Here’s our review of the HTC Status on TELUS written by our very own icemasta. Enjoy!
With the total number of worldwide Facebook users reaching 750 million, 170 million of which reside in North America alone. It was just a matter of time before someone released a phone where Facebook was its main feature. The HTC Status is the first device to integrate a dedicated Facebook button into its design.
Here are some quick specs:
Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 2.1 UI
2.6″ Capacitive Touch Display with resolution of 480 x 320
800 MHz Processor
512MB Internal Storage
5 MP Rear-Facing Camera with LED Flash and 1.3 MP Front-Facing Camera
Portrait QWERTY Keyboard with Facebook button
Dimensions of 114 x 66.5 x 10.8 mm
In front is a landscape orientation 2.6-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen at a resolution of 480 x 320 along with a front-facing 1.3 MP camera. Even though the Status is a lower end device it’s nice to see that they included the front-facing camera. Below the display are the 4 Android buttons; Home, Menu, Back, and Search. Next are the send and end keys, Last but not least is the QWERTY keyboard.
Our team included members who have had extensive experience with Blackberries and everyone loved the Status’ keyboards. The keys are nicely distributed plus each is the perfect size, making typing a breeze.
The inclusion of directional keys are a big help when you’re typing.
The send and end keys are a plus, especially if you’re coming from a Nokia device. Personally I wished that there was room for a bigger display. Having used Android on a 4″ display the Status’ 2.6″ display feels absolutely cramped. Still, the device is not catered to the high-end Android enthusiast, but rather the mid-to-entry-level audience who’s more concerned with the social networking aspect.
The HTC Status has been dubbed the Facebook Phone due to the Facebook button found on the bottom right of the device. After logging into the Facebook app, the button is capable of a number of different applications. Initially, just pressing the button at anytime brings up a screen allowing the user to post text, pictures, and/or videos to their wall. We’ll discuss the button more shortly.
On the top of the device are the power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. One thing that annoyed us was the placement of the power button. Placing the button on the top forces the user to overstretch or move their hand to press it. We would have rather preferred to have the button on the side as found on other Android devices.
On the left side we find the volume rocker and the microUSB port. The volume keys are similar to other HTC devices and are a pleasure to use.
On the rear of the device is the 5MP autofocus camera with an LED flash. The camera takes decent photos with natural light being a defining factor in the overall picture quality.
The phone’s camera won’t be replacing your dedicated point-and-shoot but for quick uploads to Facebook, the camera is just fine. The camera is also capable of shooting videos of up to 720 by 480 resolution. Similarly, video quality isn’t something to brag about to your friends, but it fits the standards found in many 5MP cameras on the market.
Despite today’s smartphone marketing the primary and most fundamental use of a cellphone is voice. The HTC Status’ call quality is quite clear with no white noise on either end of the many calls we had tested. The headset speaker (front of the phone) volume is sufficient in the average environment but can be inadequate in noisier instances.The speakerphone on the back of the device is respectable but with slight crackling when voice/music is on the maximum volume.
The Status’ software has be tailored to meet the needs of its social media-heavy target audience. HTC adds the appropriate social flair by integrating the Facebook shortcut button in common tasks within their Sense UI. The device is running Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a further customized HTC Sense 2.1 UI.
There are a generous number of social media applications including Widgets like Friend Stream which aggregates your Twitter and Facebook feeds all into one convenient stream. HTC has also included a Facebook Messaging app that allows you to hold conversations through Facebook’s chat system. This is great for those who communicate through this service and truly shows the social aspect that this device promotes.
As mentioned before, one click of the Facebook button allows you to post status updates including any media you want to share with your networks.
When you hold the button down this allows you to check-in through the Facebook application and post your location accompanied with the media you desire. One neat feature is that the Facebook button will beging to blink if when there is any application or media being displayed on the device that can be uploaded to Facebook, such as a picture or a video. I would have been nice if the flashing Facebook button could also be used to notify you of new messages or events.
Moving onto other applications, the landscape orientation display causes problems with some third party apps. An example of this is the Speedtest application which launches and displays vertically on the device, forcing you to abandon your QWERTY keyboard and turn the device sideways. We are not certain if other apps face this same trouble but we can see how this can be a potential issue if the use of the keyboard is necessary.
Performance is snappy. Much of this is due to the fact that the Status’ display contains less than half the number of pixels as a 800x480 display. It’s a 800Mhz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor can also be found in the Samsung Galaxy Ace.
We initially thought that the 1250 mAh battery along side the small display and resolution would promise great battery life. Turns out on a typical day the device would give up just just before the evening. This is of course with heavy usage including web browsing, downloading of applications, tethering, sending emails/tweets/text messages. These are all things I would regularly do on any of my personal devices and the HTC Status was not cut out for that sort of use. I would strongly suggest picking up another battery or making sure you have an extra wall charger.
As with most HTC devices the Status has excellent build quality. The Status is catered heavy Facebook users and does a good job looking after them. For those who tend to pickup the latest and greatest Android powered smartphones, this is not the phone for you. However, if you enjoy texting, social networking, require a high quality physical keyboard, and wouldn’t mind having the convenience of a touchscreen thrown into the mix then run and get a Status. TELUS’ current pricing is reasonable if not generous. The HTC Status is $250 on a no term contract, $200 on a 1-year term, $150 on a 2-year term, and $0 on a 3 year term. This has just recently been changed from an initial price point of $30 with a 3 year contract.
Written by Icemasta
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I was just checking this out at the AT&T store. I wish HTC would make a slightly bigger, more power version of this phone. They did a great job putting Sense on this. It is the business phone we need.