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HTC Hero vs. iPhone 3GS




A lot of people have been asking how the HTC Hero compares with the Apple iPhone 3GS. We shot both smartphones for a side by side comparison.

We’re pitting an iPhone 3GS 16GB with an HTC Hero and a 16GB microSD card. I borrowed the 3GS from @tjmanotoc for the photo comparison here (forgive the worn out Invisible Shield on the 3GS).

Now that we got that out of the way, the price of a prepaid 16GB iPhone 3GS is Php38,850 with Globe and the HTC Hero with 16GB microSD card is Php37,799 (Php33,999 + Php3,800).

The 3GS has a bigger screen at 3.5″ compared to the Hero’s 3.2 although both have the same resolution of 320×480 pixels. The 3GS has a faster processor — ARM Cortex A8 600 MHz vs. Qualcomm MSM 7200A 528 MHz for the Hero. Both have WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G/HSDPA with the same speed rating but the Hero also supports HSUPA 2.0 Mbps.

The Hero has some edge over the 3GS — a 5MP camera vs. 3.15MP; 288MB RAM vs. 256MB; and the Hero also has 512MB ROM. While both the Hero and iPhone 3GS weigh the same at 135 grams, the former is a bit thicker 14.4mm compared to the iPhone at 12.3mm.

Of course, the 1350 mAh Li-Ion battery of the Hero is removable and user-replaceable unlike that of the iPhone. And did I mention the Hero can do multi-tasking while the iPhone cannot?

The Hero also comes in a variety of colors — Black, White (with Teflon coating), Brown, Graphite and Pink. The iPhone only has Black and White.

It’s really a close fight between the two with features and functionalities almost dead even. That includes a huge collection of apps for both the iTunes Store and the Android Marketplace.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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57 Responses

  1. IMO! iphone 3GS has the edge over HTC Hero. In US, iphone 3GS is being to compared to Motorola Droid because of latest version Android 2.0 while HTC Hero got Android 1.5 only.

  2. lolipown says:

    Any idea when the GSM version of Droid will get here? :D

  3. I have a bias against iPhone so even if I can’t afford any of the two, I choose Hero.

  4. totoy says:

    i think yuga is favoring the htc hero hehe… ako iPhone 3GS pa din lol

    kapag graduate na ako pag-iipunan ko ang moto-droid

    ciao

  5. marvin says:

    iphone! iphone! iphone kami!

  6. rain says:

    you CAN upgrade the Android version on the Hero, right?

  7. Mr Z says:

    Hey Abe, how about a breakdown of the benefits of multitasking, and what you lose by NOT having multitasking on an iPhone? Am curious.

  8. yuga says:

    @rain – yes for the Hero.

    @Mr Z – I think that one deserves a post of its own.

  9. boo says:

    let’s not forget that the iphone lets you install applications until your entire capacity is used up. the hero, i believe will only allow you to install apps in its phone memory. this sorta limits you.

  10. rsa1 says:

    i can’t help but think that you are siding with the Hero. i’ve never read any positive input for iphone aside from the faster processor. the title should have been how the Hero defeats Iphone 3gs in every way.

  11. yuga says:

    @boo – forgot to add that one.

    @rsa1 – you missed the big screen of the iPhone, the thinner form factor, bigger internal storage.

  12. goosebumps says:

    naaahhhh….blackberry still….

  13. jumper says:

    c’mon people, take it easy on Yuga. i know y’all love your iphones a lot, but the whole point of this post is to compare the Hero against the 3GS, so naturally he has to talk about the Hero a bit more. and i’m sure at this point we don’t need to hear about the 3GS that much anymore, since it’s been out for months now and your iphone-phile friends have probably already talked to you to death about all the features and how cool and nice and awesome the phone is.

    personally, i think comparing android phones (or even other platforms) to the iphone is like comparing apples to oranges. the iphone rocks NOT really because if its features (e.g. processor, screen size, whatever), but rather how everything comes together so seamlessly and awesomely – the usability, the apps – that makes for such a great user experience. if we’re talking about that, then i don’t believe there’s still anything yet out there that quite matches up with the iphone. but not everybody is looking for that, that’s why there’s a market for different kinds of phones.

    but anyway, i don’t blame gadget reviewers if they keep making that comparison because people are always asking for it, partly because people are not very exposed to the other phone offerings in the market, but primarily because iphone has done such a great job with its design and marketing, that people just can’t help but benchmark everything against it.

