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HTC Legend Review

HTC Legend

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The HTC Legend is not just perfectly made, but it comes with contemporary software as well. We are talking about the latest version of the famous HTC Sense interface that runs over Android 2.1. At the time of the current review, the HTC Hero has not been updated to this OS edition yet. Still, this is going to happen sooner or later, so ultimately, both devices will become identical in terms of software.

Actually, even without the above-mentioned update, the Hero and Legend are not that dissimilar after all. The manufacturer has made certain improvements, but the software base remains pretty much one and the same. The home screen consists of seven pages and they host both widgets and shortcuts. Unlike the Hero, the Legend unifies all widgets into a single category and you are allowed to download more from HTC’s website. We do like the “helicopter view” that shows all seven pages at the same time. You can enter this mode by double-pressing the button that takes you to the home screen or simply “pinching” the screen. Thanks to the extra feature, you can get right to the page you need in a snap, without having to scroll pages until you get dizzy.

The home screen of the HTC Legend consists of seven pages  - HTC Legend Review
The home screen of the HTC Legend consists of seven pages  - HTC Legend Review
The home screen of the HTC Legend consists of seven pages  - HTC Legend Review
The home screen of the HTC Legend consists of seven pages  - HTC Legend Review

The novelty here is called “FriendStream”. This is a widget that acts as a central depot for information coming from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. You get something similar with Motorola’s MOTOBLUR and Sony Ericsson’s UX interface. At first we felt confused by the incoming information – for an instance, if a friend of yours writes something on the wall of another person, you will see the message as a status update and won’t be able to find out who it’s directed to. This often leads to funny situations in case you rely entirely on FriendStream to find out what’s going on with your online buddies. Moreover, the application does not feature a setting as to how often the available information is to be updated. Ultimately, we prefer the Peep widget (for Twitter following,) because it delivers the latest updates instantly. FriendStream allows you to update your Facebook and Twitter online status, which may come in handy for heavy social networking users.

The widget FriendStream acts as a central depot for information coming from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr - HTC Legend Review
The widget FriendStream acts as a central depot for information coming from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr - HTC Legend Review
The widget FriendStream acts as a central depot for information coming from Facebook, Twitter and Flickr - HTC Legend Review

You have the option to customize the home screen (via themes called “Scenes”) and can create your own. This is certainly one of the features of HTC Sense that we like best.

You have the option to customize the home screen (via themes called “Scenes”) - HTC Legend Review
You have the option to customize the home screen (via themes called “Scenes”) - HTC Legend Review
You have the option to customize the home screen (via themes called “Scenes”) - HTC Legend Review
You have the option to customize the home screen (via themes called “Scenes”) - HTC Legend Review

Whether it’s because of the faster processor or, alternatively, Android 2.1 (allegedly, this edition is better optimized than the previous), but the HTC Legend is a quite snappy and head and shoulders above the Hero with this respect. The device gets sluggish extremely rarely, perhaps while running FriendStream only. As a whole, the handset runs smoothly whatever the software and we are happy to see that HTC has fixed one of the major issues that plagued the HTC Hero (that was easily noticeable in the initial software version of the device, but was later addressed with a update). It’s a cool thing that you can turn off the animated effects and make the device run even faster, although normally, you won’t need to do that.


Phone contacts:

It’s not by accident that HTC calls the phone contacts “People”. The application provides access to all relevant information about people you know like personal call register, message history, social networking updates and pictures. The handset finds the correspondence between names and email addresses from various sources of information (Facebook, Google, SIM) and offers you to merge them. We have to admit this is one of the most functional phone books we have seen. Take a look at our review of the Hero for more details and bear in mind that the only difference is the Legend features universal search that is similar to the function you get with the iPhone and Palm Pre.

The phone contacts of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
The phone contacts of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
The phone contacts of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review


Organizer:

Once again, there are no major differences to the HTC Hero here and frankly, none are needed. The calendar can be synchronized with various sources of information like Google (multiple accounts), Facebook and PC Sync. Moreover, you will be able to take a look at the weather forecast for your region on opening the calendar in daily view, which is handy indeed. The alarms, world clock, stopwatch and timer functions are unified in a single and totally cool menu. Unfortunately, the HTC Legend lacks pre-installed tasks application, although Android Market is brimming with programs with similar functionality.

HTC Legend Review
HTC Legend Review
HTC Legend Review
HTC Legend Review


Messaging:

Having had the chance to review several handsets by different manufacturers recently, we have to point out that getting back to the screen QWERTY of an HTC-made device feels great indeed. It’s available in several modes, including alphanumeric, compact QWERTY, full landscape and portrait QWERTY keyboards. Important symbols are brought onto all full QWERTY layouts and they can be typed in by holding the corresponding key pressed for a while. The feature may come in pretty handy, especially in case you need to enter passwords containing several special symbols. Take a look at out review of the HTC Hero for more information.

The on-screen keyboard of HTC is available in several modes - HTC Legend Review
The on-screen keyboard of HTC is available in several modes - HTC Legend Review
The on-screen keyboard of HTC is available in several modes - HTC Legend Review
The on-screen keyboard of HTC is available in several modes - HTC Legend Review


Connectivity and Internet:

One of the things we stated in our review of the HTC Hero last year was the browser was excellent, but its Flash support had left us… wanting. So, what about this year’s HTC Legend?

Frankly, the situation remains almost the same. The browser is snappier on the overall, zooming in and out on things via multitouch is smooth and double taps work flawlessly. Websites get visualized in almost the same way as on normal computer screens, because Flash animations load without a problem (meaning you will be able to see animated banners and similar things). Their usability is, however, entirely different matter. We didn’t encounter any issues with YouTube, because the website is opened in the browser’s Flash Player (not to be confused with the dedicated YouTube player that has to be started manually). Some of the videos available at other pages like Viddler are watchable (without using the player), but they tend to stutter, while websites like the non-mobile version of Vimeo won’t load at all. The same applies to listening to audio tracks in Flash-based players – some of them work fine, other simply won’t and that’s that. Still, let’s keep in mind that many modern handsets do not support Flash at all, so we have to admit the Legend is pretty capable on that point. If you, however, feel like watching YouTube videos with proper quality, we would recommend that you stick to the dedicated YouTube application rather than resorting to the HTC Flash Player (set up as the default program).

The browser of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
The browser of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
The browser of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
YouTube is opened in the browser’s Flash Player - The browser of the HTC Legend - HTC Legend Review
   

YouTube is opened in the browser’s Flash Player


The HTC Legend features both HSDPA 7.2Mbps and Wi-Fi functionality. We do like the option that allows for local sharing of audio tracks and pictures over Bluetooth, a feature that is conspicuous in its absence with the HTC Hero (and all other Android-based handsets for that matter). If you need to be able to send over documents, you will have to get third-party software from the Android Market.

HTC Legend Review

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HTC Legend

HTC Legend

OS: Android 2.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display3.2 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (180 ppi) AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 600 MHz, ARM11 processor
0.4 GB RAM
Size4.41 x 2.22 x 0.45 inches
(112 x 56.3 x 11.5 mm)
4.44 oz  (126 g)
Battery1300 mAh, 8.16 hours talk time

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