- Useful HTC Sense user interface
- Flash support
- Robust build
- Poor visibility in direct sunlight
- Button placement
- Battery life
An easy, intuitive, and even fun to use smartphone
The HTC Legend was designed as the successor of HTC Hero, which was proclaimed the best mobile phone in 2009 by the Mobile World Congress commission.
The Legend is a scaled back version of the very popular HTC handset, the Droid Incredible (or Desire in the European market). It is powered by Android OS 2.1 combined with HTC’s advanced user interface Sense UI. Its hardware features a 5 MP camera, 600 MHz processor, and an 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colors.
Coincidentally or not, HTC introduced Legend in Barcelona in February this year, on the very day the company won a prestigious award for Hero. Legend was introduced into European market in a mere three months, and its arrival to the US market is expected very soon.
Even though Legend is not the most powerful HTC Android-based handset available, it does have some advantages over the mightier Droid Incredible (and Desire): lower price and more convenient size, while retaining all features. That, alas, does not mean it is bereft of inadequacies…
BUILD & DESIGN
While the HTC Legend looks a lot like the Hero, there are some non-negligible differences in its hardware (and software too). Its casing is made of a single piece of aluminum, which makes it extremely robust. However, it also makes it feel rather heavy, unseemly for such a conveniently sized handset 4.1 x 2.2 x 0.5 inches (112×56×11 mm).
Thus the Legend seems to weigh more than its 4.5 ounces (126 grams). That, though, makes it radiate robustness. It is unlikely to break or scratch even if you do not treat your gadgets at all gently and carefully.
Button placement is not one of this handset’s best features. You have to press a button on the top edge to wake it from standby, but if you are left-handed, you are likely to press the volume up/down button with your thumb in the process. It is quite irritating at first, but in time you will learn to avoid this anomaly. After all, there is bound to be an app for reprogramming control buttons at Android Market.
While Hero did not have this problem, Legend does improve on its design by using a trackpoint instead of Hero’s trackball. The trackpoint ensures Legend’s users will have quite fewer problems with dust, dirt and sticking.
The trackpoint is placed at the very bottom of the handset’s front, with four control buttons above it. The buttons are used for – going from left to right – returning to the home screen, menu activation, stepping back, and activating the search engine.
The handset features a brilliant 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive Touchscreen with color depth of 16 million colors (which is not even supported under older versions of Android OS). The display size is the same as Hero’s, but it is built using different technology, so Legend has better contrast and livelier colors. The screen resolution is 320×480 pixels, which is a good choice for this screen size. A higher resolution, such as Droid Incredible’s, would significantly increase battery consumption and required processing power, as well as raise the handset’s price, while making little difference to the naked eye.
Image sharpness is exquisite. However, all the display’s great features are lost in sunlight. In direct sunlight practically nothing can be seen, which is one of the display’s greatest faults. We wouldn’t mind it so much if we didn’t know of displays which work just fine in sunlight, such as those on BlackBerry Bold (all models).
There are several apps on Android Market which dinamically adjust the display contrast according to external lighting conditions, but they mitigate this issue only slightly. If you live in a sunny climate and tend to use your phone in the open, this issue might be a reason to give up on Legend. Otherwise, though, you are bound to love its display.