HTC ChaCha – an initial thoughts review

One Mobile Ring has taken stock of the ChaCha ‘Facebook’ phone from HTC, for an exclusive review and weeks before the social networking mobile phone actually goes on sale in the UK.

The ChaCha is geared up for social networking with ‘one touch’ access to Facebook, where there’s a dedicated hardware button provided on the phone to launch the integrated app.

The mobile phone has the appearance of a budget Qwerty BlackBerry–esque device, with a 2.6-inch 480x320 touch screen, a 600MHz processor, 512MB of internal storage, a 5 Megapixel camera and Android ‘Gingerbread’ 2.3 with the HTC Sense overlay.

We thought we would approach this ‘initial thoughts’ review of the High Tech Computer Corporations ‘Facebook’ mobile phone in a different way. OMR has gathered all of the first impressions of the contributors to the title, in order to compile a more rounded piece about the HTC ChaCha – instead of just from one person’s perspective

First up is ‘G’, who believes the mobile phone initially looks funny – as HTC has given the ChaCha a ‘chin’ that’s reminiscent of the Hero and Legend, only it looks like someone has bent it out of shape. The Facebook button in our review sample didn’t actually work, although we have requested another device with that working functionality.

HTC’s ChaCha has a touch screen and keypad, much like the Nokia X3-02 and BlackBerry Torch. The Nokia is an ideal phone in size, look and feel, but we wanted an android handset with similar technology that just worked; The Cha Cha isn’t it.

Next up is ‘B’ who thought the HTC handset is a great concept for a phone. Like the Nokia X3-02, HTC is trying to bridge the gap between touch screen and keypad control – which is absolutely necessary for the progression of usability.

Unlike the Nokia, however, the ChaCha hasn’t made much of an effort with the screen. As a result, everything appears squashed visually but also the content seems anodyne, as if compromised by conflicting aspirations. If you really want to read the text and you are not a superhero you will need to hold the phone no further than the length of your own hand, so you end up looking like a tourist.

Due to the BlackBerry influenced keypad you will suffer from BB messenger syndrome too, with tired thumbs and a clearly restricted capability to interact with other humans in a non-artificial environment. One Mobile Ring thinks if you look at a phone like the Xperia mini, you can see how a tiny phone can work well, but the ChaCha is a backwards step in the evolution of mobile user experience.

Finally, ‘C’, who wasn’t best impressed to say the least. The dedicated Facebook button on the device reveals its true intentions – it is just designed to make contributing to social networks easier. The problem is, what’s wrong with a non-qwerty phone? It isn’t designed for the photo viewing as the screen is too small. The built in ‘Facebook’ button should be for Twitter ,which is primarily for text based interactions. Facebook offers so much more, which this phone ironically doesn’t feel up to handling.

Arguably this device runs the OS very quickly, but that is probably because it only has to work with half a screen compared to a standard device. It looks as if someone has tried to break it in half and gave up. However the keyboard seemed to be responsive and we managed to get through a few sentences without too many problems, unlike the BlackBerrys that are not designed for the bigger hands.

Originally published at OneMobileRing.com