HTC's Hero marks the handset maker's latest and most emphatic Android-powered effort to tempt consumers away from shelling out for the all-powerful iPhone, and thanks to it's sleek design, new interface and impressive features, it's in with a good chance.
The front of the phone is dominated by a 3.2-inch touchscreen, leaving just enough room for a small speaker, a row of buttons including call start and end, a home button, menu, back and search, and the small trackball that we've come to expect from HTC's Android devices.
Then there is the 'chin' at the bottom of the phone, which HTC says is designed to make the Hero more comfortable to hold both in your hand and to your face. It certainly serves no other purpose, unless you count dividing opinion as a purpose - a quick office poll was split between those who thought it was stylish, and others who thought it made the Hero look old-fashioned. If anything, at least it sets it apart from the multitude of touchscreen candy bar handsets to have hit the market in the last 18 months.
The touchscreen's 320x480 resolution displays information very clearly, and the screen itself is coated with a similar type of oil-resistant material as the iPhone's, although inevitably it still gets smeared with grubby fingerprints.
The Hero's touch QWERTY keyboard is just big enough for the average pinkie...<more>