HTC Hero Android phone launches

UPDATE – Watch our hands-on video of the HTC Hero hereAnd our unboxing and first look of the HTC Hero here HTC has launched a brand spanking And

UPDATE – Watch our hands-on video of the HTC Hero here

And our unboxing and first look of the HTC Hero here

HTC has launched a brand spanking Android handset in the UK today, in the G1-esque shape of the Hero.

However, although it picks up the love-it-or-hate-it angled bottom of its predecessor, it boasts a much more slimline body due to no slide out keyboard.

We first heard about the Hero some time back in February, and after it was snapped up by Orange in France, there was some speculation as to whether the handset would ever reach UK shores.

But it has indeed made it, and comes packing a full 3.2-inch anti-fingerprint touchscreen, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, AGPS, digital compass and that all important 3.5mm headset jack.

It is also features 512MB on-board memory (expandable up to 16GB via microSD) and a dedicated search button that will allow you to look for things thorough out your whole phone, including emails and on Twitter.

The Hero will also debut HTC's new UI called HTC Sense, boasting intuitive features like the ability to view all your communication channels – Facebook, emails, texts, photos and phone calls – in one view.

The HTC Hero is set to launch across Europe in July, and Orange has already been quick to announce it will be getting it exclusively in the "Graphite" colour. You'll be able to pick it up for free if you sign your mobile life away for 24 months, at a cost of £39.15 a month. Ouch.

We've already managed to get our hands on it, so be sure to check out our photos and first impressions, and keep it locked to Stuff.tv for our hands on video later today.