Whilst many of you may not be familiar with the brand, HTC (formerly High Tech Computer Corporation) has quietly been turning out some of the most intuitive smart phones in recent years. Here we look at one of its mid-price touch screen based smart phones, the HTC Hero.
For those considering a smart phone, many will plump straight for the ubiquitous Apple iPhone without giving the competition a second look. Other notable contenders that spring to mid are Nokia's N series of smart phones and now the ever-growing HTC range which are often overlooked for their more famous counterparts.
For those not wanting to go the obvious Apple route the HTC Hero makes good sense. First of all the Hero looks great. It's available in either sliver or black and the silver version especially looks very sophisticated and is without doubt one of the best looking gadgets around today.
Despite the slightly tacky name, the Hero runs Google's fairly new to the market mobile operating system, Android. This lends it a modern, quick to respond phone unlike the Nokia Ns series which use the rather ancient Symbian operating system. This OS is continuously in development and often sees sufficient significant updates with new features continuously being released. The add-on application market for Android based phones is also growing at a huge rate, offering an already extensive range of applications similar to the iPhone Apps store from Apple. The added bonus with using Android though is that the majority of the applications seem to be free, unlike their iPhone equivalents.
The feature that really stand out to me was the personalization feature where you have a specific screen for different tasks, such as working on documents, surfing the web, etc. You can easily flick between these screens to work on another project and then return to a previous one. A great but simple idea which also makes the phone great fun and very satisfying to use and, dare I say it, easily comparable to the iPhone or iPod Touch user experience.
The camera also seemed to take good, clear and noise free shots despite the lack of a flash is a noticeable omission from the specification. Having said this the iPhone was never a great picture taking device, only getting a camera fairly recently. Tweaking the Hero's image settings, particularly the contrast, down a few notches really help the pictures in darker conditions.
Other notable features are an integrated music and video player. This aspect may not be quite up to the high standard set by the iPhone, where you essentially get a free iPod Touch integrated into the device but it does a commendable job nonetheless.
With it's great roster of features, particular the multi-tasking windows and its speedy Android operating system the HTC is a relatively unknown but very capable smartphone. Not only this but having HTC's latest gadget laden phone will set you free from the Apple-following herd, and you will not sacrificing and style or functionality into the bargain.