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hero-front_0005_f2screenThe new Palm Pre’s in Sprint stores are going to have some attention-grabbing competition in a few weeks. Sprint has announced its plan to sell the Hero phone, made by HTC and loaded with Google’s open-source Android operating system, starting October 11. A Hero will cost $279.99 in the store with a two-year service plan from Sprint. There’ll be a mail-in rebate for another $100, bringing the total cost for the phone down to $179.99.

Given the power of the Android platform, it’s interesting that Sprint’s marketing materials focus on talking up HTC’s Sense feature, which lets users configure the phone to respond to multi-finger touch gestures, and HTC Footprints, an application that creates the equivalent of postcards that combine location information — say, a restaurant — with text and audio notes. No video, sorry.

Basic speeds and feeds on Sprint’s version of the Hero:

  • Stereo Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless technology
  • Wi-Fi networking
  • GPS navigation
  • accelerometer, light sensor and home screen widgets for improved usability
  • multimedia capable with microSD slot (32GB capable, 2GB included)
  • Sprint TV® with live and on-demand programming
  • NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile
  • easy access to social networking sites, including Facebook, Flickr and Twitter
  • visual voice mail, for quick and easy access to specific voice mail messages instead of listening to them all in series

Sprint’s full press release makes a lot out of the fact that the Hero’s search key can figure out if you’re looking at the Internet or your email. But it’s also got details on more features and apps.

[Photo: Sprint]

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