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HTC First UK release date set for summer, EE to be launch partner

Following the handset’s formal unveiling last night, the HTC First UK release date has been set for this summer, with the first device to support the newly launched Facebook Home UI to hit EE’s 4G networks.

Lining up alongside Facebook Home, the social networking giant’s new Android based user interface and app launcher which will hit the Google Play Store in the coming weeks, the HTC First has been announced as the first dedicated Facebook Home handset which will sport the innovative UI direct from the box.

“With Home enabled out of the box, you’ll be able to get everyone’s latest updates and messages right on your home screen,” Dan Rose, Vice President of Partnerships at Facebook, said of the new HTC First.

Confirming that the device will be made available to consumers in the ‘summer’, EE, currently the UK’s only 4G network, has revealed it will be a launch partner for the HTC First, offering the 4G capable handset from day one.

“We’re proud to have been chosen by Facebook and HTC to be their UK launch partner for the HTC First,” Pippa Dunn, the Chief Marketing Officer at EE said. “In combining our unique superfast network with the latest integrated Facebook experience, customers will constantly be at the centre of conversations with their friends.”

HTC First Specs
Although concrete HTC First Specs are still somewhat thin on the ground, the Taiwanese handset manufacturer has revealed that the upcoming device will capitalise on the full array of Facebook Home introduced features.

As well as boasting the new Facebook Home Cover Feed, a constant stream of photos and updates from friends that are available front and centre, the HTC First will also support deep integration of Facebook notifications, an inbuilt app launcher and Chat Heads, a collated messaging service that will allow users to keep in touch with Facebook contacts from within other apps on the device.

Whilst finalized specs are still to be confirmed, recent leaks suggested that the HTC First will play host to a 4.3-inch touchscreen display alongside Google’s Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS. With a dual-core CPU tipped to run the show, 1GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera reportedly in the mix, the HTC First looks set to play host to a somewhat middling array of innards.

“Along with our partners and fellow innovators—EE in the UK—we anticipate excitement from customers when the HTC First becomes available, putting a user’s friends and family at the centre of their mobile experience,” Peter Chou, HTC’s CEO said.

HTC First Release Date and Price
With the HTC First UK release date currently pegged for ‘summer’, a certain amount of speculation still surrounds when we can expect the handset to be available in stores.

Similarly vague is how much the device will set wannabe owners back, with EE having yet to confirm its HTC First price plans. That said, in the US, the Facebook Home hosting handset has been tipped as sporting a $99 (£60) subsidised price tag on a two-year contract.

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