The first batch of HTC First reviews have arrived, and they are very interesting. Most of the reviewers seem impressed with Facebook Home, given that it is currently only in version 1.0, however many concede that most users will inevitably enable stock Android, which is one of the benefits. One thing most reviewers can agree on, is that the 5 megapixel camera is far below average, which is a shame considering Facebook have been focusing on photos a lot recently.
The Verge Great Display Poor CameraIf you’re a Facebook devotee, or just want a cheap phone that runs well, by all means check out the First (but test the camera before you leave the store). If you absolutely want a smaller-sized Android phone with LTE, the First is probably the best option out there right now. The First is an intriguing option for a lot of different people — but all of them will find there are compromises to be made.
TechCrunch Good Start Poor CameraIn the end, if you want the latest mobile technology, the First lags behind. Still, it’s a great device beyond the camera. So if the HTC First’s strengths align with your priorities, go ahead and pre-order.
Engadget Stock Android Poor CameraThe HTC First is compelling for two reasons. For Facebook fans, it’s now easier to maintain social connections with friends and family. For the tech-savvy crowd who has little interest in the service, the phone is a stock Android 4.1 device that comes with AT&T LTE, which is still something of a rarity. Including this opt-out was a smart move on Facebook’s part, because it’s difficult to recommend that consumers sign two-year contracts on an unproven product that depends so heavily on their engagement with Facebook. Worst case, it’s a decent mid-range phone for $99 on contract (or $450 without any commitment).
Arstechnica Stylish Design No Android UpdatesAndroid is one of the most widely used operating systems, so it makes sense that Facebook would target this demographic. With a mid-range handset that’s affordable and allows users to remove the Facebook Home application, it offers the aura of choice. Ultimately, the purchase question still hinges on whether you really want a social network to be the driving force on a device that you use daily.
ABC Stock Android Disappointing SpecsThat’s the beauty of trying out Facebook Home or buying the HTC First. Facebook’s Android layer can be disabled at any time. And my guess is that will be the case for many people — not because the software isn’t nicely designed and Chat Heads aren’t the future of mobile messaging, but because you can’t control the updates that appear on the front of your screen and ultimately having people all over the face of your phone is distracting.
CNET Stock Android Poor DesignThanks to the HTC One’s debut, the more premium HTC One X and One X+ are on sale for the same price or less. I’d consider either of those ahead of this HTC First, especially since both smartphones are also compatible with Facebook Home. In fact, Facebook, HTC , and AT&T would have been better giving this phone away for free.