Yes folks, the leaks were for real, HTC really is bringing out a pair of new handsets adorned with a dedicated, delicately illustrated Facebook key front and (almost) center. HTC is very careful not to call its Salsa -- a 3.4-inch, 480 x 320 touchscreen device -- and portrait QWERTY-sporting ChaCha "Facebook phones," however Mark Z's highly successful social network is indeed the focus around which both are built. The OS is Android 2.4 underneath, however the Sense customizations have taken on an extra few tweaks and functions to accommodate a Facebook-centric lifestyle. That royal blue button is context-aware, with a pulsating light surrounding it any time there's an opportunity to share whatever you're doing with the phone through Facebook. A good example of that is you can long-press the F key to automatically check in with the social mothership.
In terms of specs, you're looking at a lot of common components between these two. There's a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227
-- which didn't seem to struggle unduly with basic functions during our quick play around with the Salsa -- 512MB of both RAM and ROM, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and a VGA front-facing cam. The resolution on the ChaCha is 480 x 320 as well, which should provide decent pixel density on that 2.6-inch screen. Both are expected to launch globally before the end of Q2 2011, at pricing points above the newly announced Wildfire S, but below the similarly fresh Desire S and Incredible S handsets.
Hands-on photography by Sean Cooper.