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HTC ChaCha and Salsa Facebook phones set for 17 June UK release

UK retailer Expansys says it will start selling HTC's new ChaCha and Salsa Facebook phones in mid-June, although it has yet to list a price for either Android mobile.

HTC's two new Facebook phones, the ChaCha and Salsa, got people talking (and poking) at Mobile World Congress. Now they've got a release date for the UK, albeit from online retailer Expansys rather than HTC or its operator partners.

Expansys now has both Android phones listed on its site (here's the ChaCha and Salsa), but no price for either. Their shipping date is listed as 17 June though, with pre-orders being taken now. Yes, the idea of pre-ordering a handset when you don't know how much it'll cost is rather strange...

The mid-June date ties in with what we've heard from operators so far, at least about the ChaCha. Last week, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange all confirmed that they'd be selling that handset, with Orange specifying the second quarter of this year. The Salsa was mysteriously missing from their announcements, though.

We think the ChaCha could be the more popular of the two handsets. It runs Android 2.4 Gingerbread, and has a physical Qwerty keyboard, a 2.6-inch screen and a dedicated Facebook button, which shares status updates, photos and check-ins with your online friends, depending what you're doing on the handset when you press it.

The Salsa also has the Facebook button and Gingerbread software, but is a purely touchscreen handset. It will go head to head with INQ's Cloud Touch device, although the latter may be slightly cheaper. Until Expansys -- and more importantly the operators -- release pricing info, we won't know for sure.