At a press event on Thursday, Facebook(s fb) introduced a custom launcher for Android(s goog) called Facebook Home. The software will be pre-installed on certain handsets with the initial one being the HTC First, a device for AT&T’s (s t) LTE network that arrives in stores on April 12. As expected, it’s a mid-range handset with a price to match: $99.99 on contract.
What does that $100 and two-year commitment get you? AT&T isn’t providing many details on the handset, but says it has a 4.3-inch display, runs Android 4.1 and uses a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400(s qcom) processor, which is the third most powerful of the four newest Qualcomm chips. I did a little sleuthing on HTC’s site and also found the following hardware information, which sounds about right for $99.
- 16 GB of internal storage
- 1 GB of RAM
- Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS, Digital compass
- 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
- 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.6 megapixel front camera
- Non-removable 2000 mAh battery
- 1.4 GHz processor
I still see little-to-no reason why anyone should buy this device though. For the same price, you can get a better Android phone — say Samsung’s Galaxy S III — and simply install Facebook Home if you want it. It will be interesting to see how other Facebook Home handset partners handle that scenario.