I had been using the Palm Centro for over two years. But alas, trying to upgrade the device software was a no-go, unless I paid for it. My decision was made for me. Having enjoyed the Palm, I had considered both the Palm Pre and the soon-to-be released Palm Pixie as the most likely replacement phone.
When I went to the Sprint store, the sales rep showed me the Palm Pre, but mentioned they had just gotten the HTC Hero in (released just a few days earlier). I picked it up and was instantly drawn to it. It was lighter than the Centro and the Pre. Within 15 minutes I was sold.
Several things stood out: the time display is readable; that was a complaint I had about the Centro! I like the current weather conditions just below the time. And it really did feel comfortable in my hand. The more I held it, the better it was to hold.
As for using it, it took me a few days (including travel, learning on the go) to become familiar with what did what and how. Once I had the basics learned, it has become almost second nature, in only one week.
The touch screen is more responsive than the Centro was. That had taken me a while to get used to the smaller keyboard of the Centro. So I was a little concerned with a virtual keyboard. The virtual keys in normal position allow more room than the Centro physical pad. But when turning it sideways, the keys seemed to have more than enough space! Very nice.
The size is just right for me. The screen (3.2 in) is bigger, better quality than I was used to on the Centro, and while slightly smaller than the iPhone, I don’t notice because i have never even held an iPhone.
I have not begun to explore the applications. Setup for email was instantaneous (I already had a gmail account), which made it even easier.
Slightly negative comments:
Using the Voicemail application is fine, but does not seem to work with bluetooth devices. I checked at the Sprint store yesterday and confirmed that was true. I use Bluetooth 98% of the time. Nuts
Voice dialer application is a good asset, but there are a few sound combinations (in names) that the application just cannot get right. Even with the shortcut on the main screen, for those combinations it is faster to use the People application and search. One name I had to change the first name to make it more distinct, which now works. Sigh
I was told that it will synch with Macs as well as Windows computers. After getting it home and exploring, such is not the case. I am looking forward to the Missing Synch app to be released next week to allow me to synch with my MacBook Pro.
Since I picked up the phone only seven days ago, I offer only a preliminary evaluation. This phone is just right for my needs; I am glad I got the Hero. It is a step up from the Centro, and it has me wanting to learn more of its capabilities. The feel of the phone is winner. The screen is bright and easy to navigate; the touch/feel for navigation is sensitive. That took a little getting used to, but it is now almost second nature.
I’m not sure about the battery life; I am on the phone 5-7 hours every day. So it is often plugged in at my desk or in the car to ensure that I won’t be left without phone capability. I know that when I check email, etc. The battery power drains much faster. I understand that HTC/Sprint will issue a firmware update soon to correct that.
Good job, HTC and Sprint. You made my work environment much, much better with this phone!