HTC Hero finally hits the shops

One of the year's hottest smartphones steps out

THe HTC Hero available to buy

Orange UK has finally released the new HTC Hero into its stores and online, finally putting to bed the rumours punters would have to wait until August.

The news was broken of the impending launch by Orange yesterday in a message on Twitter, with the network being the first in the world to bring it to market.

The htc hero

It will come free on selected price plans, exclusively on the Orange network (for now, with T-Mobile releasing a rebranded version in the G2 Touch), and will cost £39.15 per month on a two-year contract, giving users unlimited data usage and text message as well as 1,200 minutes of free calls.

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Blinking first

Orange was first to list the phone for sale, giving a hint over what was to come from HTC's third Android phone.

TechRadar's review of the phone has shown it to be a real powerhouse in the smartphone stakes, although there are a few problems with the processing, with noticeable lag at times and lightweight video playback.

The htc hero

T-Mobile's deals will apparently cost from £40 per month, although the network hasn't given a definite release date as yet.

Independent retailers were showing the Android-toting Hero for pre-order for the princely sum of £429, but now you contract lovers can get your hands on it too.