Archive for the ‘Hero’ Tag

“Droid” vs. “Android”

Android VS.  Droid

I’ve lost count of how many people have referred to “Android” the iPhone killer or that phone that runs “Droid,” and so here’s a quick disambiguation.

First, I have to congratulate Verizon for singlehandedly confusing the non-geek masses.  They wanted the name “Droid” so much that they went so far as to purchase the rights from George Lucas.


Android: an operating system created by Google, runs on mobile phones and other devices.


Droid: a line of cellphones sold by Verizon Wireless.  They include the Droid (Motorola), Droid Eris (HTC, similar to the Hero on Sprint), and the Droid Incredible (similar to the EVO on Sprint).

To summarize, the HTC Hero does not run the Droid operating system, and there are currently over 40 phones running Android, not just the Droid.



HTC Hero: 2 weeks in

After using the Moment for about a week, I’ve used the Hero for 2.  Given my hesitation, I’m pretty happy with that I’ve seen so far.  Here’s what I think:

Pros (as compared to the Moment):

  • The earpiece is much better.  Not as much raw loudness, but the sounds are louder and more vibrant.  Sound is fantastic, really. 
  • Screen sensitivity is much better.  A simple swipe is registered, as opposed to a hard press.
  • I personally prefer the trackball over the optical mouse.  It’s easier for me to control.  Especially when I have to go back one or two letters to correct a typo.
  • Access to 1x.  I can choose not to use 3G if I don’t want to, to save battery.  I couldn’t find this option on the Moment.
  • Keyboard accuracy and correction is far, far ahead of the standard Android keyboard.  It makes the device usable.
  • T9 on the dialer, for looking up contacts.  I know this is available through the Market, but it’s nice having it built-in.
  • Hardware keys and a dedicated search key.  ’nuff said.
  • So much smaller.  Again, preference.


  • Dust under the screen.  It’s not as bad as I had dreaded, probably because I went through every device at Best Buy and found the one with the best looking build quality.  Some of the Heros in the cabinet looked like they were glued together by a kindergartener.
  • You never really hear the other side ring… it just says “dialing” and then they pick up.  It’s kind of weird.
  • Proximity sensor, or lack thereof.  I’ve been really self-conscious about this one.
  • The stock Android calendar is not available, and the HTC one doesn’t have a week view.  This is actually pretty serious for me.


  • HTC Sense:  Personally, I don’t really find it useful, so I disable it.
  • Color depth:  I personally don’t particularly care.
  • Battery life: after conditioning, both devices lasted about 36 hours with moderate use.
  • Processor speed.  Really.  Boot-up admittedly takes a lot longer with the Hero… a lot longer.  But during usage, I found the speed difference to be negligible.
  • Reception: with all I read about the Moment having spotty reception and dropping 3G, I’m finding both phones to have about the same range of bars at home, and the same difficulty holding onto a 3G signal at work.

Hero or Moment: Lesser of Two Evils?

As you probably know, I have been lusting over Sprint Android phones for about four months now.  So why haven’t I gotten one yet?  After all, the Hero’s been out since mid October, and the Moment’s been out for nearly two weeks now.

If you read my previous post, you know that there are pros and cons to each phone.  However, according to various forums, including and Sprint’s own Buzz About Wireless, it looks like both devices were rushed to market, probably to compete with Verizon’s Droid.  Here are some of the problems that have been discussed ad nauseum:



According to Sprint, a patch for the Hero is in the works, and for the Moment in talks, so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

An interesting post-script: because I’ve been wanting to get an Android phone, I put up a poll on SprintUsers (  Of the people who responded (duh), more than twice got the Hero as the Moment, but about 10% of Hero users are dissatisfied, compared to less than 1% of Moment users.  The sample size is 61 as of this posting, so make of it what you will.

HTC Hero vs. Samsung Moment: initial thoughts

I just had a chance to play with both phones side-by-side, and here’s my take:

I was dead set on buying the Moment because of the faster processor, hardware keyboard, and AMOLED screen. I’m not so certain anymore.

The keyboard was nice, but not fantastic. Coming from a Q9h, the layout is slightly different. Dedicated function key for smilies? Really? The slide mechanism seemed decent, but already a bit loose. Having used a Samsung slider before, I’m baised against them.

The error correction on the Hero seems much better than vanilla Android, at least on a “quick brown fox” test.

I was expecting the screen to blow me away, and it really didn’t. I played a couple videos on both phones and honestly much of the time I preferred the Hero. The colors seemed more vivid.

Processing power: 800MHz… that’s 2 times the power of the first computer that I had. And the phone still lagged. What?!

Call quality: I called home and my dad said both were equally ok. The earpiece on the Moment is signifincantly louder.

LED alerts… I can’t believe the Moment doesn’t have them! What good is a battery-saving screen if I have to turn the phone on whenever I am away.

Those of you who have used both phones or are trying to decide between the two – post your opinions!