HTC's Facebook phone: Why I'm completely, utterly smittenIt’s small, silver, with a cramped display and a telltale blue Facebook button sitting just beneath the keypad. Meet the HTC Status, a.k.a. the Facebook phone, and folks, I’m in love with this thing.

Like a lot of instant crushes, this one’s a little difficult to explain. After all, by most standards, the Status is not all that amazing of a phone.

Powered by the latest version of Google’s Android OS (always a good start) but a decidedly middle-of-the-road processor, the Status has what must be the smallest touchscreen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone.

We’re talking just 2.6 inches across, diagonally—almost a full inch smaller than the iPhone’s screen and only a fraction the size of the largest Android handsets. Checking your Gmail, reading the latest scoops from the New York Times, and watching YouTube on the Status demand sharp eyes, lots of scrolling, nimble fingers, and fair amount of patience. (Luckily, the Status comes with a quartet of arrow keys in the bottom corner of the keypad.)

HTC's Facebook phone: Why I'm completely, utterly smitten

Press the dedicated Facebook button to quickly share photos, videos, or interesting online tidbits with your Facebook pals.

But then we come to the Facebook button, which sits right beneath the (roomy) full keypad. Tap it anytime to post a status update, photo, or video to your Facebook wall. (The Status boasts a decent, five-megapixel camera in back, along with a so-so VGA lens in front for video chat.)

Or, better yet, press the button when you come across something on the Status’s (tiny) web browser you’d like to share. You’ll get the chance to add a message and choose a thumbnail (in the case of webpages with photos) before posting anything Facebook, and get this—the button glows whenever you come across something online that’s ripe for sharing. Kinda silly, I know…but I loved it.

I’m also hopelessly smitten with how the Status looks. Its white-and-silver design feels as light and airy as a pair of white-framed sunglasses, or a white Polo shirt with the collar up. (Sorry…it’s beyond my control.)

Then there’s the slight angle in the phone’s shell, which lets the Status hug your face while you’re on a call, not to mention, the tactile, attractive, and thumb-friendly keypad.

No, I can’t really defend my infatuation with the Status, although I can say with some objectivity that at $49 with a two-year contract, the price is right. (The phone goes on sale Sunday, July 17, though AT&T, but you can pre-order it now.)

I’ll leave you with a photo spread—er, gallery—of the Status to gaze upon. Enjoy, and let me know if a) it’s love at first sight, or b) I’ve gone off the deep end.