I just received my brand new HTC Hero today, and full of excitement I immediately unwrapped and booted the new phone. This was a pre-update phone, so the first order of business was to update the firmware.
Since I run Windows 7, I had to follow the following workaround to properly install HTC Sync and connect my phone to the computer, but this was nothing but a minor speedbump. After pulling my contacts of the phone, I updated and rebooted the phone. There is no such thing as the smell of a newly flashed phone!
Next order of business was syncing my contact list with Facebook, something was surprisingly simple. Either you can mass-sync, or you can go through each one if you, like me, do not find the sync all button at first glance…. Then, Gmail and Twitter was soon synced, and finally, I connected my email. Everything went seamlessly, and you can easily see that HTC put a great deal of thought into their Sense UI. Furthermore, Android provides a great foundation upon which to build such a system.
The only thing I find annoying after using my phone for a day is the lack of a way to convert “Phone” contacts into “Google” contacts that are automatically synced to Gmail contacts. There is a piece of software on the Market called “ContactSync” which does exactly this, but there have been reported stability issues with the HTC Hero ( though allegedly the problem is not with the software itself, but the Google Sync software which cannot handle more than a certain number of contacts ).
To finish off; if you are considering buying a HTC Hero - do it. You will not regret!
PS: Just remember to check if a microSD card is included. It is supposed to be, but for some reason mine did not have one which disables a couple of cool features like Footprints, the Camera and downloading attachments/files from the web/email.