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HTC Hero review

HTC takes aim at the iPhone again - but is the Hero a hit or a miss?

The HTC Hero is well stocked in terms of connectivity options, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS and aGPS as well as HSDPA all on board and working nicely.

The Wi-Fi was as good as it has been before on the phone, quickly finding networks and locking onto them whenever they came back into range.

The htc hero notifications

There's also a neat option to get a notification whenever an open network was in range, so if you're browsing out and about you can hop into new connections whenever needed.

Mobile data connectivity was good, if a bit erratic. We're still at a loss how we can be roaming onto other data networks in the UK, even though we turned off data roaming at the behest of the phone when we fired up the handset. It means that often we can't access the internet due to an annoying little 'R' appearing in the top right hand corner, and was most perplexing.

GPS was nice and fast and played well with Google Maps. The mapping software on the HTC Hero was as good as ever, with Streetview happily popping up when we needed it. The location-finding service was in good fettle throughout our use of the phone, with other location-based services picking up the signal quickly and accurately.

The htc hero

Whether it was our experience with other phones in the interim period or not, the compass on board the HTC Hero seemed to be faster and more accurate when spinning around in StreetView and the downloadable compass application.

We also enjoyed a spot of Bluetooth stereo streaming with our Altec Lansing BackBeat 906 headphones, which connected quickly and played music back at a decent volume, so no complaints there.

PC connectivity appeared to be a little bit more difficult though, with the HTC Sync software not available with the phone when we connected it up to the PC. We tried to download the new software from the HTC website, but all we were sent to is the HTC UK home page, and the phone told us to go a support page that didn't list the Hero.

The htc hero sync

While we fully recognise the final version may a) ship with the software on the phone/in the box and b) the website obviously doesn't support an unreleased phone, it was still massively annoying as we couldn't test out the synchronisation software with the PC.

UPDATE: This now works fine on the Hero - so don't worry if you want to synchronise your phone to your PC in all the ways you want to - it will happen.

It may be there's some blindingly simple way to make it work on the PC, but we hope that we have the skills of the average consumer, and they will also find the experience an annoying one too.

In the face of the behemoth that is iTunes for the iPhone, we would have hoped to see a lot more from the synchronisation software on the HTC Hero.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Built-in Memory512 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.21 W/kg
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time7 Hour
Product ModelHero
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Height112 mm
Width56.2 mm
Depth14.4 mm
Battery Standby Time750 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameHero Smartphone
Processor Speed528 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number99HHM005-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

HTC Hero is our first phone to embody HTC Sense an intuitive, seamless experience built upon three fundamental principles - make it mine, stay close, and discover the unexpected.

With HTC Hero, personalization reaches a level never before possible. Rather than burying important content under layers of menus, the HTC Hero lets you put it at glance view, with a selection of widgets that can be placed right on the home screen. The widgets themselves can be personalized with a variety of designs and sizes that best match your personality.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory288 MB