And maybe, for a person who uses Facebook more than e-mail or the Web, it is a perfect phone. Apart from the Facebook button itself (more on that later), the phone’s keyboard is easy to use, it’s comfortable to hold, and the phone’s slight curve makes it really easy to take pictures with its 5 MP camera.
But the phone has some serious drawbacks as well. For one, the phone’s compact size and full keyboard mean that the screen itself is quite small at 2.6 inches. For older users — or even tired ones — that makes reading annoying, if not impossible.
The small screen also makes the phone particularly susceptible to a misplaced finger, which can be a particular problem using Facebook. It’s fairly easy to end up sharing, deleting, liking or otherwise interacting with the social mediasphere in a way you didn’t intend.
Playing games on this phone is no picnic either, again because of the screen. It’s fine for games that don’t require a lot of movement, but steering and aiming are not easy feats.
The Facebook button itself, however is a little stroke of genius, especially if you’re a constant updater.
One tap in the browser, in the camera app or while playing music and will take you straight to a pre-made wall post. A long-press on the button lets you check-in. Expect to see a lot more posts from anyone who uses this phone, which makes sharing easier than any number of Web site widgets. Does the time you save make the phone worth it? If you’re a Facebook power-user, then yes.
The phone also has HTC Sense, meaning it has an overlay on its Gingerbread system, but it also has a feature that lets you silence your phone by flipping it over — a perfect feature for those chirpy wall updates.
Overall, the phone is solid, well-built, easy to use and compact. But if you’re not in its key demographic of Facebook addicts, it’s probably not for you.
(Washington Post Co. Chairman and chief executive Donald Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)