HTC Hero or Palm Pre?

I’m looking for a new phone and I’m a Sprint customer. The HTC Hero and the Palm Pre seem to be the major contenders for a beefy touchscreen smartphone with GPS and with tethering (that I don’t get through Sprint and pay through the nose for). In fact, it seems that with the HTC Hero, it does this out of the box, but there is a $10 app for Palm Pre. They’re comparatively priced, but based on my available upgrades, I’d pay less for the HTC Hero – plus it’s an Android phone, which makes me even more interested.

Does anyone have opinions about either phone, positive or negative? Or a third option that I should really consider?

For various reasons (cough oldjobemployeediscount) I’m only considering Sprint, so iPhones and suchlike are not really in the running.

I’ve been waiting for years to upgrade to a new phone, and I’m pretty much set on an Android model. For the reasons I’ve evaluated alone - customer & developer base chief among these - I’d go that route if those were my options. The Pre remains a nice package lacking guts and I wouldn’t be surprised if it fails to take off in the way that Palm had hoped.

Hubby’s had an Android for a couple of months now; while there is one design flaw that drives him nuts*, he basically loves it. I think he may divorce me for it, if they ever come out with a no-holds-barred sex app! :wink:

*The one feature he hates: the push button that turns the ringer off is along the left side of his phone as you hold it upright; if you turn it around so you get “panorama” display, that button is on the bottom. . .right where his thumb naturally “falls” to hold on to the phone. Resulting in him frequently turning off the ringer without meaning to or realizing he’s done it! And before anyone mentions it, you cannot make it do the panorama display by turning the phone so those buttons are on top.

Also, the phone has a metal detector app; for some reason, he is such a geek that this makes him almost ridiculously happy! :stuck_out_tongue:

Does have have an HTC Hero or another type of phone, do you know?

Hasn’t the Pre single handedly saved Palm from bankruptcy?

Based on sales, yes, not future performance. They’ve pinned their hopes on a lackluster product and so they remain, teetering on the brink.

He has an HTC Hero.
He says it’s true what everyone says about battery performance, but he off-sets this problem by keeping chargers everywhere and basically he’s always charging it if he isn’t using it!

It’s pretty much even broken him of the habit of reading in the bathroom! :smiley:
He suffers middle-of-the-night insomnia (as do I from time to time), and it’s not too unusual for me to wake up at 3AM and find him lying on his side of the bed with that now-familiar little rectangular glow. . .whereas I used to wake at 3AM to find him sitting in front of the computer. . .

Oh, he’s got a Pandora app for it too, which he loves. Not as ‘geeky’ as the metal detector, maybe, but still plenty entertaining for the money. . .

Hero owner here. I had iPhone envy but am stuck with a Sprint contract for a few more months and my old flip phone gave up the ghost. I was toying with the idea of the Pre and even went down to the Sprint store to play with it a few times, but it felt flimsy in my hands and reports of screen cracks were popping up… and the one big thing the Pre had going for it in my book, a physical keyboard, was too tiny for my fat fingers to use properly.

So I waited for a month for the Hero to come out. I’d been reading about Android and liked the idea behind it. I went to the Sprint store again to play with it and it felt sturdy and rugged. The Hero has the HTC Sense modified android interface and I was sold on how easy it was to use. The everything plan I got for it had unlimited data, texting and mobile to mobile calls for about $5/month what I was paying for my old phone with a data plan. So the idea became get a placeholder for my smartphone until my contract was up so I could move to AT&T and get an iPhone.

I have to say, Sprint may keep me as a customer with the Hero. I love the UI, the performance of the phone has gotten nice and snappy with a firmware update in November, Android phones multitask (which means phone calls don’t interrupt applications, and you can surf, browse, text, play games etc. though the more you have open the slower things go.)… In my book it’s a keeper.

Big bonus for me: I’m a Google guy – mail, calendar and apps. The Hero syncs with google flawlessly and stores the info in the phone. I just entered my gmail account and it was all at my fingertips. Even better, when I had to do a hard reset on my phone, I didn’t have to re-enter my contacts because they were all stored on the web. The last time it happened I couldn’t call people for a week as I re-input phone numbers. This time, it synced and I was back in business. Beautiful!

Sprint navigation also comes with the Hero. It has built in traffic and voice entry and works well enough that my Garmin Nuvi is going to be put up for adoption this Christmas.

The music player interface isn’t stellar, but the sound quality is great. Actually, the sound quality overall has been the best I’ve had on any phone for calls, speakerphone or music.

Hero also has built-in Facebook integration if you’re into that. The phone list on the computer will show peoples’ facebook photo and status update if you want it to. At first it seemed kind of gimmicky, but I like it now.

Drawbacks: power consumption. If you have GPS going it will run down. Also, there was a bug in the OS where it was always kept awake even if the screen was dark which bleed batteries dry. This has been remedied for the most part, but I do have to charge my Hero at least once a day, and I am now in the habit of plugging it in at work. Small plus: the charger is USB so I just use a cable tethered to my laptop. If you sync with a computer, it will charge as well.

Another drawback: Hero is running Android 1.5, and is not due to get 2.1 until the “first half of 2010.” Even though Hero is Android, the Sense UI has to be re-written for it and could be out from 0 to 6 months from now.

Final drawback: it’s too easy to pocket dial. There is a locking screen that can be bypassed if you press the call button twice, which seems to happen a lot when I’ve got it in my jeans pocket. That’s more user error than anything else - I hate carrying around a holster that would easily remedy the issue.

I still have some iPhone envy with my friends, mainly for lack of certain apps that the iPhone has and Android doesn’t (yet) but most of the biggies are there and more and more show up every day, and the phone itself seems more capable than its Apple counterpart. Of course you were wanting to know Hero vs Pre and not Hero vs iPhone, and for me the winner in that battle was Hero by a landslide. It’s a great phone.

Thanks all for the opinions. I opted for the HTC Hero. So far it seems great!

Good choice! I have the Hero and I really love it. Lots of super fun apps.