To check when your Hero was manufactured, open up the dialer and punch in ##786# to get Reverse Logistics open and scroll down to the Manufacturer's Date. The date will be listed in the d/m/y format. To see which EV-DO you're connected to go to Settings > About Phone > Status > Mobile Network Type. We're not certain there's an actual difference between Hero's branded as 'with Google' and those without but if we're all using EV-DO Rev. 0, that's alarming.
Our Hero at Android Central does not have the 'with Google' logo, was manufactured on 4/9/2009 (Sept. 4, 2009), and currently reads EV-DO Rev. 0.
What about yours?
Update: According to Sprint, the Rev. 0 issue is a mere visual display bug. Even though your Hero says you're connected to EV-DO Rev. 0 and only EV-DO Rev. 0, if you live in an EV-DO Rev. A area, you'll be connected to that Rev. A network no matter what the phone says. We'll have to take their word for it and hope this visual display bug gets fixed in the future!
a big thanks to Andrew Starr & tom for the tip and the Sprint Users forum for the info!
Last week was the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference. We had coverage at a few of our sites, but Kevin Michaluk and I also sat down with Mickey Papillon of The Cell Phone Junkie to record a podcast about our thoughts on the event - worth checking out. Here's what else went on in the smartphone world this week.
There’s no question that the HTC Hero has been the most anticipated Android device in Android’s short lifetime. Though the T-Mobile G1 and myTouch 3G are both wonderful devices that will still be relevant years from today, the G1 had a (undeserved) “beta” rep it couldn’t shake and the myTouch 3G had such a delayed release in the US, it couldn’t maintain the initial hype (deserved).
On the flip side, the HTC Hero is on a brand new carrier, with a brand new custom UI built by HTC, and an all around, brand new feel. Launching on Sprint on October 11th for $179.99, it’s priced competitively and offers a clear alternative to competing smartphones.
We guess you could say that the HTC Hero is Android re-imagined or even re-defined--we like to call it Android all grown up. So how does the HTC Hero perform? Can it live up to the hype? Read on to find out!
Read on for Android Central’s hardware review of the HTC Hero!
*we've decided to split our HTC Hero Review in two--one review for the hardware and one review for the software. The hardware review is today and the review of the software (HTC Sense, Sprint apps) will come tomorrow!*
We still haven't heard official word from Rogers in Canada, so if any of our neighbors to the north hear anything 'Donut' related, be sure to let us know so we can pass it along!
Though it's very convenient to have Android OS updates pushed OTA to our handsets, we're wondering if a manual option would be more efficient. Instead of relying on carriers to decide when we can update, couldn't they offer users the option to download the update off their website? Makes sense to us. What about you guys?
If you can't wait 'til Sunday for the HTC Hero to officially launch on Sprint (and who can?), you can grab a HTC Hero as early as today at Best Buy! Granted you have to be a Best Buy Reward Zone Member and bring the above coupon (which can be found in our forums) to your local Best Buy in order to get the Hero before everybody else, it's well worth it! (plus it's not that complicated). We suggest you call your local Best Buy to confirm availability.
Another route to get the HTC Hero early would be to order it via Sprint Telesales. Yep, the good ol telephone still works wonders. Though we're not sure when Sprint will ship your Hero, the comfort of knowing that the latest and greatest Android phone is en route is always a plus.
And finally, if you have the patience (bless your heart) you can still wait for Sunday, October 11th to purchase it at any Sprint retailer for $179.99 with new 2-year contract. Good things come to those who wait (like the ability to read our upcoming two-part HTC Hero review today & tomorrow!)
The Samsung Galaxy I7500, once Samsung's only Android device and previously unavailable in the US, has hit stateside. The good news? It's not tied down to a carrier so any GSM user can pop in their SIM card and get rolling. The bad news? It's not tied down to a carrier so there's no subsidies, which means you'll have to pony up $579.99 to get rolling. Yikes.
You guys have spoken--well, technically. Since there are still some of you who haven't received the Android 1.6 'Donut' OTA Update, this poll wasn't entirely representative of all of our readers. But even so, one 'feature' was clearly the answer and as it turns out, your favorite feature isn't a feature at all, it's the overall improved performance of Android in Donut!
To the votes:
Improved Performance - 50%
Updated Android Market - 21%
Quick Search Box - 16%
Battery Usage Indicator - 8%
We're glad to hear that Android 1.6 is running smoother for you guys but our own personal vote finished dead last. We thought the Battery Usage Indicator was a nifty tool that showed the uniqueness of Android. Other votes ranged from the new camera interface to 'have yet to receive the update'.
Hopefully those without Android 1.6 will receive 'Donut' soon enough!
We managed to snag some hands-on time with the just-announced Samsung Moment for Sprint. What do you need to know? Well, let's say it's a standard, straightforward Android slider - the only custom stuff here is Sprint's various custom apps like Sprint TV and NFL. In other words, this ain't no Hero.
