Releasing a dedicated “Facebook phone” isn’t entirely new to HTC but the HTC First is definitely the first smartphone to come with the Facebook Home Launcher. According to Steve Kovach of Business Insider, “You can argue about technicalities all you want, but the HTC First is the first real Facebook phone.”
For those unfamiliar with the “Home” feature, think of it as a visual slideshow of status updates and photos from your Facebook news feed. This Facebook “in your face” experience will appeal to some but as Armando Rodriguez of PC Advisor put it, “Doing anything that wasn't related to Facebook, such as playing music or browsing for apps, took more effort than it did on other smartphones.”
Note: If you don’t want FB Home, you can turn it off and run the stock Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean.
Categorized as a mid-range handset, the First comes with modest hardware but most reviewers report that it still performs smoothly. Unfortunately there is not much storage space for photos or videos and the lack of expandable memory aggravates this. Experts also agreed that the camera was a weak point on the phone, with pictures coming out a bit soft and blurry.
The HTC First is not for everyone, but if want an affordable mid-range smartphone it’s probably a good choice, especially for Facebook addicts.
The Good: Affordable price tag and performs well despite modest specs.
The Bad: Minimal storage with no option to expand and the camera is a letdown.
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Evan Selleck, Phonedog
I'd recommend the First to a select group of interested parties, but I think the First misses its mark as a widespread, national hit. There are just better options, all of which can use Facebook Home as well. The First doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but the price tag doesn't warrant that ne...
- Kevin Everett, Daily Mobile
The HTC First is a great mid-range device once you shut off the Facebook Home launcher. The screen is brilliant, the device feels great in hand, and the dual core processor runs all your apps smoothly without killing your battery. This device is either for the average user who is looking for a great...
- Brooks Barnard, DroidDog
In conclusion, I really like the HTC First. I think it’s a great little device at a killer price point. My only hesitation is if it will be updated with the latest in greatest in the long run. You’re signing a 2 year contract. Is the device going to be great for the next 2 years? Is ther...
- Andrew Kameka, MobileBurn
As someone who sporadically uses Facebook, the HTC First has zero appeal to me as a "Facebook phone."
- Taylor Martin, Pocketnow
Is the HTC First the most impressive and amazing phone to ever pass through our hands? Not by a long shot. Is it the most memorable? Hardly. But neither of those two things make it a bad device. In fact, we’re keen on many aspects of the First. It’s much larger (metaphorically) than jus...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC First user manual here.
HTC backs up the First with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your First has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
Manuals / User Guides
- HTC First Quick Start Guide (PDF)
- HTC First Manual (PDF)
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