HTC One vs HTC First (Facebook Phone)
Smartphone market is a vast market, and it grows at an alarming rate. Because of that, it has also become a rat race in which everybody tries to grab a part. Accordingly another tech giant; Facebook also seeks a piece of smartphone market according to the rumor mill. However, when Facebook’s CEO unveiled their new intentions yesterday, we were surprised to see that Facebook has taken a different approach to get their own share in the market. They have partnered up with HTC and have come up with a design to revolutionize the way you interact with your friends. Facebook seems to have been responsible for the operating system and software aspects while HTC has taken care of the hardware aspects. We do not know up to which extent the collaboration took place; however we can clearly see that Facebook has given quite a bit of thought in coming up with the new minimalistic yet beautiful UI on top of Android OS v4.1. So we thought of comparing the HTC First smartphone featuring the brand new Facebook Home UI against HTC One X which is a sibling of HTC’s flagship HTC One series. HTC First is better known as the Facebook Phone for obvious reasons.
HTC First Review
Facebook revealed their newest venture yesterday when their CEO came to the stage with HTC First. There was a heavy rumor that Facebook was going to come up with a smartphone, and this is actually what’s on for sale. HTC First is a mid-range Android smartphone when we look at the specs on the sheet. What differentiates HTC First is the Facebook Home UI that revolutionizes the way you interact with your friends and provide deep operating system level integration with Facebook. Let us talk about the usual aspects of HTC First before we talk about Facebook Home.
HTC First is powered by 1.4GHz Dual Core processor on top of Qualcomm MSM 8930AA Snapdragon 400 chipset with 1GB of RAM. You can clearly fathom why we had to consider this device as a mid-range device with the prevailing standards of the Android smartphone market. However, that categorization doesn’t entail the smartphone to perform any worse than a high end smartphone. In fact, it will have responsiveness on par with high end smartphones with fluid animations and awesome physiX effects. The only sector it’ll fall short is gaming and performance intensive apps, which will obviously perform better in high end smartphones. However, for a layman, we’d like to think that HTC First would be able to provide an adequate level of performance in day to day tasks. HTC has included 16GB internal storage without the option to be expanded using a microSD card. The outer shell is pitch black making the Facebook Home better highlighted with the contrast. It is generally well designed and is built with three capacitive buttons that look slightly different than what we are used to in an Android handset.
HTC First has 4.3 inches Super LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 342ppi. The first thing you’ll notice is that HTC has made the screen smaller, whereas the trend is to come up with bigger screens. However, with the 720p resolution in the 4.3 inches screen, HTC is able to score a high pixel density giving birth to a crisp display panel that can reproduce texts as better as their HTC One. It is also rather smaller thanks to the small screen size and HTC has made it significantly lighter, as well. In fact, it feels really light and sturdy in your hands. It is a good thing that HTC has included 4G LTE connectivity in HTC First because the Facebook Home UI may well prove to be very demanding on your data connection. HTC First also has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity along with the option to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot to share your super-fast internet connectivity with your friends. HTC has included 5MP camera that can capture 1080p videos @ 30 frames per second along with 1.6MP front facing camera. The rear camera has autofocus and LED flash, but nothing grand proving our point on mid-range smartphone.
What makes HTC First special as we pointed out is Facebook Home UI. It is Facebook’s way of providing you with an immersive and authentic Facebook experience. Let’s face it; Facebook app has never been as fluid as it was wanted by the billions of Facebook users and a better Facebook app would have been a good welcome; now that we have a complete Facebook UI, let’s dig in and see what we get out of it. I’m sure you are quite experienced with Android lock screen; Facebook Home UI starts at the lock screen and replaces your entire lock screen by animated content about your friends. It has content like photos, statuses etc. from friends portrayed on the display panel in an immersive way and you can also interact with the content. For instance, tapping on a status would expand it, and double tapping would put a like on it. On the bottom of the UI, you’ll have a circular button that has your profile picture on it, and that will link you to the favorite apps and some shortcuts. Missed call notifications and incoming mail are also available on top of Facebook UI. Facebook has actually thought a lot about the usability experience and designed the UI in an attractive way. For instance when it displays a status, there is a bubble containing the Facebook profile picture on top and the background is that person’s cover photo. So you cognitively realize that the status update is from a certain persona. Facebook has included some amazing physics effects that you can play around, as well. The new messaging app is also a new addition that enables you to message someone while any other app is open. For instance when you start a conversation with someone, you can get his profile picture in a bubble which is called a Chat Head. A Chat Head is basically a live layer on top of any application you are currently running. You just tap on the Chat Head and finish the messaging and get back to where you were which is really awesome! Just because you have Facebook Home UI doesn’t mean you can only use a predefined set of apps in HTC First. Google Play Store is built in, and HTC First supports the wealth of applications it has. However Facebook Home UI doesn’t support widgets as of now, but that might be a possibility in the future. Oh and there’s a good news for everybody else who doesn’t want to purchase a HTC First to experience Facebook Home UI; Facebook is going to release Facebook Home app for high end smartphones like HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II etc. on the 12th of April and we are eagerly waiting for that.
