Orange has started to sell the HTC Hero, an Android-based smartphone, both online and in its high street stores for as little as £34.25 per month.
The device was not expected to be available for until at least another two weeks as one Pocket-Lint reader was told that "the handset has not passed the extensive testing that is completed before being released onto the Orange network".
The HTC Hero still has a "chiseled" profile and packs a 5-megapixel, a 3.2-inch touchscreen and an MP3 player in a graphite-coloured body. The screen is capable of displaying 480x320 pixels and will support HTC's Sense User Interface.
You can get the HTC Hero for free on a 24 month contract (Dolphin 40 or Racoon 40) with either 1200 minutes and unlimited texts or 500 texts and unlimited calls to UK landlines. We expect these plans to come with 500MB mobile internet package.
T-Mobile is set to release the phone as the G2 Touch sometimes next month with availability restricted to £40+ contracts and it is likely that by then, it will have received a new firmware upgrade which, Techradar reports, is what the Hero needs to iron out a number of bugs on the handset.
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This is HTC's third Google Android phone, something that should get Microsoft slightly worried since the Taiwanese company has been a strategic partner of Microsoft in the mobile sector for a few years already. For those looking to use the HTC on other networks, the phone can be had for around £400.
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