You know that feeling you get when you try something for the first time. That anticipation and excitement that this could be the most awesome thing you have ever held in your hand ever! That was how I felt about the HTC First. Kind of.
The First is the first mid-range Android based phone that has captured my attention and also have captured the hearts of other online editors such as Nilay Patel and Myriam Joire. Personally I believe it has something to do with the fact that I picked up the phone with minimal expectations and slight hesitation and animosity against Facebook taking over the phone entirely. I've used various 3rd party launcher and lock screen and by far Facebook Home is the most polished of them all. Granted, Facebook Home was developed by a team at Facebook. Facebook Home is the first real innovative 3rd party that has made significant changes and change the way that you interact with your phone and their product. Keep in mind that I'm by no means discounting HTC's continual effort in making their Sense UI stand out from the millions of Android phones. The new Blink Feed by HTC is a great clone of Flipboard which is one of the most refreshing way to browse your online news and social feed. But I digress.
Facebook Home makes an effective strike at how to get users to get to and interact with Facebook as fast and soon as the display is turned on. Littering your lock screen with everything you'd usually get in your news feed. Within the first hour of using the phone, I've noticed that it was about time for me to go and clean up my Facebook. I went and hid a few people's news stream. If anything, Facebook Home has taught me how to make my Facebook more efficient. And also reminded me that everyone and their parents and pets are on Facebook and that ultimately Facebook has become TBTF.
The cherry on top of the Home is the most "fun" feature of Home, also available as a stand alone feature in Facebook Messenger, Chat Heads. It's basically Messenger overlay over almost all apps that you can run on your phone so you can read and reply to messages without having to quit. The overlay is simple, just a circle with the person's profile photo in the middle. You can even use Messenger as your default SMS app. But this doesn't work on all phone as I tried to do it on the HTC One and the feature was missing from the menu.
With all the pros and cons I've listed. Its unfortunate that the First did not meet a warm welcome in the US and will no longer be sold here and over sea release has been put on hold.
Good job HTC! Can't wait to see the HTC one pure Android. :)