Sprint Beefs Up Smartphone Lineup With HTC Hero: $180 On Contract

HTC's Hero just sounds like a powerful phone. And with Android loaded in, it's hard to dispute the allure. But up until now, anyone interested in bringing one home had to purchase a GSM version in unlocked form for use on AT&T or T-Mobile, and that required quite a few hundred dollars. Starting early next month, however, all that changes.

Sprint, home of "The Now Network," has just announced that it will be picking up the smartphone starting on October 11th, and it's not just the radio that'll be changing. The CDMA Hero will also boast a slightly refined look, one that dose away with the so-called "chin" and goes flat like the myTouch 3G. If you're keeping tabs, this marks Sprint's first-ever Android phone, and considering that it's the only carrier in America to carry the world's first webOS phone, we'd say that Sprint's phone lineup just keeps getting more and more attractive.

The device will support the network's EV-DO Rev. A system for speedy 3G downloads, and of course it'll handle all those great Google services (Google Maps, Gmail, Google Search, etc.) that Android devices are known for. What's most surprising is the asking price. With the Pre sitting at $199 on contract, Sprint is undercutting itself in the high-end smartphone realm by asking just $179.99 (after a $100 mail-in rebate) with a two-year agreement. And just think--people were calling for the downfall of Sprint just a year or so ago. Now, it's just an iPhone away from having America's most compelling smartphone lineup.