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HTC Hero review

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

Our Verdict

A good effort that will become the de facto alternative to the iPhone

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 512 MB
  • Battery Talk Time : 7 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Excellent Sense UI
  • Compact design
  • Responsive screen
  • Facebook and Twitter integration

Against

  • Poor camera
  • Lack of video codec support

HTC promised TechRadar it would be making more of an effort with cameras on its phones, and the HTC Hero has come with a 5MP effort, compared to the 3MP snapper stuck to the back of the Magic.

It's often said that more megapixels don't make a better camera in a phone, and that's sorely evident in the HTC Hero. The lack of flash is always going to make it hard to get sharp pictures, but even with good light and the AF working overtime on the camera, even the best efforts came out blurred.

The htc hero camera

There aren't any other picture taking options on there either, so night mode is out of the question, meaning this is strictly a day time camera.

So essentially the only upgrade on offer was more megapixels - and for some reason it seems to have actually made the photographs slightly worse.

See how the HTC Hero compares to the Olympus SP-565UZ

The htc hero

WASHED OUT: Colours on the HTC Hero look pale and lifeless compared to the Olympus

The htc hero

The htc hero

NOT SO BRIGHT: The cloudy sky and landscape aren't clearly defined with the HTC Hero's camera

The htc hero

The htc hero

INDOOR PROBLEMS: Pictures taken indoors suffer horribly from leaking light and give poor colour reproduction

The htc hero

The video camera is a bit 'standard mobile' as it only records in 352 x 288 resolution, which is far below the iPhone 3GS' VGA 30fps effort. The footage is of average quality, and it's certainly not enough to make you think this could be you only avenue for shooting footage when out and about.

It also takes a few seconds for the video to fire up, meaning that whatever you're looking to catch on camera might have already gone by the time you've taken the phone into camcorder mode and then focused and THEN started recording.

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
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Height112 mm
Width56.2 mm
Depth14.4 mm
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