Feeds

Hero: HTC names third Android smartphone

Enough to rival the iPhone 3G S?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.