In Pictures: HTC Hero Takes Android to New Heights

Meet the summer's newest smartphone, featuring multitouch input, a revamped user interface, Flash support, and more.

Meet the HTC Hero

HTC introduced today its latest smartphone running on Google's Android mobile operating system, the HTC Hero. The new device packs in some better hardware features from its predecessors and brings a revamped user interface (UI) to Android-loving fans.

The software on the HTC Hero is to take center stage in this announcement, as the device is the first Android smartphone to support multitouch (iPhone style) and -- surprise! -- Adobe Flash.

With the launch of the HTC Hero, Android is raising the stakes against the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone. The Europeans will get their hands on the new device later this summer, while the U.S. is expected to get a "distinct" version of the HTC Hero later this year.

Here's a video showing some of the features of the HTC Hero.

Hero Specs

The HTC Hero features a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a 320-by-480-pixel resolution, the same as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G announced on Monday. The device has a Teflon coating and the display has a smudge-repelling layer, which makes it easier to wipe off smudges from the screen.

HTC Hero is a dual-mode WCDMA/GSM phone, and can reach up to 7.2Mbps downlink speeds (depending on the network).

Input Options

HTC Hero inherits the "chin" from the T-Mobile G1, but loses the QWERTY keyboard, which is replaced by an onscreen one. A new search button is located next to the trackball on the Hero, which offers system-wide search.

Social network integration (Facebook, Flickr, Twitter) is achieved via on-screen widgets in the new Sense UI.

Camera and Connectivity

The HTC Hero brings a 5-megapixel camera (with autofocus, no flash) and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Charging is made via a miniUSB port at the bottom of the device and connectivity options include Bluetooth (with A2DP) and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g).

The new smartphone measures 4.41 by 2.21 by 0.57 inches (112 by 56.2 by 14.35 mm) and weighs 4.76 ounces (135 grams) with battery.

Powered by Sense UI

The software is the star on the HTC Hero. Integrating Adobe Flash support and multitouch, the new Sense UI for Android adds widgets on the home screen that push content like Twitter feeds, calendars, e-mail, weather or world time.

Adobe Flash support out of the box is a major selling point for the HTC Hero. Other mobile platforms such as Symbian from Nokia and WebOS from Palm are expected to get full integration of this technology only later this year.

Time and Space to Talk

The HTC Hero has an internal GPS antenna (with digital compass) and supports microSD memory card to expand storage. The battery on the HTC Hero is expected to last for up to 420 minutes of talk time on WCDMA (470 on GSM) and can stay in standby mode for up to 750 hours on WCDMA (440 on GSM). And it also comes in brown, as shown.

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