HTC One Review
HTC One is the successor for HTC’s flagship product last year HTC One X. Actually the name sounds like the predecessor of HTC One X, but nonetheless, it is the successor. We have to commend HTC on this awesome handset for it is one of a kind. HTC has paid so much attention to the detailing of the smartphone so that it looks premium and elegant as ever. It has a unibody polycarbonate design with a machined aluminum shell. In fact, Aluminum is etched in order to create channels where the polycarbonate is inset using zero gap molding. We hear that is takes 200 minutes to machine one of these stunning and elegant shells, and it certainly shows. The Aluminum used by HTC is harder than what is found on the iPhone 5, as well. HTC revealed Silver and White versions of the handset, but with the different anodized aluminum colors and variety of polycarbonate hues, the color variations can be virtually limitless. The front of the HTC One resembles a bit to Blackberry Z10 with the two aluminum bands and two horizontal lines of stereo speakers at the top and the bottom. The brushed aluminum finish and the square design with the curved edges have some resemblance to iPhone, as well. Another interesting thing we noticed was the layout of the capacitive buttons at the bottom. There are only two capacitive buttons available for Home and Back which are laid out on either sides of an imprint of HTC logo. That is about the physical elegance and the built quality of HTC One; let us move on to talk about the beast inside the beautiful outer shell.
HTC One is powered by 1.7GHz Krait Quad Core processor on top of Qualcomm’s new APQ 8064 T Snapdragon 300 chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with a planned upgrade to v4.2 Jelly Bean. As you can clearly see, HTC has packed a beast inside the beautiful shell of the One. It will serve all of your needs without any concern for performance with the super-fast processor. The internal storage is either at 32GB or 64GB without the ability to expand the storage using microSD card. The display panel is also purely awesome having a 4.7 inches Super LCD 3 capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a gorgeous resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 469 ppi. HTC has used Corning Gorilla glass 2 to fortify their display panel. The UI is the usual HTC Sense 5 which has some additional tweaks. The first thing we noticed is the home screen which has what HTC calls a ‘BlinkFeed’. What this does is to bring out tech news and related content to the home screen and arrange them in tiles. This actually resembles the live tiles of Windows Phone 8 and critics have been fast to allege HTC about that. We of course have no offense towards that. The new TV app is also a great addition to HTC One, and it has a dedicated button at the home screen. HTC has included a Get Started wizard that lets you set up your smartphone from the web on your desktop. This is a really nice addition since you are required to fill up a lot of details, link up a lot of accounts etc in order to get your smartphone up and running like your previous one. We also liked the all new HTC Sync manager which features a wealth of new stuff.
HTC has also taken a bold stance in terms of optics because they have only included a 4MP camera. But this 4MP camera is bound to be way better than most of the smartphone cameras in the market. The basis behind this exclamation is the UltraPixel camera HTC has included in One. It has a large sensor that is capable of getting more light in. To be precise, the UltraPixel camera has 1/3 inch BSI sensor of 2µm pixels enabling it to absorb 330 percent more light that the regular 1.1µm pixels sensor that is used by any normal smartphone. It also has OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and a fast 28mm f/2.0 autofocus lens which translates in to a layman as a smartphone camera that is capable of taking extremely low light shots. HTC has also introduced some pretty neat features like Zoe which is to capture a 3 second 30 frames per second video along with the snaps you are taking that can be used as animated thumbnails in your photo gallery. It can also capture 1080p HDR videos at 30 frames per second and offers a pre- and post-shutter recording that mimics functionality similar to Nokia’s Smart Shoot or Samsung’s Best Face. The front camera is 2.1MP and enables you to take wide angle views with f/2.0 wide angle lens and can also capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 frames per second.
Any new high end smartphone nowadays comes with 4G LTE connectivity and HTC One is no different. It also has 3G HSDPA connectivity and has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n for continuous connectivity. You can also set up a Wi-Fi hotspot to share your internet connection and stream rich media content using DLNA. NFC is available on selected handsets as well which would depend on the carrier. HTC One has 2300mAh non-removable battery that would power up the smartphone to last a typical day.
A Brief Comparison Between HTC First and HTC One
• HTC First is powered by 1.4GHz Dual Core processor on top of Qualcomm MSM 8930AA Snapdragon 400 chipset with 1GB of RAM while HTC One is powered by 1.7GHz Quad Core Krait processor on top of Qualcomm APQ 8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset along with Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
• HTC First runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a heavily customized Facebook Home UI while HTC One runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
• HTC First has 4.3 inches Super LCD capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a pixel density of 342 ppi while HTC One has 4.7 inches Super LCD 3 capacitive touchscreen display panel featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at a pixel density of 469 ppi.
• HTC First has 5MP camera that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 fps while HTC One has 4MP UltraPixel camera with very good low light performance that can capture 1080p HD videos @ 30 fps.
• HTC First and HTC One come with 4G LTE connectivity.
• HTC First is smaller thinner and lighter (126 x 65 mm / 8.9 mm / 123.9g) than HTC One (137.4 x 68.2 mm / 9.3 mm / 143g).
• HTC First has 2000mAh battery while HTC One has 2300mAh battery.
This is one of those rare chances we get to declare that one smartphone is absolutely and undoubtedly better than the other. HTC One is better than HTC First not only because of its specs, but also because of its elegant build, attractive features, awesome optics, and spectacular display panel. However, it is also offered at a very high price point akin to the top few Android smartphones. On the contrary, HTC First is offered at $99 from AT&T which is pretty decent for a smartphone like this and what brings us to compare HTC First with HTC One is its new Facebook Home UI feature. Figuratively, if Facebook Home UI made us compare First with One, then it should really have a significant impact, and it certainly does. Facebook Home UI is ideal for all those out there who wants to keep up with their friends as seamlessly as possible with simplistic UI and gestures. However, we are positive that Facebook will subsequently release a Facebook Home UI version for HTC One as well given they are going to release that for HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II. So in the light of that, we certainly have to give some credit to analysts who claim that HTC First will be unsuccessful; but the trump card for HTC First is that there are few features that are available in First which are not available in Facebook Home UI for other smartphones. So we at DifferenceBetween are positive that HTC First will be proven to be a worthy competitor for the mid-range smartphones out there.