June 2011 saw HTC release two Facebook branded mobile phones, the ChaCha and the Salsa. Both handsets allowed for sharing of links, pictures and videos to Facebook at the touch of a button, proving how ubiquitous the social networking site has become in our lives. The latest brand to bow down to Facebook’s popularity is Vodafone with the release of their latest handset, the 555.
Like the HTC ChaCha and Salsa before it, the 555 features a dedicated Facebook button. However, unlike HTC’s offerings, Vodafone are targeting their new handset at emerging markets and budget buyers. In an unexpected move for a Facebook phone, the 555 is not a smartphone, instead running on a Java-based operating system that, according to Vodafone, allows for better Facebook integration than ever before on a mobile.
The device is based around a BlackBerry-esque QWERTY keyboard, but will be sold at a much lower price than RIM’s iconic handsets; around £70. For a budget phone, Vodafone have managed to fit a lot of features into the 555. It has a 2.4-inch colour screen with optical navigation and features a 2-megapixel camera with the surprising addition of an LED flash – a feature not often seen on lower-priced handsets.
While the phone cannot complete with the likes of the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S II, the 555 is an extremely easy to use device, ideal for relative technophobes who still want to be able to connect with Facebook on the move. It features a Facebook overlay similar to that seen on various INQ devices, with chat, messaging, news and the user’s profile divided at the bottom of the screen. The dedicated Facebook button takes the user to the device’s home screen from where they can easily update their status, post a picture or video or share a link. Phones4u have all the latest information, visit the site to see more.