HTC Hero Will Be Released by Sprint on October 11

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Sprint has made it official: it will release the HTC Hero — its first smartphone running Google’s Android OS — next month.

HTC Hero for SprintThis makes Sprint the second U.S. carrier to commit to offering an Android-based device. 

On the Outside
The Hero is already available in Europe, but Sprint’s version won’t look at all like that one. It will still have a tablet shape, but is losing the prominent “chin” and becoming much more rounded.

The changes are generally cosmetic though, and the specifications of these two versions are nearly identical.

Like its European brother, Sprint’s version will have a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, and lack a hardware keyboard.

It Just Makes Sense
The Hero will run Google’s OS, but HTC is replacing the standard UI with one of its own, called HTC Sense.

This offers users seven panels — called Scenes — where users can post customizable widgets. Each Scene can be set up for different purposes, 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.

The standard Google applications are still included, and users of this smartphone will have access to the 8,000+ applications currently on the Android Market, the on-device software store. This includes popular titles like ShopSavvy, Twitter,  MySpace Mobile, Pac-Man, and more.

In addition, Sprint will be adding its own services, like Sprint TV.

“Offering access to thousands of applications, a suite of Google services, and unique personalization features, the HTC Hero offers a compelling mobile experience,” said Andy Rubin , vice president, mobile platforms at Google.

Wireless and More
Naturally, this smartphone will have access to Sprint’s CDMA network, and it will support EV-DO Rev. A mobile broadband. It will also have Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0.

Other features will include a microSD card slot with support for 32 GB cards, a GPS receiver, a 5.0 MPx camera with video recording, plus a digital compass and a gravity-sensor.

Pricing & Availability
The HTC Hero will go on sale on October 11 through all Sprint retail channels including sprint.com and this carrier’s retail partner Best Buy.

This smartphone will sell for $180 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.

Source: Sprint

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