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gkarris
May 8, 2013, 04:30 PM
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57583522-93/dud-alert-facebook-phone-on-sale-for-99-cents/

Dud alert: 'Facebook phone' on sale for 99 cents
AT&T is almost giving away the HTC First, which comes preloaded with Facebook Home.
by Jennifer Van Grove May 8, 2013 12:03 PM PDT

Less than a month after its release, the HTC First, also known as the first "Facebook phone," is selling for the clearance price of 99 cents with a two-year contract with AT&T.

The mid-range smartphone, which arrived on April 12 and was previously selling for $99, comes preloaded with Facebook Home, the social-networking software package that turns the device's home screen and lock screen into Facebook-only zones.

The dramatically reduced price point seems to confirm our earlier suspicions that Facebook wasn't proving to be much of a sales pitch.

HTC avoided sharing sales figures for the HTC First when it reported its first quarter earnings, but the company should get pass on the non-reveal since the device was only released after the close of the quarter. Additional anecdotal evidence suggested that, despite an aggressive television advertising campaign promoting Home as a fun way to keep your friends at the center of your phone, the First was flopping with consumers.

When reached for comment, an AT&T spokesperson said that the carrier does price promotions like this all time.

Still, with HTC and AT&T practically giving away the still-new phone, Facebook now faces the seemingly impossible task of convincing other handset makers that they too should preload its software suite onto their devices. It certainly won't help that Home is getting terrible reviews on the Google Play Store from people who downloaded it to their Android smartphones.



MacRumorUser
May 8, 2013, 04:38 PM
Given most people installed home on their device and then turned it off.... Not surprised its not the draw Facebook thought it would be. Mind the device itself when Facebook Home is turned off is a decent enough stock android device.

Jessica Lares
May 8, 2013, 04:43 PM
They want to cater to the parents buying their kids middle school graduation presents. :rolleyes:

blackhand1001
May 8, 2013, 04:46 PM
Given most people installed home on their device and then turned it off.... Not surprised its not the draw Facebook thought it would be. Mind the device itself when Facebook Home is turned off is a decent enough stock android device.
The stock android is the true silver lining on this phone. Turn off Facebook home and the phone is an excellent mid range device especially for the price.

ucfgrad93
May 8, 2013, 04:52 PM
The stock android is the true silver lining on this phone. Turn off Facebook home and the phone is an excellent mid range device especially for the price.

That is what they are saying over at androidcentral.com

http://www.androidcentral.com/using-htc-first-without-facebook-home

gkarris
May 8, 2013, 04:56 PM
That is what they are saying over at androidcentral.com

http://www.androidcentral.com/using-htc-first-without-facebook-home

Great link.

I would imagine a lot of people will be recommending it at this price then posting how to disable or re-load it without FB Home to make it a standard Android device.

blackhand1001
May 8, 2013, 06:10 PM
Great link.

I would imagine a lot of people will be recommending it at this price then posting how to disable or re-load it without FB Home to make it a standard Android device.

You can fully disable it too from the apps menu in settings and it will be completely gone from your app drawer and everything as well. The performance on this thing looks excellent.

Assault
May 8, 2013, 06:42 PM
I have never liked Facebook as an application. Why the hell would I want that crap hogging up an entire phones screen and processor? The first Facebook phone failed (what was that called? Cha Cha or something as lame.) Why would any manufacturer get in bed with Facebook, knowing the phone would only appeal to a very small niche group?

HTC should have made Home a secondary piece of software (like Blink feed) and advertised it as an exclusive app which ships embedded on the First. But keep it behind Sense 5, not in front of it. Then, Facebook should break apart the individual apks and allow downloading of each component by both iOS and Android users (for example Chatheads, because that seems the most popular.)

At least then HTC would not have lost all that money tooling and manufacturing for a phone that will never sell.

Fernandez21
May 8, 2013, 07:23 PM
Since this is running stock Android, will this get updates when the nexus phones get it?

0dev
May 8, 2013, 07:41 PM
The Kin didn't work and this won't either.

That said, contract phones in the low to mid range are always given away for free anyway so I don't see why this is big news.

sentinelsx
May 8, 2013, 07:47 PM
Since this is running stock Android, will this get updates when the nexus phones get it?

Nope. This is not a nexus officially.

Updates will still have to be sanctioned through htc, then Facebook, and then your carrier.

But apart from that it is a good small size stock phone. For a nice price too.

tbayrgs
May 8, 2013, 08:07 PM
The Kin didn't work and this won't either.

That said, contract phones in the low to mid range are always given away for free anyway so I don't see why this is big news.

Maybe because once you get rid of FB Home, what you're left with is a pretty good device (very good 720p display, decent CPU, nearly stock vanilla Android, and not your typical extra large device). Comparing this device to most of the other midrange Android phones and this one likely comes out on top more times than not. And considering it looks like these are going for about $275 on eBay, it's a pretty good value.

