When I reviewed the First, I realized it was much, much more than just a Facebook experience device. Sure, it's sporting Home out of the box, flashes a Facebook logo during the boot process, and is adorned with that same logo on the back, but it's not just about Facebook. This little diamond in the rough is running stock Android 4.1.2 beneath Facebook Home, so you're quite literally three (or so) taps away from a Nexus-like experience.
Who's ready for the Facebook phone?! Honestly, it really doesn't matter either way – it's coming whether you want it to or not. And as much as people are trash-talking this upcoming device, one thing's still pretty certain: everyone is curious about it. What's it going to be like? How much Facebook are we talking about here? Should I be afraid? While we can't answer or quantify all of those, we can shed a little light as to what the UI should look like thanks to a new post by @evleaks over at 9to5Google.
Well, here it may be, ladies and gentlemen: the 'Facebook phone.' Evleaks has dropped a render / photo of what we all kind-of-sort-of expect to be unveiled by Facebook on April 4th (Thursday). We also know that it's codenamed Myst, relatively mid-range on the hardware front, and that it probably has a brand-new custom Facebook launcher.
While the logo appears to be blown up a little disproportionately, the rest of the hardware looks like pretty press-photo quality stuff.
We've managed to score a system dump of the Facebook phone! There's nothing in it that's too earthshattering, and you could probably guess most of the features, but, since we've got it, we might as well take a look at it.
[This is not an April Fool's joke. I promise.]
Now, this being Facebook, nothing really works unless you sign in. The problem is, all of this is pre-release, so it's set up to only work for Facebook employee accounts.
We've known of this phone and all of its different monikers - everything from the "Facebook phone" to the ChaCha - for a while, but now it's finally official, and bearing the name Status. Honestly, I can't think of a name more appropriate for a phone that's entire existence is defined by Facebook.
From a spec standpoint, the Status is nothing to brag about:
- 2.6 inch 480x320 display
- 800MHz Qualcomm processor
- 512MB RAM
- Full Blackberry-style keyboard
- Android 2.3 with Sense
What does make this phone special, however, is its social integration and the inclusion of a Facebook button.
Whether you liked the idea or not, INQ's Facebook-based phone, called the Cloud Touch, is alive and kicking - and has now been officially previewed in a video on TechCrunch. Running a custom skin, it has a number of different tweaks that integrate Facebook into the core experience, including:
- Automatic Facebook contact integration
- Friends' Birthdays and Facebook Events synced to Google Calendar
- People, Events, Notifications, and Places buttons line the top of the homescreen
- Quick access to your "top friends"
It also has the unrelated addition of Spotify as the main music app.
If you were disappointed when Facebook shot down rumors that it was working on an official Facebook phone, you may be in luck, thanks to manufacturer INQ Mobile. According to Bluetooth SIG, the INQ Cloud Touch could be exactly what Facebook was rumored to be developing: