First Impression of HTC Hero

HTC Scenes UIMy apologies to my readers waiting for my review of HTC Hero. It is only today that I had time to go into the Smartone-Vodafone store to check out the HTC Hero.

Previously I gave the HTC Magic a try and really did not like the feel of the Android OS on the Magic. Not sure whether this was a hardware issue or the nature of Android. When I tested the HTC Magic I was able to try the phone freely without any of the usual carrier security devices attached to the phone. For the HTC Hero, I wanted to try the phone without being bordered by any sales staff, so I just tried the display model, which had several security devices attached to the back and around the front of the screen.

Compared to the basic Android OS on the HTC Magic, the HTC Sense UI in the HTC Hero is much better. Since I was not able to use the phone freely with the security brackets and other security devices attached. I cannot really give the OS the full test I wanted. One of the security device actually obscure the screen partially.

I wish there was a HTC specialty shop where I can use the phone longer and freely. So far what I saw was good. The HTC Sense UI was fast in the Hero. I particularly like the way it unified all the contact information of an individual into one place; a very user centric approach. I cannot give the hardware much of a judgement due to the SMV security devices, but it did feel light. I also like the AR applications on the phone (I gave Wikitude a try), but those applications are also coming, from many of the same software manufactures, to the iPhone.

In the past I had found that I cannot live without my iPhone for more than a day, it is difficult to tell whether the HTC Hero can fulfill my needs in place of the iPhone. So at least for me, the time being, the jury is still out for the Hero.

I hope someone from HTC or Smartone-Vodafone can send me a review unit, so I can give the HTC Hero a proper review.

HTC Hero Available from Smartone-Vodafone

Smartone-Vodafone logoThis afternoon the mobile carrier Smartone-Vodafone has announced the price and tariff plans for the HTC Hero.

The top of the line plan is identical to the tariff planSmartone-Vodafone is offering iPhone users in Hong Kong, which they called “The Ultimate iPhone Experience“. The main difference being for the iPhone tariff plan, Smartone-Vodafone is not selling the iPhone 3GS themselves. Customers just have to bring in a proof of purchase from a Hong Kong Apple Authorized Reseller or Apple HK that is dated within 3 months.

The plan requires a 24 months contract with the carrier, plus a minimum subscription of HKD36.00 VAS per month. Giving the unlimited data plan a total monthly cost of HKD446.00 after taken into account the mandatory HKD12.00/month Administration fee.
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