HTC Launches Android-Based Hero Smartphone

Man, what a month for cellphones! The Palm Pre, iPhone 3GS and T-Mobile myTouch 3G were just the beginning, as HTC has revealed its newest smartphone in back-to-back launch events in London and New York. While the handset hums along on Android, it's not a typical version of the OS. HTC asserts that its Hero is the world’s first Android-based phone with a customized user interface, a feature it's calling "Sense."

The Hero doesn't look all that different that the T-Mobile G1. There's still a crooked chin, a full touchscreen and a rectangular design. According to HTC, it boasts an anti-fingerprint screen coating for improved smudge resistance and a longer lasting, clearer display. The white model even includes an industry first: a Teflon coating. Talk about durability!

Other specifications include a 3.2" HVGA display, GPS, digital compass, gravity-sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, a 5 mega-pixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory. There's also a dedicated search button (to battle Apple's Spotlight), which lets you explore Twitter messages, your contact list, your inbox, or anywhere else within the phone. The Sense function is built around three main pillars: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected. All of these enable customization options never before seen on an Android device, which is probably in response to the highly flexible Palm Pre.

Another huge win for the phone is its integrated support for Flash. You heard right--Adobe has joined in to make the Hero the first smartphone that natively supports Flash web pages. For years, smartphone owners--particularly those who own an iPhone--have longed for this ability. Now that the Hero has it, we'd expect other smartphones to follow suit shortly. After all, Apple never has been too fond of playing second fiddle in anything. The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer, while a "distinct" version will land in North America later this year. The full specs and a few other highlights are below.


Processor Qualcomm® MSM7200A™, 528 MHz
Platform Android™
Memory ROM: 512 MB
RAM: 288 MB
Dimensions (LxWxT) 112 x 56.2 x 14.35 mm ( 4.41 x 2.21 x 0.57 inches)
Weight 135 grams ( 4.76 ounces) with battery
Display 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 320x480 HVGA resolution
- 900/2100 MHz
- Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
- 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
(Band frequency and data speed are operator dependent.)
Device Control Trackball with Enter button
GPS Internal GPS antenna
Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
3.5 mm audio jack
Camera 5.0 megapixel color camera with auto focus
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
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
Capacity: 1350 mAh
Talk time:
- Up to 420 minutes for WCDMA
- Up to 470 minutes for GSM
Standby time:
- Up to 750 hours for WCDMA
- Up to 440 hours for GSM
(The above are subject to network and phone usage.)
Expansion Slot microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
AC Adapter Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
DC output: 5V and 1A
Special Features G-sensor
Digital Compass