All Articles
All Articles

HTC Hero Featuring HTC Sense

by Tim Yu
on 25 June 2009

Once again challenging the iPhone's reign as the touch screen device of choice for over two years, HTC's new model boasts industrial design and interface usability that makes us weigh our options carefully. For early-adopters looking to differentiate themselves from the iPhone-using masses, the Hero may be the answer.

Three years in the making, HTC's Hero notably adds HTC Sense, the first fully customized version of Google's Android mobile phone operation system. It's a setup that packages powerful capabilities in a distinct design, which alone makes for some impressive competition to the smart phone market.

Featuring an angled bottom and beveled edges, the Hero's contours fit nicely in one hand, offering comfortable access to main navigation buttons with just a thumb. The shape also positions the mouthpiece closer to the mouth when held to the ear. An anti-fingerprint coating prevents screen smudges and the white version includes an industry-first Teflon coating, resulting in a durable white surface that's soft to the touch. For added functionality, the design incorporates a trackball in addition to the touch screen.

The 3.2" HVGA display offers crisp resolution optimized for Web and multimedia content. Hardware features include A-GPS, a digital compass, gravity-sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, five mega-pixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory.

Some features that stand out include a dedicated search button that provides a contextual search experience—whether it be searching through Twitter, contact lists or emails.

Text reflow is another feature not to be overlooked; zooming in on text automatically reframes the words, eliminating horizontal scrolling. (See the HTC Hero walkthrough video below for a demonstration.)

I also love the fact that you can activate silent mode simply by turning it face down. It's a simple but super useful bonus designed for the way we use our phones.


HTC Sense takes a different approach to usability by aggregating communication channels and applications into a single view. Sense integrates Facebook with the address book and status updates and photos, along with Flickr photos, show up alongside text messages, emails and call history in a single view. It even includes a Twitter module on the home screen. It's all thanks to close partnerships with all three brands to create seamless functionality.

What's more, Hero will ship with support for Adobe Flash technology, promising a more complete web browsing experience. With access to over 5,000 applications in the Android Market and full integration of Google services like Gmail, Calendar and Contacts, being one of the first to get this phone doesn't mean you'll be left unsupported.

In an important ideological move, the HTC provides a way to manage all the connectivity of smartphones. Helping to create a division between work and life, a new profile feature entitled Scenes enables different customized content profiles around specific functions or times. For example, a weekend mode potentially highlights social networking functionality, while burying work email toward the bottom of the user interface.

There's no word yet on price, but we expect it will be comparable to the first Android phone as well as iPhones. HTC Hero will be available throughout Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A North American version will be available later this year.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York
Loading More...