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I both love and hate this phone. I love the Android operating system. It's very elegant and easy to use. The Market is filled with Apps, and I was able to find an app for everything that I needed to do. I've used several different Android phones and generally found that the Android OS is reliable and stable. The phone and the user interface is also visually appealing. Simply put, the phone and the OS are beautiful.

HTC is known for adding its own modifications to the internal OS on all of its phones, and this one is no exception. HTC has modified Android on this phone to make it better looking and in some cases easier to use. However, those modifications may also have introduced problems, as I'll explain, below.

There also seem to be some serious build quality issues at HTC. The first phone that I got experienced an intermittent problem that caused the voice recognition feature to never work the first time. If more than 30 seconds passed and I tried to use it, it would be wrong the first time, no matter what I said. This was a minor issue, but there's really no reason why it should have occurred on one phone and not on another. I got a replacment phone, and the voice recognition now works, but it takes forever (up to 20 seconds after I stop talking) to work at times. There are a ton of posts on the internet about voice dialing problems on this phone, and so I'm not the only one complaining.

Voice dialing is a major issue with this phone because the phone lacks any tactile keys. When you're driving and you want to make a call, you can dial on a phone with a regular keypad by touch. Since this phone has no keys, you either have to look at the keypad, or you have to use voice dialing. Voice dialing on other phones (including the Samsung Moment and even my very old Motorola RAZR) can work very, very well. Unfortunately, on this phone, it just doesn't.

HTC also makes the Google Nexus One, and it too has had a mixed reception on quality issues.

Even worse, my first Hero also had repeated crashes of software that should have worked fine, including the application that you use to program the phone with your phone # and MSID. These are basic phone functions, and they really shouldn't crash.

My second phone continues to have application crashes for apps that I know should work fine, and do work fine on other phones. For example, today, the telephone dialer application crashed. The telephone dialer application is the application that gives you a dialpad so you can use the phone. It's a basic application, and shouldn't EVER crash. Yet, on the HTC Hero it crashed for me today.

I suspect that HTC's modifications to Android are responsible, as the problems have occurred on two different HTC Hero phones, and I've found that other Android phones are very reliable.

While HTC's modifications make the Android OS visually appealing, they also replace text based labels which are easy to understand with often confusing icons. HTC's modifications also make the phone take about 30 seconds longer to boot-up. There is simply no reason why HTC needed to do this to its customers. Honestly, I'd rather they at least give me the option to disable their enhancements...

(Update: Apparently, you can disable at least SOME of them: Go to the Home Screen, Press MENU button, Press Settings, Press Applications, Press Manage Applications, wait for the OS to compute application usage, Scroll down the list until you see HTC Sense and select it to go to the Application Info page, Press the Clear Defaults button, Press the HOME button. You will be prompted to select which app to compete the action with. Select Home and chose to make this the default action. If you want SenseUI back, follow the same steps, but instead of selecting "HTC Sense" from the applications list, select the application called "Home" (not the HOME button), and then clear the defaults.)

The processor may also be a bit slow. I've noticed on several occasions that the phone seemed to miss the fact that I pushed on certain buttons. For example, in order to answer calls on an HTC modified phone, you have to swipe your finger down the screen. On several occasions, I've actually missed calls because the phone didn't register my swipe until the call went to voicemail.

Why not just use the hard buttons? Good question! The layout of the call and answer buttons makes them very hard to use for someone with medium to large size hands, so its difficult to push one of them without also pushing one of the other nearby buttons. The speakerphone volume is also a bit low, making it almost useless when you're in a car.

Also, if you have a bluetooth headset and you're used to using the button on it to activate voice dialing, you're going to be disappointed. For some reason, HTC didn't properly implement that feature. So, if you push the button on your bluetooth headset or speakerphone, nothing happens. Again, this is a basic feature built into most phones nowadays, and it surprises me that HTC didn't implement it on their flagship Android phone.

