and features a unibody design that feels sleek and solid.

Given all this and the affordable price tag, we think the HTC Status will certainly appeal to its target audience of 18- to 24-year-olds but we'll reserve final judgment for our full review. Check back soon and let us know what you think of the HTC Status.

 

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