One week after I bought my Hero, I found out it is possible to install a newer radio-firmware on the HTC Hero. This has all kinds of positive improvements such as better reception and better battery life. I don’t know where these radio updates come from (I guess from HTC themselves), but they aren’t published on the HTC website. You can find them at the xda-developers forums (currently, there is a newer update that is not listed in that thread) and they can be installed by saving them to the SD card of your Hero as “update.zip”. Next, turn off your phone and turn it on again by holding home+poweron. Enjoy the better reception and battery life!
A few weeks ago I bought my first smartphone: The HTC Hero. It’s been a great purchase since the beginning, but I was wondering how Android would “feel” without all the HTC customizations such as the SenseUI. So, I installed an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM for the Hero. It was a build of the Android 2.0.1 sources combined with the Google closed-source applications such as Gmail, Talk and Calendar. This was a really great experience, because all the features I use worked great. There was just one problem that is quite important for me: battery life. Somehow this ROM seems to drain the battery at night. When I first brought up this issue, nobody had noticed it, but quickly other people started to monitor their Hero’s and it appeared they were experiencing the same problem. I’ve switched back to the official ROM until this is solved, but you should really give this a try. The developers of the ROM did a great job!