I've also used a Motorola Cliq (which also runs Android) and the Samsung Moment and found them to be quite reliable. The Moment definitely has a better screen, is a little larger than the Hero, and has a slide-out keyboard. Given my experience thus far, I think that I like the Moment better. Although it's a bit larger and I don't really care about a slide out keyboard, I can't stand the apps crashing on the HTC Hero..
44 comments82 of 95 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 2, 2010
I initially had gone for Blackberry's new 8350 Curve after switching from an iPhone. I made the switch because Sprint is the only service with repeaters in our hospital and so is the only service readily available throughout. The new Curve is a functional, cost-effective phone but I genuinely missed the ability to read webpages as they are and the features of a touchscreen in general. I read of the battery issues with the HTC Hero but was convinced that if I avoid the native messenging system that it would be fine and that has turned out to be the case. I can easily use the phone all day on one charge--no problem.

The iPhone compared to this device is much more simplified--the same patterns of button pushing get you wherever you want on the iPhone. That said, the Hero outdoes the iPhone in its adaptability, navigation, camera, multi-tasking and built-in applications. I did not expect that I would be as impressed as I am with this device but it's snappy, has great screen resolution and is just so intuitive that even though it's more complex than the iPhone--you'll be flying through it in no time.
0Comment72 of 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 2, 2010
i've had my phone for about 5 months now. i bought it within the first two weeks of its release. i still really love it. it's actually been transformative in my daily life.

this is my first smartphone, so i don't have much to compare it with. but i was looking for a few things in my phone.
first, i wanted to be able to develop apps for it without having to buy a mac or pay some fee. so android was pretty much it. secondly, i didn't want to be on the ATT network since i felt that it was probably getting slammed by all of the iphone usage. i'd heard too many people complain about poor service especially at large events.

anyway, i read reviews about this product prior to purchasing it, and i haven't found any of the common problems to really bother me that much. typing was something that people complained about, and that hasn't affected my usage. although honestly, i don't type too much on it. just a few short messages a day. some had complained about lag time in screen response, but i have not noticed any problems. the screen is very responsive maybe once a day or so, it gets a little slow, but nothing that i get frustrated over.

it's a great size, very slim.
takes great pictures.

and i've never had any service issues with it.
the one thing that i think could be improved is the battery life. but even that is managable.
i just plug it in to my computer for maybe an hour or so during the day, and charge it at night when i sleep, and it's been fine.

all in all, it's a great device.
i'm definitely happy with my purchase.

additionally, the sprint monthly service contract is so cheap. i have 450 min/mo, with unlimited data, unlimited mobile to mobile (any carrier not just sprint), and nights/weekends start at 7, for 69.99. can't beat the price.
33 comments41 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 25, 2010
Sorry for typos or some gramatical anomalías, english is my third language...

I am an old Iphone user. One day a friend of our showed up with her brand new Palm Pre in our house. I begun playing with the Pre and I liked what I saw. Thus because I HATED ATT I DECIDED TO SWITCH TO SPRINT. I assumed that this would be better experience and etc. Well I love Sprint Service....

BUT I had horrible problem with Palm Pre. I had to go throughout three phones and all of them were horrible. I was painstriken and hated every second of choosing the PRE. After some conversation with Amazon staf I was told to return the PRE and order other phone.

I was torn between two Android Phones HTC Hero or Samsung Moment... I have read gazilion reviews and discussions on the internet. One of the major factors for me was the screen and the other one was the build and processor speed. I could not decide what to do, what phone should I get. The HTC Hero in the local store was slow and horrible to use. But I had a bright idea of restarting the phone, and I was plesently surprised at the speed of the UI and how fluid everything was.

Thus I decided that the build quality and hope that HTC is going to release updates more frequent then Samsung I took a plunge. I realy like this phone, it is faster then Iphone 3G and slightly slower then my Ipod 3rd gen ohhh and it is much less buggy then WebOS device.

Now, the screen it dose have problems, these problems are noticeble on gradients in the form of banding. The phone can not handle them well (65K screen will have some banding) Thus for exemple app like slacker will show some unsightly banding in the botom, or facebook client will display barely noticeble hallo on the background. Samsung moment is better in that regarding. But the quality of coating is beter on HTC hero, screen feels smooth and has good contrast. My phone dose have slight light bleed in the conner but that is about it.

