HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

This morning, HTC and SingTel have jointly announced the HTC ChaCha, which is designed as the most affordable social phone with superb Facebook experience. The HTC ChaCha has a QWERTY keyboard and a dedicated Facebook button, and will be in stores this weekend.

 HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

At the event, Loren Shuster, vice president of SingTel Consumer Marketing, and Lennard Hoornik, president of HTC South Asia Pacific, talked about the partnership between the companies and that the HTC ChaCha will be exclusively available from SingTel.

"This is not the first time that SingTel and HTC are collaborating. Our relationship goes back to 2009 when SingTel and HTC brought the first Android device to the market, the HTC Dream. Since 2009, Android has exploded; it is one of the most prominent operating system on the market. With the HTC ChaCha, you can get direct access to Facebook. Social networking is changing the way people are using the device. In 2009, consumers spend 15% of their time per day on social networks, and in 2010, it has climbed to 25%. Social networks has become a mean for users to communicate with their friends. What is exciting about ChaCha is that it will be available for free on all of our flexi plans, for as little as S$39 a month," said Shuster.

"There are 2.2 million Facebook users in Singapore, most of them are smartphone users. Singapore is the third nation in the world, in terms of smartphone penetration, more than 72% are using a smartphone already. Android is, by many analysts, forecast to be the biggest operating system in the mobile space. With the HTC ChaCha, we may have an amazing proposition" Hoornik remarked.

 HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

Darren Sng, head of product marketing , HTC Asia, also demonstrated some of the Facebook features on the HTC ChaCha including upload of albums as well as multiple images, and tagging them. You can have Facebook chat with your friends which will look like normal messaging on the phone too.

HTC ChaCha Hands On

  HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

Powered by 800MHz processor and running Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) operating system, the ChaCha features a full QWERTY keyboard that lets you type messages easily. It also has a 2.6-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 480×320.

 HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

On the right, we spotted the phone's volume control and a microUSB connector for charging the battery and connecting to the PC.

  HTC and SingTel jointly announce social phone   HTC ChaCha

At the top are the power button and a 3.5mm audio jack, while the rear holds the 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. There is also a front VGA camera for video conferencing.

The HTC ChaCha is available exclusively from SingTel this weekend in modern white, phantom black and amethyst purple, for S$0 with 3G Flexi AMPed plans and selected iPlans.(S$98 for HTC ChaCha if you are subscribing to iOne Plus plan; phone's suggested retail price – S$438). You can preorder the HTC ChaCha from www.singtelshop.com/chacha and receive a 4GB Android thumbdrive upon purchase. The HTC Salsa will be available in Blue through all mobile operators and authorized retailers at a suggested retail price of S$568. The HTC Salsa is also scheduled to be available in this month.