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While the rest of the world talks about the iPhone and the G1 and the Palm Pre, we’ve had our sights set squarely on T3’s previously ficticious 01 Phone since the very first day we got wind of it. Now, T3’s revealed the Mk3 version of the 01 Phone and, perhaps, renamed it Hero (speculation, that). Hit the clicky thingie for much more info…

Check the gallery above for what is arguably the best mobile phone the world has ever seen.

Compared with the Mk2 version, the Mk3 has lost the stylus (whew!) and clip-on miniphone and added a new version of the Miniphone complete with wired earbuds. I think this is a pretty spiffy idea…ditch the wireless headphones and just wire them to the wireless Miniphone instead. What’s great about this is that you could keep the phone tucked securely away in a backpack or purse (ladies) or murse (gentlemen) while listening to music or making calls. And the Miniphone has its own display, so you’ll still know what’s playing or who’s calling. Brilliant.

The Mk3 has also been upgraded to have an 8MP camera with Xenon flash…something sorely missing in, ahem, that OTHER touchscreen phone.

One of the coolest bits, retained from the Mk2, is that the slide-out QWERTY keyboard is “reconfigurable”, meaning that the keys will change to suit the needs of whatever function of the phone you’re using at the time, making the 01 Phone actually viable as a mobile gaming platform and much more suiting to a variety of tasks than mobile phones with just a touchscreen or fixed QWERTY keyboard. Check out the video on T3’s site to see this very cool feature in action.

So many things about the 01 Phone / Hero are brilliant: First, that it includes all the features people want and use, including video, high-MP camera, flash and both full touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. T3 may have been a bit dismayed by the announcement of the Palm Pre, but the 01 Phone has a much nicer look to it than the Pre, and is likely bigger. Plus the Miniphone is a unique and really cool feature. But it’s not just the phone, but the development process that’s also refreshing. T3 are actually listening to what people say and incorporating the best of those comments into each rev of the phone.

And, continuing to work with design firm The Alloy, T3 are moving ahead with plans to produce the 01 Phone and make it a reality. The Alloy’s created a physical 3D model of the phone, and will have it on display with T3 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

So the one big question that remains is: How well will the software work? T3 have stated that they’re already in talks with factories about actual production, but the phone will need to actually perform well, too. We’ve seen all manner of handsets from companies as big and savvy as HTC and Samsung, for instance (Instinct, anyone? No? Hmm…) that have looked ok, but then not really worked all that well. So the OS and software are obviously key to having a shot at actually being the world’s best mobile phone. I’m curious as to who’s doing the software development and what plans there might be, if any, to build momentum with  downloadable apps.

Palm’s approach to this very topic seems to be rather exciting, what with their apps being based on “common” web technologies. So how will T3 handle this hot-button issue with the 01 Phone?

We’ll continue to cover the development of T3 fantastic “dream device”, so keep checking back!