HTC Hero review

HTC takes aim at the iPhone again - but is the Hero a hit or a miss?

TODO alt text

Like the iPhone before it, the HTC Hero does not so much rely on its own applications than use the Market store to make it into that much of a better phone.

Admittedly, the Market is about one tenth the size of the App Store Apple has so lovingly crafted, but if such things as augmented reality and cheaper applications (with a lower cut taken by Google for each application) come to fruition, then it makes sense that this portal will quickly become a real alternative to the App store.

The htc hero android market

But the inbuilt options on the HTC Hero aren't that bad either, with the likes of the calculator and the calendar bringing a touch of Google fun to proceedings. It may sound like a little thing, but the graphical interface used with the calculator is a nice touch and makes everything feel a little bit more polished.

The Calendar obviously synchronises easily with your Google Calendar online, although when looking it in month mode there could be a better indication of when there's an event on the highlighted day.

The htc hero calendar

QuickOffice is obviously a nice touch on the phone, as it helps take the handset up a level in terms of usability. We especially liked the way in which we could edit documents using this program, as all too often these applications have a 'look but don't touch' ethos about them.

There's a PDF viewer on board as well, meaning that pretty much any kind of document is covered should you want to do a bit of remote office working, although we'd probably suggest you look at the horror of Windows Mobile if the 'office on the move' lifestyle is more your thing.

Twitter is obviously inbuilt to the phone through the 'Peep' application, which doubles as a widget that streams new Tweets through to the phone, and works quite nicely (although it does take a while to update).

The htc hero twitter

However, the fact that the phone notified you a Tweet had appeared meant our notifications bar was going ten to the dozen, and we swiftly dug down through a few menus to turn that specific option off.

We downloaded as many (free) applications as we could, and these are the pick of what we found:


Basically an Android version of the BBC iPlayer, this is a watered down version of the mobile application we've seen on the likes of the Nokia N97 and the Sony Ericsson W995.

It allows streaming of all the programmes available on the normal service, although at times the quality is so low we couldn't help but wonder whether the shows were recorded on somebody's video player and streamed over the internet.

Light Racer

You remember Tron? The film with all the wacky effects? That bit with the motorbikes where they had to cut each other off to win? Well, fuse that with Snake and imagine instead of steering you use a trackball, then you're most of the way there. Only one word for this application: awesome. OK, and another two: really difficult.

File Browser

This is so obvious it could be endorsed by Ronseal. But there's a lack of such an application on the HTC Hero, so we'd advise something like this if you want to actually find something you might have left stored on your microSD card.

Super Mario sounds and ringtones

Is it properly licensed? We don't know. But at the end of the day there's an application that lets you use the '1up' extra life sound effect as a ringtone, and pleasure your mates aurally with the sound of Mario jumping. It's a no-brainer.

Of course, there are thousands more Applications available... we just a) didn't want to pay for them and b) couldn't be bothered to look at ALL of them.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
Built-in Memory512 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.21 W/kg
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time7 Hour
Product ModelHero
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
Height112 mm
Width56.2 mm
Depth14.4 mm
Battery Standby Time750 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameHero Smartphone
Processor Speed528 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number99HHM005-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

HTC Hero is our first phone to embody HTC Sense an intuitive, seamless experience built upon three fundamental principles - make it mine, stay close, and discover the unexpected.

With HTC Hero, personalization reaches a level never before possible. Rather than burying important content under layers of menus, the HTC Hero lets you put it at glance view, with a selection of widgets that can be placed right on the home screen. The widgets themselves can be personalized with a variety of designs and sizes that best match your personality.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory288 MB