Expert Review of HTC ChaCha Silver
HTC ChaCha is an Android smartphone by the Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets, HTC, that hits the mid ranging market and is blessed with Android platform. This smartphone has HTC Sense UI also on top of Android platform that together create wonders for the phone and make it work better than any of the available contemporaries. This smartphone is primarily designed for text messaging and for the same purpose it is bestowed with a touch and type facility. This smartphone also features a tight and close integration with social networking site, that is, Facebook, which includes a dedicated Facebook button that is located below the keyboard and permits the users to quickly share the information and content on Facebook. The device supports many features out of which some are, Accelerometer, Proximity and Digital compass sensors, messaging features such as SMS in threaded view, MMS, Email, Push Email and IM, HTML browser, Voice memo, radio Stereo FM radio with RDS, Facebook dedicated key, YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration, organizer, SNS integration, predictive text input, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail and many more. The device is available throughout the region in a size of 114.4mm x 64.6mm x 10.7mm and holds a weight of 120 grams that makes it quite portable. The body is slim and is easy to carry for long. The device has QWERTY keypad along with a capacitive touchscreen that respond even to a slightest touch. The keys on the QWERTY keyboard are very aptly spaced thus avoiding any accidental press. The light and compact metallic body is very stable and provides a sturdy and premium feel to hands. The back cover of the handset has the Wi-Fi connectivity antenna that loses its network when the rear case is removed. The trademark chin of the company and a sufficient amount of metal and slim waistline provides a very good start up. This device is pretty well built and has a landscape display of HVGA resolution. The front top part of the smartphone has an earpiece, a video call secondary camera along with G-Sensor, Digital compass sensor, Proximity sensor and Ambient light sensor that adds more usability to the device. the left side is the place for a long and thin volume rocker along with a microUSB port that also acts as a charging slot. The bottom of the device has nothing except a microphone pinhole. The right side of the device is left completely untouched. The top houses a 3.5mm universal headphone jack that also acts as an A/V connector. The power/unlock button is also placed on the top along with a secondary microphone pinhole for noise cancellation. The back hosts a 5MP camera with LED flash and and a loudspeaker grill. Under the cover resides a battery with a microSD card slot and a microSIM card slot. Overall, HTC ChaCha is a nice featured handset that is capable of catering the growing needs of the users.
User Interface and UI functionality
HTC ChaCha is a touch and type smartphone that has a touch sensitive screen also along with a full QWERTY keypad. The users who are used to the standard QWERTY keyboard can enjoy working with it and those who are fans of a touchscreen can use the screen to operate the device. The 2.6 inches wide TFT capacitive touchscreen provides a screen resolution of 480 x 320 pixels with color combinations made from 256K colors. The display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass that makes the screen scratch resistant and avoids any rough surface over the screen. The pixel density of 222 ppi makes the screen rich, vibrant, crisp and sharp by giving an unclouded and crystal clear view from each angle. The device is running on the Android platform and has Android v.2.3 Gingerbread as an operating system. On top of this platform, it has HTC Sense user interface of v.2.1 that makes working with the device wonderful. The Sense UI is a messenger version but also has an active lockscreen. The screen is in landscape mode and the users will find two virtual buttons that are visible on the first homescreen only. The right button pops up the Personalize menu where the users can customize the icons and widgets as per their needs. The left one is to open up the App launcher that helps in launching the desired application quick and fast. Tapping on the Home key will bring you back to the first homescreen or one can tap on Menu key where you can manage All Apps from any homescreen. To provide the information about the homescreen pane onto which a user is working, there is a scrollbar at the bottom of the pane, which automatically hides after few seconds. For easy navigation of homescreen panes, you can switch to Leap view also. The thumbnails of all the available seven homescreen panes will be displayed at once by simply tapping on the home key or doing a pinch gesture to zoom out, while remaining on the first homescreen. The homescreen panes can be rearranged with a simple press and hold. All the seven homescreen panes do not have add or delete option so the users cannot remove or insert any widget or icon, but the available widgets seem useful and the users want to keep them all. Scenes are available on HTC Sense UI that provides five custom homescreen setups, that are, Work, Travel, Social, Play and default. Each scene has the capacity to change the widgets and the wallpaper on the homescreen. For instance, the Social offers a Twitter widget while the Work scene has a Stocks widget and they can be customized. You can easily switch between the various Scenes and it will take only a couple of seconds. There is another customization option available on the HTC Sense UI and that is Skins that changes the feel and look of most of the onscreen buttons, option menus, application screens, and other items. They also has unique wallpaper and can give various colors to UI elements. They can also replace the lockscreen, widget frames and standard dock with custom ones or change their shape. There are only two skins available but the users can access more Skins from the HTC Hub. The QWERTY keyboard can also be used to quickly launched the applications. In fact launching applications using a keyboard is very easy as you have to just start writing the name of the desired application and HTC ChaCha will automatically provides the list of the applications. The main menu has three tabs, that are, All apps, Frequent apps and Favorites. These tabs are quite useful in case there are lots of applications installed in the smartphone. A single tap on the Personalize button will shows a whole new screen with options to choose from, which are either for the display – wallpapers, skin and scenes, or for the homescreen – shortcuts, folders and widgets, or for the sounds – alarms, notifications, ringtones and Sound set. The users will find HTC and stock Android widgets on the same page in the widgets section and there is a very huge lot of them that the seven homescreen panes would fall short to store them. More widgets can be downloaded from the Android market as well as from the HTC Hub. There are many options and versions available under a single widget and you can choose any of them. The new lockscreen has a ring in the along with four shortcuts at the bottom and to unlock a screen all one need is to drag the ring towards the center of the screen or he/she can drag and drop any of the four available shorcuts into the ring. These shortcuts are customizable and you can assign any of the available application to them. Other lockscreens with different functions can be downloaded and installed in the smartphone.