  14. jumper says:

    @mr Z: that’s a great question. one can’t really appreciate multitasking in smartphones until one actually gets to use it and gets used to it. (kinda like our grandparents, who thought B/W TV was great until they saw color TV.) also, we’re coming from a non-mutitasking experience, being that most of us have probably not used a phone before that does multitasking, so our phone habits or the way we use our phones are still probably that way.

    anyway, the closest analogy i could give you is to try and imagine that you can only do one thing on your PC (or Mac): you can’t play music while surfing the net, you can’t download stuff while typing a document, you can’t have your IM running while you edit your pictures, things like that. i know what you’re thinking – but that’s a PC (or Mac)! it’s different! but that’s the thing – as technology/components becomes smaller, cheaper, lighter, and more advanced, phones are becoming more and more powerful and can now start doing stuff that a regular computer does.

    of course, people are different, and not everyone will want (or need) multitasking on their phones. that’s why there’s the phones like the iphone, for people who just want simplicity, ease of use, great user experience.

  15. eman says:

    I find Hero´s strong personality goes to business users since it was designed for it. With the collaboration of contacts, twitter and facebook, etc. You can easily see it in each contacts/users.

    Iphone is simple in many ways but snappy in performance.

    Android market and application are still limited while iphone has numerous softwares found in appstore.

    Iphone pa din! heheh!

  16. Jesus says:

    Halos pareho lang. Sa form, nakaumbok sa bandang baba.

  17. ryan says:

    will there be a 2.0 update for the hero? hopefully htc would let hero users update their phone to 2.0 through flashing..

    anyway.. for the price.. is it worth it? GSM droid on the other hand.. well sana magkaroon din.. haha

    I’m still waiting for the gsm Pre.. lol

  18. popohat says:

    hi sir yuga! i just noticed that your blog name spelled “Yugatech Philipines” :(

  19. rsa1 says:

    @yuga

    Stand corrected but still i think it’s one sided based on the perspective of an iphone user

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  20. iLove says:

    @Jumper
    With all due respect sir (or ma’am?), maybe you’re just trying to point out what’s the opposite of multi-tasking but your analogy doesn’t quite tell the truth about what the iPhone can do as the iPhone can play iPod music while surfing through Safari, or opening the facebook app and other applications, you can make a call and browse the web at the same time, and many others. When it comes to basic multi-tasking which consists of opening major applications (quite subjective though) and basic phone operations, the iPhone can do it. Majority also of the applications I use saves my input (or instance) if I need to go open another application like when I’m trying to post a status update and exit the facebook application to access my YM or notes, when I open the facebook application my unposted status update is still there (same as having unsent messages in each conversation when you exit “messages”). I can also run voice memos while opening other applications and record sounds from the other application (ofcourse with the ambient noise of the surrounding). However these examples involve the built-in apps (some partially) of the iPhone OS. Other applications may behave otherwise especially on games (to the disappointment of gamers). If you think about it, the amount of RAM on Hero is not that big of a difference as with the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone can do multi-tasking more openly if only the OS permits. But Apple didn’t because they don’t want to hear a lot of complaints about slow performance and crashing applications like what you get with most of the other phones out there that can openly do multi-tasking (although you still get crashing applications and slowed down performance on the iPhone due to bugs which is almost always present in every application).

  21. iamupset says:

    these two phones despite costing close to Php40,000 with all their features and you still can’t even make a video call.. tsk tsk..

    i’d rather wait next year, i hear a lot of new more cooler phones are coming out, like ericsson’s xperia x10. more android phones and more nokia phones with capacitive screen with an updated UI.

    best bang for the buck for me this year is still the nokia’s 5800 (with the updated firmware), it only cost Php13,000 and you get most of the features of these high-end phone including push email(albeit, it has a resistive screen, stylus and lacks kinetic scrolling),not too mention you can also do FREE video web calls, super sulit =)

  22. @iamupset – consider Samsung Omnia HD (i8910), unmatched in almost all hardware features such as 1280 x 720p HD recording, 8MP camera with almost all the digital camera features plus geotagging, 5.1 virtual dolby surround, AMOLED capacitive touch screen 16M Colors, HSDPA 7.2Mbps & HSUPA 5.76Mbps, A-GPS, DLNA compatible, 16GB on board memory plus up to 32GB expandable.

    Only the O.S. is the weak point because it’s based on Symbian S60 5th edition but for me it’s ok because we mostly grew up with SYMBIAN interface.

    Plus by the way, you can use this smartphone as internet modem to your laptop via blue tooth, it’s very cool feature.

