HTC Hero review

It's the latest handset to feature the power house that is Android, but does this HTC device live up to its name?

Keep in touch

Contacts are taken to a different level with this handset, as conversations are threaded. You can also keep abreast with what they're up to in one easy place, be that Twitter, Facebook, email or the traditional method of phone.

Call quality is excellent with this handset. It even fares well when calls are put on speaker phone, which is something business users will need to consider.

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Battery life is also pretty good, although if you're an avid web/email user you may need to keep an eye on juice levels, as once they get near the end you could soon find yourself out of power with little notice.

There are plenty of other goodies to tempt the business market. The Android Market boasts lots of downloadable corporate-friendly apps for users, but the phone itself also offers some in-built gems too.

Quickoffice, a PDF viewer and voice recorder are just a few of the business-centric applications onboard. There is also the usual calendar and gaming offerings, including an uber-addictive tilt-based game called Teeter.

POP3 and IMAP email accounts are supported. Gmail, for example, involves a very quick and easy set up, while some corporate accounts may take a little more precision.

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Surf's up

Web browsing is also a pleasant experience with HSDPA (up to 7.2Mbps download and 2Mbps upload) and Wi-Fi connectivity options are on the menu too, meaning keeping in touch with the world of work on the move is a little less painful.

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The BBC website, for example rendered well, although still off par from what you'd experience on a desktop browser. And, while the swirling movement suggested that we'd soon see the video on the BBC page fully loaded, we waited in vain for quite some time, with no joy. However, flash video on IT PRO did play, though it took a while to load and did drop frames but audio was fine.

As well as the video aspects, IT PRO also rendered perfectly on the Hero. Thanks to the high-quality screen, it was showcased it near perfect glory. Business users needing to access information from the web, or indeed keep abreast of their own company's website, when on the move, will no doubt appreciate the quality browsing aspect of this new Android handset.

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