Vodafone 555 Blue takes Facebook mobile (with some cut corners)

Vodafone has outed its new "Facebook phone", the Vodafone 555 Blue, a QWERTY featurephone that promises to be a low-cost way to access the popular social network while on the move. A QWERTY candybar, the 555 Blue has a 2.4-inch non-touch display and a dedicated Facebook button that can be preset to either sharing photos, links or something else. Best of all is the price, which Vodafone says should be under €100 (£88/$145) on a prepaid tariff.

On the back is a 2-megapixel camera with an LED flash, though there's no front-facing camera for Skype video calls through Facebook. Connectivity includes a microUSB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while a microSD slot can handle up to 16GB cards. Opera Mini 5 is loaded for web browsing duties.

While it promises to be cheaper than Facebook-toting rivals like the HTC ChaCha, the Vodafone 555 Blue does cut some corners to reach that sub-€100 sticker. There's no 3G and no WiFi, which means you'll be stuck on EDGE network speeds at most to share your photos and browse updates, and no GPS so checking into Facebook Places will be a chore.

The Vodafone 555 Blue will be available "soon" across Europe.