HTC Hero - Android At Its BEst
We're very impressed with the way HTC has fixed a huge number of the problems which bugged us on both the Orange and the T-Mobile versions of the Hero / G2 Touch.
Essentially most of the lag has disappeared from the early model we had, and the experience is very smooth now, with a couple of minor exceptions.
And there's still more to come - Android 1.6 (Donut) will be dropping in the near future, meaning some fundamental changes as well, with elements like shutter speed on the camera heavily improved.
We'll be re-re-reviewing some of the top Android devices when this hits, so check back again when the new version finally arrives.
There's a lot to like about the HTC Hero. A lot. Be it the multiple home screens, the option to change scenes to suit the time of day, the Facebook integration or even the responsive touchscreen.
It's clear this is the best Android phone yet (we know that's not hard to do given there's only three, but this is a big improvement over the Magic).
The Android system is still as easy to use as ever, and the customisation available on each home screen is amazing, with easy dragging and dropping of icons into the bin should you want to remove them.
Call quality is good, the Android Market is easily the second best application portal on the market at the moment, and the overall feel of the device was nice and not too dinky. Overall, the highs hit were pretty high indeed.
However, there were lows to talk about as well, although they are now more minor than they were prior to release. The weather lag is a bit of a disappointment, and there are some glitches in things like scrolling through messages, with some disappearing for a short time sporadically.
The camera quality was also laughable, both in terms of video recording and photography. We know HTC isn't the biggest name in this market, but simply whacking on a 5MP sensor and then not following it up with some decent optics or image processing software is a bit of a cop-out.
We wanted to love the HTC Hero so much, as it sounded like a real alternative to the iPhone (and we need a few more of those).
And for the most part it is. As we picked up the phone, we quickly got excited by the likes of Facebook integration and being able to stock our home screen(s) with a million different options.
And in terms of overall slickness it's now very close to the iPhone. It's wrong how nearly every touchscreen on the market is compared to Apple's device, as most aren't aiming to be the same thing, but the HTC Hero is clearly a competitor, and it competes very well.
The media experience isn't good enough, being a little bit too basic and the video playback isn't enough for us.
However, don't get us wrong, this is a great phone and pleasingly, the firmware updates has sorted many of the problems we first encountered.
It's good enough for us to raise the HTC Hero / G2 Touch up to the level of the iPhone - we know some will disagree with the notion, but for us it's the best anti-iPhone option on the market, as shown by the slew of awards it's garnered in recent months.
We're expecting a greater number of Android phones this year with more from HTC and the Sense UI, so it's even better than we can expect improved handsets, and the next one could just be the bullet that shatters the Apple.
HTc Hero Versus the Competition
Currently, there is no Bugatti Veryon of the phone world. However there are alot of super car type phones on the market. For instance the iphone 3g that people rave about would probably be a Ferrari, the Samsung Omnia an Evo, but people buy their phones/cars for different reasons and we don’t all want to join the Ferrari club so then what. Well the HTc has proven to be a good alternative. One could call it a lambogini, delivering performance that rivals and betters the iphone depending on the functions used such as the multi tasking ability and customization of the multi screen home page.
You’d probably have read up on the phone and all it does if not you should do so now as I am only going to outline a few of the things that this phone really does do well so here are just a few important Pros and Cons
Fully customisable 7 screen home page, everything you want, all your favourite apps in a few slides of your finger.
Android market allows you to download lots of free aps, ringtones, games etc.
Great touch screen interface, texting is great and my hands are huge as in scary huge.
Good sound, average camera but great in day with 5mp, alas no flash for night time.
Android operating system not windows so things like surfing the net and usability way better. If you have a windows phone then get this you will prefer it.
Internet, Gps, Gprs 3g email the usual all great. First time I have had ‘H’ appear which is high speed broadband faster than 3g.
Set up can take time if your phone provider does not support it, but this can be sorted easily enough
There is lag that people talk about but it is laughable that it is even called lag. Its like turning the pages of a book and having to lick your finger once in a while, does that really spoil the reading.. err no. The actually phones works very fast and its more likely it just gets ahead of itself.
And your grubby fingers will dirty the screen so get a screen protector, but really there are no real cons with this phone, it’s all about what you like and if you want to be different but as good. If you really love the iphone then get one if you don’t then get this!!
