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The HTC Status: An Answer To The Question No One Asked

Mac Carlile |
July 28, 2011 | 10:29 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

 AT&T)
AT&T)
It seems like everything runs Google’s Android these days. Printer, tablet, and even appliance manufacturers shoehorn the operating system into their products with varying levels of success. Some combinations (see: Android Microwave) less successful than others. One of the latest Android smartphones, however, is quite puzzling.  

The HTC Status, the first Facebook branded phone, is great as a concept, but less great in reality. People use handsets less as phones and more as social aggregators so why not make a more social phone that pulls all of your existing networks out of the cloud and into one niffty device? A phone that with one click instantly connects you to Facebook? 

The thing is, almost every smartphone shipping today is that phone. 

Every modern Android, Web OS, iOS, Windows Phone 7 and even Blackberry handsets include deep social integration and do so very successfully. After a quick perusal of the Status at an AT&T store, you would notice that while the Gingerbread-running device was remarkably upscale for it’s low introductory price ($49.99 on contract here), the small screen and low pixel count makes everything--with exception to simple status updates--almost unreadable.

Engadget’s hands on by Dana Wollman solicited a similar response.

“Even after spending a few minutes playing with the Status, we still, for the life of us, couldn't understand what it was doing with such a diminutive display,” said Wollman. 

The Status is, at its core, a gimmick. This phone isn’t marketed to people interested in the latest and greatest feature set; This phone is marketed to those who desperately need a Facebook fix and aren’t willing to research other options. 

Is the HTC Status a good phone? Yes. Should you buy one? Maybe. For the price, the generous keyboard can’t be beat and it runs Android 2.3. But apart from a small Facebook button on the bottom right corner of the handset, the Status is hardly recognizable as anything but a vertically-oriented QWERTY smartphone. If you are looking for a dependable, cheap smartphone and can’t be troubled to pick up the Facebook application in its app store, the HTC Status is for you. 

 

Reach Mac Carlile here.