Home Smartphone Flashback: the social networking telephones constructed for Fb and different such oddities

Flashback: the social networking telephones constructed for Fb and different such oddities


Telephones are instruments for communication. The early ones solely supported one-to-one calls (and have been wired to the wall), however the Web bred a variety of social networks, which popularized the concept of sharing the whole lot with giant teams of individuals. Mates, household, coworkers, even strangers, you may put up messages and pictures for all of them to view (and like).

Being Web-based additionally meant that the social networks have been primarily used from PC browsers, desktop PCs at that. You may’t deliver these to a celebration or on trip and put up pictures of your experiences as they occur. You want a social networking-enabled cell phone for that.

HTC’s a number of Fb telephones

Fb established itself as the primary social community after dispatching MySpace. The community made the bounce from Internet to native app with a model for the iPhone 3G in 2008 and adopted that with its first Android app in 2009. There have been apps for Symbian S60, Home windows Cellular and BlackBerry too.

Nonetheless, Zuckerburg and co. felt they will attain a wider viewers if there was a cellphone constructed particularly for social community use. So, Fb tapped HTC as an ODM to constructed two telephones in 2011.


The HTC ChaCha was a phone for people who write lengthy posts on Facebook
The HTC ChaCha was a phone for people who write lengthy posts on Facebook
The HTC ChaCha was a phone for people who write lengthy posts on Facebook

The HTC ChaCha was a cellphone for individuals who write prolonged posts on Fb

The HTC ChaCha was the extra fascinating of the 2, that includes a {hardware} QWERTY beneath the two.6” panorama show. This was a cellphone designed for individuals who are higher at expressing themselves via textual content. And they’d ideally do this on Fb, because the devoted button on the underside suggests.

They didn’t should, although, because the cellphone supported SMS, e mail and every kind of chat shoppers. HTC’s Sense UI was simply excellent for the cellphone – the customized phonebook app introduced calls, messages, emails and even social networking updates underneath one roof. The ChaCha was a succesful communications hub, even should you didn’t use Fb.


Facebook widget
The awesome Sense phonebook supported messages and even online galleries
The awesome Sense phonebook supported messages and even online galleries
The awesome Sense phonebook supported messages and even online galleries
The awesome Sense phonebook supported messages and even online galleries
The awesome Sense phonebook supported messages and even online galleries

Fb widget • The superior Sense phonebook supported messages and even on-line galleries

The HTC Salsa was the second cellphone. It got here with the identical software program and largely the identical {hardware} (together with the 800MHz single-core CPU with 512MB of RAM). However as a substitute of an old-school design with a {hardware} keyboard, the Salsa went the full-touch route. Nicely, it nonetheless had a devoted Fb button on the underside, however apart from that it was all contact.


The HTC Salsa was more of the same instead you would use the on-screen keyboard
The HTC Salsa was more of the same instead you would use the on-screen keyboard

The HTC Salsa was extra of the identical as a substitute you’ll use the on-screen keyboard

ChaCha’s 5MP digicam could have been lower than excellent, however that was okay – that cellphone was all about texting. With its bigger 3.4” show you’d suppose that the Salsa would be the extra media and camera-oriented system, however that wasn’t the case.

For starters, the screens on each telephones had the identical 480 x 320 px decision (3:2) and the smaller diagonal meant that the ChaCha display was sharper. Additionally, the Salsa used the identical 5MP digicam, which barely managed to document 720x480px movies at 24fps.


The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries
The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries
The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries
The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries
The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries
The phone book also displayed status updates, plus Facebook and Flickr photo galleries

The cellphone e-book additionally displayed standing updates, plus Fb and Flickr photograph galleries

Of the 2, the ChaCha was the higher cellphone. The QWERTY keyboard and ladscape show made it stand out, the Salsa was simply one other HTC cellphone. And Sense UI had an excellent deal with on social networking, even with out the additional Fb stuff.


The HTC First was built around the Facebook Home launcher
The HTC First was built around the Facebook Home launcher

The HTC First was constructed across the Fb House launcher

Sadly, it’s the Salsa that obtained a sequel. Nicely, type of – the HTC First was an try to push a Fb-designed launcher greater than something. Fb House because it was known as turned the Android cellphone right into a portal to the social community with different apps taking a step again.

The lockscreen was was a slideshow of standing updates and pictures out of your Fb contacts. You would give a put up a thumbs up or depart a remark as quickly as you see one thing fascinating. There was a round button (exhibiting your profile photograph), which could possibly be swiped to entry one among three capabilities – messaging, app launcher and app switcher.


The lockscreen showed status updates
The lockscreen showed status updates
the app drawer
standard Android 4.2 Jelly Bean underneath
Chat heads
Chat heads

The lockscreen confirmed standing updates • commonplace Android 4.2 Jelly Bean beneath • Chat heads

The House launcher and the Fb app additionally enabled the then-new and thrilling “chat heads” characteristic. However equally fascinating was what was eliminated – this cellphone ran plain Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and you may swap off the House launcher. However you’d get no Sense UI and never even any AT&T bloatware (this was an AT&T unique cellphone).

