HTC friends Facebook

The HTC Salsa, with Facebook button

Taiwanese mobile device powerhouse HTC has had an Announceapalooza at the Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona.

The biggest news is that HTC is getting into tablet computers, its first-up effort is the HTC Flyer. It’s to a be a 7 inch tablet computer, running initially on Android Gingerbread, and soon after launch HTC claim the Flyer will be upgradeable to Android Honeycomb. The HTC Flyer will be available to customers globally during Q2 2011, though as reported on Australian tech news site Delimiter, in this instance global does not necessarily mean global. Australia may have to wait a little while for the Flyer.

Also slated for release are two Android Gingerbread-driven smartphones with a distinctly Facebook flavour about them. Not only that, HTC had Mark Zuckerberg at hand to help announce the phones. At the bottom of each of the HTC Salsa and the HTC ChaCha is a Facebook button. This button provides one-touch access to the main features of Facebook. In HTC’s words:

The Facebook button on HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa is context-aware, gently pulsing with light whenever there is an opportunity to share content or updates through Facebook. With a single press of the button, you can update your status, upload a photo, share a Website, post what song you are listening to, ‘check in’ to a location and more. For example, you can take a photograph of friends on your phone and upload it instantly to Facebook by simply pressing the button. Or let your friends know what song you’re listening to by pressing the button while listening to music on the phone. The track is automatically identified and shared on Facebook.

The new devices feature Android Gingerbread 2.3.3, the latest version, and use the latest iteration of HTC Sense to integrate Facebook throughout the HTC Sense experience. When you make a phone call, the dialer screen displays your friend’s latest status and photos, and even tells you if their birthday is approaching. The same updates are also displayed when you receive a call from a Facebook friend. You can also use your phone’s existing contacts to help you connect with them on Facebook or personalize your handset further with a number of new, Facebook-branded widgets.

Both phones weigh the same, but the HTC Salsa has a 3.4 inch screen, against the 2.6 inch screen of the HTC ChaCha. The ChaCha also has a larger battery, 1520 mAh versus 1250 mAh. The only release date information given is that the Salsa and ChaCha will go on sale in “major European and Asian markets during Q2 2011”.

Lastly HTC announced updates to three existing product lines, with the HTC Desire S, HTC Wildfire S and HTC Incredible S. The Desire S gets an aluminium body like the HTC Legend, plus one of the new 1GHz Snapdragon MSM8255 processors, and a 3.7-inch WVGA screen. The Wildfire S adds a few colours into the mix, including black, purple and white, and a 5 megapixel camera. Lastly, the Incredible S possesses a 4inch WVGA Super LCD display, stereo surround sound and an 8 megapixel camera. Again there is no word yet on the Australian release date, only that these three models are due in “major European and Asian markets during Q2 2011”.