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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.

HTC has included their excellent SenseUI interface in the ChaCha which really makes it stand out from the vast Android crowd. It is arguably one of the main reasons to buy an HTC over another Android competitor. Initially you are given five homescreens to scroll through but when you add something on the fifth screen, you are given a sixth screen to use. Once you have used that, you are given the seventh and final homescreen.

Pressing the Home button while on any screen other than the first screen will take you back to that first homescreen, press it again and the phone displays all five, six or seven screens for you to choose. The reject button does the same thing.  Pressing and holding the Home button at any time shows you the recent apps used for you to choose from. On the homescreens you can add apps and widgets that you can access quickly without having to go through your apps menu.

The SenseUI version used in this phone is 2.1 for messenger and while the latest HTC phones use 3.0, HTC have included the newer ring unlock screen in the ChaCha so it gets something new while missing out on  other improvements. One issue I also encountered was that after only downloading a few apps I started to run out of space on the phone and while I was able to move these apps to the memory card, the meagre 512MB of RAM in the phone can hinder its uses.

HTC has included their custom widgets as well as the ones included with Android’s Gingerbread 2.3.3.  Highlighting a word or words on the screen brings up the option to Share the highlighted word with other apps that allow sharing of information such as Facebook, HTC’s own Friend Stream, Gmail and others. You can add a vast number of email accounts to the ChaCha and choose to integrate all their messages in one list or view each email account separately. Adding my Gmail and Hotmail accounts was extremely simple, type in the email address and password and you’re sorted. Facebook integration forms a huge part of what this phone’s about.

Speaking of that, under the keypad is the dedicated Facebook button in all its blue wonder. The Facebook button is why this phone often gets called the Facebook phone and to a certain extent Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, has endorsed it and why shouldn’t he? Facebook is heavily integrated into this phone thanks to HTC’s SenseUI. When pressed, the Facebook button invites you to post something on your wall or a friend’s wall as well as share photos or take a picture with the camera. Also when you take a picture the Facebook button begins to pulsate encouraging you to share your photography skills with your friends. Holding said Facebook button brings up a menu with a number of places near your location that you can choose to check into and post on Facebook.

Now I am not sure whether this was due to my internet connection, the phone or the Facebook app itself but after a few days of use I found that even when I receive notifications via email, I cannot access them on Facebook. In fact the Facebook app as a whole stopped working for me. I removed the app, and reinstalled it and that worked for a day then it happened again.

 

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Comments
  • Mustafa Alzarouni

    intuitive, simple, easy to use device.

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