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HTC ChaCha Available On Vodafone & Three

The ChaCha, HTC's first Android smartphone with a portrait-oriented keyboard, has gone on sale in the UK on Vodafone and Three mobile.

The handset - which was launched earlier this year at MWC - comes with a dedicated Facebook button, a Qualcomm SoC clocked at 800MHz, 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM, a 2.6-inch touchscreen display with HVGA resolution, a 5-megapixel camera, VGA front facing camera, BT, GPS, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Vodafone sells it on a two year plan with 300 minutes, unlimited texts, 250MB data and 1GB allowance on BT Openzone Wi-Fi for £26.

Three on the other hand flogs the handset with 2000 minutes, 5000 texts, free voicemail, all you can eat data but no Wi-Fi allowance for £29.

The phone - which is one of two HTC Facebook phones - is also available SIM free from Amazon for £250 (opens in new tab). The handset doesn't really have a competitor as a Blackberry-type handset but with Android.

Most keyboard-enabled smartphones on Google's mobile platform - like the Samsung Galaxy Pro, the HTC Desire Z or the Motorola Milestone - are side-sliders.

And £29 for the ChaCha on Three Mobile is not that expensive given that the mobile network charges £27 for the Blackberry Curve 9300, a device with far inferior hardware specs.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.