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Old November 27th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Went out to buy a Nokia N97, brought an HTC Hero instead...

Hi everyone!

This is my first day with my new HTC Hero (european) phone. And boy, how exciting is this? I feel a need to express myself and, for some reason, I believe this is the place to do it. (so you can say it was the empty stare from my girlfriend's face that kind of brought me here...)

Have been a Nokia user since I can remember, have been using an E71 lately. Did I need a new phone? Of course not. Actually, that's the big difference between guys and girls. Men find the need to overly justify any purchase they make. Women buy what they want because they want it. Period.

Long story short, had the N97 in my hand at the store and remember thinking "Wow! What a crappy and slow and not so bright touch screen this is! Looked way better at the Nokia website..." Every icon and shortcut felt jumpy and slow and cheap...
Luckily, the wise words from one of the store clerks arrived at my ears. "Hey man, if you want a good fluid touch-screen and some good apps, you should try this one (HTC Hero). It's not Symbian, though. It's that Cyborg thing from Google."

Guess what? It's not a Cyborg, it's an Android, and I absolutely loved it! Made sense to me. I love the Google search engine, use GMail every day, use Google Maps and Earth extensively, so why not jump at the opportunity of having something different?

Have been using my HTC Hero just for a day, and because everyone is asking me to shut up, here goes a list of what I like and what I still don't understand about this machine (that stuff is highlighted in red):

1. Killer sound! I'm a sound engineer and work in sales, and because I tend to spend some time at the phone with customers and friends, the sound of a phone is actually important to me. To be honest, I don't know why no one here is talking about that. The Hero has the best out-of-the-package sound capabilities I've ever had in a mobile phone! (and I thought the Nokia E71 was the best so far) Clear, crisp, intelligible conversations, with plenty of volume. And the music player with the supplied headphones actually sound way better to me than my iPod Touch. (bear in mind that I have a pair of hi-fi Ultrasone cans at home that cost me around $400, so I'm talking relatively)

2. Love the customization features and the fact that I can "get lost" inside the Hero. It's a great feeling knowing I'll have an entire weekend to play with my new toy without the fear of getting to the finish line before the next morning. Maybe it's just the excitement hormones still kicking in. But what I'm feeling is that I can actually do stuff with this product; instead of only being able to learn how the product works (as is usually the case). This is not a phone, it's a platform of some kind and that feels goooood!

3. Love the touch screen, it's fluid, responsive, bright, crisp, a pure joy! Having also an iPod Touch, I can vouch that this is right on par with Apple stuff. Ok, so maybe Apple works a bit better on those fancy-*****ly-animation-transition-fading-things, but that's about it. The multi-touch could bit a bit more responsive when it comes to the pinch-and-zoom stuff. And can someone explain me the reasoning behind the pinch-and-zoom not working with Google Maps? Come on, if there is an app that could effectively use that tecnology...

4. Did I mention I love the sound of this beast? Well, lest not we forget this is also a phone... it's nice to be able to talk for half an hour and not feeling hearing fatigue.

5. I still don't know how can I configure different GMail accounts and switch between them. This is actually pretty easy with other phones (well, like my Nokia's for sure). Maybe I'm missing something here.

6. Still haven't got hold of a single thread in this forum regarding Mac compatibility. I know a lot of you guys use Windows and Linux, but come on... there's everything Google for Mac. Why not a simple app to sync iCal and iTunes stuff? How hard could it be?

7. I'm not sure yet how to close the applications after using them. Should I leave them open and don't care about that? Does the OS closes them automatically? Does it closes them when RAM is low? I read here somewhere that a few apps tend to creep in memory when the phone is turned on and use up valuable RAM. Is there an app that can maybe counteract this?

8. I get it that some countries close the paying markets (the reasoning behind that thinking is what I don't understand). I keep reading everyone telling wonders about the Camera Zoom FX app and how that improves the in-built camera quality. But being in one of those only-free-apps-will-do country, any idea how can I install this app? I've installed other store apps, searched the web for any other ways of paying for the Zoom FX app, but nothing seems to work. Weird how technology evolves, right? We're at an age where it's easier to rip movies, music and entire tv series from the web, but yet a simple $2 application that I'm willing to pay for... oh, well...

