HTC Legend review

£370
Price when reviewed

Elsewhere, the phone boasts all the hardware you’d expect to see in a phone of this class. There’s fast HSDPA data, strong call performance anywhere in the world with quad-band GSM support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. You get a full array of sensors, including a digital compass, accelerometer, plus light and proximity sensors and an FM radio tuner. The 5-megapixel autofocus camera is pretty good too. Images boast good contrast with less of the washed out look we’ve seen with HTC phones in the past, and there’s a single-LED flash on the rear for emergency use in low light.

What makes the jaw drop lower than anything else, however, is this phone’s sheer speed. It responds to finger gestures as if reading your mind, with web pages and menus whizzing by at express speed. Nothing judders, nothing lags and there are no delays. It just goes whoosh, in a way only the iPhone 3GS can match for sheer alacrity.

HTC Legend

Surprisingly, this responsiveness doesn’t appear to stem from sheer horsepower. The Legend’s CPU is only rated at 600MHz, and it didn’t put in a particularly stellar performance in our browser tests – it loaded the BBC homepage over Wi-Fi in an average of 14 seconds and scored 93 in the Acid3 test. Several phones are speedier than this, including the iPhone 3GS, and score higher for standards-based browsing.

Neither is battery life particularly impressive. With just a 1,300mAh lithium-ion cell inside, that isn’t surprising, but we’d prefer to have seen more than 40% remaining after our 24-hour test (30 minutes of calls, an hour of music playback with the screen on, plus a 50MB download, with constant background email synchronisation). It’s below average, and lags behind the iPhone 3GS by a notch.

Two final complaints are that the strip of buttons that rest in the angle between the phone’s chin and screen feels a little plasticky next to the quality of everything else, and there’s just 512MB of integrated storage supplemented by a 2GB Micro SD included in the box.

In the context of the phone as a whole, however, these are relatively minor complaints. It’s wonderful to finally have an Android smartphone that stands toe to toe with Apple’s finest on design, speed and ease of use. Better still, the HTC Legend manages to do so without a sky-high price tag. The iPhone 3GS still just about shades it, thanks to its superior app selection and slightly better battery life, but there’s barely a hair’s breadth between the two.

Details

Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£30.00
Contract period24 months
Contract providerExpansys

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted8hrs
Standby, quoted23 days

Physical

Dimensions56 x 11.5 x 112mm (WDH)
Weight126.000kg
Touchscreenyes
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity384MB
ROM size512MB
Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Front-facing camera?no
Video capture?yes

Display

Screen size3.2in
Resolution320 x 480
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes

Software

OS familyAndroid

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