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CNET First Look
HTC First comes with Facebook HomeFacebook and HTC pair up to offer a super-social Facebook experience for your Android smartphone.
Facebook has created a brand new experience for Android. I'm Jessica Dolcourt from CNET, this is Aumie from Facebook. And this is the HTC first phone that comes preloaded with Facebook Home. That is what Facebook is calling its new Android experience. It isn't exactly the same as the app. It's separate from the app, but it does take over the home screen in a way that lets you interact with certain Facebook features front and center. When you turn the phone on from the lock screen, the first thing that you're gonna see is the photo that's animated in the background. It takes over the entire background. You'll see it over your friend. You might even see your picture of your own profile at the bottom. So, right away, you can view the photos automatically or you can actually swipe through them. Double tap to like a photo and you'll see a very big thumbs up. You can also view the comments and add a comment right from this cover feat. You'll notice that the phone itself has 3 buttons at the bottom. The circle button is actually the home menu. There's also a back button and a menu button. When you touch the profile photo, it can take you back, you can get to all of your apps or you can get to messenger. The messenger is kinda cool because it doesn't distinguish between what's a Facebook chats and what is a text. So, anyway, it kind of borrows from Apple's iMessage. So the launcher is interesting because, even though you can see all of your apps laid out you can save shortcuts to this Apple launcher. The Apple launcher kind of-- lays on top of the main image. You can swipe up to see it. You can also page through the launcher and you can have as many launcher pages with shortcuts as you want, you simply cross and of drag to add a shortcut to the launcher. In this sense, there are no traditional home screens. There's only the launcher and then of course the apps. To get out, you can always press the circle button or you can toss something down in a flick motion and that'll get you back to your main screen. There is a port for notifications. They will pop up on to the screen. You can swipe them away to get rid of them. You can tap to open the notifications and take a closer look. This will, of course, work with notifications come from other apps. And if you want to see anything else, you can simply open up the app from the Apple Launcher or from the main screen. Facebook has implemented a really interesting way to talk to people. They're calling it Chat Heads-- yes, Chat Heads. So, it's an icon-- an image of a friend that kinda bubbles around and you can click and drag it to the sides if you wanna reposition it and see it on a different part of the screen. It will not go into the middle. You can touch this Chat Head to see any messages that are in action to start a conversation and to message through either text or through Facebook chat. You can tap again to close it and when you're done, you can flick down to close the entire thing. If you've got multiple messages open, you can similarly flick down to close them all at once. The screen and chat heads are very responsive. It does feel a little bit like the digital version of tossing a soccer ball-- it's kinda fun. The HTC first phone is a mid-range device. It's got a 4.3-inch screen. It's got a 5 megapixel camera on the back and it's got the sort of soft touch finish that you can see, not a whole lot of extra details or accents on the device. It will be exclusive to AT&T and will cost $100 with a new 2-year service agreement. It will also be available on April 12 and you can pre-order it today. So that's a very first look at the HTC first phone and Facebook's new Facebook home for Android. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. We're gonna have much more on this coming up, so stick with CNET TV.