Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

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

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

Staff Writer

The Status is available for $49.99 (credit: AT&T)
The Status is available for $49.99 (credit: 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. 



 

Live On Twitter

Buzz

You can eat healthy AND save the environment, at the same time. 

Nearly a century after Armenian Genocide, grieving continues.