HTC’s ‘Facebook Phone’ coming July 17

The device that has become colloquially known as the Facebook Phone is due to hit stores in five days.

Appropriately named the Status, the phone has deep integration with the mega popular social network so you can keep your status updated at all times.

The device’s home screen has a huge Facebook widget, and there’s a dedicated Facebook button on the embedded Qwerty keypad. Some of the other features include seeing the latest Facebook activity of a contact whenever he or she calls, seamless integration of Facebook messages into standard text and e-mail messages, and a Facebook chat widget.

It is the most Facebook-friendly phone to date.

However, the social networking site has distanced itself from the device, saying it is not officially licensed or getting any special treatment. All the connectivity was built by HTC using the same kind of open codes that any mobile manufacturer is welcome to use.

Facebook has said it has no plans to make an official “Facebook phone” because it wants to encourage all manufacturers to come up with their own integration ideas, and doesn’t want to appear to favor any manufacturer over another.

Other technical specs of the Status include Android 2.3.3, a 5-megapixel camera, and pre-loaded Skype connectivity.

The phone will be available exclusively through AT&T for an after-contract price of $50.