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Updated: September 8th, 2009

image Well, it looks like the wait is over. I have been waiting for almost 5 years for a new phone that is good enough to make the switch from Samsung A900 (which has free tethering). Don't even get me started on the iPhone and its outrageous monopoly with AT&T. Android and the growing multitude of devices running it is, however, completely different business. Android offers unparallel freedom and I truly believe it will be the top phone OS within a few years as more and more Android phones are introduced to the market.

But where was I? I have been closely following Android news since its inception, then the introduction of the first phone – T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream), followed by G2 (aka T-Mobile MyTouch 3G, HTC Magic, Google ION), the introduction of the app store (Android Market), and noticing throughout all this time that Android was still not quite there, not appealing to the masses, and not picking up speed. But then…

The Hero

I believe the market perception of Android is about to change because of the newest Android phone – HTC Hero. Thanks to Phandroid (my favorite Android blog) for the announcement.

Why

Hero has a super sexy Sense user interface. Just check out this video of the European version of Hero running Sense (the US version looks slightly different):

Hero also has:

  • Flash support (!) – the one from Adobe, not the one that helps taking photos. That means playing flash games, videos, etc, which iPhone does not support and is not planning to support in the near future.
  • First Android phone to support multitouch. It also has a trackball.
  • Lipophobic coating – special coating to repel fingerprint oils.
  • A speedy 528Mhz Qualcomm processor.
  • 5MP camera with autofocus – 5 megapixels is a step up over most of the competition, except maybe Nokia.
  • GPS.
  • Digital compass.
  • MicroSD slot for expanding memory.
  • WiFi 802.11b/g.
  • Accelerometer.
  • Audio supported formats: MP3, AAC(AAC, AAC+, AAC-LC), AMR-NB, WAV, MIDI and Windows Media® Audio 9.
  • Video supported formats: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 and Windows Media® Video 9.
  • And of course, it runs Android applications.

Check out this comparison between HTC Hero, MyTouch 3G, Apple iPhone 3GS, and BlackBerry Storm:

image

When

Hero is already released in Europe and is coming to the US to Sprint on October 11, 2009.

How Much

$179.99 after a mail-in rebate and a 2 year agreement with Sprint.

Speed/Lag Concerns

Initial reviews of the Hero reported occasional lag, especially with a lot of widgets activated on the home screens. However, it looks like the latest firmware updates may have fixed the lag issues. We will see very shortly.

The Chin

The US version of the Hero does NOT have the "chin" like the European version does. Compare the picture of the EU version (below) with the pictures of the US version (further down in the Media section).

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Pictures Of The US Version

image  image  image

I'm extremely excited about the Hero. It is the strongest Android contender on the market. Can you feel the excitement? Go out and get yours on October 11th!

Relevant Links

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer, blogger, and future millionaire (that last part is in the works). Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In the meantime, if you found this article useful, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee below.



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  • Kaca

    This mobile looks really powerful. And its features are excellent. I think it will possess all because the price is attractive.

  • S 4 Salman

    HTC Hero is definitely a super smart phone and a great contender to its rivals. For me it is really a Hero of Smart Mobile Phone.

  • http://www.tsshvac.com Indoor Air Quality Portland

    That looks like an amazing phone. I hope it can push the iPhone off of the market but that's just me and my hatred for Apple.

  • Sprint phones

    Totally agree with the guy above me. Hopefully all these new Android devices along with the HD2 coming out will put a huge make a huge dent in the Iphone sales. I hate the Iphone made having a smart phone "cool". Now every teenager with one thinks he's a technical expert.