September 3, 2014

This Day in Android: Sprint begins selling HTC Hero (2009)

htc_hero_720

It was exactly three years ago today that Sprint began offering its first Android smartphone, the HTC Hero. Monumental in more than a few ways, this was also the first time U.S. consumers were able to get their hands on device with Sense UI. Priced only $179.99 with a two-year service agreement (after a $50 instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate), the phone was a bargain when you considered every other Android thus far was $199.99.

 

HTC Hero specifications:

  • Qualcomm MSM7600 528MHz processor
  • Operating System: Android platform 1.5 Cupcake
  • 512MB ROM
  • 288MB RAM
  • 2GB microSD memory card
  • Display: 3.2-inch 320 x 480 HVGA resolution
    • 262K-color TFT LCD touch-sensitive screen with LED backlight
  • Battery: Rechargeable battery: 1500 mAh.
    • Talk time: Up to 250 minutes. Standby Time: Up to 360 hours.
  • Camera: 5MP camera with auto focus
  • GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi (802.11b/g), HTC ExtUSB, 3.5mm audio jack

Where Are They Now?

Obviously, the HTC Hero is no longer offered at Sprint or any other carrier, but that’s not to say it didn’t leave a legacy.  Verizon would later go on to carry the nearly-identical Droid Eris while U.S. Cellular would eventually get around to supporting the Hero S.
At the time, the HTC Sense experience was such a fresh breath of air for Android, putting a whole new look to the growing platform.  Thanks to a number of custom widgets and built-in app features, the Hero provided a much friendlier and more polished look.  Over time we would see Android build some of the Sense features directly into the OS.