0dev
May 8, 2013, 08:17 PM
Maybe because once you get rid of FB Home, what you're left with is a pretty good device (very good 720p display, decent CPU, nearly stock vanilla Android, and not your typical extra large device). Comparing this device to most of the other midrange Android phones and this one likely comes out on top more times than not. And considering it looks like these are going for about $275 on eBay, it's a pretty good value.

If you want a decent vanilla Android device the Nexus 4 is right there and very cheap, and also free on contract (in the UK anyway, not too sure about the US but I can't imagine it's exactly expensive).

Edit: even the Samsung Galaxy S4 is free (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-s4) here so I just don't see the big deal personally :)

Tinmania
May 8, 2013, 08:19 PM
Maybe because once you get rid of FB Home, what you're left with is a pretty good device (very good 720p display, decent CPU, nearly stock vanilla Android, and not your typical extra large device). Comparing this device to most of the other midrange Android phones and this one likely comes out on top more times than not. And considering it looks like these are going for about $275 on eBay, it's a pretty good value.

Most people don't know that you can strip FB off it. That might even include FB themselves. ;)



Michael

tbayrgs
May 8, 2013, 08:27 PM
If you want a decent vanilla Android device the Nexus 4 is right there and very cheap, and also free on contract (in the UK anyway, not too sure about the US but I can't imagine it's exactly expensive).

Oh I don't disagree, Nexus 4 is a bit better and comparable in price here in the states ($349 off contract for 16GB model). I also hear plenty of complaints on how all new quality Android devices are too big and most smaller devices are crap--this actually isn't terrible when you strip away the FB garbage and take a closer look at it. Short of the camera, it's a pretty solid mid-sized device.

0dev
May 8, 2013, 08:33 PM
Oh I don't disagree, Nexus 4 is a bit better and comparable in price here in the states ($349 off contract for 16GB model). I also hear plenty of complaints on how all new quality Android devices are too big and most smaller devices are crap--this actually isn't terrible when you strip away the FB garbage and take a closer look at it. Short of the camera, it's a pretty solid mid-sized device.

Yeah it's not bad, although it does look a bit too much like an iPhone KIRF for my likings I can see why some would like it, especially once xda have their hands on it.

I just think if you're getting an Android phone on a 24 month contract you're better off with a higher spec device. Again I'm not sure about the US but here you can get the Galaxy S4 for free (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-s4) on a new contract too, with unlimited data for 35 a month. If you want a smaller device there are better options from both HTC and Samsung in that area too. So I can't help but wonder why I'd choose the HTC First over a higher spec alternative. Especially bearing in mind the S4 in particular has a massive developer community and an unlocked bootloader.

Now if I'm paying the full price of the phone upfront, that's another matter and I can certainly see the appeal in that case. But if you're getting it on contract anyway? Well, why would you?

sentinelsx
May 8, 2013, 08:47 PM
If you want a decent vanilla Android device the Nexus 4 is right there and very cheap, and also free on contract (in the UK anyway, not too sure about the US but I can't imagine it's exactly expensive).

Edit: even the Samsung Galaxy S4 is free (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-s4) here so I just don't see the big deal personally :)

You missed the part where he said that htc first is smaller than most big phones out there. Some people do take it as a plus.

0dev
May 8, 2013, 08:52 PM
You missed the part where he said that htc first is smaller than most big phones out there. Some people do take it as a plus.

I'd argue the Nexus 4, HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini are better small screened mid-range phones personally.

I'm just failing to see what's so special about this phone.

sentinelsx
May 8, 2013, 09:09 PM
I'd argue the Nexus 4, HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini are better small screened mid-range phones personally.

I'm just failing to see what's so special about this phone.

I am sorry but did you put the nexus 4 with one s and gs3 mini? The one s and mini are 4.3 and less, the nexus is 4.7 which is a significant difference.

Also apart from the cam, all of the nexus internals scream high end.

The htc first is a 4.3 inch phone.

zbarvian
May 8, 2013, 09:13 PM
That would be almost tempting at the unlocked price, but then I remember the Nexus 4 exists. The phone has flopped, though I think I could use FB Home if I follow mostly news sources (think of a Blinkfeed of sorts).

tbayrgs
May 8, 2013, 09:15 PM
I'd argue the Nexus 4, HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini are better small screened mid-range phones personally.

I'm just failing to see what's so special about this phone.

The Nexus 4 is significantly larger than the One S, First, and S3 Mini. As far as the One S and S3 Mini, both have vastly inferior displays--alone enough for me to not even look twice at those.

Anyways, not here to argue specs or champion the First. I honestly didn't look twice at it before this thread as I wasn't looking for that sized device (already had my eyes on the One ;)) and had no interest in a Facebook skinned phone. That being said, I think it's fairly underrated considering the price, especially off contract on the secondary market.

