HTC Hero mini-review

Here’s a quick write up on my thoughts after two days with my unlocked white Hero. The device itself is very good looking but it is not without its shortcomings:


  • Hardware looks and feels very good in the flesh. Matte teflon backing is unique.
  • Virtual keyboard is excellent. Really fast especially in landscape mode. I find its best to just blast out text and let the auto correct take care of things.
  • Facebook integration. I like the way it aggregates contacts and shows profile photos next to them.
  • The infamous chin. I like it. It keeps the screen and buttons off of a flat surface when face down which you might do to hear the speaker better. It also angles the buttons nicely and curves the mic towards your mouth.
  • Speaker seems to be much louder than the G1.
  • Headphone socket. About time!
  • It’s still an Android phone so all the Google stuff works as usual. All my apps have been working so far.
  • When calling someone it vibrates when the other person picks up. Its a minor thing but a nice touch.
  • The multi-touch browser is full screen. Not everyone might like this as it means the notification bar is hidden.
  • HTC’s clock app. It lets you add several clocks for different time zones, set alarms and incluides a stopwatch and countdown timer
  • Oleophobic screen nicely minimises fingerprints and smudges. It also looks better than the G1’s screen somehow.


  • Lag. Yes it is there, even with a Class 6 microSD. Certain things like the manage applications list are much slower than on my clunky old G1. Sometimes it seems like its just the animations are holding things up. The rotate animation is way too slow and the home screen swipe has a pretty but weird bounce back effect.
  • The camera is almost as bad as on the G1. Just throwing more megapixels at it has not improved things much. It’s still slow and as there is no physical camera button (the trackball is used) you can’t half press to focus. Roll on Sony Ericsson X3.
  • Flash in the browser isn’t great. Its not a big deal as there is an app for it but the BBC iPlayer site does not work. Stuff like Yeti Sports works but it’s slow. I haven’t had much time to test Flash out but it seems like it makes loading web pages slower and there doesn’t look like there’s an option to disable it.

Overall I’m glad I bought it. Hopefully HTC will come out with a firmware update to fix the lag. I’ll still use my G1 for development and testing but the Hero is going to be my day-to-day phone.

By the way the Hero has already been rooted. Click here for instructions. I have tried it on mine and it works.