Still and all, build quality is sufficient, if a little plasticky. It's a step up from the G1 on T-Mobile, but that's about the best you can say. You'd have to be a pretty finicky person to dwell on that, though, given that it's wrapped around a gorgeous AMOLED screen. The colors pop on this device something wonderful, although we were in a fairly dimly-lit room when we tested.
The optical joystick isn't quite as nice as jogball to our fingers, but then again it won't fall prey to the gunk and accidental presses you find with balls. The keyboard does the job - and to be honest that's pretty much the only reason we could imagine anybody choosing this device over the Hero on Sprint - if they just gotta have them buttons.
We're not the only ones who think that Android is about to take off. Analysts at Gartner forecast that our favorite OS, Android, will rank second in worldwide smartphone market share by 2012 (behind Nokia). They estimate that 14% of the global smartphone marketshare will be Android devices--higher than Blackberry, higher than Windows Mobile, and even higher than the iPhone.
Gartner cites multiple reasons for Android's impending success but points mainly to Google. Android will succeed, "because of Google Inc.'s backing of Android and the range of cloud computing functions and related applications that Google will make available in coming years". They expect Android to run on nearly 40 different handsets by 2012.
We're glad that people are finally noticing Android and believe in its potential. But Android in 2009 currently sits 6th in worldwide marketshare with only 2% of smartphones running Android. It's a long climb to the top but we definitely believe that Android can make it--the OS has shown a great balance between offering third-party applications and maintaining high usability--you can have it your way.
We can't wait to meet all you future Android users.
Yeah, we're showing you guys battery covers. Sorry. But can you blame us for our excitement? The Motorola Droid aka Tao aka Sholes will be the first Verizon Android device and we're going to track this device every step of the way until it launches. The leaked picture showcases a Verizon-branded battery cover and an unbranded one. Not to make something out of nothing but could this mean that a non-Verizon Motorola Droid aka Tao aka Sholes exists? Perhaps, it'll be a GSM worldwide unit (for the likes of Europe, Asia etc)?
There's no question that the Sprint HTC Hero is one of the most anticipated Android phones, well, ever. It's Sprint's first Android device, looks relatively pleasing, and runs the beautiful HTC Sense UI. We've spent some quality time with the Sprint HTC Hero and have gathered some of our quick thoughts to hold you over until our full review.
The build quality is wonderful. There's no creakiness like the T-Mobile G1 and it feels much more luxurious than the myTouch 3G.
We're not the biggest fans of the flush hardware buttons, it's too difficult to differentiate and much too easy to accidentally click. We've had the phone unlock multiple times and make calls without even knowing.
On the other hand, the trackball is easily the best of the HTC Android family.
The soft matte finish on the backside of the phone greatly improves the overall feel.
HTC Sense UI is simply a joy to use. We're not having any of the lag or slowness problems that have been reported elsewhere.
Peep, HTC's Twitter client, is very well designed. Actually, all of the HTC apps and widgets are very impressive.
Multitouch in the browser is great--a much more intuitive way to navigate. Flash, not so much--on first impression, it's just too clunky for everyday use.
Battery life is perfectly adequate.
Sprint catches a lot of flack in the media but our experience with its service and data speeds has been entirely positive.
We love the Hero
Stay tuned to Android Central for more coverage on the HTC Hero! This is only the beginning, we're going to give you as much information about the Hero as we can before the October 11th launch date.
We've heard whispers of a second Sprint Android device before and now it's official--meet the Samsung Moment. The Moment is a QWERTY-slider device that packs a 3.2-inch AMOLED screen, 800MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with video and flash, and an 'optical joystick'. And of course, the usual slew of wireless options--Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and EV-DO.
But what is Google CEO Eric Schmidt holding? From our perspective, it looks like a HTC-built Android device rocking HTC Sense. BGR reports that it may be a re-packaged version of the HTC Hero for Verizon (the typical Android hardware buttons are said to be touch-sensitive). But it could very well be the previously rumored HTC Desire. Either way, it looks like Verizon is going to be delivering on its promise of offering Android devices (and top tier ones to boot!). And soon.
To quote Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams:
“I don’t wanna leave the impression that you will have to wait until next year or our launch of 4G to see the fruits of this partnership. In fact over the next several weeks, we’ll begin to announce the initial devices in this family of devices that you’ll see from us over the next several years. So stay tuned for some game-changing products beginning in a few weeks."
This is absolutely great news for Android. The current smartphone selection on Verizon is weak, to say the least, and to add Android to the mix is going to be huge for the growth of Android. What's great to know is that Verizon is going to be completely on board with Android--Google Voice will even be approved because as Verizon says, you're either open, or you're not. We can't wait to see what other great devices will come out of this partnership and we have no doubt you guys are excited. Remember, this partnership isn't limited to just smartphones.
Verizon + Android? It really is going to be game changing.
Luckily, it looks like the Dellphone, the Mini 3i, might just find its way home--rumors are pointing towards a US release and it's going to be even better than what we already know. As it exists now, the Dell Mini 3i won't cut it in the states--they'll likely add Wi-Fi, bump up the camera to 5 megapixels, and improve the device. It's going to be thinner than the iPhone and have a similar feel to the Palm Pre. Yeah, we're excited again.
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