Friday, August 12, 2011

HTC Chacha Review - Ultimate Social Media Phone

It's not one of those phones that got me excited on the first look. It looks like a BlackBerry but in my opinion, this is BETTER than a BlackBerry -- Android OS, Qwerty keyboard, capacitive touchscreen, instant messaging functions, and for social media addicts, this phone has a dedicated Facebook button!


HTC Chacha Design

The HTC Chacha a.k.a. HTC A810e has a 2.6-inch 480 x 320 resolution capacitive touchscreen. Just below the screen is a set of touch-sensitive icons (Home - Menu - Back - Search).  The qwerty keyboard is easy and comfortable to type on for average sized hands but the "enter" and "delete" buttons needs a little bit of time to get used to. It also has a D-pad at the bottom right corner.


To dial, you use the left side buttons located on the qwerty keyboard. No need to push the shift key. Just dial directly.

On the left side of the phone is the volume rocker. Below it is a microUSB port that is used for charging or file transfers.

HTC Chacha is also thin at 4.5x2.54.0.42 inches. The candy bar form factor is a bit unique as it is slightly curved and I assume that it's designed that way to provide improved comfort when talking. It's a mix of quality plastic and brushed metal yet light at only 120 grams.

The 5mp autofocus camera with LED flash produces good photos compared to most of the phones I tried and the VGA camera in front is good enough for video calls. Also, the camera start up is really fast. It struggles in low light though and when the background lighting is very bright (e.g. against the sun).

The 3.5mm jack is located on top of the device, beside the power/lock button. On the top right side of the phone is the ambient light sensor -- This is the sensor that determines if your display needs more light or lesser light.

Performance of the HTC Chacha
It has a 800 MHz processor and comes with Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread). Very very fast and responsive.

Battery is just fair. It has a Li-Ion 1250 mAh. Here's the rated standby and usage time from GSM Arena:
Stand-by: Up to 430 h (2G) / Up to 660 h (3G)
Talk time: Up to 7 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)

*Update: As per trying it for a week, continuous wifi usage eats up a lot of battery. It will only last half the day if you use wifi. 3g might eat up the battery faster.

As I've only had this for a few days, I am impressed with the social media and chatting functions. First, the qwerty keyboard makes it easy to type and with the curved design, it made it more fun and easy to use. Good job on the design innovation, HTC!


Fully customizable home screen and widget / application placements. You can also create folders to organize the files, just like in iPhone. Just so you know, it was my first time to use the HTC Chacha a few days ago and I can now fully use it with ease. Easy to use and learn!

The lock screen as seen above is also cool! You see the half circle at the bottom of the screen? You drag that up to the top of the screen to unlock! Another cool thing here is, if you drag any of the icons to the middle of the circle that you see (Either Phone, mail camera or messages as seen above), it will activate that application instantaneously!


The messaging functions are also awesome! I use Facebook chat, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype with it! It's the ultimate social media and messaging device! Once you get an update or message, it will sound off just like when you receive a text message. You can also set different tones for each so you won't be confused. The only thing it lacks is BBM but who needs it when you have all those others? In my personal opinion, I don't.


I've never fully used a BlackBerry before but my fiance uses one. I'm sorry to say that HTC Android OS (speaking in behalf of HTC Chacha) is way better developed than BlackBerry's RIM. The amount system instabilities made me decide not to get a BlackBerry. (Missing BlackBerry world icon, separate internet subscription to use the BlackBerry Facebook app and many more -- this is the reason why I don't have a BlackBerry review here)


HTC Chacha is a phone that you must try and use to appreciate. HTC is slowly gaining market share in the smart phone market and I can see a huge potential in HTC products as BlackBerry market share slowly go down, away from the smart phone domination.

Here is my HTC Chacha side-by-side with iPhone 3g and Nokia N8 for size comparison:
My Nokia N8 looks dirty because of Invisible Shield.

For full specifications, check out GSM Arena


Conclusion
I almost sold my iPhone when I got this! It's that good! Later on, I decided not to sell it and use it with my iPhone since I use Sun, Smart and Globe. My iPhone 3g is already old and I'm waiting for the new one (iPhone 5, wohooo!)

If you are in search for a new phone and you have BlackBerry in mind, just get the HTC Chacha.
If you want a social media a.k.a. Facebook phone, get the HTC Chacha.
If you always chat with your friends using YM, G Talk, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and all those other messaging platforms, don't think twice. Get the HTC Chacha.

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to comment on my blog. I can help you decide which phone to get. I've been doing free consultations to all my relatives and friends and I won't limit it to them only. :)

Disclosure: I got this phone for free because I won this phone from a Smart (Network) Event and not a HTC event.


Cheftonio
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8 comments:

tenaciousdv said...

How much does this htc chacha cost? tnx!

Cheftonio said...

If you get a Smart line, it's free at plan 1000. Otherwise, market value is around 13000 pesos as of the 2nd week of August 2011

manerdie said...

sir i have a question, can you please try to use your chacha(from smart) with other mobile networks(sun and globe).. a friend of mine told me that his cousin's chacha under smart unli plan is open line....thanks!! more power

manerdie said...

sir i have a question, can you please try to use your chacha(from smart) with other mobile networks(sun and globe).. a friend of mine told me that his cousin's chacha under smart unli plan is open line....thanks!! more power

manerdie said...

sir i have a question, can you please try to use your chacha(from smart) with other mobile networks(sun and globe).. a friend of mine told me that his cousin's chacha under smart unli plan is open line....thanks!! more power

Anonymous said...

great! seriously made me stop from getting the curve 9360! i know that I am going to miss BBM, but the features of this phone is waaaaaaay better that than of my iphone and my old BB. How's the battery life anyway? This has been my problem with both BB and iphone. thanks! :)

Joie Canales said...

wow! thank you so much for this review :) I was thinking if i should buy BB bold 9780 or htc chacha because they have the same price. whee! I will definitely grab a HTC chacha as my christmas gift for myself. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm planning to buy this phone but I'm concerned about it's battery life. I've read more than a couple of reviews saying the battery runs out very fast, some even saying it only lasts for 4-5 hours max. Did you experience the same thing?