The Hero is just about ready to launch exclusive to Orange (and as the G2 Touch on T-Mobile), and after getting hands on with the device, on video no less, we're quite enamoured. Here's why.
1. Digital compass
This with A-GPS support makes it an even better sat-nav phone than the HTC Magic, as when you're winding your lost little way down Oxford St with naught but Google Maps for aid, the little glowing dot representing You will actually have a little arrow to indicate which way you're going. Trust us, it's helpful for the truly directionless.
2. Flash-enabled browser
In a first for Android phones, the Hero has a Flash browser which means an even more desktop-like browsing experience complete with video content and rich internet apps like gaming. Hey, even the iPhone 3GS hasn't managed a Flash browser yet.
3. 3.5mm audio jack
Can you believe the Magic didn't have an audio jack for your own headphones? Well, the Hero does - you can now fill up that memory card with music and movies, plug in your cans and hit play.
4. Slick new interface
Lookin' good - the new HTC Sense user interface debuts in the Hero, with a new way to customize your widgets, content and contacts. Also new is the aggregated comms feature - you'll be able all a contact's communication details from phone number to Twitter handle, and view all conversations you've had with them too.
5. Five megapixel autofocus camera
Yep - two whole more megapixels than the old phone. Now you can finally get those up-close macro shots, or blow up some sweet landscapes to a sizeable 8x12 inches.
Other specs: 3.2-inch HVGA touch-screen with anti-fingerprint coating, 528Mhz CPU, microSD slot to beef up 512MB of internal, Teflon coating for some reason.
The HTC Hero is free on Orange for £39.15/month on a two-year contract. The tariff plan for the G2 Touch on T-Mobile is TBC.