Hero finally unmasked by HTC

HTC Corporation has finally unveiled its highly anticipated new Hero smartphone, as well as the customisable Tattoo. Both handsets will run on the Android operating system and be launched initially through Harvey Norman stores.

At the launch event in Sydney yesterday, Anthony Petts, sales and marketing director ANZ, HTC Corporation, showed off the new smartphones and introduced Sense, a new philosophy and technology incorporated into the units.

“These two new handsets are focused on personalisation and accessibility – hallmarks of the HTC Sense experience,” he said.

“The phones are equipped to directly reflect the user’s mood, aesthetic and natural communication patterns. They are the manifestation of HTC’s research and observations of human communication interactions and needs, joining a family of HTC phones designed specifically around user specifications.”

The sense philosophy revolves around three fundamental principles which Petts believes is what all users are after in a phone: Make It Mine, where users can make the phone their own through customisation; Stay Close, where all forms of communication are easily accessible to help you stay in touch; and Discover the Unexpected, which is basically a promise that all HTC’s phones will have little innovative features that set them apart from the competition.

In terms of the new handsets, the Hero is the flagship model and has a focus on cutting edge design. The unit is very distinctive due to its bevelled edges and angled bottom, which is contoured to fit comfortably in your hand or against your face.

In terms of specifications the Hero features a 3.2” HVGA display, GPS, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, 5-megapixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory.

The Tattoo, while still incorporating many of the same features is very different from its bigger brother. The main aspect that sets the Tattoo apart from its competitors is the customisation, where the phone cover can be removed and replaced.

To do this users have to log into http://www.garskin.com/htc/AUD/ and select numerous different designs, or you can even design your own and have it made for you. This service will cost $29.90 and according to Petts it will shipped out to the consumer in just 10 days.

Like the Hero, Tattoo also features all your favourite Google applications like Google Maps, Google Mail and the Androis market to download further apps and games. Tattoo also comes with a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, expandable MicroSD memory and 2.8” TFT LCD screen.

Harvey Norman has been selected as the exclusive mass retail partner for both models for the initial launch period, Petts discussed this further.

“At launch Harvey Norman will have the exclusive rights for both models for about two weeks. We are a strong backer of Harvey Norman,” he said.

“But we are currently still talking to carriers and are expected to continue to add more retailers in the coming weeks.”

Petts said that the Hero will be available around the end of November 2009 and the Tattoo will come out approximately two weeks after that. The Hero will come at an RRP of $799 and Tattoo will have an RRP of $599.

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