9. Love the physical format. A bit weird with that angle down below, but hey... at least it's an original design without being tacky.

10. I'm happy for all the left-handed people out there using the Hero (and you say you have it hard...). But I'm not left handed, unfortunately, so the search/return button being on the right side of the trackball is a bitch to my thumb! $5 says the designer of this phone is left-handed.

Overall - and sorry about this long post but someone had to have it! - I'm very pleased with this machine.
So rarely I have the feeling I buy something unique these days. And having been using Mac computers for the past 16 years, I definitely didn't want to get onto the iPhone bandwagon (also, the iPhone is expensive as hell if you count the price of the phone + those restrictive data plans. And a guy needs a few buttons to click... yeah, sorry about that, iPhone users... but the iPhone is a bit girly... my opinion only)

Next week I plan on visiting a car dealer and ask to test a Honda. Who knows, maybe I come out of there driving a Maserati...

Bye, everyone, have a nice weekend, sorry again for the long post, and keep up the good work with this community. I'll definitely be around.

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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I use Advanced Task Killer ( Advanced Task Killer Android App Review by AndroidTapp.com | Android Tapp. Android App Reviews ) for closing apps and freeing up memory. I have it so that every hour it closes everything other than what i've told it not to.

As for sound ... i think the mp3 sound is about as good as iPod Touch but i don't think the call sound quality is anything special. Before this phone i used a Blackberry Bold and the call sound quality on that was unreal and better (clearer and louder) than any phone i've ever had before.

Still, it's good enough.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Heey! Man this post brings back memories of what I felt when I got my Hero home, like endless possibilities. I'll tell you something too, after 2 months I'm still lost in it, finding new things to do, new apps. I can even say its changed my life quite a lot. I am able to do pretty much anything with my phone, that I could never have thought of doing before I got it.

So anyway happy to get another member here, if you want to ask anything just go ahead we're happy to help! Oh and check out the thread in my sig, it has a few pay for apps in there, but if you like the sound of what one of those does let us know and we can suggest a free alternative!
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Someone correct me if i'm wrong:

Quote:
5. I still don't know how can I configure different GMail accounts and switch between them.
The phone has to be linked with one Google account, and on android 1.5 we can only add one gmail account to the gmail app, however I believe once we get the 2.0 update we can load up to 3 gmail accounts

Quote:
7. I'm not sure yet how to close the applications after using them.
Android is clever,background apps use little processing so you don't tend to need to kill tasks in the background. However for sanity's sake many people do, me being one of them. There is a cool app called "force close button". This sits in your notification bar and when you click on it, it closes the current app you have open. Its basically a close button for every app you use.


EDIT: Found this, might be useful..

Quote:
"you can have at least 4 by treating each gmail account as a separate mail protocol.

1. setup as Gmail account on your hero.
2. setup another Gmail account as IMAP.
3. setup another as Exchange activesync. (Mail, Calendar, & Contacts Setup : Set Up Your iPhone or iPod Touch - Mobile Help). directions are for iphone, but the configuration is the same.
4. setup up the final one as POP 3.

careful with the polling rates as i'm sure you can kill the battery pretty fast this way. you'll only get mail sync and not contact and calendar with IMAP and POP 3."
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi!
Well, glad I'm not alone in this. I get that feeling exactly. Not sure if this phone is going to change my life, but it's certainly making a bit happier.

I read your User Guide, it was actually the first thing I did before I even registered. Congratulations!
That's where I saw the entry regarding the Camera Zoom FX.
Isn't there a way to get that app? I'm not suggesting a cracked app or anything, I would be willing to pay. But how difficult could it be for the coders to have a zipped version for download on their website, so I could hook up the Hero to my Mac and transfer the app to the right folder? I just don't understand this exclusivity with the Market application. It's convenient, I get it, but frustrating right now...

This phone will be almost perfect for me if that Zoom FX can make the camera better (as everyone says it does). If I want to make excellent portraits or artsy-fartsy pictures, I'll use my big camera. But having a good camera phone is very convenient. I don't carry my big camera around most days, but my phone is usually the first (and the last, at least for a few weeks) thing I see every day. My phone is always with me (apart from baths and other bodily cleansing routines, of course).
So it actually makes sense to have a good phone camera, post decent pictures to Facebook, etc.