In short, when upgrade time comes I will ask if this has been made into an HD version and get it, if not, would wait!!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
although this phone is a bit dated its still great.good touchscreen, very loud speaker,not bad camera but no flash for use at night.its an android mobile on version 1.5 but its getting a revamp with version 2.1 in april.the android app store is great,not as many as the iphone but the iphone apps store is at least 75% rubbish apps and the rest good.the android store is around 40% rubbish and 60% good with alot more free than the iphone. you can download youtube videos and keep them on your memory card for later viewing even when these no signal unlike other smart apple phones. best app is neo music,all 500000 mp3 songs are free to download and keep.internet browsing is great and bbc iplayer works a treat on 3g or wifi.skynews and bbc news apps work well and ebay,facebook,twitter work great.plenty of free apps for ringtones and wallpapers.google maps and streetview work quickly with no problems.phone is well built and fits in hand great.much cheaper than iphone with more useful free apps.you can even get software to trick your itunes so you can download your tunes from itunes on your pc or mac onto your hero.ive bought this for my daughter and she uses the apps on the hero more than on her ipod touch which if you notice that because iphone becomes more popular lately the apps are getting more costly and more rubbish being released.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
By far the best phone I've owned.
I bought it to replace my SE Xperia X1 windows mobile device...the daily frustrations caused by using it became too much! Incidently these were caused mostly by Windows but I wouldn't let Sony completely off the hook.
I had been considering the iphone for a while but am loath to paying those kind of prices (handset and or contract) then I discovered that the Android platform had been moving along very nicely since the launch of the G1 and the Hero seemed to tick most boxes for me.
Immediately after switching it on for the first time till now (approx 3 months on) I have been extremely happy with both the phone and the Android operating system. It just makes sense...the layout, the look, the feel, the practicality and much more. I can confidently say I will never have a Windows mobile device again, no matter how much they gloss it up on the outside. Everything on the hero works and if there is anything the phone doesn't do out the box, there is an app for it in the marketplace. Although the iphone has more apps available, they all have to be 'approved' by apple where as google have made android 'open source' so pretty much everything is available. I have a tethering app which uses my 3g connection to make the phone give out a wifi connection to my laptop! I have an overclock app which makes the phone quicker when in use and the processor practically shut down when the screen is off making the battery last up to three days! The compass with google maps street view is amazing...the games are very addictive...the internet browser is a million miles from win mo browsing...pinch zooming...pdf reader...great email client...good, large, clear screen..responsive touch screen...the list goes on!
Downsides; I always multi task, so whilst web pages are loading, I may refur to emails or use an ebay app, take calls in-between whilst streaming music to the last.fm app so power is an issue...I will always want more power and I have to make sure I properly close anything I'm not using to stop the phone lagging too much...I've also discovered its important to delete any apps that I dont really use just to keep the performance up. Overall as Im sure you can tell I am very happy and would and often do recommend it to anyone!
Overall I am happy with HTC Hero, a step away from your non-touch screen mobiles but in all honesty what made me buy this phone was for the sheer novelty of it.
It's a cheap mans Iphone let's put it like that. And for a man who vows never to purchase an apple product the HTC hero was a great compromise considering it's almost third the price of an iphone.
It's features are what you'd expect from a high end phone (high end for this month anyway) with capactive touchscreen, downloadable apps, link to your social websites like twiter, facebook etc but after the sand has settle there isn't that much to right home about. It make calls and texts but you have to combat the touchscreen qwerty keyboard first, and his a camera (but no flash I'm afraid and no features which corrects the image if you have a touch of the Parkinsons)it has some memory (2gb sd card) but I really don't feel like there is anything that exciting about this phone worth writing about.
THe roller ball at the bottom of the phone seems completely redundant with the touchscreen feature and the function keys are tricky to press with there awkward positioning on the phone and tiny size.
But in some ways I guess that is what is good about this phone. It does all the usual things you expect from a phone no more, no less. It works, I'm happy with the sound quality, the speaker is crystal clear, the video playback is fine, the wifi and gps connections are strong. the web browser is very good, and there are features which can be downloaded to improve the phone too.
I give it a good but I look forward to seeing the next generation of HTC's