Last week, the long-rumored “Facebook phone” was introduced in the form of the HTC First. Although the smartphone wasn’t developed by Facebook, it will be the first to be pre-installed with “Facebook Home.”
Facebook Home is an interface for some smartphones running the Android operating system. It replaces the main home screen with a “Cover Feed,” which displays the latest Facebook status updates and photos uploaded by users’ friends. Facebook Home also comes with “Chat Heads,” a feature that lets users chat with friends while using another app.
The phone is half the price of most flagship smartphones because it doesn’t have the best hardware specs. Its camera, for instance, takes lower resolution pictures than other smartphones. Here’s how the HTC First “Facebook phone” stacks up against some notable alternatives:
Screen: 4.3-inch, 1,280x720 pixel resolution, 341.5 pixel density
Cameras: 5-megapixel rear camera with 1080p HD video recording, 1.6-megapixel front camera.
Size: 0.35 of an inch thick, 4.96 inches tall, 2.56 inches wide
Weight: 0.27 of a pound
Operating System: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor: 1.4 GHz dual core
Notable features: Facebook Home brings a user’s social network front and center. Instead of a menu or home screen, users get a “Cover Feed” that shows their friends’ latest status updates and pictures. The “Chat Heads” feature lets users chat with friends over Facebook while running other apps.
Storage: 16 GB
Availability: April 12 from AT&T;
Price: $100 from AT&T; with a two-year contract
Screen: 4.7-inch, 1,920x1,080, 468 pixel density
Cameras: Rear camera uses proprietary HTC UltaPixel camera technology, which is believed to be approximately 4 megapixels. Front camera has 2.1-megapixel sensor. Both cameras record 1080p HD video.
Size: 0.37 of an inch thick, 5.41 inches tall, 2.69 inches wide
Weight: 0.32 of a pound
Operating System: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Processor: 1.7GHz quad core
Notable Features: Forward-facing stereo speakers; HTC UltaPixel camera allows for higher-quality low-light pictures
Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB (AT&T; only)
Availability: April 19 from AT&T; and Sprint. Sometime this spring from T-Mobile
Price: Starts at $200 from AT&T; with a two-year contract. $200 from Sprint with a two-year contract. $99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20, or $579.99 total, from T-Mobile
Samsung Galaxy S 4
Screen: 5-inch, 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution, 441 pixel density
Cameras: 13-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera. Both record 1080p HD video.
Size: 0.31 of an inch thick, 5.38 inches tall, 2.75 inches wide
Weight: 0.29 of a pound
Operating System: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Processor: 1.9G Hz quad core or 1.6 GHz octa core (depends on the market)
Notable Features: Eye-controlled text scrolling, simultaneous video recording using both cameras
Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB
Availability: Late April. Offered by AT&T;, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile
Price: Starts at $250 from AT&T; with a two-year contract. No other prices available yet.
Screen: 4-inch, 1,136x640, 326 pixel density
Cameras: 8-megapixel rear with 1080p HD video recording, 1.2-megapixel front with 720p HD video recording.
Size: 0.3 of an inch thick, 4.87 inches tall, 2.31 inches wide
Weight: 0.25 of a pound
Operating System: iOS 6
Processor: 1.3GHz dual core
Notable Features: iCloud syncs apps among users’ various Apple products; iMessage allows users to send messages to other Apple devices for free
Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB
Availability: Went on sale September 2012
Price: Starts at $200 from AT&T;, Verizon or Sprint with a two-year contract. Starts at $99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20, or $579.99 total, from T-Mobile.