Giving a firm release date to one of the most anticipated new mobile devices to run on the Android operating system, from Google Inc.(GOOG), Amazon’s United Kingdom site is listing the HTC Hero for pre-ordering. The smartphone will begin shipping on July 15; it’s expected to become available in the U.S. later this year.
Based on the mobile O.S. developed by Google, the Hero also features HTC Sense, the Taiwanese company’s new user-interface, which offers a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen along with gesture controls and customizable widgets and icons that can be quickly launched from the home screen. The Hero, which will be offered by the U.K. through Orange and T-Mobile, will also be sold in an unlocked version that’s not tied to a single carrier. The dual-band cellular/WiFi device will cost $712 with no carrier contract.
The Hero is the third Android-based device to hit the market. Several other manufacturers are hurrying to get Android mobile devices to market before the Christmas gift season this year.