Engadget on the HTC Hero

I haven't seen the Hero, and likely won't get my hands on it for some time now. But judging by the videos in Joshua Topolsky's review that hit today, I'm not in a hurry. And neither, as it would appear, is Flash:

So Flash is kind of a big deal on new smartphones. The iPhone doesn't have it, the Pre doesn't have it, BlackBerry devices don't have it... but the Hero does. Unfortunately, in our testing, we found the inclusion actually hurts operation of the phone more than it helps. When browsing to a site heavy on Flash (there are many), the browser loading times were abysmal. Furthermore, trying to view videos in-window produced choppy, nearly unwatchable results. You may have a better experience with lighter kinds of content, but in our opinion the main reason to introduce Flash into a mobile environment is to allow for broader media viewing options, and in the current state of this Flash player, you're not really going to get much mileage out of it.

Watch the video and see for yourself. Loading the Flash movie is an atrocious, fist-pounding experience, and while I thought Topolsky nailed the rest of the review, on this point he was far too gracious. Two things I take out of it:

1) If your customers are clamoring for a feature in a product which you know will deliver a maddening experience for them, don't deliver the feature. There's a reason the iPhone doesn't have Flash. There's a reason the Blackberry doesn't have Flash. There's a reason the Pre doesn't have Flash. It's because the experience is abysmal for users.

2) This is more of a damning review for Adobe than it is for HTC. It's clearly tough to scale Flash down to mobile devices, but it's been years now and the natives are moving passed "restless" and into resignation that they'll never get Flash at all. Politics aside, maybe HTML5 is a better bet?