Chris Croft's Personal Blog

April 27, 2010

HTC Hero vs. iPhone

Filed under: Gadgets — chriscroft @ 7:51 pm

As an owner of a Hero, with lots of friends with iPhones who keep telling me how great they are, I think I’m reasonably qualified to tell you about what I have found is my first 3 months of Herownership.

What’s better about the HTC Hero:

  • it can connect to a bluetooth keyboard in principle, (the iPhone can’t)  though it didn’t work with the one I bought and sent back, it’s really hard to find one and allegedly hard to get them to talk, and in fact you don’t need one because the typing is so good anyway.  This was my main reason for getting the Hero, and I now find that it’s not such a big deal after all.
  • the typing on screen has the edge over the iPhone because when you press the wrong keys (I do this all the time with my fat fingers, especially in portrait mode) it not only corrects to the nearest word (like the iPhone) but offers you a load of choices so you can just hit the one you want.  the iPhone only homes in on the one it thinks you want.  And I’m not sure abou the iPhone but my Hero seems to be learning my common mistakes so it always selects as the preferred choice the one that I hit last time – but still offers me all the others as well.  If you just press psace or enter then it puts in the preferred one (shown as green).  This is a big plus as I use it for typing texts and emails more than all the other apps put together.  I’ll miss this if I change from my Hero.
  • it keeps its place when you exit and app and then come back to that app later – not sure if the iPhone does this
  • it keeps all the info with one contact, so if you select Fred you can phone him, text time, email him, see his facebook status, tweets etc.  The iPhone does this too, but not as well.
  • the google jobs to do app gTasks is great – it syncs with google desktop, and I use it all the time.  I haven’t seen an iPhone app that does that, and syncing with outlook is too hard for me.
  • maybe battery life – if I cane my Hero I can jsut use it up in a day.  I hear the iPhone is less good.  Not a big deal since you can recharge them from USB or mains or car or power-monkey, but still a factor.
  • Camera is noticeably better than the iPhone, though it is uncertain whether the iPhone apps can make the pictures better just by clever software when the pixels just aren’t there.  I doubt it!
  • Cost – my Hero is only £25/month, with the handset being free, and 18m contract, while the iPhone was £40/month, £200 for the phone, and 2 years contract.  Big difference.

The iPhone wins on

  • Games from the apps store.  The Hero has plenty, but they don’t look as nice and there aren’t as many.  All the other apps are the same – travel, weather, etc
  • Google maps rotate so they are the same way as you are facing.  This is a big plus.  The Hero has a compass and rotates in street view (and in the app for viewing the names of the stars) but not on Google Maps , which is a bit rubbish.
  • My Hero does crash occasionally (and takes 2 whole minutes to reboot) and sometiems won’t sent emails until I restart it.  It says my settings are wrong, but they’re not, I jsut have to reboot it.
  • I think my Hero is slower than the iPhone, even though it’s the latest one (I got it in January 2010)
  • I can’t type a pound sign on my Hero.  Annoying!
  • Music played through the speakers of the iPhone is louder and better quality.  The Hero is pretty good, but the iPhone is amazing.  This is quite a big thing for me as I spend lots of time in hotel rooms and I like some music on.

Overall I think I’ll get an iPhone next time…..




  1. Wow, that surprised me. Over 2 years the iPhone has to overcome a Pounds560 barrier to win.

    Comment by Martin Herrington — April 28, 2010 @ 1:03 am

  2. I’ve got both and I sway back and forth – they’re the 2 best phones on the market but I still prefer the Hero for one main reason and that’s the web browser supports flash and the iPhone doesn’t. Apple are too locked down in all of their products, they’ve removed a load of apps from app store and the iPhone definitely goes slow and locks up sometimes. I mainly use iPhone to remote control iTunes from a PC and use Apple’s plug in the wall extenders – you can say play this tune in the kitchen, control volume etc all from the phone it’s seriously good, but not why I bought it!

    Comment by Steve Ball — April 28, 2010 @ 3:41 am

    • oooh Steve: is that remore-control music capability standard on the iPhone, or have you added an app?

      Comment by Martin Herrington — April 28, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  3. The Hero wins on camera, being 5MP, but only just, and neither device has flash, which is not great.

    Also the Hero can show Flash within websites, though I don’t often find that a requirement, personally, since connection is often too slow to really use it.

    The iPhone has pinchable maps for zooming in and out, whereas the hero you have to click on the zoom button, so that’s a win for the iPhone.

    Comment by chriscroft — April 28, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

  4. I have noticed that my iPad, which is really just a big iPhone, and which I LOVE, does have some snags vs my android HTC Hero. First, when you zoom in on the ‘Pad, the text doesn’t wrap. You have to scroll left and right endlessly to read each line. Second, you don’t seem to be able to dial someone on the iPhone by using the number keys as letters, whereas on the android Hero you just press 276 and it immediately finds CROft. Both significant snags…

    Comment by chriscroft — November 1, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

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