Continuing its obsession with the number one, HTC has officially announced the First, an Android device with a bit more Facebook influence than most other smartphones we've used in the past -- including other handsets given preferential treatment from the social media network during the last four years. HTC's Peter Chou and AT&T's Ralph de la Vega took the stage at the event to announce the phone, which is the world's first Home-optimized device. What exactly that means remains to be seen, but HTC's Chou indicated it will be a "unique experience."
There were no specs announced for the device, other than it having LTE, of course. But, earlier leaks have indicated it will be 4.3-inch, 720p mid-range phone, not threatening the HTC One by any stretch of the imagination. It will be available on April 12th exclusively in the US on AT&T for just $99.99. And, it will be available in four colors: red, turquoise, white and, of course, black. You can pre-order yours today at the More Coverage link below, and there's a brief video after the break to explain how the new notifications work.
HTC First for AT&T
Facebook's Newest Mobile Experience Available Exclusively on the Nation's Fastest 4G LTE Network
DALLAS, BELLEVUE and MENLO PARK, April 4, 2013 – AT&T*, HTC and Facebook have teamed up to develop and launch the HTC First™, the first and only smartphone built to feature Facebook Home, which puts your friends at the heart of your phone. Facebook Home is the first mobile experience designed to give you your friends' latest updates right on your home screen and messages that reach you no matter what you're doing.
HTC First will be available for pre-order today for $99.99 with a two-year commitment and available exclusively in AT&T stores and online starting April 12. To pre-order, visit www.att.com/facebookhome.
The HTC First runs on AT&T 4G LTE, the nation's fastest 4G LTE network.** In addition, independent mobile research firm RootMetrics® has published a special report on 4G LTE in the U.S. which notes that AT&T wireless customers in our 4G LTE markets that were tested by RootMetrics have access to the fastest mobile speeds on their smartphones. AT&T also has the nation's largest 4G network, covering 288 million people.
"The HTC First will offer the best Facebook Home experience on mobile, right out of the box. That's why we're committed to this phone and making it exclusive in our stores," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility. "Because AT&T offers the fastest 4G LTE** in the nation, it's the best network for Facebook Home. And the best device for Facebook Home is the HTC First."
"HTC has a track record of providing beautiful hardware design, and of being first-to-market with smartphone innovations," said Peter Chou, CEO, HTC Corporation. "The HTC First continues that track record, providing AT&T customers with a unique home experience that puts a user's friends and family at the center of their mobile experience."
"Home is a completely new experience for your phone," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's Founder and CEO. "With Home available right out of the box, you're getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends."
Facebook Home brings your News Feed to the surface, immediately giving you the content you care about right on your home screen when you turn on your phone without having to open an app or access a mobile website. Just sign into your Facebook account and begin using Home – no need for download or configuration. Facebook Home connects you directly with your friends, whether it's their real-time updates and newest photo uploads being streamed on your cover feed or the ability to chat with friends without jumping in and out of apps.
Facebook Home is built around your friends and puts them at the center of your phone:
· Cover feed: A constant, fresh stream of photos and updates from your newsfeed, cover feed is always present when you wake up your phone. It lets you stay up-to-date on your friends' latest activities in real-time, all the time. You can swipe through to see more photos and updates, double tap to "like" a post and comment right from cover feed. To learn more about cover feed, check out this video.· Notifications: Notifications from apps and friends appear right on your home screen. It's easier to see when you have a missed call, calendar reminder or new message. Open a notification with a double tap or clear them away to see your Cover Feed. To learn more about notifications, check out this video.
· Chat Heads: The mobile messenger lets you jump in and out of conversations while you do other things, like watch a video and browse the web. Reply right from chat heads, or move them around if you're not ready to respond. Plus you can send and receive texts and Facebook messages from the same spot. To learn more about chat heads, check out this video.
· App Launcher: See your favorite apps and post right to Facebook from the same spot. You choose what's on your app launcher-press and hold an app then drag it anywhere.
· Instagram: HTC First is the only phone that comes with Instagram pre-loaded.
HTC First will be available in four colors: black, white, red and pale blue. The hardware is thin, modern and seamless, with soft edges to draw your attention to the updates from friends and family on the 4.3-inch glass display. Inside, the smartphone runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) with the new Facebook Home experience and incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 400 processor with dual-core CPU and 3G/4G world and multimode LTE so you can enjoy the richest content on AT&T's blazing fast 4G LTE network.
For more information, or to pre-order HTC First, please visit www.att.com/facebookhome.