After HTC had some problems releasing the HTC Hero in the Netherlands (for some reason it took a month longer than the official release date), I finally own one. HTC Hero works with Android, Google’s operating system. Quite a difference when coming from using a phone based on Windows Mobile. HTC uses it’s own user interface “HTC Sense”. The phone has different scenes, an important part of the interface. Scenes are “themes” defined for set activities. For example, the work theme has stock information while the social scene has social networking features up front.
The 5 megapixel camera on the HTC Hero is an huge improvement when coming from a phone with only 2 MP. The quality is quite okay for a phone but not to compare with photos taken with a normal photo camera. During the evening pictures are less sharp and colors are hard to define. The thing I miss is a special visual camera button. When making pictures you have to tap on the “camera” button in your menu.
You are able to geotag your pictures as well making videos with it.
The next 2 photos are taken with the HTC Hero during the day:
The homescreen of the HTC Hero is totally customizable. I’ve filled it with shortcuts to my mailclient, calendar, camera, browser, bookmarkts, Google Talk and I’ve got the time-, and weather applications. Besides the mean screen there are 6 other screens to customize with widgets, schortcuts and pictures. Personally I like HTCs own Twitter client/widget “HTC peep” a lot.
Note that widgets which need internet (like the weatherwidget) can make the performance of your Hero a bit slower. I prefer putting those widgets not on the homescreen.
This is my first Android based phone and I am amazed by the possibilities in the Android Market. Many of the apps are free, downloading is easy and managing and deleting them as well. Some of my favorite apps I have downloaded over the last week are:
- Layer (GPS and compass based, the Dutch version contains info from ATM machines, Hyves and Funda)
- Translate (Based on Google Translate)
- eBuddy (MSN, Facebook chat en Google talk in just one app)
- Buddyrunner (personal GPS based trainer)
- Locale (not at home nor in the office? The app shuts down the wifi F.E. It’s GPS and time based)
- Shazam (known from the iPhone, easy recognizing songs)
- Het Weer (contains Buienradar and weather expectations)
- The easy use of widgets and the way you can customize nearly everything
- Many free (GPS based) apps on the Android Market
- The clearness of the screen, colors are very bright
- The operating system is easy to use, even my dad could handle the phone without reading any instructions
- The few visual buttons and the trackball below the touchscreen. Especially the “home”, “menu” and “search” buttons are great. You can use the searchbutton in every program. F.E. in the Android Market you can always tap on the searchbutton to go searching for an app.
- 3,5 mm jack
- Actually I find the design of the phone itself not the most beautiful…
- The standard browser can be a little slow on 3G (will install Opera mini in the future, hope it solves the problem)
- I haven’t figured out yet how to make screenshots..
- When you are not used to type on screen the first days can be hard
- Battery time, I had to charge it nearly every day (but using wifi, 3g and gps a lot)
- The phone itself has only 512 mb internal storage but can be expanded to 32 gb by Micro SD
Useful Hero reviews
- A week with the HTC Hero (video series)
- Androidplanet (NL)
- Tweakers (NL)