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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    « Another external battery charger for your iPod/iPhone! | Main | On This Turn The Table Tuesday Leo reviews another Bluetooth Headset! »

    A Hot Android Phone Joins The Sprint Team.

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2009, Netcast 933

    This was written a few days before the Sprint Hero went on sale. I knew right out the box it would offer some stiff competition to Android phones out there already. The Hero has a lot of new features and very aggressive pricing. Plus almost everyone who has gotten their hands on an early review unit agrees the speed of Sprint’s EVDO Rev A network is really impressive. Plus it has built in WiFi. The Hero features HTC Sense, which allows you to customize your interface screens. But as soon as I turned it on I liked the opening screen with the big flip down digital clock at the top of the screen. The Hero doesn’t have a slide out or slide down keyboard but uses a virtual one. You get touch feedback from the screen when you hit a key, and the letter you hit appears big for a moment so you can verify it’s what you wanted. At first I had to type really slowly to make sure I hit the correct key, but my speed picked up as I got used to the virtual keyboard. The Hero has a bright a 3.2-inch screen which you can pinch-to-zoom or expand photos like on the iPhone. And you flick your finger to move screens right & left, or up and down. There’s also an integrated GPS, accelerometer, and light sensor for automatic screen brightness. I choose to shut off that feature because it didn’t seem to respond fast enough for my taste. It also has a 5-mega pixel camera, with camcorder mode. There’s microSD slot that handles cards up to 8MB. To snap a photo you use the Hero’s trackball as the camera shutter. I wasn’t crazy about that. When I pushed on the trackball to take a picture I caused the camera to shake, which blurred a lot of my photos. Later on I learned the Hero has image stabilization, which I didn’t turn on. But image stabilization that should help you get clear photos. Call quality was very good. There’s a built in speaker, but I thought the sound quality was just okay. For some reason boot-up time is fairly long. I thought it might be my phone, but I asked others reviewing the phone and they agreed. But these are minor compliments compared to all the features packed in the Hero. What is going to generate a lot of interest with this phone is the price. With a 2-year contract and rebate, the price comes to $179.95. That’s a very attractive price for a full-featured Android phone. 


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw933