Update: Vodafone has been in touch with us to say the Vodafone 555 is now on sale for just £70, including a "Freedom Freebie", which gives customers 200 minutes, 600 texts and 100MB of web access in addition to their regular £15 top-up credit. It can also be purchased 'device only' online for £62.50.
Original Stroey (published 27 July, 2011)
The Blue 555 is a feature phone made by TCL which runs Vodafone’s proprietary operating system and will be aimed at emerging markets such as India and countries in Africa where connectivity is not as widespread as developed countries.
As such, Vodafone has decided the 555 Blue can do without 3G or WiFi, opting for 2.5G/EDGE instead. The handset features a 2.4in screen sitting on top of a full QWERTY keyboard, which includes a dedicated blue Facebook button.
Once users turn on the phone, they will automatically log into their Facebook accounts and from there, everything they do can easily be shared with their Facebook friends. The phone has a rather measly two megapixel camera, so sharing blurry, grainy pictures should be a snap.
The phone will go on sale in August in Vodafone stores around the globe, including the UK, and is expected to cost around £60 on a pay-as-you-go tariff and will include a bundle of data usage – which will be needed if you automatically log into Facebook every time you turn the phone on.
Facebook are making a concerted effort to spread its gospel to emerging markets, including the recent launch of the Facebook for Every Phone application, and the Vodafone 555 Blue is another step in this direction.
We don't expect to see too many of these handsets in use in the UK considering the poor specs and drop in higher spec smartphone prices but they should give those in emerging markets the change to connect to friends around the globe.