Hero And Tattoo Land Down Under


Well look what two little buggers we found in the pocket of a marsupial this morning:


The HTC Hero and the HTC Tattoo! Aren’t you glad to see that I’m spending my valuable time photoshopping phone-holding robots into the pouch of kangaroos? What has my life become!

Fortunately for us, other people have been much busier. In a press release today, HTC announced that the HTC Hero and HTC Tattoo are now available at Harvey Norman for about AUD$799 and AUD$599 respectively. Harvey Norman will be the immediate launch partner in terms of retail distribution, but more sources will be added moving forward. For non-australians unable to deduce who the heck Harvey Norman is, it isn’t some guy selling used phones out of his garage but rather one of the countries largest retailers. Check out the Harvey Norman website for proof.

I sensed (pun!) one awkward thing about this whole launch – the actual press release. They announced the phone as if they were launching this phone for the first time and made no mention of its previous existence. I understand they want to treat this like a new launch but, with how long the Hero/Tattoo have been around, it just seemed a bit weird. Decide for yourself:


Sydney, Australia – November 18, 2009 – HTC Corporation, a global leader in mobile phone technology and design, today unveiled two new handsets – the HTC Tattoo and Hero. These devices join HTC’s innovative range of handsets developed under the HTC Sense™ philosophy and technology.

“These two new handsets are focused on personalisation and accessibility – hallmarks of the HTC Sense experience,” said Anthony Petts, Sales and Marketing Director ANZ, HTC Corporation. “The phones are equipped to directly reflect the user’s mood, aesthetic and natural communication patterns. They are the manifestation of HTC’s research and observations of human communication interactions and needs, joining a family of HTC phones designed specifically around user specifications.”

HTC Sense
HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the centre by making your phone work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were designed by quietly listening and observing how people live and communicate: Make it Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected.

• Make It Mine
Make It Mine, is about personalising your HTC phone, making it your very own. To do this, HTC encourages you to dictate and organise how you want to access the people and content in your life in a way that fits best for you. For some, this means adding glance view widgets that push content like twitter feeds and weather to the surface while others may want quick access to business-focused information like email, calendar and world-times. HTC is also introducing a new profile feature called Scenes that enables you to create different customised content profiles around specific functions or times in your life.

• Stay Close
Today, staying in touch with the people in your life means managing a variety of communication channels and applications. HTC Sense integrates these communication channels and applications into one single view, enabling you to stay closer to your important people. With HTC Sense, friends’ Facebook status updates and photos along with their Flickr photos are included alongside their text messages, emails and call history in a single view.

• Discover the Unexpected
Many of the most memorable moments in life are experienced, not explained. HTC Sense provides a variety of simple yet innovative experiences on your HTC phone. It can be something as basic as turning the phone over on the table to silence the ring or as simple as improving the smart dialler for making calls quicker. HTC Sense also includes perspectives, a new way of viewing content such as email, photos, Twitter, music and more in different ways.

HTC Hero
HTC Hero continues HTC’s leadership in cutting-edge design that focuses on introducing a variety of distinct devices to represent your own individuality. Boasting bevelled edges and an angled bottom, the HTC Hero is contoured to fit comfortably in your hand and against your face while you are on a call. The HTC Hero is built to last, beginning with an anti-fingerprint screen coating for improved smudge resistance and a longer lasting, clearer display.

With its 3.2-inch HVGA display, the HTC Hero is optimised for Web, multimedia and other content while maintaining a small size and weight that fits comfortably in your hand. It also boasts a broad variety of hardware features including a GPS, digital compass, gravity-sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack, a 5 mega-pixel autofocus camera and expandable MicroSD memory. HTC Hero also includes a dedicated Search button that goes beyond basic search, providing you with a more natural, contextual search experience that enables you to search through Twitter, locate people in your contact list, find emails in your inbox or search in any other area.

HTC Tattoo
With HTC Tattoo, you stay close to the important people in your life by integrating your communications and applications including voice calls, emails, texts, photos and status updates into one consolidated view, providing innovative and fun phone experiences.

The stylish HTC Tattoo is small and compact, fitting snugly into your hand or pocket. You can also further customise the physical look of the phone to suit your individuality. For AUD29.90, you can design and purchase your own unique cover, or search and select from popular cover designs from Garskin. More details can be found at http://www.garskin.com/htc/AUD/.

HTC Tattoo integrates Google’s innovative mobile services including: Google Maps, search, Google Mail, and Android market where users can download thousands of popular applications and games. It also comes complete with a broad variety of hardware features including a 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, 3.5mm stereo headset jack and expandable microSD memory.

