The name is music to the ears. The form is a feast to the eyes. The experience is magically elegant and comfortable to the user. As the trend to name their social phones based on Latin dances continues with HTC, open your arms to welcome the HTC ChaCha that has been christened with the popular Cuban rhythmic dance. The attempt is probably to draw some of the excitement and buzz from this vivacious Latin culture and convert it into the success of the phone. The global GSM phone has been attractively priced, has elegant specifications and arrives with a physical QWERTY keypad. ChaCha looks all set to take the market by storm.
One might be tempted to think that an animations-enabled, Android 2.3 Gingerbread running along with many bells and whistles will put pressure on its 800MHz processor. But the ChaCha surprises with its decently quick performance. It copes well with multi-tasking and if you have no connectivity problems, all your Facebook and day-to-day activities will occur in a breeze. Though audio calls provide a good experience, when it comes to firing up Skype to have a video call with someone, the ChaCha fails to handle high quality audio. The touchscreen is very responsive and a delight to use. The camera is decently good and one could not have asked for a better battery life from a smartphone.
The ChaCha is similar to the HTC Salsa in most of its features. However, it arrives with a physical QWERTY keypad. It has a 2.6 inches HVGA touchscreen which supports a resolution of 480×320 pixels. The phone is both 3G and WiFi enabled The key feature however is its one-touch connectivity to Facebook. Sharing, chatting and updating status on Facebook is only a touch away. The messages appear as text messages increasing the ease of reading and accessing them. The phone has two camera. The main camera is on the back and is rated at 5 megapixels. It has autofocus, face recognition and an LED flash support too. The secondary VGA camera makes video-calls possible. All the other high-end features are there – Bluetooth, GPRS, ambient light sensor, G-sensor, EDGE, 3.5mm audio jack, music player and proximity sensor.
The large and spacious keypad is striking and it ensures that there are no more mistypes. Cursor keys ensure easy navigation and the touchscreen is stylish though small. Like the iPhone, the screen is a multi-touch one and pinching it results in zooming in. The idea of providing keyboard shortcuts to some menus makes it very quick to browse and navigate through the phone. The silver and white finish looks fresh and young and the blue screen gives it a cool touch. A bend separates the screen from the keypad and also ensures that neither are damaged in case of an unfortunate fall. The screen has been pumped with a high resolution to provide a quality handling experience.
The ChaCha may not be popular name and it may even have a different connotation as far as India is concerned. But once you move beyond the name, you will realize that its QWERTY keypad is very user-friendly and almost compensates for the otherwise small screen size. The ChaCha may not be exactly the perfect pick as your multimedia powerhouse because its software is still not perfect. But that can be easily sorted out with a few upgrades from HTC. Though its branding speaks mainly of its one-touch Facebook button, the marketers might have missed a point or two by not emphasizing on the phone’s other strengths. This is a compelling phone for a price below Rs.15,000.