Feeds

Hero: HTC names third Android smartphone

Enough to rival the iPhone 3G S?

Mobile application security vulnerability report

HTC has taken the covers off of its third smartphone based on Google’s Android OS. But does the firm’s latest phone sport sufficient features and a decent enough UI to shake the foundations at iPhone 3G S HQ?

HTC_Hero_02

HTC's Hero: an Android phone running HTC's own Sense UI

The first thing to mention about HTC’s new phone – called Hero – is that although it runs Android, HTC has layered its own interface over the top. This UI, called Sense, is said to provide “an intuitive and seamless experience” for users.

When Register Hardware played with Hero at its London unveiling earlier today, we discovered that while the UI looks and feels like Android, HTC’s Sense layer adds extra functionality to the device wherever it can.

For example, you can access email, text messages and Facebook updates from one person from within a single address book-like application.

Hero itself looks like the result of a one-night stand between HTC’s existing G1 and Magic handsets, but is a good deal slimmer: 112 x 56 x 14mm.

Hero also has a 15° curve running through its body that HTC claimed makes the phone perfectly shaped for holding in your hand and against your face.

HTC_Hero_sense_02

Bookmarks appear as web pages on Sense

Hero’s 3.2in, 320 x 480 touchscreen isn't unique, and neither is the anti-fingerprint coating HTC has added to the phone’s screen. The iPhone 3G S likewise has an "oleophobic" layer.

A Teflon coating apparently also gives the phone a durable white surface that’s soft to the touch - and won't get bits of fried egg stuck to it, presumably. We didn’t have long enough with Hero to test the durability of its body, but it didn’t feel any softer to touch than a normal smartphone.

Everything else on Hero is pretty much as you’d expect from a high-end HTC handset. The phone has a 5Mp camera with autofocus and is equipped with Assisted GPS, ensuring that the phone’s Footprint application can help geo-tag every image you snap.

HTC said Hero can hook itself up to the web through Wi-Fi 802.11b/g or at up to 7.2Mb/s over an HSDPA 3G connection. The phone’s also quad-band GSM enabled, the firm added.

Hero doesn’t have any user-accessible storage, but will accept Micro SD cards. HTC added that Bluetooth 2.0 support is included on Hero.

HTC_Hero_01

Available in Blighty next month

Hero's “Digital Compass” suggests HTC plans to market its latest phone as a direct rival to the iPhone 3G S, which also includes a digital compass.

HTC’s Hero will be available in Europe next month through T-Mobile and Orange. Price plans haven’t been unveiled. A North American Hero rollout is planned for later this year. ®

Latest Smartphone Reviews

Nokia N97
iPhone 3G S
HTC Touch Pro 2

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.