Speed, it is fast. Most of the time user will not notice any difference in performance between Samsung Moment and HTC hero. And with Hero you can get more screens. The system seems to be solid, user experience excellent, phone is working awesome. (knock on wood)

The Android seems to be beter then Iphone and Web Os at helping some one to manage their time and resources more efficiently.
11 comment33 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 5, 2010
If you have Sprint, this is the phone to get. The picture quality is great, the OS is fast and responsive as long as you are killing your apps regularly instead of letting them run in the background. Battery life is decent once again as long as you are killing the apps regularly. Unless need a keyboard that is not on screen, get the hero. The moment is a decent substitute if you need a keyboard, but the battery life on that is much worse and the OS seems to run a little slower.
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VINE VOICEon June 25, 2010
This is a very attractive phone and the HTC Sense enhancements to the native Android OS makes HTC phones much more polished than non-HTC phones. HTC enhancements include multi-touch, integration between Facebook and contacts (the Facebook profile photos of your contacts can automatically be associated with the contacts in your phone, for instance), and more. Android by itself is great, especially if you use Google Contacts and Google Calendar since the ability to sync between the phone and these apps is part of the Android OS. The phone looks cool, has a decently-sized screen, isn't bulky, has a nice built-in camera, and is generally a nice product from a hardware standpoint.

The problem is that Sprint's version of Android leaves a lot to be desired. Specifically (based on my own experiences and/or experiences of others):

* The phone ships with Android 1.5, even though 1.6 was released in September 2009, 2.0 in October, and 2.1 in January. The Sprint/HTC version of Android 2.1 doesn't actually provide full Android 2.1 support, however. Live Wallpapers, for instance, is mysteriously missing from the upgrade. And, to add insult to injury, the upgrade to 2.1 requires a Windows computer. The irony here is that Android is built on Linux, yet Linux users can't use Linux to upgrade their Linux phones. The last time I checked, even Mac users appeared to be left without a way to upgrade.

* Android 1.5 for the Hero is buggy. Receiving picture messages (MMS) while the phone is connected to WiFi, for instance, is just one huge bug. There are also GPS-related bugs requiring either temporary disabling of GPS and/or reboots of the phone (which take several minutes to complete) and problems where the phone will go to voicemail after only ringing a couple of times, if at all.

* Sprint/HTC's Android 2.1 upgrade has released even more bugs that include reports of random crashes, delayed dialing (in some cases it takes several minutes to be able to dial out), inability to answer some incoming calls or shut off the alarm, and problems with Bluetooth among other things. A quick web search should turn up a lot of complaints.

* The Android ships with preinstalled NFL, NASCAR, Sprint TV and other apps that use resources but cannot be uninstalled. Personally, I like the Sprint TV app but have no need for the NASCAR or NFL apps but I can't uninstall them. The only way to get rid of them is to "root" the phone, which voids the warranty on the phone.

* Sprint has confirmed that it will not be providing the Android 2.2 upgrade for HTC Hero phones, despite the fact that 2.2 actually provides incredible speed enhancements for Android phones and Hero users who have rooted their phones and installed 2.2 from other sources report huge performance increases with the Hero.

If you want a phone that fully supports Android 2.1 and above, and if you want a phone that will support Android upgrades in the foreseeable future, do not purchase the Hero--and certainly not on a 2-year contract in which your contract will outlive Sprint's commitment to keeping the phone upgraded (that appears to have already ended). There are a lot of angry Hero owners who are furious at how Sprint has handled upgrades for this phone. You're probably better off either paying a bit extra for the HTC Evo, or looking at other Android phones from other service providers.

If, on the other hand, you don't mind voiding the warranty and hacking the phone a bit to use non-Sprint Android software, you may find that you're able to tap into the phone's real potential and surpass the limitations and frustrations experienced by those who have played by the warranty rules.
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on January 31, 2010
I've had this phone for one week. Previously had a plain (uh, non-smart?) cellphone and no data plan -- upgrading to this phone and a data plan was rather impulsive, but I've no regrets. It took several days of working with the phone to get comfortable -- changing keyboards from QWERTY to Compact QWERTY was the single most important change -- couldn't type worth a darn with regular QWERTY even after calibrating it and spending hours trying to become accurate. Compact QWERTY has larger 'buttons' so most keys have two letters (as well as other characters, too) -- bottom line: I'm able to type w/o too much backspacing (regular QWERTY I swear I had to hit backspace as often as any other 'key') Anyway, compact QWERTY saved the phone from being returned.

