HTC ChaCha review: Status update

GSMArena team, 12 July 2011.
Pages: 12345678»

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Standing out in the ever growing crowd of droids is a tall task indeed. Doing so while keeping the whole thing affordable, is next to impossible. HTC – of all makers – somehow managed to achieve it, vastly improving the market prospects of their ChaCha, aka the Facebook phone.

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HTC ChaCha official photos

Who would say no to a friendly smartphone with a thing for social networking? It takes a little blue button and we get the point, but the QWERTY keyboard is a statement of its own too. Facebook integration is said to be deeper than ever (and that's on Android 2.3 where it was just fine from the get-go).

Key features

  • Light and compact metallic body
  • 2.6" 256K-color TFT capacitive touchscreen of HVGA (480 x 320) resolution
  • Full four-row QWERTY keyboard and a dedicated Facebook button
  • ARMv6 800MHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
  • Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) with HTC Sense 2.1 for Messenger
  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support, 7.2 Mbps HSDPA
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n with Mobile Hotspot functionality
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity; digital compass
  • 5 MP autofocus camera, D1 (720 x 480 pixels) video recording @30fps
  • microUSB port (charging)
  • microSD slot (up to 32GB, 2GB in box)
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • Document editor (free download from HTC Hub)
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Smart dialing
  • Secondary video-call camera

Main disadvantages

  • Awkward landscape UI and limited compatibility with some apps
  • Limited Adobe Flash support in the browser
  • Sub-par camera image quality
  • D1 video recording is short of inspiring
  • Non-hot-swappable microSD card slot

Even if you take Facebook out of the equation, the HTC ChaCha seems fit to tackle its rivals in the mid-range. Targeting the young, where heavy-texters are in no short supply, the QWERTY keyboard will earn itself quite a few fans. The quality metal finish makes for an upmarket look and feel.

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HTC ChaCha studio shots

On the software side of things, you get the latest version of Android, 2.3.3 Gingerbread, and the latest release of the HTC home-brewed launcher, Sense. It all adds up to a pretty good combo, so if real-life performance spares us any nasty surprises, the ChaCha is well on target.

So let’s waste no more time and find out. We start, as usual, with the hardware checkup right after the break.

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