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Review of HTC's Legend, a Hero on a metal-rich diet

Review by Russell Jefferies on Tuesday March 16, 2010.

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First seen at the recent Mobile World Congress 2010 event, the HTC Legend wowed us with its sleek aluminum unibody design and AMOLED display. With Android 2.1 Eclair and HTC Sense on-board, as well as a new optical joystick for navigation, the HTC Legend could be the best Android handset so far. Read on to find out if the Legend can live up to its name.

Physical Aspects

The HTC Legend can be simply described as an aluminium HTC Hero, because, at first glance, that's what it appears to be. However, you'll see it's much more than that, once you look at the finer details. Firstly, there's the display. Sure, it's still a 3.2 inch, HVGA (320 x 480 pixel) resolution capacitive touchscreen(INFO), but this time it's one of the new AMOLED(INFO) screens that have started showing up on phones recently. This new type of display has much better contrast than a regular LCD, and provides really bright, vivid colors. Also, in certain circumstances, AMOLED displays can extend battery life, as they use less power when showing darker colors.

The next thing you'll notice about the Legend is that the trackball from the Hero has been replaced with a new optical joystick and shiny enter button. This provides mostly the same function as the ball (sans notification light), but sits flush with the body of the phone and isn't prone to clogging up with dirt. Above the optical joystick you'll find four hardware keys, two of which are joined, and two of which aren't, oddly. These keys provide the standard Android hardware functions for home, menu, back, and search. Unlike the Hero, the Legend does not feature any send or end call keys, with these functions instead being dealt with by on-screen buttons.

Above the display you'll find the earpiece grille, which also covers a notification LED, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. Atop the Legend is the 3.5mm standard headphone port with the handset's power button to accompany it. On the bottom you'll discover a micro-USB port for charging and data, with the microphone pinhole to its left and a lanyard fixing point to its right. The rear of the phone shows-off a shiny HTC emblem, above which is a rubberized area surrounding the camera lens for the 5 megapixel autofocus camera, the camera's LED flash, and the loudspeaker grille. There is another rubberized area toward the bottom of the Legend, which unclips to give access to a neat loading bay for the SIM card, microSD card, and 1300mAh battery. The volume/camera zoom rocker can be found on the left side of the handset, whereas the right side is completely bare.

The HTC Legend measures in at 112mm x 56.3mm x 11.5mm (4.41" x 2.22" x .45") and weighs 126g (4.44oz), giving it a solid in-hand feel to back up its chiseled design.

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JokeyRhyme @ 3:54:45AM EDT on Wednesday March 17, 2010

I would be very interested to know if you could evaluate all Android handsets using the Multitouch Visible Test application on the Android Market (by Battery Powered Games). Most HTC-manufactured Android hardware has an axis-inversion bug that is concerning if more and more multi-touch software will be released. As far as I know only the Motorola Droid is free of multi-touch bugs, but it would be terrific if you could test the Legend.

About the author

Russell Jefferies
Russell Jefferies reviews mobile phones for MobileBurn from his home located in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

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