Pricing & Availability
Harvey Norman is the exclusive mass retail partner for the HTC Hero and Tattoo for the immediate launch period. Further retail distribution channels will be announced in due course. The HTC Hero will be available for a RRP of AUD$799 and Tattoo will be available for a RRP of AUD$599.

Agree/Disagree? Any Aussies out there about to make a kangaroo jump at this?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Why are they not attached to any carrier? Weird.

  2. We have Harvey Norman in Slovenia as well.

  3. Phones specifically tied to certain carriers isn’t really the normal thing in Australia. Well it’s not like the US where almost every device is a something “on Verizon” etc

  4. I disagree…. phones are almost always tied to a carrier. Its almost impossible to get an unlocked phone in AUZ. Secondly the plans are a complete rippoff just like everything else over here.

    You would be better off buying this phone from handtec.co.uk its cheaper even with fedex shipping.

  5. I for one am so disappointed about the announcement!

    I’m about to renew my contract, and it looks like the only option is to get another phone, sell it on ebay, then use the cash to buy the hero unsubsidised. But then why on earth would you buy it for $800 from Harvey Norman when you can import it for $600?

    I can’t believe the only subsidised android phones we have are the G1, Magic and Galaxy. Come one carriers wake up!!

  6. Iv been keeping my eyes on these puppies for a while, It’s taken long enough to get here (better late then never tho right).. Hoping to get the Hero (especially now that its getting android 2.0).

  7. Phones are rarely _tied_ to a carrier here – you can get a phone under contract which is locked to a carrier for then duration of the contract, but mostly unlocked phones _are_ available for purchase “outright” – they’re just really expensive.

    For instance you can buy a 32GB iPhone 3GS from the Australian Apple store unlocked for AUD1040 (roughly USD970). But on a 24 month contract (offered by most carriers here) the phone ends up costing you less than half of that.

    The Hero & Tattoo will likely end up being offered by various Australia Telcos on 2 year contracts for less than $25/month.

  8. ‘I disagree…. phones are almost always tied to a carrier’

    Phones that are sold by a carrier’s store are locked to it, but you can pay to have it unlocked, or hack it. However you can always buy the phone yourself unlocked and connect to the network. We don’t have things like AT&T’s iphone exclusivity.

    The catch is large data plans are only available through contract plans, pre-paid data plans are insanely expensive/non-existent.

    “Secondly the plans are a complete rippoff”
    Seriously? I pay $30 a month for $400 credit…… Not so many years ago it was $30 for $30 credit. Where is the rip-off?

  9. totally agree with Petros,
    Android adoption by Aussie telcoms has been pathetic to say the least! i bought my HTC Dream (when it was first released) from Optus, and have received zero support when it comes to paid apps, or android updates!

    As for the Hero and Tatoo, i’m sticking to a physical keyboard, so i guess i’m waiting for the Droid or buying it from overseas.

  10. I work for Telstra and have a staff SIM. If it doesn’t work on the 850 3.5G freq I simply have no interest. You could already get the HTC magic here on Voda and I think Optus had the G1.

  11. @Petros
    no way admittedly most phones are locked, but its far from impossible, and the carriers do not have the right to refuse to unlock a phone – as long as you are prepared to pay out the phone portion of the plan.

    i hate to admit it on this forum but at one point i came close to doing that to get an iphone – buy it from optus and straight away pay it out and transfer to 3. at the time they were offering $300 credit to ppl who did this.

  12. Here’s a page about the state of Android in Australia:

    They seem to say that the Hero/Tattoo will come with 2.0 installed? That would be good news if anyone can confirm.

  13. The AU stock of the Hero will come with 1.5

    Also, initial reports are saying that we only get “Mocha Black”

  14. Well I bought my G1 when it first came out in Australia and it was unlocked. I assume the same with these phones.

  15. @Rob
    Sorry, that was an error on my article which I have since rectified.
    Hero comes with 1.5 with a confirmation from HTC that it is going to be updatable to 2.0 in the future.
    Tattoo comes with 1.6. 2.0 details are unknown.

    Many thanks for posting the first link :D I wish I could afford to give you a prize or something :P

  16. When I was in australia, I used Telstra Prepaid. There was a pre-paid data plan of 1 GB for $10 (or was it $20). Not bad, really.

  17. Very disappointed that telstra (the main mobile provider with the greatest HSDPA coverage) still hasn’t picked up an android phone.

    Telstra uses the 850MHz HSDPA frequency, which barely any android phones are released for :( Currently you can get a G1 or magic for telstra through an australian company which imports them from somewhere else…Very Unhappy!

    However, i’m hoping that the Acer A1 liquid will support 850 HSDPA and then i’ll import it :)

  18. Where can I get an Android phone that works on Telstra? Do these imported phones support NextG?

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