HTC has unveiled yet another rival to the iPhone 3GS in the form of the teflon-coated HTC Hero smartphone – the latest to feature the Google Android operating system.
The HTC Hero features a customised user interface, ‘Sense’, on a 3.2-inch 320×480 resolution multi-touch LCD. There’s a 5Mp autofocus camera, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, G-sensor and compass, and the Hero takes micro-SD cards. The Hero handset also offers support for Adobe Flash and Microsoft Exchange.
HTC Hero branded as G1 Touch on T-Mobile
On the T-Mobile network, the HTC Hero will be branded as the T-Mobile G1 Touch, highlighting its evolution from the original T-Mobile G1. It will be available free on T-Mobile’s Flext tariff from £40 per month.
The HTC Hero will also be available on Orange from early July, free on selected tariffs, including an Orange 24-month £39.15 per month contract. It’s the first Android mobile phone to be offered on the Orange network.
The HTC Sense user interface is a customised overlay for the Android operating system , giving an innovative graphical interface to Android.
HTC Sense adds social networking details to contacts, so that the Hero becomes fully integrated with sites such as Flickr and Twitter. There’s also a function called ‘Scenes’ that lets users switch between weekday and weekend modes, so your phone can be personalised to be a business mobile during the week, and focus more on multimedia and social networking functions at the weekend.
HTC Hero Android apps
HTC makes particularly bold claims for the search function on the Hero: ‘Search just about anything, anywhere on your HTC Hero. The dedicated Search button combs through tweets in Twitter, locates people in your contact list, finds emails in your inbox, searches through appointments in the calendar and very nearly finds needles in haystacks.’
Of course, every smartphone these days has to have dowloadable applications (apps) or widgets, and the Google Android Marketplace provides a compelling alternative to Apple’s iPhone App Store. For more information read the .
Which? mobile phone expert Jon Barrow says: ‘the Hero is certainly more attractive than the initial Android G1 phone and its hardware sounds impressive.
‘However it’s the new Sense software that may offer the most appeal. This promises to make connecting with your favourite websites and contacts a whole lot easier, while its support for Flash-based websites gives it an advantage over the new . We look forward to seeing how its other features measure up when we test it in our lab.’
The HTC Hero is available now to pre-order sim-free for £429.99 from Amazon.co.uk, or for £399.99 sim-free from Play.com, with Amazon stating availability of the HTC Hero from 15 July, but Play predicting stock from 5 July.
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