Review: HTC Hero Sports Slick User Interface

The HTC Hero made a grand impression on analysts and industry watchers when it was first introduced, and our reviewer agrees that it's one of the best Android smartphones available. To find out why, read our comprehensive review.

The much-anticipated HTC Hero is a top contender in today's exploding touchscreen smartphone line-up. At Sprint, the HTC Hero is now battling the Samsung Moment for Android supremacy, advancing this open source platform from "nice try" to "impressive reality."

The HTC Hero, Click to EnlargeWith its readily personalized "scenes," vibrant multi-touch screen, clean lines, and ability to simplify all forms of communication, the Hero makes an excellent first impression. Dig deeper and you'll find more to love – along with key limitations that prevent the Hero from taking first place in the Android arena.

Like other Android smartphones, the Hero delivers ready access to Google mobile services, including Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Voice. Likewise, the Hero sports Android extensibility features like easily-added widgets and apps downloaded from the Android Marketplace. Although the Marketplace is still an order of magnitude smaller than Apple's App Store, Android's open approach and handset sales should spur rapid expansion.

But the Hero goes well beyond this Android/Google foundation. This smartphone's appeal starts with its clean, compact body. At 4.4" x 2.2" x 0.54" and 4.5 ounces, it is smaller and lighter than the Moment or iPhone 3GS. Pre-release Heroes exhibited an angular "chin" that has since disappeared, leaving a smooth, nearly button-free face and tiny-pearl trackball.

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