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HTC First Review

HTC First 7.5

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HTC First Review

Already taking a stab at the so-called “Facebook phone” in devices like the HTC ChaCha and Salsa, which merely employed dedicated Facebook buttons for quick access to certain functions of the app, veteran smartphone maker HTC is once again taking helm in delivering the next Facebook phone. This time, however, Facebook as a company in itself is taking a more profound leadership with this latest venture, seeing that there’s an overhaul with the actual Facebook experience. Tagged as the first phone to offer the all-encompassing Facebook experience, the HTC First seems like the no-brainer device for hardcore Facebook users, but will it have enough uniqueness to call its own, so that it’s a compelling choice over other devices that are bound to also get treated to the new Facebook Home experience?

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • nano-SIM removal tool
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety and Warranty Guide


Always known to deliver the goods when it comes to design, we have to hand it to HTC yet again for concocting a very minimalist and compact design with the HTC First. No, it’s not as stylish as the HTC One, but regardless of that, we appreciate it for its sturdy construction and pancaked look – meaning, everything is simply flush with nothing protruding out of it. Sporting a bezel that’s rounded to offer a pleasant grip in the hand, which is further complemented by its soft touch matte finish, we’re still trying to process that this thing is packing along a once perceived to be large sized 4.3-inch display. It’s big enough to enjoy, but not too big or heavy (124 gr) to hold. Better yet, it’s wonderful to know that the HTC First is available in different colors from the onset to give consumers a level of choice that not too many handsets in its price category are subjected to.

The HTC First offers a pleasant grip in the hand - HTC First Review
The HTC First offers a pleasant grip in the hand - HTC First Review
The HTC First offers a pleasant grip in the hand - HTC First Review

The HTC First offers a pleasant grip in the hand

HTC First
4.96 x 2.56 x 0.35 inches
126 x 65 x 9 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

HTC First

BlackBerry Z10
5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches
130 x 65.6 x 9 mm
4.85 oz (138 g)

BlackBerry Z10

Samsung Galaxy Express
5.2 x 2.72 x 0.37 inches
132.2 x 69.1 x 9.3 mm
4.91 oz (139 g)

Samsung Galaxy Express

Nokia Lumia 820
4.87 x 2.7 x 0.39 inches
123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm
5.64 oz (160 g)

Nokia Lumia 820

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Along the bottom of the display, we’re presented with the usual trio of capacitive buttons – the back, home, and menu keys. By default, the home button jumps us back to the main screen of Facebook Home, but it can also get us back to the standard home screen when Facebook Home is disabled. Other functions of Android, such as accessing the multi-tasking pane and Google Now, are done by double tapping and long pressing the home button respectively. Above the display, there’s an unusual sized 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera that’s capable of shooting 720p video.

HTC First Review
Capacitive buttons - HTC First Review
Front camera - HTC First Review

Capacitive buttons

Front camera

Taking a tour around the edges of the HTC First, there’s nothing particularly out of character, as it sports a power button, volume control, 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancelling microphone, microUSB port for charging/data connectivity (no video-out), nano-SIM slot, and microdots that hide away its standard mic and internal speaker. Despite the flush feel of its power button and volume control, it’s nice to find a springy response with them.

The sides of the HTC First - HTC First Review
The sides of the HTC First - HTC First Review
The sides of the HTC First - HTC First Review
The sides of the HTC First - HTC First Review

The sides of the HTC First

On the back side, we continue to see the consistency with the HTC First’s flat design, as the f2.0 lens of the 5-megapixel auto-focus camera and LED flash are flush with the surrounding area. Just like many things nowadays, it features the predictable 1080p video recording. Depending on your taste, you might not like the closed design of the HTC First, which means there’s no access to the battery. At the same time, we’re somewhat not too surprised by the lack of a microSD slot with this one, as it’s increasingly something we’ve been seeing from HTC’s lineup.

Back - HTC First Review
Rear camera - HTC First Review


Rear camera


Wrapping our heads around the fact that the HTC First is sporting a fine looking 4.3-inch 720 x 1280 S-LCD 3 display, we’re humbled most that it contributes to a very pocket-friendly handset. Indeed, it’s not as captivating or jaw dropping as other recent displays, but it’s effective enough for our eyes to handle. At a pixel density of 341 ppi, it’s undoubtedly detailed enough to give everything that tasteful level of clarity, and at the same time, we can’t complain about its neutral color reproduction. However, its brightness output isn’t strong enough to repel the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Nevertheless, we’re content with the overall package. It’s big, but not too big. Also, it’s not too overpowering to the point that it’s taking away from the star of the show – the new Facebook Home experience.

Viewing angles of the HTC First - HTC First Review
Viewing angles of the HTC First - HTC First Review
Viewing angles of the HTC First - HTC First Review

Viewing angles of the HTC First

HTC First 360-Degrees View:

  • Options

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: 99; 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: 54; 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: 3604; 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: 585; 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
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Krait processor
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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