Once an HTC ChaCha with its AT&T branding – making it the Status – showed up in a candid pic, we knew it only had to be a matter of time before the smartphone was officially announced. Sure enough, just hours later, HTC has added the Status to the other models on its website, and a press release has been published, finally launching the Status.
As you probably are aware, the ChaCha/Status is the first of HTC’s Android smartphones with a custom UI placing heavy emphasis on social networking through Facebook, hence the hardware Facebook button to give users quick access to the site. Underneath those Facebook touches, the Status runs Gingerbread with Sense, custom-fit for the phone’s unusual 480 x 320 resolution.
The smartphone’s hardware design rings of a BlackBerry, and the same sort of keyboard layout that lends itself to so many hours of BlackBerry Messaging should be right at home pounding out status updates and commenting on friends’ photos. The hardware includes a front-facing camera in addition to the 5-megapixel rear sensor, opening up the door for some video chat – maybe a feature Facebook would consider adding?
Though the Status is now official, there’s no word yet from AT&T on when the phone will actually be released, nor its retail price. Given the younger demographic HTC appears to be targeting, we may see something below the $200 smartphone norm – maybe in the $150 range?