(Pre)Review: Sprint's HTC Hero

APA6277KT_LPI[1]Sprint launched a new phone today, the latest iPhone competitor - the HTC Hero. The HTC Hero (loaned to us by Sprint) is a great alternative for those that yearn for something iPhone-ish, but that do not want to switch from having Sprint as their cell phone service provider. Initially, I ooh-ed and ahhh-ed, but once I actually started using it those pleasant sounds turned into grunts, and sighs of exasperation.

The phone is very light weight, very thin, and the screen’s resolution is up to par (if not exceeds) the top phones on the market right now, but when I tried clicking on something on the screen I got nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Thanks to the precedent set by the iPhone, the HTC Hero now has a capacitive touch screen which means by lovely stabs at its screen meant nothing. It only measures or registers electricity from fingertips, so I had to angle my fingers in such a way that it would actually get the phone to respond. Doesn’t sound that difficult right – yea – think again. Think about having a lovely French manicure, on hands that are not a mechanics, and that actually have lengthy nails. It’s a nightmare.

If you’re texting/typing skills were great before – they’re going to decrease a bit in its accuracy. Why? Because if you try to click on one thing, you’ll most likely end up pressing something around it. As a non-iPhone user, I was taken back by it all, but I’ll make sure someone with an iPhone gets their hands on this phone to provide their experience.

The camera on the phone is 5 megapixels, which to me, is great because my first camera ever was a Casio Exilim and the poor thing only had 2 megapixels and it still rocked and captured all of my best high school moments.

I tried capturing my initial thoughts of the camera, using the camera, so you can check out the camcorder’s skills. (I recorded with the phone vertical - assuming it was the right way, and on the phone it looked correct...until I loaded it...sorry)...

The phone is intuitive to use, and because I accidentally left the manual of the phone when it was given to me, I’ve been using it ‘commando’ – with no direction, but no worries, because Sprint has a bunch of user videos that provide some guidance with the phone’s feature.

I mention it’s a great alternative to the iPhone because it runs Google’s Android operation system which to some is a bit easier to understand than Microsoft’s or Blackberry’s system (Research in Motion).

I won’t give up just yet but I’m going to try to find all the cool aspects of the phone before telling everyone with nails to stay clear from it. It was definitely a stressor in my life yesterday when it took me over 5 minutes to log into my facebook account but that’s probably a good thing, I’m too addicted anyway.

Today I did try signing onto AIM though and only 34 of my buddies loaded, so it appeared as if I had 2 friends on, when in reality I have many more. That was annoying, but once I couldn’t figure out how to access my IMs easily, without having to go through tons of screens, I gave up, and let the phone hang out, online, leaving my IMs unanswered.

I’m not giving up, but I will say I’m a little bit disappointed. I thought this Hero would actually come into my life and save parts of it. It’s not (it looks way better than an iPhone though :)