HTC Legend Review
The American version supports AT&T's 3G network.
HTC Hero was the first to show how profoundly the platform could be personalized. The handset was the first to feature the manufacturer’s proprietary HTC Sense interface that was to appear on Windows phones later on (when the company renamed TouchFLO to Sense). We do like the interface that, along with the innovative design of the HTC Hero, managed to excite us enough to rate the Hero 9/10, despite the slightly irksome issue with the lagging software the handset was plagued by at that time. The device has gained great popularity in the US and the credit goes to the two CDMA versions that hit the shelves on Sprint (HTC Hero) and Verizon (branded as the HTC DROID ERIS).
And as the old tales go, after the Hero comes the Legend. The HTC Legend is a direct successor to its famous predecessor and even a passing glance at its specifications should be enough to convince you these two are not that dissimilar. The hardware differences include AMOLED display, aluminum body, faster CPU at 600MHz and increased amount of RAM (384MB against 288MB). Take a look at the comprehensive comparison between the HTC Legend and HTC Hero, here.
There are changes in the software as well – the Legend runs Android version 2.1 and features updated HTC Sense interface. We have to point out the feeling you get while using it is quite different. In a good or bad way, actually? Read on and you will find the answer. Before we get to this part, however, let’s take a closer look at what’s inside the box.
- The HTC Legend
- Software CD
- User guide
- microUSB cable
- Adapter for charging
- 2GB microSD card
We would advise you not to spend hours trying to find out how to open the handset (as we did) and read the user guide instead. It’s much easier and faster. The reason for all the confusion is none other but the brand new…
The craftsmanship of the HTC Legend attracted quite a lot of media attention. Actually, the body of the handset is made from a solid chunk of metal, although the concept is certainly not brand new, since the famous Nexus One comes with the same design. It’s a cool thing that the guys at HTC have found a way to enable you to replace the battery easily, while managing to keep the monolithic overall look of the device unspoiled. We have to say the HTC Legend feels awesome in your hand, appears completely solid, comes with great build quality and happens to be quite light-weighted (only 126 grams). The chin at the bottom that is characteristic of the European version of the Hero has been retained as well, but the handset comes with rounded shapes and is almost 3 millimeters thinner.
You can compare the HTC Legend with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
AMOLED display. This is one of the major dissimilarities to the Hero that integrates a TFT screen instead. And the difference is significant indeed. The native screen resolution of HVGA and diagonal size of 3.2 inches remain the same. Eager fans of huge displays will probably dismiss it as too small, but this particular size has its advantages and equates to a device that is actually handy to use with one hand. The screen of the Legend is, of course, capacitive and supports multitouch. As a matter of fact the Hero offers the latter feature as well, although its successor is substantially better at that. What we don’t like much is that the screen is far from brilliant in direct sunlight and details get too hard to discern, so you will have to shield it against the Sun.
There are less hardware buttons alongside of the HTC Hero. The send and end keys have disappeared and all keys are arranged in a single row below the display. They feel handier to use and you no longer need to bend your thumb at weird angles to press them, which remains the case with the HTC Hero. All buttons feature pronounced travel and are trouble-free to use.
The HTC Legend integrates an optical trackpad instead of the trackball its predecessor is equipped with. It is quite sensitive and really useable. Frankly, we cannot say which of these is better, since we have never really come to use either of them, because we have never really felt we needed to. What most people use them as, in real life, is… camera shutter only.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the top, next to the power on/off button that is easy to feel with your finger. The microUSB port is on the opposite side (replaces the miniUSB connector of the Hero), along with the earpiece and the opening for the hand-strap.
All told, the HTC Legend is certainly among the best Android handsets today in terms of design. We can even go so far as to say that the Legend is one of the top three smartphones ever. The device is more elegant than its predecessor, although some may find the HTC Hero more attractive with its angular shapes. The HTC Legend goes to show that HTC is a market leader in design and able to create handsets with smooth, simple forms that are irresistibly attractive. Speaking from experience here, we can definitely say the device is more appealing than the HTC Desire.