The HTC ChaCha is a castanet-clicking, hand-clapping smart phone, with a beauty mark in the form of a dedicated Facebook button. It also offers all the power of Android 2.3 Gingerbread and an excellent Qwerty keyboard.
The ChaCha is available for free on a monthly contract for around £15 per month. SIM-free, the phone will set you back around £250.
Do the ChaCha
Released alongside the, the ChaCha is one of a new generation of Facebook-focused handsets. Mobile manufacturers are quickly catching on to the fact that social networking is big business, and we'd be willing to bet both of these phones will shift a substantial number of units purely because they boast the Facebook logo on their casing.
When compared to the Salsa, the ChaCha initially feels rather strange. The odd bend in the middle of the phone is clearly intended to improve the feel of the device in the hand, and it certainly does so, but it looks odd.
Thankfully, this bend makes the ChaCha's Qwerty keyboard a joy to use. The width of the phone allows you to comfortably use two thumbs for typing, and the buttons themselves are large and easy to locate, even if you have chubby fingers. They also emit a satisfying 'click' when pressed. Compared to the cramped keys on the BlackBerry Curve 8250, the ChaCha's keyboard feels positively spacious.
Sadly, fitting in all those lovely, tactile buttons has forced HTC's designers to compromise elsewhere -- namely the landscape screen. Although its resolution of 480x320 pixels offers a sharp image, this is largely down to the small size of the display -- it measures just 2.6 inches from corner to corner.
Although we've seenphones with similar screens before -- the , for instance -- they're not common, and the display's shape can cause problems when it comes to using some apps. Those that appear in portrait mode, for example, require the ChaCha to be held sideways, and other apps tend to flit between portrait and landscape displays, forcing you to constantly turn the phone in your hands.
Those apps that do play happily with the landscape view suffer from other complications. Content is squashed down to fit on the screen, and scrolling through certain applications, such as, becomes an unnecessarily tiresome experience.
One plus point is that websites look good, as they're intended to be viewed on 16:8 monitors. Flash support is limited to animated banners and little else, though.