Vodafone UK has confirmed to Android Community that the HTC ChaCha is going on sale next week, the first of HTC’s “Facebook phones” from MWC 2011 back in February. Offering Android 2.3 with a custom Facebook widget and interface, the ChaCha has both a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard.
Interestingly, Vodafone will also be offering bundled BT OpenZone WiFi hotspot access with the ChaCha, letting users get online via hotspot rather than use their data allowance. Although pricing for the smartphone – and the plans it will be paired with – hasn’t been confirmed, HTC always intended the ChaCha to be a budget device, and free WiFi can only help reduce monthly data bills.
The ChaCha has a dedicated Facebook button that allows users to share whatever they’re doing on their Facebook wall, along with a 5-megapixel camera and the usual mixture of WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. SIM-free sales are expected to begin on June 6. There’s a pre-interest sign-up page for Vodafone here.