  23. ryan says:

    @Andrew Mercado
    with all that power, I’m assuming that this phone runs slow, is it? Samsung phones are either a hit or a miss. Touch Wiz interface definitely lags, even with their speediest phone the Jet. Not sure about the Galaxy though.

    In terms of the ‘it just works’ category, the iPhone ranks high. It can do its function well albeit only one at a time. It will be interesting to see how they will try to implement multitasking (if ever they do)

    @iamupset
    X10 shows a lot of promise as a great Android phone but for now videos of the pre production models show the interface to lag. Hopefully they’ll fix it before they release it. The Xperia X1 was a little bit of a letdown since the Panels UI was slow.

  24. @ryan – Actually, i’m having this smartphone Samsung i8910 right now and i can say everything works smoothly. Samsung finally make it right. That’s why i don’t need to carry separate camera, camcorder, mp3 player, I mean all-in-one gadget for me.

    Processor speed is at 600 MHz. Fring app works fine i’m using it for video calls via skype & take note on 3G/HSDPA. Up to sawa video calls because i subscribed to unlimited internet plan here in Saudi and i just switch internet from smartphone to laptop just a click of bluetooth, it’s very convenient.

  25. rsa1 says:

    who makes video calls anway

  26. @rsa1 – I make the video calls direct from cellphone using fring app and my family members back in phils video call me from PC using skype and all of these calls are free unlimited because “all-you-can eat” internet data plan. So, i am optimizing the data plan where ever i go i use video call whether i’m in office or at home.

    Now, i’m not sure if the same scheme also being practiced by TELCOs from our country Phils. which is tethering on an unlimited internet data plan.

    So, we can avoid the use of smartphone for standard voice calls and 3G video calls which is very expensive.

  27. jumper says:

    @ilove: yeah, i guess you’re right. the examples i gave doesn’t really work at all. hehe. i guess i was trying to make it too simple or whatever. i stand corrected. :)

    in any case, i just want to clarify (or even emphasize) that i’m not saying the iPhone cannot multitask. it probably can (other phones w/ lesser hardware specs have it) but because it wants to keep things simple and, as you rightly pointed out, wants to avoid the (potential) issues and problems associated w/ multitasking (everything “just works”), it probably chose not to have it.

  28. Allan says:

    @Andrew Mercado: Am green with envy sayo. Sarap naman video calls unlimited. Dito sa pinas, unlitxt lang masaya na kami. Babaw ng kaligayahan, no? He he

    @macfanbois: Of course, the iPhone. Otherwise, magagalit ang high priest nyo from Apple. He he.

  29. Ben says:

    Sinong winner dito?

  30. pabs says:

    Ang winner dito ay nokia 5800. he he he. Bukod sa affordable na, e, kayang gawin lahat ng mga nagagawa ng both iphone ang htc hero, like mabilis ang browser niya, kaya ok for internet browsing or answering emails kung nasa labas ako.Laptop ko , di ko na gaanong dinadala, mabigat kasi sa shoulder bag ko. Maganda pa ang sound ng mp3 player niya, compared to my ipod at 2 days ka bago mag charge.

  31. Ben says:

    @pabs

    No comment. -_-‘

  32. gel says:

    I’m selling my HTC Hero for 26k.. contact me if interested 0918-9123980

  33. Ben says:

    @gel

    Android is great. Why selling?

  34. Tey Aragon says:

    @jumper —

    “…how everything comes together so seamlessly and awesomely – the usability, the apps – that makes for such a great user experience. if we’re talking about that, then i don’t believe there’s still anything yet out there that quite matches up with the iphone.”

    — there’s BlackBerry :-)

  35. jumper says:

    @tey: i know BB has that “just works” quality as well, but to say that it matches up with the iPhone? i don’t wanna go there just yet. :)

    besides, considering how many more things one can do w/ an iPhone while still providing a great user experience (although i really don’t see how one can mess this up if you can only run one app at a time :D), i think we can safely put the iPhone above the BB. ;)

  36. I’ll go for iphone. Since android market has yet to be tested on Philippine soil.

    ;)

  37. Adrian says:

    Don’t know if u guys are aware of the “Google Phone”, it think it will have a nice specs, you may want to check this out => HTC Nexus One http://www.product-reviews.net/2009/12/15/htc-google-nexus-one-unconfirmed-specifications/

    Not yet released in US, but MIGHT be the iPhone killer when it comes out.

    The phone is powered by a 1000MHz Snapdragon processor combined with Android 2.1 !

    Forgot to mention its thinner than iphone.

    Sweet huh?