0dev
May 8, 2013, 09:28 PM
I am sorry but did you put the nexus 4 with one s and gs3 mini? The one s and mini are 4.3 and less, the nexus is 4.7 which is a significant difference.

Also apart from the cam, all of the nexus internals scream high end.

The htc first is a 4.3 inch phone.

4.7 is still small compared to 5+, especially since the new trend seems to be with phablets that are at least 5.5. But obviously the other two are significantly smaller yes.

The Nexus 4 is significantly larger than the One S, First, and S3 Mini. As far as the One S and S3 Mini, both have vastly inferior displays--alone enough for me to not even look twice at those.

Anyways, not here to argue specs or champion the First. I honestly didn't look twice at it before this thread as I wasn't looking for that sized device (already had my eyes on the One ;)) and had no interest in a Facebook skinned phone. That being said, I think it's fairly underrated considering the price, especially off contract on the secondary market.

How are the displays inferior? Honestly I see a lot of people complain about displays in phones but I don't see the big deal. Unless you're looking for problems with them they're all basically fine in the mid to high range. They all have similar PPIs, similar display technology, etc. The only major difference I see is between AMOLED and LCD, which is pure personal preference. I can easily use both and the type of display doesn't really do much to sway my decision on a phone but personally I do slightly prefer AMOLED.

Speaking of the One, rumour has it that HTC are coming out with a smaller version of it too. Perhaps those wanting a smaller phone should wait on that.

----------

Of course, if you want a real small screen, you can always get a Q10 ;)

tbayrgs
May 8, 2013, 09:37 PM
How are the displays inferior? Honestly I see a lot of people complain about displays in phones but I don't see the big deal. Unless you're looking for problems with them they're all basically fine in the mid to high range. They all have similar PPIs, similar display technology, etc. The only major difference I see is between AMOLED and LCD, which is pure personal preference. I can easily use both and the type of display doesn't really do much to sway my decision on a phone but personally I do slightly prefer AMOLED.

Speaking of the One, rumour has it that HTC are coming out with a smaller version of it too. Perhaps those wanting a smaller phone should wait on that.

Sorry but they're significantly different and while the newer Super AMOLED displays from Samsung are much better (Note 2, S4), the pentile matrix versions in the Mini and One S are definitely outclassed by the display in the First. You may like Super AMOLEDs better but I'd guess if comparing these 3, most would disagree.

S3 Mini: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)

One S: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)

HTC First: Super LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (~342 ppi pixel density)

sentinelsx
May 8, 2013, 09:38 PM
Because they are pentile. Amoled coupled with pentile = bad.

I thought the one s had a great screen too until I got my hands on a one x. Then I found what I was missing.

walie
May 8, 2013, 09:51 PM
First vs Nexus 4

Which one has LTE?

tbayrgs
May 8, 2013, 11:10 PM
First vs Nexus 4

Which one has LTE?

Sadly, neither.

walie
May 9, 2013, 06:59 AM
Sadly, neither.

incorrect

0dev
May 9, 2013, 07:10 AM
Sorry but they're significantly different and while the newer Super AMOLED displays from Samsung are much better (Note 2, S4), the pentile matrix versions in the Mini and One S are definitely outclassed by the display in the First. You may like Super AMOLEDs better but I'd guess if comparing these 3, most would disagree.

S3 Mini: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)

One S: Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)

HTC First: Super LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.3 inches (~342 ppi pixel density)

I am willing to bet that if you gave someone a One S or S3 Mini on its own and asked them what the screen is like, they'd tell you its fine. The only way you can tell a difference in real world usage is by comparing them directly against each other and looking at very close detail in a darkened room.

The S3 has a pentile matrix AMOLED yet it's the most popular Android phone and the main iPhone competitor. Honestly, no one gives a crap about this stuff aside from nitpicky geeks. Hell I'm a nitpicky geek and even I don't give a crap.

LIVEFRMNYC
May 9, 2013, 10:01 AM
I am willing to bet that if you gave someone a One S or S3 Mini on its own and asked them what the screen is like, they'd tell you its fine. The only way you can tell a difference in real world usage is by comparing them directly against each other and looking at very close detail in a darkened room.

The S3 has a pentile matrix AMOLED yet it's the most popular Android phone and the main iPhone competitor. Honestly, no one gives a crap about this stuff aside from nitpicky geeks. Hell I'm a nitpicky geek and even I don't give a crap.

QFT ..... All of the high end phones from the past couple of years have great quality screens. Just cause some are better quality than others(and usually not by much), doesn't make the lesser display garbage.

sentinelsx
May 9, 2013, 11:14 AM
I am willing to bet that if you gave someone a One S or S3 Mini on its own and asked them what the screen is like, they'd tell you its fine. The only way you can tell a difference in real world usage is by comparing them directly against each other and looking at very close detail in a darkened room.

