While Sprint’s HTC Hero is housed in a different and arguably less sexy shell than the standard HTC version, the internals are the same. That’s a 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and a whole lot more running on Sprint’s CDMA voice and data network. We’ve put together a bunch of things we loved as well as things we disliked about the Sprint version of the HTC Hero after the break along with some photos.
Why, why, why is our beloved Teflon coating gone? Sprint thought the Hero in its pure form was most likely a bit too edgy (that pun was definitely intended) and opted for a more simple and rounded casing. It’s not all bad, though. The physical buttons we really had issue with are now very workable and the trackball has been replaced with a larger one making scrolling a bit more easy. The screen and screen size are exactly the same and we’re told that the Sprint units run the updated HTC ROM that fixes a lot of the Hero’s initial slowdowns.
Unfortunately, the Sprint HTC Hero is still laggy and a bit too slow to use as a main device by our standards. It’s just not fast enough. Not when you have the Palm Pre or iPhone 3GS to compare it to. We can’t tell you how many times our attempts to simply unlock the phone have ended in it being swift-kicked across the room. It freezes, the browser is clunky at best (that Adobe Flash integration doesn’t seem to be helping), and it’s really frustrating to use at times. Exchange support is great, but it doesn’t do much good if it takes 12 seconds to open a single email. Sometimes, it literally takes 12 seconds. There’s countless examples we could give, but our initial review still stands pretty much true: it’s an awesome phone (even in its new shell) that’s hampered by the CPU it is powered by. Is it usable? Absolutely. Is it as fast as it should be? Not a chance. It’s definitely in the upper echelon of greatness and Sprint’s smartphone lineup is pretty fantastic at the current time. Compared to anything other than the Palm Pre on Sprint, though, especially if you’re not a BlackBerry friend, the HTC Hero would be our choice. It’s available on Sprint starting October 11th for $179.99 with a two-year service agreement.