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HTC Hero

We knew back in March that HTC was spooling up for at least three more Android-based smartphones this year, but with the first model out of the chute looking like a G1 minus the keyboard, the rest weren’t looking to promising. Until HTC showed us its Hero this week. Unlike the aforementioned Magic, the HTC Hero will receive a number of impressive updates, including a custom HTC user interface similar to that used on the HTC Diamond and HTC Touch Pro, Flash support and a tough new exterior coating.

HTC Hero
HTC Hero

That’s right: The beautiful HTC interface we’ve raved over on Windows Mobile (minus the whole speed thing) will finally get plastered over an operating system that doesn’t suck. This time around, the company is calling it HTC Sense, and from what we can tell so far, it will include widgets, a customizable shortcut bar, and of course, the gigantic clock we’re used to from previous HTC fare.

Besides the dressed-up new interface, the Hero will also become one of the first smartphones to support Adobe Flash 10, opening up access to everything from YouTube (without a separate application) to other streaming video sites like Break and LiveLeak, not to mention games and previously inaccessible sites that use Flash for their menus.

Though the hardware itself doesn’t quite look revolutionary, HTC has slimmed it down even further from the Magic, and it will also feature a dedicated search button for quick WebOS-style searches through contacts, e-mails, appointments, and even Twitter messages. It also picks up a 5-megapixel camera and a unique Teflon coating, which is supposed to help it resist scratching while also adding a soft grip and deterring fingerprints.

HTC will debut the Hero in Europe this July, and should appear in North America eventually, although quite possibly as a variant of the existing version. More information can be found at HTC.

HTC Hero Controls
The HTC Hero has a curved control pad

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Nick Mokey
As Digital Trends’ Managing Editor, Nick Mokey oversees an editorial team delivering definitive reviews, enlightening…
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HTC, for its part, did its best to convince me of various use cases ranging from mediation and wellness to use in care homes and hospices, as well as helping relieve some of the loneliness and stress caused by COVID. Admirable aspirations in principle, but the $499 price was the sticking point for me, as I suspect it’ll be for most people who compare its sparse hardware to the $299 Oculus Quest 2, which is capable of doing much more in terms of multimedia and gaming.

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The major hardware changes we're seeing are improvements to processing power with the new GP2 processor and an improved image sensor that beefs up from 20-megapixels to 23-megapixels The Hero 10 Black is also expected to support 5.3K video recording at a smooth 60 frames per second (fps), 4K videos at 120 fps, and 2.7K videos at 240 fps. The last one can help you create high-resolution slow-motion clips. This is a considerable improvement over previous models that only supported 5K recording at 30 fps and 4K recording at 60 fps. 

Marketing materials seen by WinFuture hint that Hero 10 Black’s in-camera software stabilization will see an improvement to offer "gimbal-like stabilization", after being upgraded to HyperSmooth 4.0 and TimeWarp 3.0 for time-lapse videos. Users can also enjoy an auto-upload function to transfer files online at a much quicker speed. The Hero 10 Black also supports 1080p live streaming, the same as previous models. Finally, the Hero 10 Black is said to offer 10 meters deep housing, touchscreen controls, and voice accessibility. Users can also access the webcam mode along with SuperPhoto and HDR options. These features combined with the improved recording capability have the potential to be a gamechanger for streamers and on-the-scene photographers. 
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