Sprint Lands HTC Hero, Its First Android Phone

Today Sprint announced that it will begin selling the HTC Hero Android phone on October 11 for $180. The Hero has been <a href="http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/IROL/22/220644/hero%20front_0005_f2screen.jpg">slightly redesigned for Sprint</a>, and features HTC's Sense UI and a multitouch display.

Eric Ogren, Contributor

September 3, 2009

2 Min Read

Today Sprint announced that it will begin selling the HTC Hero Android phone on October 11 for $180. The Hero has been slightly redesigned for Sprint, and features HTC's Sense UI and a multitouch display.The Hero is perhaps the best Android phone to date from HTC. It boasts an attractive design and high-end specs, such as a 5 megapixel camera. It is laden with other features, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, support for 32GB of storage, accelerometer and Sprint services such as SprintTV, NFL and NASCAR, and visual voicemail.

The variant that HTC has crafted for Sprint loses the chin that was present on the original (GSM) version. I'd call it somewhat more attractive. It also has the Sense user interface from HTC, which offers users a different way to interact with the handset via a series of customizable home pages that provide quick access to email, weather, contacts and so on.

It has access to Gmail and other Google services, as well as Exchange and POP/IMAP mobile email services. Of course, it also has access to the Android Market. It will be the first HTC phone to come with the new Footprints application, which "enables the user to chronicle their special moments by capturing a digital postcard on their phone. Once captured, Footprints provides the ability to take notes and an audio clip of that favorite restaurant or special place while identifying its specific location. In addition to identifying each postcard with its specific GPS coordinates, Footprints also auto-names each postcard with its general location or area."

The one really interesting nugget buried in the press release says that the Hero has "pinch-to-zoom capability." That sounds an awful lot like multitouch to me. I called Sprint, and Sprint confirmed that the Hero can support multitouch actions.

This is all good news for Android, good news for Sprint, and good news for consumers. Android handsets have been available from T-Mobile since 2008, but so far, U.S. consumers haven't had much of a choice when it comes to Android. It was either T-Mobile or nothing. Now, consumers can opt for either T-Mobile or Sprint.

The Hero will cost $180 with qualifying plan after rebates.

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