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HTC Hero

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24th June 2009

 HTC Hero

The HTC Hero is HTC's third distinct Android handset, demonstrating a further evolution of that operating systen combined with a little bit of HTC know-how.

 HTC Hero The hardware is a step up from the existing HTC Magic, but perhaps the most significant development here is under the hood. HTC have taken the standard Android interface and have added "HTC Sense", a enhanced user interface which HTC says is more people-centric and easier to use. HTC Sense is roughly equivalent to the TouchFLO interface found on HTC's Windows devices, and although HTC are very good at this sort of thing, the danger is that Android phones from different manufacturers will come with a very different look-and-feel.

One major improvement that the HTC Hero brings to the Android platform is support for Flash. Yup, we can't quite believe that it has taken all this time, but it does bring significantly greater capabilities to the phone and its browser.

The display on the HTC Hero is a 3.2" 320 x 480 pixel touch-sensitive panel with an anti-fingerprint coating to keep it clean. It's very similar to the display on HTC's other Android devices, and it lags behind the newest Windows phones in terms of resolution.. and behind the iPhone in terms of size.

The HTC Hero is a 3.5G phone with 900 / 2100 MHz UMTS support and quad-band GSM, although a future US version will probably support different UMTS frequencies. The Hero has a maximum download speed of 7.2 Mbps using HSDPA, and the maximum HSUPA upload speed is 2 Mbps. 802.11b and g WiFi is supported too, which is often a more cost effective way of transferring large amounts of data. Local connectivity is via Bluetooth 2.0 or USB.

On the back is a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, much better than the 3.2 megapixel one in the Magic. GPS is built-in for use with Google Maps and other location aware applications, and the HTC Hero also has a digital compass.

The built-in media player handles most common formats including MP3, AAC, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and Windows Media audio and video. And at last, the HTC Hero comes with a standard 3.5mm audio socket.

 HTC Hero detail The processor is a fairly standard Qualcomm MSM7200A running at 528 MHz, and internal RAM is a decent 288 Mb. Flash storage is via microSD cards, but we're not sure how much is built into the phone. The large 1350 mAh battery is quoted as giving 7 hours of talktime on 3G and an astonishing 31 days standby time - if these figures are accurate, then it means that you can talk on the HTC Hero for pretty much a whole working day.

The HTC Hero looks very different to the Magic and the HTC Dream / T-Mobile G1 devices. The squared-off shape is a little like the new HTC Touch Diamond phones, but it retains the Magic's trackball on a pronounced "kick" at the bottom of the phone. It does look quite distinctive, and not at all like the black slabby handsets that some of the competition come out with. The white version is Teflon coated to improve protection, the brown version presumably is not. Perhaps it doesn't have the exquisite looks of the iPhone, but the HTC Hero is certainly a good looking handset.

There's no word on pricing or carrier availability, although HTC say that the Hero should be available during July in Europe and Asia later in the summer, followed by a North America version later in the year. Our guess is that the HTC Hero will cost roughly €500 SIM-free, but will be much cheaper with a contract.

HTC Hero - video slideshow

HTC have provided us with quite a lot of pics for the HTC Hero, so we've put them together in a slideshow - or alternatively you can see our usual slideshow with commentary.



HTC Hero at a glance


July 2009 (Europe), Q3 (Asia), Q4 est (US)


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
UMTS 900 / 2100




3.2" 320 x 480 pixels


5 megapixels


PDA-style device
112 x 56 x 14mm / 135 grams



Memory card:












Battery life:

7 hours talk / 31 days standby (3G)
7.8 hours talk / 18 days standby (GSM)

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