HTC ChaCha can be treated as a multimedia handset as it comes loaded with lots of amazing features and applications that are sufficient enough to keep the users entertained for 24 x 7. The device has a default video as well as a music player but the music player does not have any equalizer that stops this smartphone from being called as a music phone, but seeing the latest trend, the equalizer is something that is found in every smartphone and is a very essential part. The common music library has the Artists section, but the users can easily toggle from one tab to another, which are there on the right side of the screen, out of the available three tabs that are for Albums, Playlists and All Songs. The users can skip tracks back and forth in their current playlist by swiping into the relevant direction on the now playing interface. There are two shortcuts that acts as toggles for repeat and shuffle and are located in the top corners. And if the users want to skip more than a few songs then they can opt for the full view of the playlist. A song can be shared from the context menu over Bluetooth, e-mail and message and it can be set as a ringtone too. The users can also search the song over YouTube for the music video. This smartphone supports various audio formats for playback and they are .aac, .amr, .ogg, .mid, .mp3, .wav and .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) whereas .amr format is backed for audio file recording. The standard video player too supports multiple formats, such as .3gp, .3g2, .mp4 and .wmv (Windows Media Video 9) for video playback and for recording a video file format supported is .3gp. This device has a 3.5mm universal headphone jack that can be treated as an A/V connector also whereas the headphone acts as an antenna for the FM radio connectivity. The FM radio comes with RDS supports that automatically detects the name of the radio stations to which the users are tuned into. The phone has built-in loudspeaker that works superbly well and gives a standard sound output at the users' end. Since this phone has no equalizer so when it is connected to the external amplifier the output is pretty good and the performance improves much better when the headphone is attached to it. The video files are placed in the Gallery in the All videos sub-folder or from the shortcut for videos in the menu, the same thing is launched from both of them. A full screen toggle is offered by the video player interface where the users can stretch or crop the video to fit the screen and they can scrub through the video also. The quality provided by the video player is OK types and when compared to the music player performance it lags a little bit behind but that is completely fine with such a mid ranging phone.
Pictures and Video quality
HTC ChaCha supports a 5 megapixels camera lens that has a back up of LED flash and an auto focus feature. This powerful snapper also has Geo-tagging and face detection features that makes photography experience wonderful. The 5 megapixels lens captures images with a resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels and can also record full HD D1 videos in a size of 720 x 480 pixels by taking 30 frames per second. The camera interface is nothing different from its earlier siblings and has a virtual shutter key at the bottom of the screen and a zoom slider on the left. The right is the home for four controls, that are, flash settings, the still/video mode toggle, a shortcut to the gallery and back/front camera toggle. This shooter does not have any effects key so whatever changes the users want to make to the images they can do the same by using the menu key where they will find all sort of other settings, such as ISO, image adjustments, etc. The continuous auto focus enables the camera to focus as one re-frame it, but what is missing over here is the dedicated shooter key for camera. The best feature that this smartphone is that one can upload all their photos to their Facebook accounts, which can be used as a backup file too. The camcorder has auto focus feature too and with a tap on any part of the the screen the users can refocus while shooting. The D1 videos that are recorded by using this 5 megapixels shooter are stored in a .3gp format but the default video player can play videos that are supportable in various formats. There is a secondary VGA camera too in front that helps in shooting self portraits and also allows the users to have live video chats with family and friends.