  38. ryan says:

    @adrian

    We’ll just hope that they would utilize that 1GHz Snapdragon proc to the fullest and not underclocked.

    Why does the Nexus One remind me of the Verizon Eris (a Hero variant)

  39. Does anyone know where I can test the Hero prior making a purchase? The HTC concept store doesn’t allow me to do so.

  40. ryan says:

    @patrick.. hmm you can try to check 2nd hand units in ghills tiangge to feel how the device responds. I always check new units that way :D

  41. Essays.ph says:

    Pag nasira iPhone nyo, good luck sa service!

  42. john says:

    So meron 2nd hand sa ghills? haha makapunta nga.. magkano naman kaya? hirap makahanap ng hero eh.

    @topic, i sold my 3gs for the reason that i dont like itunes.. imagine:
    -you cant delete photos
    -you cant arrange photos
    -you cant delete musics
    -you cant transfer files via bluetooth
    -and a lot more limitations dahil sa ITUNES!

    any way, i love the apps so i bought an itouch, and now im looking for a HERO…

  43. geo77 says:

    Hi guys! I’m selling a bnew white (teflon coated) HTC Hero for Php28,500.. Send me a message if interested 0918-9123980

  44. geo77 says:

    I’m also selling a bnew motorola milestone for Php37,000… 0918-9123980

  45. Sunofa says:

    I was in greenhills yesterday and have yet to see this phone, magic lang nakita ko… i hope na meron sa mga sm nito para mapaglaruan

  46. Ben Davis says:

    Sorry iphone users, please don’t comment about the Hero until you experience it… The Hero is a better phone for several reasons… The Android Market is much user friendly… You can add any app with just one click.

    The camera is better. The internet and Youtube is much easier and faster. the calendar is much better… The applications are more organized.

    Facebook, twitter, and flickr are all synced with phone contacts. so you could just go to your phone contacts and wee the status of anyone’s profile, as well as their photo album. And this is not including the facebook application that you all have to install.. While you are talking on your phone, you can install applications. You could browse the internet, while recieving textmessages… google talk, yahoo messages, facebook messages all come to your phone in the form of texts… so it is easy to keep track of everything… you could always drag the top bar down when there are flashing alerts.. so that you can view everything that is happening on your phonw… the HTC Hero is not slow at all…

    People just need to be sure to install the Advanced Task Manager, so that you will know everything that is open on your phone. eliminate the tasks that you are no longer using. the battery on the Hero is also easier to manage…

    The only thing the iphone have over the Hero is that it’s sexier looking… and that more people have them because they have been out longer… and people hate to admit that there is a better phone that was never over a $1,000.00 to pay for….

  47. Sunofa says:

    Sana may program sa hero like installous… Siguro it’s much safer to carry iPhones kasi sa labas minsan mapapagkamalang china clone, ang hero hindi sikat dito clones… Hahaha

  48. Rodel says:

    just got my iPhone 3Gs 32GB and i must say it’s a winner compared with the HTC Hero…have seen Hero and actually checked its features…i think my iPhone is more user-friendly…i’m happy with my iPhone and its 172 applications…un nga lang medyo gastos sa internet esp if wala ka na sa wi-fi area talagang magbabawas sya ng load if naka-On ang 3G…hehehehe
    iPhone rocks

  49. Rodel says:

    @ Andrew Mercado: kakabili ko lang iPhone 3Gs 32GB dito sa Riyadh dude and i’m still familiarizing its features…heard about the fring application and its wonders on making unlimited video calls for free…di kasi ako tech-savvy eh, pwede pa-turo sa u?…san ka dito sa KSA?

  50. Rodel says:

    @ Andrew Mercado: btw, my email add is [email protected] in case my suggestion ka for iPhone3GS fring app…thanks though

  51. Chris says:

    Hay guys, any HTC Hero users here in Globe managed to get the MMS working?

    I have connection to internet but not mms…

  52. Droid Eris says:

    I’ve had my droid since december but had to get a alternative because the software program ruined my cellphone when it up to date itself. So for sure having troubles & found this wonderful web site lol i do have a questio tho…my ram storage is gettin smaller & smaller..is there nethin i can do to help get sum back?

  53. rex says:

    too expensive

  54. barat says:

    yeah too expensive talaga sa pinas. olats d2 satin kahit kelan. dapat magpasakop na lang sa bansa ng kano. mas madali pa mag punta sa bansa nila pag nagkataon.

  55. hardrive28 says:

    iphone pa din me..
    un ang gamit ko eh.
    hehe! :)

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