Some rumors of HTC’s Android Hero phone surfaced in the middle of February this year when HTC’s supposed 2009 line-up was revealed on ppcgeeks.com. There hasn’t been any piece of information revealed about it since but it looks like it has been spotted online. CodeAndroid appears to have nabbed the first in-the-wild shots of the very phone, and it’s got every bit as much “chin” in real life as it did in those fuchsia renders.
The phone looks set to feature some interesting developments, with five hardware buttons lined below its full touchscreen and the inclusion of a much needed 3.5mm headphone jack.
HTC has not yet divulged the hardware specs for its most recently leaked smartphone, but expect more news to follow in the coming weeks.
That could be good or bad news depending on just how strongly you feel about the G1’s unforgettable cosmetics. The trackball is certainly gone, so unless there’s some wild touch-sensitive area below the screen, it seems like the touchscreen might be the only way to navigate.
However, it has been officially announced that the Hero will be picked up by Orange. Orange France has already released the G1 as the HTC Dream (they couldn’t use the G1 branding as T-Mobile has exclusive rights to that) and now, according to Mobinaute, they will be following that up with the HTC Hero Android. Orange is definitely on a mission here and is keen to capitalise on what they see as the revenue potential of the Android Market.
Even more interesting, although this could be speculation, is that by the end of this year, Orange, in addition to HTC, plans to have Android phones from Motorola, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. That last one especially comes as a welcome surprise as Sony Ericsson, although a member of the Open Handset Alliance, seems to have been very quiet on the Android front this year. So, as you can see the competition will be very tight for HTC Hero Android. How this phone ultimately stacks up against its rivals when it hits the market later this year remains to be seen.