So now that the HTC First "Facebook Phone" is official and hitting the streets this Friday, we figured a quick vs running down the specs and details were in order. Below we'll go through a few things we like and don't like about the HTC First, then compare them to the beautiful flagship HTC One - as well as other Android smartphones available or coming soon.
First off, the First is all about Facebook. So if you're a diehard Facebook user you might want to keep reading. However, for the rest of you that don't want Facebook Home to completely take over your life and phone, the decision should be an easy one. We say should be, because the HTC First does have a few tricks up its sleeve.
As far as overall specs are concerned there really isn't any battle here. The HTC One wins in every single category except software. We have a bigger 4.7-inch 1080p HD display vs just 4.3-inches and 720p on the HTC First. The dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor is fast, but doesn't hold a candle to the One's quad-core Snapdragon 600 series. The First doesn't have an Ultrapixel camera, and is instead only 5 megapixels. It does however have that same amazing build quality and level of detail we've come to expect and love from HTC.
To get a better idea of these you'll want to check out our HTC One review, then see our HTC First review. Instead of comparing the two (or any phone) based on hardware, since that isn't very fair, lets look at software and features.
Facebook Home will become available on April 12th for multiple HTC and Samsung devices. So if you're interested in that walled garden from Facebook, you can try it yourself. As we've detailed already once before, the only differences between a dedicated Facebook Phone and the app - are minimal. The experience isn't quite as deeply integrated on the notifications front, but that's about all. So while that might be enough for some to try the HTC First or other Facebook Phones, you'll be pretty close by just getting the app.
Are those deeper integrated notifications enough for someone to pass up the HTC One for the HTC First? In our opinion absolutely not. The HTC One is one of, if not the best Android phone available. Period. Just download Facebook Home and you'll get the best of both worlds should you really want Facebook taking over your home screen and lock screen. The same rule applies for the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and the other devices Facebook Home will be supporting in the future.
Now for the fun stuff. The HTC First is actually a pretty well rounded Android smartphone for $99. You get a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, the latest dual-core Snapdragon 400 series from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. You'll enjoy a 5 megapixel camera, 1.6 front, and even a pretty big 2,000 mAh battery. The build quality is stellar, the design is nice, and the button layout is pretty unique. The best part though, it runs completely stock Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean under Facebook.
This means for those interested in Facebook Home, but also love the idea of a high to mid-range Android phone with stock Android 4.1 built by HTC, the First can be yours from AT&T for only $99. If you don't like Facebook Home you can't default back to Sense UI like on the HTC One, but we're pretty sure plenty of you will be just fine running Vanilla Android. In fact, that's how we prefer it.
So we guess in closing there really isn't any comparison. Unless you wanna go all in with the Facebook experience the HTC One is a clear choice over the First, although that stock Android sure is enticing if you ask us. For those on a budget the HTC first (with or without Home) is a pretty decent phone. Hopefully Facebook Home continues to improve, and adds some sort of widget support and customization in the future. If so we'll revisit this comparison at a later date.