HTC First review: The socialite
There's a lot more to the HTC First than Facebook Home. With solid build quality, minimalist looks, pocket-friendly size, and capable hardware, the handset is arguably the most appealing mid-range Android smartphone at the moment.
We were most surprised by seeing an unmodified Android OS on the device out of the box. It is the only such option available in the US at the moment, this side of a Google Nexus device. There's no unnecessary carrier bloatware too - a welcome occurrence given the lack of much available storage on the device.
The lack of expandable memory is probably the HTC First's biggest shortcoming. With only 12GB of available space on board, a user should be careful about its use - a tough task when a high-profile video game can easily come close to two gigs of required space.
On the positive side, the HTC First has a gorgeous screen and the 5MP camera shoots better stills than you would expect.
The HTC First is keenly priced at $99.99 with a two-year contract - a fair price given the smartphone's capabilities and the current state of the competition. Should you choose to shop around, here are some options worth taking a look at.
The HTC One X for AT&T will offer slightly better camera, but smaller battery to power its bigger screen for the same price. If you are into HTC Sense, the One X is worth a look.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is also priced at $99.99. It barely needs an introduction, given the tens of millions sold already. The HTC First however, one-ups the South Korean on pocketability.
If you feel like going against the mainstream, the Pantech Discover is a viable option, too, with a bargain basement price tag of $49.99. It offers a large screen, a replaceable battery, stereo speakers, and a 12.6MP camera.
The Motorola DROID RAZR M for Verizon comes closest to the HTC First in terms of size/performance ratio. However, its qHD display is seriously inferior to the S-LCD unit of the HTC offering. The DROID RAZR M is priced at $49.99 with a two-year commitment to the Big Red.
There is hardly a smartphone, which matches the HTC First's talents completely. The so-called "Facebook phone", despite some of its limitations, is a perfect fit for anyone who thinks that an Android smartphone with a screen larger than 4.5" is going too far. It is therefore, the sidekick, which perfectly complements the HTC One flagship.