Android

My HTC Hero from Sprint is finally here

Hero

Sometimes I'm amazed by my patience while waiting for new gadgets to arrive, but when there's a new smartphone coming out that I have been anxiously awaiting and a way to get it a few days early, I spring into action. Today was one of those days, so I decided to brave the nasty weather here in Texas and head out in search of my first Android device.

It seems that Best Buy is offering an early purchase of the HTC Hero from Sprint to Reward Zone members, valid either Friday or Saturday, before it goes on sale to the general public this Sunday. Being an RZ member, I immediately decided to take advantage of the offer instead of ordering from Sprint.

Best Buy sells the Hero for an out-the-door price of $179.99 on a new or upgraded two-year contract, with no mail-in rebates required. This is a much better deal than ordering directly through Sprint Telesales, where the phone is $279.99 and you must wait for a $100 mail-in rebate to drop the price down.

I've really been wanting an Android device ever since seeing the T-Mobile G1 last year and so far in my limited testing, the Hero looks like a very nice alternative to the other smartphones out there, especially the one hailing from Cupertino. Many reviewers across the web seem to agree; this is one solid device on both the hardware and software front.

This weekend I'll be busy trying out all of the features on the phone, so I should have a mini-review very soon. In the meantime, if there are any questions about the Hero, just ask in the comments and I'll try and answer them for you.

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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

Avatar of Chris King

21 thoughts on “My HTC Hero from Sprint is finally here

  • How’s the web browsing so far? The resolution doesn’t sound promising, but maybe the browser makes up for it?

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  • Avatar of GeoffreyM

    How is the virtual keyboard and how is the speed of the OS on that processor? I’m debating waiting for the Samsung Moment.

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  • So far, the web browsing works very well and render pages nicely. It’s not quite as fast as the iPhone or Pre, but it is right there. The resolution is not a problem at all, I have been zooming about the same as my iPhone.

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  • The virtual keyboard works great, and I especially like the option of haptic feedback instead of clicks. The size is slightly smaller than the iPhone, but there are some nice touches like a button to hide the keyboard and another one to quickly go to the settings.

    So far the processor speed is not even an issue, the OS runs fine on it and seems very responsive. I decided on the Hero over the Moment because I prefer a device without a sliding keyboard and I like the glass screen. I’ll have to break my keyboard rule with the N900, though…

    Reply
  • Couple of questions.
    1- How do I change the city on the digital clock/weather that’s on the home screen? It says Kansas City & I’m not in Kansas City!
    2- How do I get the browser to automatically pull up my home page as opposed to the last page I was on?
    3- Am I just out of luck on the “easy button” for transferring my contacts? It looks like Mobile Sync is not available for the Hero & I can only get Bluetooth to “pair”, it won’t connect.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Avatar of GeoffreyM

    Thanks, Chris. I’m considering getting this as a new toy. It looks like the best Android device out so far. The fact that apps can only be installed to ROM is a bit of a downer, but I don’t know if that’s really a big deal.

    Reply
  • Avatar of GeoffreyM

    I’m not sure how, but my computer just mysteriously ordered an HTC Hero. Very weird.

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  • I agree, the Hero is probably the best Android handset out right now, and if HTC and Sprint keep up with updates (Donut), then it will get even better.

    I wouldn’t worry about the app storage, they are so small anyways.

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  • I forgot to mention, there is a hidden feature in the browser on the Hero. If someone who happens to own one comments to another person in a forum or on a blog, that other person’s computer suddenly take on a life of its own… :-)

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  • Hopefully this will help, Misty…

    1 – Make sure your clock is set to update automatically and that your location setting is on. I actually didn’t have to do anything to mine, it automatically picked up the city and shows it on the main screen under the flip clock.

    2 – The only way to do this is to actually close the browser and then reload it, but here is the problem…when you switch apps, they merely go to the background and stay open. You can download an app called “Advanced Task Manager Free” from the Android Market to kill the browser and then you can have your home page when you reload it. Hopefully this “bug” can be fixed down the road.

    3 – Sorry, can’t help you out on this one.

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  • Even slower than iPhone? which is already too slow to be acceptable to me. Try Opera Mini 5, by far the only browser for daily browsing.

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  • Avatar of Ethan

    I would prefer one of the Windows Mobile HTC models though. I think it was good device!

    Reply
  • Avatar of GeoffreyM

    I just assumed it was this site itself having that affect on my computer and wallet.

    Reply
  • Thanks for your help, Chris! I downloaded that app, hopefully that will help the brower situation. :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of jeremy

    so you’re the guy who wants windows on his phone…. i was wonder who it was.

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  • It should be noticeably slower than the 3GS and Pre. It only has an ARM11 CPU, right?

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  • Yup, it’s running the popular ARM11 at 528 Mhz, I believe. Seems plenty fast for the OS, but I haven’t tried any thing that would overstress it, like video.

    No worse than an iPhone 3G is probably a good way to put it, since the 3GS is obviously faster.

    Reply
  • A question for you.

    1. Are there any apps to help load pdf’s or ms work/excel? If so, what’s your opinion on their ease of use?

    I don’t want a windows based phone…no matter what!

    Reply
  • Have you tried Opera Mini on this? It really does seem superior to most pre-installed browsers out there, for mobile devices.

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  • Yes, the Hero does have a PDF reader and Quickoffice. I havent used them, but I would assume they work for basic viewing.

    If these built-in apps don’t work for you, I’m sure there are plenty of alternatives in the Android Market.

    Reply
  • From what I have read, Opera Mini on the Hero is not very good and is meant more for the G1 phone with its physical keyboard.

    The browser I have been using is called “Dolphin Browser”, and it is *much* better than the stock browser. It uses the same engine, but it has so many more features including tabs and gestures, plus the option to easily show the address bar without having to resort to the hard Menu key.

    Reply

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