Going contract-free can be expensive up-front, and the $450 HTC First proves it
By now you've heard that you can snag the HTC First at AT&T in the US for $99, and soon you can do the same in the UK on EE (pricing to be determined), but what if you just want to buy one outright? If that's what you're looking to do, be prepared to shell out $450 for it.
There are a lot of reasons why people want contract-free phones. Inexpensive prepaid service, the freedom to switch carriers at will, and not having an upgrade option from your carrier are just a few. They're all good, valid reasons and we're 100-percent behind folks who want to take a bit more control and save a few dollars if they can. And $450 is far from the most expensive contract-free price we've ever seen. But it is also a far cry from $99, so decisions will have to be made.
While it's likely that HTC made a few extra changes to Android for the First, chances are a cheaper, higher spec'd Nexus 4 is a better buy. Eventually Facebook Home will make it's way to other phones, and the Nexus 4 is bound to be on the short list. We won't presume to tell you how to spend your pennies, but it's something to consider.