Main drawback so far is battery life. An App Killer (such as Advanced Task Killer free) is pretty much a necessity to avoid draining battery any more than necessary. I have to charge Hero daily (though that's probably because I'm still playing with it so much), but it's worth it to me because of the functionality. Also, sometimes it takes a little persistance to get phone/app to respond to a touchscreen press (Pandora can be sluggish in this regard.)

If I had needed to do extensive rather than occasional text entry, this phone would not have worked out for me. However, for my usage, I'm quite pleased with HTC Hero.
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on June 6, 2010
Spending countless hours researching what phone you want?? on the edge about buying this one?? Then you were a lot like me. STOP and buy this phone! you wont regret it! everything from the appearance to the mechanics this phone deserves five stars. Bought one for me and my wife and we couldn't be happier. After having an Android I dont think we would ever be able to go back to a normal boring phone!!! THIS THING ROCKS!!!
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on October 22, 2010
Ok. I've had this phone for 6 months now and been an iPhone fan before. Android has quickly changed that.

Worth every penny (I paid half of the cost of an iPhone), it's quick and extremely user friendly. You can change out your microSB card (I recommend doing that first thing) to something larger than 2gb- if you're planning to store stuff. You don't have to (you'll have plenty of space left, trust me), but it's something to do if you like watching a lot of movies and playing a lot of music.

You'll have five screens to customize and place apps. Plus, tons of options for different screen setups can be found in the Market. Most all the apps are free on the Market and are the same as an iPhone's. Advance Task Killer (app) will eliminate any lags you will encounter. Numerous other apps will significantly improve performance and benefit you- for free.

The touch screen is powerful, works very well, and is not sensitive (which is good for preventing accidental touches). It turns sideways when you need it sideways, moves various game characters around like a PS3 controller's tilt to move abilities, and has really clear graphics. It's just big enough to be easy to see/read and to make the phone fit in your pocket.

Call quality is clear, number/text pad is easy to use, and you have a lot of options on how to store your numbers.

The phone, itself, is pocket sized, just thin enough to make it feel like you have something in your hand, and light. It doesn't feel or look bulky. I've dropped mine quite a few times and have yet to see any problems. The body is slightly rubbery which makes it absorb impacts better. The screen must be thick because I've also scraped it a lot (dropping it) but have yet to see where it's done any damage. The buttons are still working fine even after attacking them for games I play. The roller ball is kind of pointless. You can scroll with it, though. I imagine it would be used if the touch screen would ever become unresponsive (other phones fail to make sure you can still use them when this happens).

The earphone placement is conveniently located at the top so you can have it in your pocket and listen to music. The sound quality is really nice and clear. The charger cable that it comes with hooks directly into your computer; your computer will also charge your phone. The phone to computer ability is quick and easy with many options.

Camera is.. decent. For its time, it's a leap and bound. Stay away from overly bright lights or dark dark places and it will be just fine.

This phone will also provide a working internet network for your computer if you don't have one (or even if you do).

Overall, it's extremely user friendly and great to own if you want a good, sturdy phone that is capable of doing many many things. There are faults that people complain about that are easily solved through downloading free apps, so don't be discouraged. Read up on it, if you have to.

Must have apps:
Advance Task Killer (clears task)
Chomp SMS (replaces default messenger)
Dolphin Browser (replaces default browser)
Network PDA (creates a network for your computer)
Audio Manager (gives you more volume abilities)
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on August 9, 2010
I have had a Boost Mobile(Sprint's prepaid service) phone for a while, and I finally decided it was time to upgrade. After alot of searching, I decided on the HTC Hero for Sprint. I am very please with my purchase. The phone is easy to use, even if you may not be familiar with the technology associated with it. There are tons of great apps for the phone. It is so nice to be able to access what I want, where I want it.
The only downside I have found on this phone so far is battery life. If I use the apps, games, music much, the battery is drained very quickly. It seems to be a common theme with alot of high powered phones. I make sure I have a charger at home, at work, and in the car, and I am okay.
I would definitely recommend this phone! It isn't one of the best selling phones on the market right now for nothing.
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