The Good Epic customisability; well-designed home screen widgets with live updates; easy-to-use keyboard; convenient Android Market for apps; multitouch capability; Flash support; 3.5mm headphone jack; Facebook integration.
The Bad Sluggish at times; Flash video is dodgy; no easy way to back up and restore; button and menu overkill.
The Bottom Line If you can stand the Hero's occasional sluggishness, it's a fantastic smart phone packed with great features. We like its distinctive looks, and the innovative user interface brings Android much closer to being as fun and good-looking as the iPhone OS, while being far more customisable. Occasional lag and Android's rough edges mean it's not quite an iPhone killer, but it's definitely fighting in the same class
The HTC Hero (also known as the T-Mobile G2 Touch) is a fantastic touchscreen smart phone with enough style and power to take on Apple's iPhone 3GS and come out alive. It's got zillions of useful features that make it a pleasure to use, from an address book that links to Facebook to a Teflon coating that dodges finger grease. We wish it were slightly faster, and its little chin may scare babies, but the Hero could rescue us from our iPhone addiction.
The Hero is available from free on a £34.25-per-month contract with Orange, but be sure you
get the £4.89 add-on that gives you 500MB of data each month. It will also be available from T-Mobile, although
the company hasn't announced prices yet. You can pick it up SIM-free for around
We feared for the Hero when we first saw its publicity snaps. It looked like a trimmed-down version of its ugly older brother, the T-Mobile G1, due to its oddly angled chin. Thankfully, the Hero is much better-looking in person, although we still prefer the looks of its predecessor, the HTC Magic. Rakish bevelled edges, a subtle brushed-metal trim, and a matte surface on the case -- made of fingerprint-fighting Teflon -- all add up to a phone that we'd be proud to wield.
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