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HTC First Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface and Functionality:

Unlike those other previous attempts at “Facebook phones,” the HTC First seems like it’s succeeding where others have failed. And why’s that you say? Well, rather than giving us a dedicated Facebook button to update our status, which is what we’ve seen with the HTC Salsa and ChaCha previously, Facebook Home is basically more of an in-your-face presentation of Facebook. Believe us when we say that we dig the dynamic way of how Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android, by aggregating posts from our news feed in a stylish slideshow presentation. Frankly, we appreciate this level of connectedness, but there’s simply one flaw that we find – it doesn’t discriminate in what is shows. To be more specific, it’s those provocative photos that Facebook friends post, that come up the instant we turn on the device. Needless to say, it can make for some hurried excuses when you’re trying to explain it to someone who happens to take notice of it.

In addition, we’re given some basic functions from within Facebook Home – such as liking a post by simply double tapping the screen, commenting, and viewing some notifications. However, for a Facebook experience, we still don’t find it comprehensive enough, which is especially strange seeing that we’re still finding ourselves running the actual Facebook app to check-in, posts photos, and update our status. Regardless of that, hardcore Facebook users will appreciate the new Chat Heads features that Facebook Home offers, which layers the profile pictures of friends we’re talking to on Facebook Messenger. As a whole, it’s a nice start for the in-your-face style of Facebook Home, but after several days of usage, it soon becomes a bit stale – thus, we find ourselves going back to the regular Facebook app for additional functionality.

Facebook Home - Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review

Facebook Home

   
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Android Home - Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android - HTC First Review
 

Android Home

  

Facebook Home replaces the traditional lock/home screen of Android


Don’t want to be bothered by Facebook Home? Well, you’re in luck because we can disable it completely under the Facebook Home settings. Interestingly, the HTC First is running a vanilla Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean experience under it all, which some will no doubt appreciate. Beside Facebook Home, there’s nothing out of the ordinary with the rest of the experience, since all of the core organizer apps are the ones we’re familiar using already.

After being accustomed to using smartphones with super-sized displays, we find ourselves fumbling a bit trying to adjust back to typing on the modest 4.3-inch display of the HTC First. Thankfully, we’re soon able to maintain our usual rate of input, despite the smaller sized buttons of the stock Jelly Bean keyboard.

Core apps - HTC First Review
Core apps - HTC First Review
Core apps - HTC First Review
Core apps - HTC First Review

Core apps



Processor and Memory:

Armed with a dual-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU coupled with 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 305 GPU, it’s not the beefiest spec’d device on the block, but it’s honestly effective enough to deliver an acceptable performance. Naturally, it handles most basic tasks effortlessly, but every now and then, it’s not too surprising for us to experience some kind of stutter or delay with its performance. Like we said, the hardware isn’t terrifying, seeing that the benchmark results validates it.


Quadrant Standard AnTuTu GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD) Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
HTC First 5830 11446 2313 2235 / 580
HTC One 12481 23308 3551 / 31 fps 2395 / 781
Samsung Galaxy S 4 12078 24701 4437 / 39 fps 1702/704

Increasingly something that’s been common with most of HTC’s portfolio of late, the HTC First lacks expandable storage via a microSD card slot. Therefore, we’re a bit more cautious on what we save, since we’re left with only 11.96GB of free space out of the box.


Internet and Connectivity:

Fortunately, even with the modest hardware under the hood, the HTC First delivers a bang up job with the web browsing experience. Sporting 4G LTE connectivity, there’s little waiting needed for complex pages to load up. Better yet, navigational controls with the Google Chrome browser are predictably smooth and fairly instantaneous.

The HTC First delivers a bang up job with the web browsing experience - HTC First Review
The HTC First delivers a bang up job with the web browsing experience - HTC First Review
The HTC First delivers a bang up job with the web browsing experience - HTC First Review

The HTC First delivers a bang up job with the web browsing experience


Being a GSM smartphone, it’s something that’s compatible to work with most of the GSM networks around the world – and it helps that 4G LTE connectivity is in tow! Beyond that, it’s outfitted with the usual array of connectivity features that are commonly available. Specifically, the listing includes aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, mobile hotspot functionality, and NFC.

12 Comments
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posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:56 3

1. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Stock Android, LTE, "human-sized" 4.3" 720p display, honestly if this was sold for 49.99$ on a 2year contract it would be at&t's best mid range smartphone!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:36 5

2. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)


its fairly good..love it.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:44 2

5. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


for a mid ranger , yea and if u remove the facebook home then its awsome

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:55

3. XperiaPrince (Posts: 108; Member since: 25 Dec 2012)


Why 7.5? I think It Deserves A 8

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:10 2

4. ImHungry (Posts: 17; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


i think i may buy this as a back up phone.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:03

6. Techboi (Posts: 84; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


How is this bad battery life?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:28

8. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Honestly, for strict HSPA+ connectivity, I was hoping for something a little more than 15 hours...and that's with my normal usage.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:52 1

9. toondewachter (Posts: 53; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


What does that mean? Let's compare apples with apples. In terms of processing power you could compare it with last year's Galaxy S3 right? They also have comparable battery sizes. So which in your experience would last longer? The HTC First or the S3?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:06

7. Techboi (Posts: 84; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


I thought the new 400 processor would of been better tho

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 16:14

10. snowgator (Posts: 3275; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


This is an okay option. Like a dozen other posters, keep the facebook. I want a pure Android experience, and I want more then just the Nexus options.

I still say: If an LG, Sony, or one of the smaller handset makers trying to become a serious seller just released a stock Android line (mid range and top end), they would hit gold. In a world of Skins and ovelays, a pure Android line WOULD stand out.

And I submit: Perform circles around some of these other devices with UI's on them.

posted on 20 Apr 2013, 08:46

11. Matt89 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Apr 2013)


What's so special about this phone, is there any feature of interest?
I was lazy to read it because too many words in this post :D, hhahahaaaaa!!

posted on 18 May 2013, 13:52

12. PorkyBurger (Posts: 244; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Stock Androids are so hot. I agree, remove Facebook Home, and it's awesome. Though, I know already this gorgeous phone will not arrive in my country, and if so, its going to be overpriced, for example for us HTC One S is more expensive than HTC One X at Amazon. Ouch :(

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HTC First

HTC First

OS: Android 4.1
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (341 ppi) S-LCD 3
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual core, 1400 MHz, Krait processor
1024 MB RAM
Size4.96 x 2.56 x 0.35 inches
(126 x 65 x 9 mm)
4.37 oz  (124 g)
Battery2000 mAh, 14.3 hours talk time

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