Does this droid owner have buyer’s remorse?
I recently bought an HTC Hero and while it is a nice phone I have found it to be slow in use and not really fulfill the promise of being much more than a phone.
I’ve learned from it that I would like something that runs a UI experience that is closer to stock Android since the porting of a large change such as the HTC Sense UI takes a long time to complete as the Android base progresses and improves. Time when the user is deprived of updates to improve the experience and instead of slow incremental changes they get rare large code dumps that likely also changes behavior. This causes issues for users learning the basically new phone all over.
I’ve also learned that I would like a hardware keyboard since I am not cut out for on screen typing. Furthermore I would like to see some of the more logic extensions be made to the platform such as letting known friends addresses appear in the map application.
Skype on Android is utterly crippled, there is some kind of restriction being enforced to disallow the application from using the data connection. That sours the experience quite a bit.
All in all while I bought the phone because I needed one and thus had to pick what I thought was the best phone at the moment. I really wish the Droid had been available to me subsidized as I am not ready to pay for an unlocked phone with the mobile contracts as they are currently since it doesn’t save me money.
The HTC Hero isn’t a bad phone but the realistic competetor available to me at the same price was a new iPhone 3GS 32GB and it is certainly an inferior phone to that on many counts.
If you are thinking of going with the Hero to support Open Source then you should also know that HTC adds a proprietary UI and know that it comes with costs though it provides a very compelling UI.
The perfect Android phone might be closer to the Droid or the Nexus One depending on your preference and use cases. They are still slower on things like loading and rendering webpages than the 3GS but the hardware is solid and should support the platform as it expands. You should expect this expansion to be directly and naturally deployed for these phones an thus be improved with updates regularly considering that they are a very standard Android deployment. You could consider it an investment of trust in the platform, it doesn’t quite provide an experience that really beats the the iPhone solidly yet but it has considerable promise and past performance as an indicator will reach it soon. Bet on it coming to these products soon.
I elected to go for openness regardless, I know I have an inferior phone for it. It’s still a good phone but it’s not more than a phone in any really revolutionary way. It’s for people like me hoping to reduce the amount of gadgets I carry by removing my mp3 player, the Hero doesn’t replace a good camera though. Likewise the experience isn’t bad but isn’t really followed through to it’s natural conclusion to the extend competitors have done. Openness outweighted that, even with the encumberance of the Sense UI, for me. It isn’t likely to be the case for a lot of people.
I don’t have remorse for buying an Android phone but I acknowledge that the competition is overall a superior choice for most people right now.