With social network-'addicted' teens and a global Facebook population greater than that of the United States, bringing out an affordable PAYG Facebook-integrated feature phone should be a sure bet, in theory. But then we also know that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. So, is the Vodafone 555 Blue as sure a bet after all?
Well, for a basic feature phone, the Vodafone 555 Blue is a pretty enough handset. With its silver-and-white matt plastic casing, it has only just enough weight behind it. It sits comfortably in the hand with its curved corners, and with a QWERTY keyboard it's very, very reminiscent of that other Facebook phone, the HTC ChaCha – without, it seems, any of the ChaCha's features.
At only 12mm thick and rather light, the Vodafone 555 Blue will fit easily into teenage pockets. It's built to be cheap, yes, but the build itself is light and bright, and although there aren't too many features to crow about, it is at least nicely packaged.
Aimed at 16-25s who want a little social networking without monthly bills, the Vodafone 555 Blue is a pay-as-you-go handset fully integrated with Facebook, right down to the little blue logo key that, when pressed, will take you straight to your news feed.
There's a 2MP camera on board for uploading pictures to the social network, a QWERTY keyboard, microSD slot and an earphone jack.
Along with the physical keyboard, the phone is navigated by a series of five soft keys (including the navigation pad) located beneath the screen:
And the volume rocker on the left-hand side:
The camera is reached via a button integrated into the keyboard, which is handy for pulling up the feature quickly.
Speaking of the camera, despite only boasting 2MP, the Alcatel-constructed mobile phone comes with a single LED flash.
However, the Vodafone 555 Blue's screen measures a mere 2.4 inches and only 320 x 240 pixels, so the subsequent viewing of images isn't the highest quality ever. Plus, the connectivity of the Vodafone 555 Blue is a little poor, with only EDGE and 2G capabilities. Given the lack of contract-style data allowances, a little Wi-Fi wouldn't have gone amiss.
Still, it's not a handset that was made to be top of the range, for app-lovers or for addicts of several social media sites. Indeed, it's simply to fulfil those basic Facebook overshare needs, plus a few calls and texts.