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Christmas Gift Guide
Phones

Vodafone 555 brings you Facebook buddies on a budget

One of the few pay as you go handsets with a dedicated Facebook button, the Vodafone 555 keeps you connected without breaking the bank.

The Vodafone 555 isn't the first pay as you go phone with a Facebook button -- the HTC ChaCha has it too, though it'll set you back more than twice the price of the 555. The 555 is the first phone only available on pay as you go to feature the blue button though, and it'll cost just £62.50. Bargain.

Like the ChaCha, one press of the Facebook button gives you access to the social network, so you won't need to load an app, or launch your browser to stay up to date.

A status bar sits at the top of the homescreen too -- just scroll there using the optical trackpad, then start typing using the Qwerty keyboard to share with your friends. You could tell them how little your new Facebook-enabled phone cost, for example.

Other Facebook features are available without any hassle as well. Click a picture, and you'll see the option to upload it straight to the social network, as well as add a caption and tag your friends, all without launching any programs.

It even integrates your Facebook friends right into your phonebook, making staying in touch an absolute doddle. Friend requests sit at the top of the phonebook (yes, including those you've been trying to ignore), and you can send Facebook messages direct from the phonebook, write on friends' walls, and view their photos and interests. It's like a mini Facebook right in your contacts, with all the useful features (including Facebook chat), and none of the chaff.

If you want an extra 200 minutes, 600 texts and 100MB Web access as well as £15 credit, you can buy the 555 direct from Vodafone for £70, which seems a steal to us.

It runs Vodafone's proprietary operating system, which isn't surprising given the price, and the specs are pretty vanilla, with a 2-megapixel camera and a 2.4-inch screen. It may not tempt you away from your iPhone but, for built-in Facebook on a budget, it's pretty unbeatable. Expect a full review soon.