The HTC First sports a 5-megapixel lens, with is pretty below average for this day in age. This is one place where the First's budget build really bumps up against its supposed status as the Facebook phone.
Sharing photos of your friends, your meals and some possibly regrettable moments your friends will untag themselves in is a big part of the Facebook experience. The First's camera isn't capable of creating share-worthy in anything but the best of lighting.
The camera's lens is also flush with the back of the phone, making it easy to smudge. You'll have to give it a wipe every so often, or shots can come out blurry.
We also think the lack of a dedicated shutter button is a big mistake. The ultimate Facebook device needs fast snapper access. Every Windows Phone 8 device has one, a decision that struck us as really smart. And Microsoft would claim that Windows Phone was already putting people first.
At least Facebook favorite Instagram is pre-loaded on the First. That way you can slap a filter on your otherwise ho-hum shots and make them worth looking at.
It's obvious that keeping the first Facebook Phone affordable was a priority, but corners have been cut in places where that make the First less than ideal for the most "important" Facebook task: taking and sharing pictures.
This sort of camera performance is to be expected on a mid-range device, but the Facebook phone should be able to readily take the most share-worthy of shots, and it simply can't. Just 5-megapixels and no physical camera button, also this is the one of a few places where the stock Android sofware we love so much let us down.
HTC has put better camera options on cheaper phones, such as the One VX, so it's a shame the First didn't get any love here. At least there's Instagram preloaded on the device, but it almost feels like it should be stock camera option here. This was supposed to be the Facebook Phone, right?