Head to head: iPhone 3GS vs HTC Hero

It's a clash of the titans as the flagship Android handset, the HTC Hero, goes up against Apple's golden child the iPhone 3GS.

A shortcoming for both handsets lies in the area of video. Clips shot on the Hero are of average quality although watching content shot elsewhere is a much more pleasant affair. While, in the case of Apple, video (which is captured at 30fps at 640x480) still has a lot to learn, having only recently come to iPhone users with the iPhone 3GS. That said, it does make life easier for the novice video editor, which is a bonus.

While the iPhone 3GS still doesn't support flash, we had some success with the Hero, with it coping just about with flash content on IT PRO. It did drop some frames and took a while to load, but audio remained intact.

AOB?

While business users and consumers alike are demanding more and more out of their phones, it's important to realise that we still need to be able to make and receive calls on them especially in the corporate world.

iPhone 3GS users do suffer from the odd dropped call, but this could be attributed to network issues, and some handsets also experience echo and other sound problems. However, in the main, Apple's baby does offer good call quality. The Hero's call quality is excellent and this even extends to its speakers, which does come in handy for conference calls during business meetings.

The Hero sports a 528MHz processor and the iPhone 3GS a 600MHz ARM processor, both of which are fairly meaty and essential for business users who are likely to have multiple apps open and require a workhorse of a device. Threaded contacts also help users keep track of the different people in their life (whether work or play) and what they're up to, while the iPhone favours a more traditional approach to contacts management.

In addition to digital compasses, both the iPhone 3GS and HTC Hero offer strong support for corporate and personal email accounts, with POP3 and IMAP both on the menu. Set up is relatively quick and pain-free for both handsets.

The Hero also boasts a few more work-centric feature onboard as standard, including Quickoffice, a PDF viewer and voice recorder, although the iPhone 3GS also sports the latter.

Finally, both handsets share a common love of applications, offering a world of opportunity for work and play through Apple's App Store and Android Market, both of which are incredibly easy to use.

Verdict

It’s unlike us to sit on the fence, but on this occasion we feel we have too. The iPhone 3GS wins in the looks department and the HTC Hero has slightly more to offer users out-of-the-box, but with two quality app stores on tap, business users can quickly and easily add pretty much whatever they choose to their respective devices, so the edge comes down to personal preference alone.

iPhone 3GS

Connectivity: Up to 7.2Mbps HSDPA, GSM/EDGE, 850, 900, 1,800, 1,900MHz), Wi-Fi (802.11g), Bluetooth

Capacity: 16GB/32GBDisplay: 3.5in 480 x 320 (163ppi)

Location: GPS: and assisted, digital compass

Camera: 3.0 megapixel still, 640 x 480 video 30fps

Battery: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion

Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor

Dimensions: 62.1mm x 115.5mm x 12.3mm (WxDxH)

Weight: 135g

Colour: Black/White

Battery life: Talk-time 5 hours 3G, 12 hours

Internet use: 5 hours 3G, 9 hours, Wi-Fi

HTC Hero

Connectivity: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G, HSDPA 7.2Mbps

Display: 320x480 pixels, 3.2in

Processor: 528 MHz

Storage: 288MB, microSD card slot

Camera: 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels

GPS: Yes

Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g

Dimensions: 56.2x14.4x112mm (WxDxH)

Weight: 135g

Operating system: Android with HTC's Sense UI

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