Feeds
80%
HTC Hero

HTC Hero Android smartphone

Cometh the hour, cometh the mobile?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Review HTC is currently balancing its prodigious smart phone output between its long-established Windows Mobile series of handsets and those running Google's Android operating system. The Hero follows the G1 and the Magic in HTC's Android line-up and comes with a fistful of updates. These include a new user interface, multi-touch screen, 5Mp camera and enhanced social networking functions, as well as the usual Wi-Fi, A-GPS and the ever-growing Android Market app store.

HTC Hero

HTC's Hero

The 3.2in, 480 x 320-pixel touch screen takes up most of the front of the HTC Hero, with a thin strip of a speaker grille above and two rows of buttons – call start and stop, menu and home – immediately beneath the screen. Further down are the trackball and two additional buttons for search and back. There's no obvious reason why the bottom keys should be crammed over on the right hand side – where they're awkward for right-handers to reach – rather than being spaced evenly around the trackball.

The screen is the same as that on the earlier HTC Magic but it's now acquired an oil-resistant coating, similar to the iPhone's, which is supposed to cut down on fingerprints. It works too, but like the iPhone, you'll still have to wipe it occasionally.

Controls on the sides are sparse with just a large volume rocker, which doubles as an up/down cursor control, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack on top and the mini USB power/sync port on the bottom. The back is coated with a resin that adds a degree of grippiness and is home to the camera lens. The HTC Hero will take microSD cards up to 32GB and the slot is under the back cover.

At 135g feels more robust than the Magic's 116g, even though the size is much the same at 112 x 56 x 14mm and it retains that odd little chin at the bottom. A feature that doesn't serve any practical purpose according to HTC – it's just one of those 'brand identifier' things. Cosmetic changes to the casing aside, the major difference between the Hero and its predecessors becomes clear with the new Sense user interface, the first big change in the appearance of the Google Android operating system. HTC has clearly made the same sort of effort with Android that it has with Windows Mobile – not that it needed quite so much – to make it more user friendly, as well as distinctive.

HTC Hero

Grippy backed plastic

Where previously there were three home screens to adorn with widgets, now there are seven – three on either side of the main one. They're all fully customisable too. Just press and hold a blank bit of screen, and the widgets menu pops up, allowing you to choose whichever you like, as often as you like. You can choose between Android and HTC widgets – some of which contain full-screen versions of messages, weather and the like – and there's also a selection of 'Scenes' available with different background themes and preset functions, which can also be customised.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
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
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
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
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.