HTC ChaCha Android phone (preview)

HTC ChaCha preview: The HTC ChaCha is one of two new HTC smartphones that feature a dedicated Facebook button

The HTC ChaCha Android phone is one of two new smartphones from HTC that include a dedicated Facebook button.

Check out our guide to the best upcoming smartphones in 2011, and read our reviews of other top HTC phones.

Officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) tradeshow in Barcelona, Spain, the HTC ChaCha was introduced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The ChaCha's Facebook button works contextually and lights up whenever the user can share multimedia content or status updates through the social networking service. For example, after a photo is taken with the HTC ChaCha's camera, you simply push the Facebook button to automatically upload the image. You can also press the button once to automatically check in through the Facebook Places feature.

Other features of the HTC ChaCha include the ability to view a friend's latest Facebook status and photos on the dialler when you make a call, and when you receive calls. The ChaCha also has a dedicated Facebook chat widget, which is part of HTC's Sense user interface.

The HTC ChaCha has a full QWERTY keyboard along with a 2.6in capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 480x320. The phone is powered by an 800MHz processor, but has a healthy 512MB of RAM and runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system, 2.3 Gingerbread. The HTC ChaCha also has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a front-facing VGA camera for video calls, and a microSD card slot for extra storage.

The HTC ChaCha is available exclusively through Vodafone from 6 July in Australia. It can be purchased for $0 upfront on Vodafone's $29 cap over 24 months, or for $0 upfront on the $45 infinite plan over 24 months. The $29 Vodafone cap provides $180 worth of calls and text, along with 200MB of data and unlimited Vodafone to Vodafone and 3 standard voice calls within Australia, while the $45 infinite plan includes unlimited calls and text and 500MB of data per month. Both plans include free, unlimited access to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, FourSquare and LinkedIn social networking services within Australia.

Alternatively, the HTC ChaCha is available as a pre-paid handset for $299, though it comes locked to the Vodafone network.

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