The American network Sprint has today announced the launch of the HTC Hero. It does indeed lack that “chin” we’ve come to love / hate here in Europe and you’ll be able to buy it on October 11th through their website, shops and Best Buy for $179.99 after rebates. Kevin Packingham, Senior VP at Sprint said of the launch..
“The arrival of HTC Hero and the Android platform to Sprint’s network is an important milestone for our customers and the U.S. wireless industry. With the dependability and coverage of Sprint’s 3G network, HTC Hero users will appreciate a much better experience than is possible now with any other Android phone operating in the United States.”
The Hero has a 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, accelerometer, light sensor, microSD expansion, GPS and the HTC Sense interface. If you’re looking to buy one have a read of our review (which includes “chin” goodness).
Click on for the full press release or click here for high-res pictures.
Update – We asked HTC why the chin had been removed. They told us..
“HTC worked closely with Sprint to create a total product offering – which includes both hardware and software – customized for Sprint and its customers. The resulting product has a slightly different, but equally striking design, compared to its global counterpart.”
Link – Sprint Press Release – Sign up to be notified
Sprint’s first device with the Android™ platform available Oct. 11; Pre-register for HTC Hero today at www.sprint.com/hero
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 3, 2009– Sprint (NYSE:S) and HTC Corporation today announced the upcoming arrival of the much-anticipated HTC Hero™ from Sprint, the first wireless device offering the combination of the open and innovative Android platform with the high-speed connectivity of America’s most dependable 3G network1 (EVDO Rev. A.) Offering a rich mobile Internet experience, the much-anticipated HTC Hero offers synchronization for built-in Google mobile services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™, Gmail™, and YouTube™ as well as access to thousands of applications built on the Android platform.
Beginning on Oct. 11, customers will be able to purchase HTC Hero through all Sprint retail channels including Web (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and our national retail partner Best Buy for $179.99 (excluding taxes) after a $50 instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year service agreement. Pre-registration begins today at www.sprint.com/hero.
“The arrival of HTC Hero and the Android platform to Sprint’s network is an important milestone for our customers and the U.S. wireless industry,” said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product development for Sprint. “With the dependability and coverage of Sprint’s 3G network, HTC Hero users will appreciate a much better experience than is possible now with any other Android phone operating in the United States. They will enjoy the robust potential to personalize their wireless experience as well as the best value in wireless with a Simply Everything plan from Sprint.”
Access to countless applications
As a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance™, Sprint is actively engaged with the Android community. Through Android Market™, HTC Hero users have access to more than 8,000 useful applications, widgets and fun games to download and install on their phone, with many more to come. Thousands of developers are working to introduce new Android applications every day.
ShopSavvyTM, TwitterTM, ShazamTM, amazon.com®, USA Today®, Flixster®, PacManTM, CraigslistCheckerTM, and MySpaceTM Mobile are among the countless well-liked applications already available on Android Market. Pandora®, the popular personal radio application, is launching on Android devices and will be available on the HTC Hero from Sprint.
“Sprint and HTC are helping to drive openness and innovation in the mobile industry with the introduction of the Android-powered HTC Hero,” said Andy Rubin, vice president, mobile platforms at Google. “As the world’s first truly open mobile platform built with the Internet in mind, Android provides to consumers the same Internet services they have become accustomed to on their desktop PC. Offering access to thousands of applications, a suite of Google™ services, and unique personalization features, the HTC Hero offers a compelling mobile experience.”
Sprint has employed an open Internet approach, and the Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers, since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001. Application developers will have a chance to learn more about Android at Sprint’s ninth annual developer conference this fall. The Sprint Open Developer Conference, Oct. 26-28 in Santa Clara, Calif., is open to all attendees and will feature information on developing applications for a range of platforms, including Android.
Developers can register to attend the conference at http://developer.sprint.com/devcon2009. HTC is a premier sponsor of the conference and will be giving a keynote address in addition to running several breakout sessions and coding camps focusing on HTC Hero and the Android platform.
Intuitive, user-focused and fun
HTC Hero is the first U.S. device to feature HTC Sense, an intuitive experience that was built with a guiding philosophy to put people at the center and allows the device to be completely customized to the wants and needs of the user. The device’s seven-panel wide home screen can be populated with customizable widgets that bring information to the surface.
HTC Hero users can easily create and switch between Scenes to reflect different moments or roles in their lives, such as work, social, travel and play. For example, a work Scene can be easily set up to include stock updates, work email and calendar, a play Scene could have music, weather, and a Twitter feed or a travel Scene could offer instant access to the local time, weather and maps.
“HTC Sense on HTC Hero revolves around three basic principles: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected. These principles are based on the recognition that people want their mobile device to conform to their needs and wants, easily keep them in touch with the most important people in their lives, and surprise them with small moments of joy and delight,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “Working with Sprint to introduce HTC Hero to the US was a natural fit, as both HTC Hero and Sprint’s Simply Everything plan are designed to give customers everything they need in a simple package.”
HTC Hero’s development focused on how real people use their phone, resulting in small but important touches to accentuate the mobile experience. HTC Hero can be silenced by simply turning it over. It offers an advanced smart dialer for quickly accessing contacts with just a few letters or numbers and a dedicated search key that automatically searches for only information relevant to the current function. When pressed in the mail application, the search will be for text within the mailbox, while a press of the same key from the browser will initiate a Google search.
HTC Hero features an integrated 5.0 MP camera and camcorder. It also offers easy access to personal and business e-mail, instant messaging and text messaging through POP, IMAP, and Exchange Active Sync accounts.
It is the first Sprint device to offer HTC Footprints™, an application experience that enables the user to chronicle their special moments by capturing a digital postcard on their phone. Once captured, Footprints provides the ability to take notes and an audio clip of that favorite restaurant or special place while identifying its specific location. In addition to identifying each postcard with its specific GPS coordinates, Footprints also auto-names each postcard with its general location or area.
HTC Hero is a full-featured smartphone with Wi-Fi capability, a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom capability and a fingerprint resistant coating, integrated GPS navigation, and trackball navigation. Additional features include:
* Stereo Bluetooth® 2.0 Wireless technology
* accelerometer, light sensor and home screen widgets for improved usability
* multimedia capable with microSD slot (32GB capable, 2GB included)
* Sprint TV® with live and on-demand programming
* NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM
* easy access to social networking sites, including Facebook®, Flickr® and Twitter
* visual voice mail for quick and easy access to specific voice mail messages
HTC Hero requires activation on a pricing plan offering unlimited data. Sprint’s Simply EverythingSM plan provides unlimited nationwide calling, texting, e-mail, social networking, Web browsing, GPS navigation, Sprint TV, streaming music, NFL Mobile Live, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile and much more for only $99.99 per month. That’s a savings of $1,200 over two years vs. a comparable AT&T iPhone® plan2. Sprint Everything Data plans with unlimited messaging and data start at just $69.99 for 450 minutes with unlimited night and weekend calling starting at 7 p.m. (All price plans exclude Sprint surcharges and taxes.)
The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network (inclusive of data roaming) reaches more than 271 million people, 18,652 cities and 1,838 airports. The Sprint Networks (inclusive of data roaming) have more than twice the coverage of AT&T’s current 3G network and more than 20 times the coverage of T-Mobile’s current 3G network, both based on square miles3.
Sprint is the only wireless carrier to offer Ready Now service with trained retail associates to work one-on-one with customers to personalize their HTC Hero, set up features and demonstrate how it works before the customer leaves the store. Customers have the choice of sitting down with a Sprint retail associate at the time of purchase or they can schedule an appointment for a later time at www.sprint.com/storelocator.