3 Months In With My HTC Hero

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Perihelion, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Perihelion

    Perihelion Well-Known Member
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    Dec 13, 2009
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    I purchased my HTC Hero from Telus in December and unlocked it for use with Fido. 3 months later, I have to say that this is still the best phone I've owned to date. Is it perfect? No. Having said that, for the functionality I need, this phone has been rock solid. I use very little voice traffic but where I've used it, the phone has been great. Excellect clarity, and easy pairing with the bluetooth unit in the car. Most of the time that I'm using the phone is taken up with text messaging (Handcent), web browsing (Opera Mini), and News Reading (Nubi News). These apps have all been rock solid for me too. Just enough customizability without getting messy. I've had good luck with the marketplace and I seem to have found apps to do everything I want. One of the main criticisms with the Hero has been lagginess and while I've noticed a little of this, most of the time its just not present the way I use the phone. Even tethering with my notebook using PDAnet worked out of the box. Battery life has been excellent as well. Even leaving 3G on all the time, I easily get 4 full days of use out of the phone before I have to plug the charger in. Charging off of USB from a PC is impossible though, it takes probably 4-5 hours to charge up this way so I just use the wall charger.

    Things that still irk me:
    • Factory camera application sucks and takes crappy pictures except in low light. (Taking snaps of whiteboard work at the office is great though).
    • SMS timestamps don't work out of the box, annoying. (Handcent fixes this for me).
    • Internal compass gets it wrong sometimes. If you can't believe it ALL of the time, what's the point?
    • PC interface is lacking compared to Nokia PC Suite. On the Nokia, I could plug the phone in using USB and send out text messages, work on the calendar app, etc. This is not out of the box functionality with the Hero.
    • Infrequency of updates from HTC. Where is Android 2.1 already?!?!
     

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  2. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member
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    Feb 17, 2010
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    Halifax, England
    Hi Perihelion,

    It's good to know that you're still happy with it after a few months. I've signed up to have mine for the next 18mths, so it's reassuring to hear that hehe!

    I don't think there's such a thing as a perfect phone. There's always going to be things we, as individuals, dislike and it's always a question of whether the downsides are outweighed by the upsides and benefits. For me, the Hero is fantastic and does everything I need it to.

    The camera is pretty naff, but I've never been one to take anything other than quick snaps with a mobile camera anyway.
    Chomp and Handcent are both good at sorting out the timestamps. It would be a bit of a pain without them, I agree.
    I've not had much chance to use my compass yet. I go geocaching and the Hero is going to be used for that sometime soon. I'll take a real compass and my Garmin Legend gps unit with me, so I'll be able to compare the accuracy of the Hero compass.
    The sync software isn't much good, so I uninstalled it.
    I think everyone is desperate for 2.1 to come out. I only hope it lives up to the incredibly high expectations!

    The lag on the Hero for me is negligible too. With a bit of intelligent use and tweaking, it's possible to make it almost go away. I rarely notice it.

    How you get 4 days out of a single charge is beyond me. You must be super efficient at getting the settings just right. I'd be really happy with 2 days lol!

    Things that still do irritate me about the Hero/Android:
    Lack of multitouch on on the keyboard. I really miss my Nokia E71 hardware keyboard. Better Keyboard is ok, but a bit too laggy. I type too quickly for it to keep up and spend a lot of time correcting mistakes it makes when characters are missing. Some kind of caching of what's typed would be very nice.
    Apps opening of their own accord. I'm sick of seeing certain apps I rarely use open all the time, even when I force them to close.
    No control (without rooting) over the apps that auto run.
    Rubbish calendar/pim/agenda/task management out of the box.

    There's nothing I dislike about this phone that would stop me recommending it or raving about it. I'm still very happy :)
     
  3. Wulazaga

    Wulazaga Member
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    Jan 24, 2010
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    Actually, I think the Hero keyboard is multitouch...
     
  4. malbon

    malbon Well-Known Member
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    You never get 4 days from a Hero ! Impossible ! Are you actually using it at all ? Does the screen ever come on ??
     
  5. Perihelion

    Perihelion Well-Known Member
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    I leave 3G on all the time but wifi and gps off unless I need to use it. Admittedly, I do very little voice traffic, but I'm forever web browsing over 3G and texting people. I do a bit of light gaming throughout the day as well. I'm not the only one getting good battery life though it does seem like people are getting mixed battery performance out there. Also, looking at the status of my phone, most of the day I'm getting -69db signal so I may not be using much broadcast power though I don't know much about these things.
     
