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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

HTC Status from AT&T is an Android Facebook phone



htc-status-panel1-device-and-line.jpgIf you're a Facebook status junkie you may want to check out the new HTC Status 3G smartphone from AT&T. It's an Android phone with a 2.6-inch screen and a backlit QWERTY keyboard running 2.3.3 Gingerbread. The phone is very small, 4.49 x 2.54 x 0.42 inches, and weighs just 4.32 ounces. With an integrated Facebook button that makes posting your status fast and easy, this phone has been dubbed as a "Facebook phone."

For Blackberry users who want to transition to an Android smartphone, the Status would be a good choice. The phone is very Blackberry-like and the QWERTY keyboard combined with the touch screen gives you the best of both worlds. As an iPhone user I admit I like having physical buttons instead of virtual ones under glass, but I struggled with the buttons on the Status because of my chubby fingers. Anyone with large hands likely would have trouble using this phone.

status.jpgAs it is with all HTC phones, the Status comes with the HTC Sense enhancement to the Gingerbread operating system. I'm a big fan of HTC Sense and on the phones with larger screens, the Sense widgets provide a multitude of cool features that make much better use of the display space. On the Status, however, it's just the opposite. With a 2.6-inch screen the widgets are so small they look out of place and take up almost all the available space. The Facebook widget is loaded by default, and it displays the latest statuses from your Facebook news feed. Friend Stream and Facebook Chat widgets also are available, with the former handling streams from various social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter. To you any of these widgets you'd better have good eyes because the type is really small.

The Facebook button on the phone takes you to a special status update screen, where you can quickly post on your Facebook wall or on the wall of a friend. This is a nice feature, especially if you update your Facebook status a lot. Facebook content and information also is integrated in the clock, dialer, calendar, address book and photo gallery.

2921575_rb.jpgThe Status has a 5MP rear-facing camera with an LED light, 2X zoom and video capability. A front-facing camera of unknown resolution also is included. It ships with 512MB of on-board memory and a 2GB microSD card in the slot that can be upgraded to 32GB for additional storage. To read up on all the specs you can go here.

Overall the HTC Status is a capable little phone and offers good social media integration. The small screen and keyboard, however, make it a less than optimal choice for some people. This phone probably would be a good choice for kids.

It's available in AT&T stores now for $49.99 with a new 2-year contract. Best Buy stores also have the Status, in an exclusive mauve color.

[Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2011 2:01pm]


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