Do you reckon that this closeness to a paid market is enforced by the phone being in a different geographically country? Or was it "locked" in some way even before it hit the stores? I mean, if I decide to spend a few days vacations in another country, would the Market app detect it as a "countryman phone" and open up the Market to paid applications? (can I sense another weird kind of tourism being born? Androidism?)

Thanks for your help.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lekky View Post
Someone correct me if i'm wrong:

The phone has to be linked with one Google account, and on android 1.5 we can only add one gmail account to the gmail app, however I believe once we get the 2.0 update we can load up to 3 gmail accounts

EDIT: Found this, might be useful..
Actually, I'm not sure if that's the right way to go about it.
An IMAP account is convenient because it only downloads the email headers (right?). Having a POP3 account would force the emails to download in all their glory - spam and all - and my bandwidth plan would sky rocket in a couple of days.

But I like the idea of the new Android 2.0 permitting that. Maybe I'll explore some other stuff for now, as it's not an urgent matter (that's why I have a laptop, anyway). From what I read around this forum, 2.0 is right around the corner, so that will make for an interesting Christmas gift! ;-)

Best regards from Lisbon, Portugal.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andretoscano View Post
But how difficult could it be for the coders to have a zipped version for download on their website, so I could hook up the Hero to my Mac and transfer the app to the right folder?
Here you go

http://www.androidslide.com/camerazoom

EDIT: Androidslide, the developers of that app recommend the slideme app store, so i'd go with that! http://mobentoo.com/application/camera-zoom-fx
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Old December 7th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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>>There is a cool app called "force close button". This sits in your notification bar and when you click on it, it closes the current app you have open. Its basically a close button for every app you use.<<

Where do I find that app? (I can't find it in the Market).

J
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmflint View Post
>>There is a cool app called "force close button". This sits in your notification bar and when you click on it, it closes the current app you have open. Its basically a close button for every app you use.<<

Where do I find that app? (I can't find it in the Market).

J
Scan this QR code:



If that cannot find the app, then its because its not available to you, its a paid app costing 50p
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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Brilliant. Installed, tested, working, thank you!
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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I got to agree with the OP, I was a Nokia user for years then went across and got the Galaxy. Bad mistake, didnt like it at all, sent it back and went for the (ahem) Nokia 5800. Not bad but static apps doth not maketh a good phone. So, sold it and purchased a Hero and by jove I am glad I did. I am forever taking it out of my pocket and playing with it (no s******ing at the back) and finding countless ways of using it. Now I am looking forward to the 2.1 upgrade. Rock on
 
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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Gutted...You live and learn.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jmflint View Post
Brilliant. Installed, tested, working, thank you!
Ahh cool, good app
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Multiple Gmail Accounts (w/ push): K-9 Mail
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Old December 9th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Made the right move - I got a N97 on contract and 3 months later - even with the updated bought myself a Hero - vast improvement - I now use the phone for browsing web etc... constantly - use it more often than the PC for this forum - and its ease of use has blown me away.

Wait till Jan (roughly - not making any promises) for the Eclair update - proper bluetooth and nice new features

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Old December 10th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Nice post, I'm 3 weeks into my ownership of this phone and I'm still gushing to anyone that will listen, and still lost in its capabillity.

Having come from a WinMo Samsung (OMNIA) jeesh that phone is awefull in comparision

T3 and Stuff magazine in the UK have made this phone gadget of the year/Phone of the year, which I doubt anyone who has used it will argue with....

Group HERO hug anyone
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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lekky View Post
Scan this QR code:



If that cannot find the app, then its because its not available to you, its a paid app costing 50p
sorry for my stupid question, but how do i scan this code...

anyway... its a good move that u chose hero. i switched to hero from n97. n97 is the worst i have ever used!
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Old December 10th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4chelsea View Post
sorry for my stupid question, but how do i scan this code...

anyway... its a good move that u chose hero. i switched to hero from n97. n97 is the worst i have ever used!
Get Barcode scanner from the market place, it uses your camea as a scanner, you can get an app that converts links into QR Codes as above
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