Up until recently I was a total Blackberry fan. Not because it is a great phone; it just did what I needed it to do; that is, make and receive calls, text and send and receive emails. That’s what I did with it for the last 18 months with my old Curve.
I never enjoyed the experience; I just got it to do what it needed to do. However about a week ago, I opened a package from the postman with excitement: it was my new HTC –Hero. I did think the phone might be a bit gimmicky and not really do what a phone is supposed to. I was partially right: it is a bit gimmicky, but useful in a fun way with Google maps, calendar, email screens, nice touch screen and a high quality display.
It also has a host of downloadable applications that are readily available in the market place and mostly for free. I managed to download Sun Tzu Art of war and it is displayed nicely and in readable format, as well as games such as Labyrinth.
The email was quick and easy to setup and use. It synchronised quickly and easily with my machine so the Outlook calendar as well as my contacts were there in a flash. There was even a quick synchronisation with Google email. Where I thought it wouldn’t meet my expectorations is its use as a mobile phone/texting machine. What I found was that it can do these things well and actually surpasses the call quality that I had from the Blackberry on both the speaker phone and handset mode.
The phone also offers conference calling and has great social functionality; tying your Facebook account with your contacts list and having Twitter availability.
In all I would summarise the phobe as follows:
- Synched perfectly with the Outlook calendar and contacts once I had figured out how to mount and un-mount it
- Pop3 mailbox worked pretty much without any major fiddling
- High quality display
- Can synch with Exchange (although I haven’t tried this yet)
- Great functional tools
- Immediately synchs with Google apps (not surprising since it runs on Android – Google’s own operating system)
- Call quality is excellent
- The widgets on the touch screen are great
- Reads MS Word docs and PDFs well, although I haven’t tried the MS Excel spreadsheets yet
- Only downloads attachments when you tell it to
- Amazing Facebook and twitter functionality
- Most apps are free (except for the ones I want!)
- Looks nice- a bit Star Trek (original)
- My fingers are a bit thick so it gets a little fiddly pressing or keying buttons
- Mounting and un-mounting it is a bit annoying when you want to synch or transfer files
- Only comes with 2 Gb micro SD but can extend to 16 Gb
- Won’t always connect to wireless first time
- Slow loading at times and can be a bit jerky in movement
- The camera is a bit low grade