Barcelona, Spain –
unveiled its first two smartphones with a dedicated
Facebook button and its first tablet, which will access HTC’s planned
movie-download service and a planned cloud-base gaming service.
The three Android-based products,
among six new products shown here at the Mobile World Congress, will be
available in the U.S. The two smartphones will be available exclusively through
AT&T sometime “later this year,” and the tablet is due in the second
quarter globally and in the U.S., the company said.
The tablet, equipped with Wi-Fi
and HSPA+ cellular data, is likely headed for T-Mobile’s network because the
device operates in HSPA 14.4Mbps mode in T-Mobile’s 1.7/2.1GHz AWS band and in
foreign 900MHz and 2100MHz bands.
The Android-equipped 14.82-ounce
tablet features 1,02 by 600 7-inch touchscreen, aluminum unibody, 1.5GHz
processor, Flash 10 and HTML 5 for web browsing, and fingertip and pen
interaction with the screen.
Other key features include
5-megapixel camera/camcorder with 720p HD video capture and autofocus,
front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting, 32MB memory, GPS, MicroSD
slot, MicroUSB port, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ and stereo Bluetooth 3.0.
It’s said to weigh as much as a paperback book
and fit in a jacket pocket.
The tablet does not use the Android 3.0
Honeycomb OS optimized by Google specifically for tablets but uses a
tablet-optimized version of HTC’s Sense smartphone user interface on top of the
new Android 2.4 OS version. It will be upgraded to Android Honeycomb in the
The UI features a 3D homescreen
and a carousel of widgets to put the user’s most important content and
The tablet also features new HTC Scribe technology,
a digital-ink technology that lets consumers use a stylus to handwrite notes in
script, sign contracts, draw pictures, or write on a web page or photo. A
related feature called Timemark lets users integrate notes taken at a meeting
with audio of a recorded meeting. When a user taps on a word in the written
notes, the audio of that portion of the meeting is replayed.
Notes are also integrated with
The tablet’s cloud-based gaming
service will be supplied by OnLive, whose current service lets users play
cloud-based games on TVs and PCs without buying dedicated gaming hardware or
software. Consumers will be able to play cloud-based games on the tablet or,
via Wi-Fi, on their connected TV sets. It wasn’t clear if the cloud connection
would be via Wi-Fi only or also via HSPA+ cellular.
The planned HTC Watch movie-download service
will feature HD movies from major studios. It wasn’t clear whether movies could
be downloaded over HSPA+ cellular or just over Wi-Fi.
Flyer pricing wasn’t disclosed.
For the U.S. smartphone market, the HTC Salsa
and ChaCha are targeted to social-networkers at moderate price points. They
feature deep Facebook integration, including a dedicated Facebook button, and
dual cameras for on-line video chats. They use 7.2Mbps high-speed HSPA cellular
data, and both feature 600MHz processors and GPS.
The Salsa is a touchscreen-only
phone with 3.4-inch 480 by 320 screen, while the ChaCha is a bar-type phone
with hard QWERTY keyboard and a 2.6-inch 480 by 320 touchscreen.
Other features common to both include Wi-Fi
602.11b/g/n/, stereo Bluetooth 3.0, Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 OS, 5-megapixel
rear-facing camera with auto focus and LED flash, and VGA front-facing camera
for video chats.
Their Facebook button is context-aware,
pulsing with light whenever an opportunity exists to share content or updates
through Facebook. A single button press lets users update status, upload a
photo, share a website, post the name of a song that is playing, and check into