The S3 has a pentile matrix AMOLED yet it's the most popular Android phone and the main iPhone competitor. Honestly, no one gives a crap about this stuff aside from nitpicky geeks. Hell I'm a nitpicky geek and even I don't give a crap.

No one gives a crap because the regular joes but stuff as it is marketed to them.

It is the informed buyer that gives a thought to alternatives and those are rare.

Fernandez21
May 9, 2013, 11:28 AM
Sadly, neither.

Wrong, the first has LTE.

0dev
May 9, 2013, 11:30 AM
No one gives a crap because the regular joes but stuff as it is marketed to them.

It is the informed buyer that gives a thought to alternatives and those are rare.

If the phone works fine for your needs the exact type of display technology doesn't matter.

sentinelsx
May 9, 2013, 11:58 AM
If the phone works fine for your needs the exact type of display technology doesn't matter.

I wonder if iPhone works fine for 99% of the population's needs out there, why are people touting the new 1080 displays on other phones?

tbayrgs
May 9, 2013, 12:55 PM
incorrect

Wrong, the first has LTE.

My mistake, you're both absolutely correct. When looking at the specs on GSMarena I didn't look at the network bands and only glanced at the Data speeds, where they only listed HSPA+.

My apologies for the misinformation.

0dev
May 9, 2013, 12:57 PM
I wonder if iPhone works fine for 99% of the population's needs out there, why are people touting the new 1080 displays on other phones?

If your needs include watching movies and playing HD games 1080p is useful. Otherwise it's unnecessary.

siurpeeman
May 9, 2013, 01:09 PM
If your needs include watching movies and playing HD games 1080p is useful. Otherwise it's unnecessary.

genuine question: are any games actually optimized for 1080p resolutions?

Fernandez21
May 9, 2013, 01:48 PM
If your needs include watching movies and playing HD games 1080p is useful. Otherwise it's unnecessary.

I disagree, with higher resolutions text is sharper, which means less eye strain and allows you to read even smaller text. With my One I can read small text when zoomed all the way out in the web browser, while on lower resolution screens they would just be a blur.

0dev
May 9, 2013, 02:06 PM
genuine question: are any games actually optimized for 1080p resolutions?

Not that I know of, but I don't keep up with gaming.

I disagree, with higher resolutions text is sharper, which means less eye strain and allows you to read even smaller text. With my One I can read small text when zoomed all the way out in the web browser, while on lower resolution screens they would just be a blur.

The difference between 720p and 1080p for text is minimal.

mattopotamus
May 9, 2013, 02:59 PM
Not that I know of, but I don't keep up with gaming.



The difference between 720p and 1080p for text is minimal.

Agreed. I did a side by side with the n4 and One. what was blurry zoomed out was blurry on both phones. The screen is overall better, and that is why it looks better. It has nothing to do with 1080P on a screen of that size. The screen on the iphone 5 is better than the n4 and the n4 is a higher resolution.

tbayrgs
May 9, 2013, 04:14 PM
QFT ..... All of the high end phones from the past couple of years have great quality screens. Just cause some are better quality than others(and usually not by much), doesn't make the lesser display garbage.

I wouldn't consider any of the phones being discussed here to be high-end. I think if you put the S3 Mini or One S up against any of the high end phones from the past year (720p or similar, i.e. iPhone) the difference would be noticeable. Thus, why I'd prefer the display on the First.

I am willing to bet that if you gave someone a One S or S3 Mini on its own and asked them what the screen is like, they'd tell you its fine. The only way you can tell a difference in real world usage is by comparing them directly against each other and looking at very close detail in a darkened room.

The S3 has a pentile matrix AMOLED yet it's the most popular Android phone and the main iPhone competitor. Honestly, no one gives a crap about this stuff aside from nitpicky geeks. Hell I'm a nitpicky geek and even I don't give a crap.

You say it doesn't matter, I say it does--guess we'll agree to disagree on this one.

sentinelsx
May 10, 2013, 09:44 AM
If your needs include watching movies and playing HD games 1080p is useful. Otherwise it's unnecessary.

And i find that my needs are reading ebooks and websites where the pentile AMOLEDs, even the S3's 720p one, do "okay" but worse than a nexus 4, HTC One X, LG Optimus G, and iPhone 5. My eyes instantly spot the difference and after that there is this discomfort with display that i cannot get rid of.

So yeah, back to square one.

0dev
May 10, 2013, 10:47 AM
And i find that my needs are reading ebooks and websites where the pentile AMOLEDs, even the S3's 720p one, do "okay" but worse than a nexus 4, HTC One X, LG Optimus G, and iPhone 5. My eyes instantly spot the difference and after that there is this discomfort with display that i cannot get rid of.

So yeah, back to square one.

Yes dear, we call that the placebo effect.