HTC Legend review

£370
Price when reviewed

The iPhone 3GS has been top of the smartphone pile for nearly a year now, and its reign has been pretty much unchallenged. At last, however, it may well have a rival worthy of the name: the HTC Legend.

It’s a gorgeous piece of kit, with a body machined from a billet of aluminium, an optical four-way control set minimally into the phone’s subtle “chin”, and soft touch pads on the rear to prevent the silver finish being scratched. Its profile – all sensuous curves, not-too-sharp edges and rounded corners – means the Legend is a fabulous phone to hold in the hand. Even the battery compartment is smart; instead of the rear panel clipping on and off, the SIM card, battery and microSD slot all sit beneath a small rubberized cap on the bottom edge.

HTC Legend

Turn the Legend on and its tremendous OLED screen glows into life. Colours take on an almost hyper-realistic hue, which helps UI elements, graphics, video and web pages leap from the screen. Another advantage is the brightness, which keeps things clear and readable even when dialled down to one step above minimum to conserve battery. We’ve seen well-built phones before, but this thing could teach Apple a thing or two.

The beauty of the Legend isn’t just skin deep, however; there’s plenty of substance behind the perfect facade. For starters it runs Android 2.1 (aka Eclair), which means you get a unified email inbox, support for multiple Gmail accounts and five home screens. What you don’t get is the full array of voice control, although you can download the Voice Search app from the Android Market if you’re desperate to shout search terms into your phone. The Legend also implements pinch-to-zoom, just as the Hero did before it.

Then there’s the latest version of HTC’s Sense UI added on top. The key benefit of this is that it unifies contacts, pictures and updates from Facebook, Flickr and Twitter into one location. But it also adds a home screen overview mode: simply hit the home button, click the four-way optical control or pinch your fingers as if to zoom out, and up pops a thumbnail view of each of your home screens. You can even temporarily zoom in and out in this view to take a closer look.

Details

Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £30.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider Expansys

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 8hrs
Standby, quoted 23 days

Physical

Dimensions 56 x 11.5 x 112mm (WDH)
Weight 126.000kg
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 384MB
ROM size 512MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.2in
Resolution 320 x 480
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Android

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