HTC ChaCha (aka Status)

A QWERTY android phone with big issues
(July 2011)


VERDICT
Currently this is the ONLY Android phone on the market with QWERTY and both arrow keys and at least a 480 x 320 LCD.

Check for yourself - click here to see all QWERTY-bar Android phones.


HARDWARE
The QWERTY / hardware keyboard is the flimsiest I've tried yet. I've had Palm Treo, Centro, Pre, Motorola Charm, Pro/Fire and two Blackberries. These are ALL superior button feel-wise.

The keys are OK but it's easy to press a key without meaning too.

The left arrow key only clicks and feels right when pushed on its left side or directly from above. This is very unfortunate since you mostly push it on its right side (after using the other arrows) where it doesn't click and feels wrong. I confirmed this bug on three ChaChas in HTC's concept store hands-on in Copenhagen.

The ChaCha easily dropped vertically - the dry metal is edge-less/grip-less - almost like the Pre but ChaCha feels "dry" and slippery even in sweaty hands.

The screen is good, the touchscreen reacts consitently (unlike Charm and Wildfire/Buzz where touch don't work when they're lying on a table - and on some chargers. Touch works ONLY when they're held) and the angled/bend shaped looks nice. The software speed/response is fine, the cam and video quality is good. speaker is sharp though. Volume buttons are impossible to use without looking - can't feel them.

You often hit Home, Menu, Back or Search by mistake when tapping on buttons at the bottom of the screen or swiping/scrolling up/down on images or webpages.

The blue symbols (reached with Alt/Fn) are invisible/impossible to see outdoors when keyboard light is on :(

The phone is slippery - easily dropped.

The micro-USB charger plug/slot has gotten so loose after 2-3 weeks use that I can't recharge. I'm returning the phone if I can :(

Keyboard is too soft. Too easy to hit two buttons my mistake.


SOFTWARE
Selections made using shift + arrow keys can ONLY be deleted - not copy pasted (wtf?). Also double-tap on a word to select it doesn't work on this particular phone.

On other android phones I've had no memory issues but there's a memory leak in ChaCha so after a week or two you run out of mem even with all apps moved to the SD card. hopefully a system update will fix this soon.

Sometimes it instantly deletes the whole text because Fn (called Alt outside europe) before Del means erase ALL - this happens when you don't know that Fn is on and want to delete a letter - PUFF the whole dang text is gone (and unlike iPad - no undo :( ).

Delivery reports are a nuisance / unusable as the sound like an SMS with no way to turn off the sound.

It often pastes an extra space before the copied text.


SERIOUS ISSUES
Snooze dismisses an event reminder. When I drag the snooze icon into the "unlock circle" the event never re-appears. I think this bug might be in the time-zone. I use time-zone Amsterdam/Berlin or Central European time to my events (Copenhagen is missing).

Very often when writing an SMS and you type a phone number or another number you tap Fn/Alt and then Del meaning to delete a letter. But this deletes your ENTIRE text with no undo :( VERY frustrating to loose an entire SMS.

Delivery reports sound like an SMS. When turned on there's no way to turn off the sound without loosing the SMS sound too. You can't even remove the notification and still keep the delivery check-marks on each SMS.

Browser page height seems wrong/too small in mobile Gmail so I can't reach most of my labels.

The Arrow Right key only clicks / feels good when pushed on its left side or directly from above. This is very unfortunate since you mostly push it on its right side (after using the other arrows) where it doesn't click and feels wrong.

Speaker ringer volume set to max ALSO rings at max volume in the headphones! This damages your ears (and might give you a heart-attack). Headphone ringer volume should never damage your hearing no matter what the speaker ringer volume is (a general bug on all Android phones).

The calendar's day-view can't scroll past 22 o'clock if you have 4 all-day events or more.


ANNOYANCES
You can't change the date of repeating events (only the time). You must un-repeat it first for no obvious reason.

Cursor often doesn't appear in browser (e.g. here) and arrow keys don't work until you tap the cursor.

Browser often quits instantly and closes all Windows. This way you often loose work.


MINOR BUGS
Tapping a symbol on the full-screen symbol page sometimes make the symbol float and freeze on top of the app. You must tap Home to get rid of it.

Often when you tap the browser URL it opens a blank search field instead of the web address.

When typing numbers while holding down Fn/Alt the language setting appears obstructing your work. The language setting should never appear unless space is the FIRST key after pressing Fn/Alt.

No way to turn off auto cap.

Pressing shift to avoid auto capital after full stop doesn't work. You must tap shift THREE times to type a small letter.

When I delete a photo on the SDcard from Windows it stays in the gallery but doesn't work.

I've removed my Sense account to save internal storage. I can't change the shortcuts on the lockscreen.

Opening a spam email (by mistake) shows its externally linked images too. This informs the spammer that you opened it and you get ALOT more spam because of this bug.

Auto caps doesn't show on cursor so you don't know it it's on or not.

It often pastes an extra space before the copied text.

Double-tap on a word to select it doesn't work.

Often while I'm writing an SMS the view changes into a multi-select messages for deletion.Very frustrating.

Often when writing an SMS the view jumps away and deactivates the text input. It seems to happen randomly or perhaps when something in the background changes (a new sms or email perhaps).

With over three all-day events the day view can't scroll past 22'o clock.

I can't write the letters é and á. Both are used in the Danish language and they don't appear when pressing the SYM key. Also ü and à are missing. A couple of times I got a small international letter menu (e.g. in an SMS) with the missing letters but can't reproduce it. It's there but broken.

When I use Shift + arrows keys to select text the selection disappears when I want to cut/copy it. Holding my finger on the selection just removes my selection :( There's no way to copy/cut/paste a selection made using the arrow keys.

Half the time adding WAVs or MP3s as notifications or ringtones doesn't work. The WAV simply doesn't appear after being added.

You can't select text on e.g. http://m.facebook.com - the highlight disappears instantly.

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