HTC ChaCha Review

By on October 8, 2011
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Chacha your way to Facebook.

Good: Excellent build quality and keypad; SenseUI and Facebook integration work well with this phone
Bad: Hard to remove battery cover, average screen quality, microSD is not hot-swappable. Out dated SenseUI compared to other HTC phones sold today.
Price: AED 950
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The ChaCha comes with a 2.6 inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480×320 and is covered in gorilla glass to prevent scratches. I found it too small for any decent browsing or watching videos. Scrolling down a page sometimes led to touching one of the Android keys under it- the annoying ones being the Back and Home buttons where you end up leaving whatever you’re viewing. The resolution is too low but then again this phone was not meant to be used for watching movies or anything graphically intensive but HTC could have done better to help this device set itself apart from similar phones.

Using this phone under sunlight is near impossible, even at maximum brightness the screen wasn’t very legible. Viewing angles are quite poor as well. You can still see the screen and make some things out but the colors quickly begin to fade when you aren’t looking at the phone directly from the side however considering the small screen, I doubt people would gather round to watch a YouTube video on this. I did play Angry Birds and it was reasonably playable despite the small screen but I wouldn’t recommend playing anything that requires touching the screen a lot.

The phone comes with Google Maps installed and has built-in GPS and supports A-GPS as well. While outside with Wi-Fi and mobile internet disabled, using only GPS, I was able to get a lock on my position within 1 minute. Maps works perfectly with the ChaCha despite its smaller screen and the added bonus of a touchscreen made viewing maps, zooming in and out and searching for and choosing addresses much easier than having to use keys to scroll and select.

The ChaCha comes with two cameras; the VGA camera in the front can be used for voice calls, self-portraits or admiring yourself with the mirror app. At the back is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash capable of 2592×1944 pixels and shooting videos at 720×480 resolution. Photos taken by the back camera often don’t look as good on the phone as they do on a computer but the opposite is also true depending on the conditions the photo is taken in and whether or not you moved even the slightest while taking it.

The LED flash is useful but will sometimes be too bright in close up photos but not bright enough after a bit of distance is made between the user and the subject of the photograph.  The camera options are reasonably vast and even if your photos do not turn out as well as they seemed on the phone or vice versa, the Android market has plenty of apps to help you tweak and adjust your photos to perfection. For a camera whose photos and videos will likely end up on Facebook, the ChaCha’s 5 megapixel sensor does a decent job as long as you don’t expect miracles.

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  • Mustafa Alzarouni

    intuitive, simple, easy to use device.

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