The HTC Espresso is like a ninja - all it leaves behind is circumstantial evidence that it exists. The latest part of the puzzle is a video demo of a leaked Espresso ROM that showcases the updated Sense UI running on the HTC Hero. Ironically, the Espresso is rumored to be the successor of the Hero.
The yet unseen HTC Espresso is supposed to be like an HTC Hero but with a QWERTY keyboard. An XML, leaked a few weeks ago, suggests the HTC Espresso will be running on a Qualcomm MSM 7200A 528MHz CPU and will have a screen with HVGA resolution (320x480).
This sounds an awful lot like the HTC Dream, save for the Sense UI, of course.
So, while the technical specifications are foggy at best, the Espresso ROM shows off a nicely polished new version of that Sense UI. The ROM is installed on an HTC Hero and seems quite responsive.
Here it is demoed on video:
One of the biggest changes seems to be the app launcher bar at the bottom, which now offers a Call button along with a Contacts button.
Inside the application launcher itself, you can see the new translucent rounded squares that seem to be behind each and every shortcut - those are new as well.
And finally, the Notification pane in the HTC Espresso ROM has grown a "Recent" section. It seems to offer shortcuts to recent applications.
This new version of Sense UI is probably not HTC Espresso specific, but nobody know if it will get to the current crop of handset in a more official way.
We're quite curious to see any leaked shots of the Espresso as somehow it managed to escape the great HTC 2010 lineup leak.