  6. malbon

    malbon Well-Known Member
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    Sep 7, 2009
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    Not sure what battery you have but its a good one ! keep it !

    I woke this morning at 7 and took it off charge with 100%. I watched a few BBC News snippets on Wifi. Had 2 or 3 calls today 5-10 mins. On 3G all day and its down to 56%. Never lasted a full day without going right down !
     
  7. Lukehluke

    Lukehluke Well-Known Member
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    Jan 12, 2009
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    The Hero looks awesome but I am waiting for the HTC Desire :D
     
  8. Perihelion

    Perihelion Well-Known Member
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    I wish the specs of the Desire were available in the shell of the Legend....HOT.
     
  9. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member
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    Feb 17, 2010
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    You could be right. The trouble is, by the time I've typed a few words and actually look at the text, it's invariably missed out entire words or several letters. Trying to slow down my natural typing speed is frustrating. I'm used to the tiny keys on the E71, so can type quite quickly. Accuracy isn't a problem, just the speed at which the Hero or Android picks up the letters pressed.

    After sitting and playing a bit more, I've decided I'm not struck on Better Keyboard because of the lag and am going to try Swype soon instead. Many users are raving about it, so it's worth a try.
     
  10. walkinhotdog

    walkinhotdog Well-Known Member
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    Feb 5, 2010
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    With light use (short calls, 25-50 texts, ~30 min of gaming) each day and with the phone off at night (dont need to be bothered), i think my best is 4-5 days on a charge. Pretty dam impressive. With moderate use (more of all the above) 2-3 days with the phone always on.

    After getting used to the keyboard, i can type pretty dam fast with auto correct on. It only lags when i type in landscape
     
  11. Jaffa

    Jaffa Well-Known Member
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    Nov 16, 2009
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    Get swype beta from there web site. Should sort your keyboard issues
     
  12. andy d

    andy d Well-Known Member
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    Aug 19, 2009
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    Too late they have stopped taking Beta testers.:mad:
     
  13. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member
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    Wow, I'd never noticed that. You're right too!! It's a trade-off then. With the smaller portrait screen, I can type faster, but accuracy drops off due to the size. Landscape is too laggy to type quickly. Hmmm!

    Andy d - They say if you register on the site, you will be informed when they reopen beta testing.

    I'd like to get swype as their input method is very interesting. I do wonder how fast it lets you type...
     
  14. andy d

    andy d Well-Known Member
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    Very fast. I did get mine a few days ago and it is so easy to use in fact i really would not want to go back to the stock keyboard.

    Sadly the beta test is only for three months and reading between the lines the developers don't really want to release it as a android app.
     
  15. Perihelion

    Perihelion Well-Known Member
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    Dec 13, 2009
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    I actually prefer to type in portrait mode. I rely on the auto correct which I find to be very effective when I'm using it. I like that you can teach it new words as you go.
     
  16. Jaffa

    Jaffa Well-Known Member
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    Nov 16, 2009
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    So why beta test out on android?
     
  17. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42
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    It certainly looks like they've changed their minds, doesn't it? They've gone from promising an OEM release only (a.k.a. preinstalled like our HTC keyboard) to beta testing an installable app. Which suggests to me they've realised how well it could sell on the marketplace.
     
  18. jim_h

    jim_h Well-Known Member
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    Feb 17, 2010
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    Halifax, England
    I have uninstalled Better Keyboard and played with the standard one again most of today. What a difference! The responsiveness is massively improved using the Android keyboard, even in landscape.

    Still, I'm going to try Swype when it becomes available and compare. If it's a good app and something I'd use a lot, I'm happy to pay for it.
     
  19. choccy

    choccy Well-Known Member
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    Jan 19, 2010
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    I have to charge my Hero in the afternoon to ensure it will take me through to around 10pm. I take it of charge at 7.30am and it's basically getting two charges a day and my settings are good - low screen lite, no automatic updates, emails once only and no 3G (Doesn't work anyhow thanks to T-Mobile) yet it still suffers from texting, using facebook and maybe 20 mins of a game or two or reading a book on it.

    Very poor.
     
  20. Jaffa

    Jaffa Well-Known Member
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    Nov 16, 2009
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    Electrical Engineer
    Brighton
    I get about 10 hours off medium to heavy use from my battery
     
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