Motorola CLIQ/DEXT

The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) was an early tackle a social networking-focused cellphone, which launched in 2009. It had a slide-out QWERTY and a comparatively giant 3.1” show that went into panorama orientation when the keyboard was out.


The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) also had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software
The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) also had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software
The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) also had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software
The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) also had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software
The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) also had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software

The Motorola CLIQ (aka DEXT in Europe) additionally had a QWERTY keyboard and SNS-focused software program

Like with the HTCs above, it was the maker’s custom-made Android UI that was the “particular sauce”. On this case that was Motoblur, which required you create an account with Motorola. This allowed its servers to collate info from a powerful variety of providers.

Motoblur on the CLIQ supported the next: MySpace, Fb, Twitter, Photobucket, Picasa, final.fm and different providers. It additionally featured a generic e mail shopper with Trade help, so enterprise folks might use it too.


Motoblur's supported every messaging channel and social network you can think of
Motoblur's supported every messaging channel and social network you can think of
Motoblur's supported every messaging channel and social network you can think of
Motoblur's supported every messaging channel and social network you can think of
Motoblur's supported every messaging channel and social network you can think of

Motoblur’s supported each messaging channel and social community you may consider

Even higher, there was an API that might enable third-party apps to hook in and add their very own messages and pictures to the feed, in order that the CLIQ can hold tempo with the fast-changing world of Web providers and networks.

Three’s INQ1 and Skypephone

By now you’re in all probability pondering that each one social networking telephones have been smartphones. That’s not the case – the INQ1 is a curious (if ill-fated) instance on the contrary). On the floor it was a basic slider featurephone that launched on British provider Three in 2008 at simply £80 on a pre-paid contract.


Three's INQ1 was a social networking feature phone
Three's INQ1 was a social networking feature phone
Three's INQ1 was a social networking feature phone

Three’s INQ1 was a social networking characteristic cellphone

However there was much more to it. It might obtain Fb notifications and put up standing updates, even add pictures from the three.2MP digicam. Do not forget that at a time when cellular knowledge wasn’t all that low-cost. Plus, it additionally supported Home windows Stay Messenger and Skype too (together with free voice calls).

Flashback: social networking phones

With all that, plus a 3G connection, the INQ1 was a surprisingly succesful communication machine. Nicely, should you might stay with the two.2” 240 x 320px display and commonplace keypad. At the very least you may tether your laptop computer to the cellphone utilizing a USB cable and use that for searching and messaging.

This wasn’t the provider’s first Skype cellphone, by the best way. It launched the aptly-named Skypephone in 2007 in collaboration with Skype itself, then adopted that with the Skypephone S2 the subsequent 12 months. These have been out there at simply £40 for the unique and £60 for the S2 on a pre-paid contract.

Apart from Skype, these characteristic telephones additionally help Fb, Stay Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat and bebo. You could wish to write off the Skypephones as gimmicks, however they really had a extremely good use case.


Three's Skypephone - a simple way to call abroad while avoiding hefty phone bills
Three's Skypephone - a simple way to call abroad while avoiding hefty phone bills

Three’s Skypephone – a easy method to name overseas whereas avoiding hefty cellphone payments

Worldwide calls have been costly over conventional cellphone networks (over cell networks too), however Skype calls have been free. And should you did must name a landline (or obtain calls from one), SkypeIn and SkypeOut help have been added with a firmware replace.

Subsequent time…

In case you missed it, you need to try our first bizarre telephones from sudden manufacturers put up. In there we lined (amongst others) the Vodafone 555 Blue, a characteristic cellphone for Fb that had a QWERTY keyboard just like the ChaCha. In actual fact, the 555 was the inspiration behind at the moment’s put up. You can too learn in regards to the Microsoft Kins, a pair of telephones that have been purported to thrive on social networking… however someway ended up being killed off twice.


The Vodafone 555 Blue - a Facebook-connected feature phone with QWERTY keyboard
The Vodafone 555 Blue - a Facebook-connected feature phone with QWERTY keyboard
The Vodafone 555 Blue - a Facebook-connected feature phone with QWERTY keyboard
The Vodafone 555 Blue - a Facebook-connected feature phone with QWERTY keyboard

The Vodafone 555 Blue – a Fb-connected characteristic cellphone with QWERTY keyboard

Anyway, we’ve got one other put up about bizarre telephones within the works, we simply wished out to get the car-branded and social networking telephones out of the best way first. We needs to be again to the regularly-scheduled programming subsequent week. That’s until we get distracted with oddball vogue telephones (one explicit Prada cellphone could also be of nice curiosity).



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