By June 24, 2009

HTC launch event in London 2009 – first impressions

In next days we will publish here at Mobile Tech Addicts a full uncut video recording of today’s presentation plus some other videos, including explicit demonstration of multi-touch in newly announced HTC Hero. But first, let’s share some first impressions…

As you can see on the picture above, the physical difference between HTC Magic (on top) and HTC Hero (at the bottom) is not big. However the difference in hardware is huge: HTC Hero has additionally support for multi-touch and features HTC’s extension layer over Android called “HTC Sense”. Furthermore HTC Hero has also 3.5 mm stereo miniplug so that standard stereo headset can be connected too.

HTC Hero is a child of Horace Luke, who is Chief Innovation Officer of HTC corporation and who also created HTC Diamond. Here is a photo of Horace showcasing HTC Hero:

The distinctive feature of HTC Hero is bottom part that supposedly makes it very comfortable to hold in hand and to make phone calls:

And here is the photo that shows virtual keyboard:

Conclusion: HTC brings multi-touch to Android and thus overtakes Samsung that is releasing also Android phones but without multi-touch. Furthermore HTC Sense like something similar to WebOS of Palm Pre, but is just a layer on top of Google Android, so it is fully compatible with all Android apps from Android Market. In other words: from today on we can say that not only Palm has a serious competitor to iPhone but also HTC has! While HTC remains committed to Windows Mobile, obviously Windows Mobile does not support capacitive display so this trick with hacking of multi-touch into Windows Mobile 6.5 would not work. HTC was touting during the presentation that it has second-biggest number of Windows Mobile developers after Microsoft and second-biggest number of Google Android developers after Google – that are based partly in USA and partly in Taiwan (Europe: no luck!… what is a pity considering that it is European operators thanks to which HTC thrives). In other words: with HTC Sense clearly HTC intends to enter more strongly the software arena. Anyway: multi-touch, small handset, 3.5 mm connector and full compatibility to Android Market (on top of HTC’s own widgets for HTC Sense) – it all means that HTC Hero will be a hit… and unlike Apple iPhone, it will be available at multiple operators, not just “one operator per country”…

One more thing: HTC Hero will be available in July 2009 in Europe, in August 2009 in Asia and by the end of 2009 in USA. Clearly American carriers are not so fond of HTC, as European operators…

Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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