HTC ChaCha provides Internet connectivity through miscellaneous options such as GPRS, EDGE, 3G at HSPA+ speed, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Wi-Fi hotspot via WLAN support. For connections with the nearby objects one can use Bluetooth v.3.0 with A2DP and microUSB port v.2.0. These connections help in the transfer of data from one device to another at a very fast speed. The HTML browser makes the web browsing experience more entertaining and full of fun. you can open more than two windows at a time and can work on them simultaneously. Toggling between web pages is as quick as the flicker of an eye. The Facebook share button on HTC ChaCha enables the users to share everything on their Facebook account with just one touch. HTML is one of the best mobile browsers available in the market. Browsing is made more easier than ever before when it is combined with HTC's bookmarks widget, where the Android bookmarks system is on the top notch.
Internal and External Memory
HTC ChaCha has an internal storage capacity of 512 MB for RAM and 512 MB for ROM. This space is provided for smooth running of light as well as heavy applications. Apart from this, the users can also store phone book entries, call records as well as messages in this smartphone. The external memory can be extended up to 32GB via a microSD card slot. A card of 2GB comes included with the device to enable the users to save some important files urgently.
Applications and Gaming
HTC ChaCha is pre-loaded with lots of applications and gaming features that are complete in themselves to keep the users entertained all the time and also to provide them with all the necessary applications that are helpful in everyday tasks. Various applications like music player, video player, Radio, HTC Hubs, Friend Stream, Instant Chat, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration, Facebook, Twitter, Organizer, Document viewer/editor, SNS integration, Facebook Chat, Voice memo and many more applications related to Entertainment and Arts, Health, Language, Lifestyle, Politics and Government, Society and Culture, Sports, Travel, etc. are available with the handset. In term of games, there are many games pre-installed on the smartphone but still this device allows you to download lots and lots of games as per their choice and need. You can also download numerous other applications also that can fill your life with fun and entertainment and some of such applications are Talking Tom Cat, Temple Run 3D, Flash Player 10.1, Skype, TubeMate, WhatsApp Messenger, Music Downloader, Yahoo Messenger, Anti-Virus, Street View on Google Maps and more.
HTC ChaCha comes packed with a very strong battery back up that can keep the device working for long period of time even after a heavy usage. The standard Li-Ion 1,250 mAh battery permits the users to invariably talk via 2G network for time of up to 7 hours 30 minutes and on 3G network this talk time decreases by half an hour and is only up to 7 hours. The standby time is 430 hours on 2G and is 660 hours on 3G. Apart from this, the users can also enjoy multimedia features and applications on this smartphone uninterruptedly. They can play music or radio or video files and can even do recording of the same, that is, video and music files. This battery also gives enough of power to the device fro long hours of web searching and browsing without any fear of battery drainage.
HTC ChaCha offers connectivity to GSM 2G and 3G networks only at a bandwidth of 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz for 2G and 900 / 2100 MHz for 3G. The users can transfer data via 3G network at a good HSPA+ speed. The HSDPA speed for downloading a data is 7.2 Mbps and for uploading the HSUPA speed is 384 Kbps. If this speed is compared to the other contemporary smartphones available in the market then obviously the HSPA+ speed of HTC ChaCha is very slow. But still you won't find any sluggishness in its working.
HTC ChaCha is a likable device with a good resolution screen, a comfortable keypad and a slim and compact body that is hard to resist. Sharing the pictures, videos and information o Facebook is made very easy on this phone where you can add anything at any time and from any place. From the gaming aspects, the arrow keys are quite appreciable but the low processing power steal away the magic a bit. If one wants to have an uninterrupted experience with the phone then it is necessary download the Adobe Flash browser. Since it is a mid ranging mobile phone so it would be useless to expect so much out of the box. The Android Gingerbread platform along with HTC Sense UI is successful in creating a magic over the customers. The messaging features of this phone are too good that one cannot stop himself from using this facility at a full extent. This device allows the users to use the screen as well the physical QWERTY keyboard to provide the commands to the smartphone. Omission of Flash support is something that cannot be coped up and because of this, the phone loses its ability to touch the heart of the smartphone lovers. The other handsets that are prevailing in the smartphones market and are giving a neck in neck competition to HTC ChaCha are Samsung Galaxy Y, Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos, Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Nokia E6, Nokia E5, Nokia 700, Nokia Asha 303, Nokia 500, HTC Status, HTC Wildfire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, BlackBerry Curve 8520, BlackBerry Curve 9360, LG Optimus, Motorola Fire and more.