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HTC Legend - HTC Legend

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


We also tried the touchscreen accuracy test as pioneered by moto labs whereby you slowly draw angled lines across the surface of the screen. Doing this, we found the Legend has consistently wavy lines whereas the iPhone has much straighter lines, indicating a greater degree of accuracy. This could affect the Legend's performance in some touch-dependent apps like games.

Something else that might affect games is the Qualcomm 600MHz processor. It's by no means slow, but it's not a patch on other premium handsets using the company's 1GHz Snapdragon processor. These include the Toshiba TG01 and HTC's own HD2 as well as the upcoming HTC Desire. In everyday use, the Legend is very fast and we have no complaints whatsoever but if you do want the best gaming experience or want to run taxing apps like full-3D sat-nav, then you may want one of the above handsets.

Getting back to the software, the Legend employs the latest 2.1 version of Android, which comes with improvements like integrated Microsoft Exchange and Facebook support, better performance, a unified email inbox for viewing multiple accounts at once, and a faster web browser. Google Maps also now supports layers, though it still doesn't include pinch-to-zoom so you must press buttons to zoom in and out.

Overall, though, version 2.1 feels much the same as previous Android iterations. You get a multifaceted desktop onto which you can scatter various shortcuts to programs or little apps known as widgets. These can show things like email and calendar entries, giving you a quick way of checking without fully opening the respective app. The Google apps integration is superb, with YouTube, Gmail, and Calendar all on hand, while the lightening fast search function makes it incredibly easy to find contacts, emails, and calendar entries all from one search term. The web browser is also excellent with its speedy operation, slick interface, and even support for Flash so you can watch our video reviews no matter where you are. That said, we did see evidence of the CPU struggling as the framerate of Flash video was pretty poor.

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March 10, 2010, 8:17 pm

Great review. Do you have a time frame for the impending reviews for the Nexus One and HTC Desire?

Big Rich

March 10, 2010, 8:30 pm

It's a nice looking handset but I think I'll wait for the Desire. I just hope the Desire doesn't have the same touchscreen problems as the Nexus One. I had one imported from the US and had it for a week before I lost my rag and sent it back for a refund as the screen would just go crazy :(


March 10, 2010, 9:05 pm

Are the speech-to-text features of the Nexus One not on this? Are they on the Desire either or are they exclusive to the Nexus?


March 10, 2010, 9:21 pm

Yep would be great to know your expected review date of the Desire...especially as I have already ordered mine! gulp


March 10, 2010, 9:25 pm

HTC Desire should be in the next few weeks but Nexus One is a bit of an unknown.


March 10, 2010, 9:50 pm

6 months ago I'd have been excited about this phone, now I just feel let down by Android. Does it actually have anything the iPhone OS does not? 3 years to catch Apple and it still seems like a poor copy.

I mean I've got an Android phone, I look at reviews like this, I look at my friends iPhones and really I feel Apple are right in suing HTC (though they should be suing Google for Android). I convinced myself Android would be great and ignored the iPhone; with it's locked down eco-system and limited hardware. But Android has fragmented and offers little if anything of practical use over the iPhone. This is one of the top Android handsets and it still isn't as sleek as the iPhone and once summer comes and there's a new iPhone Apple will probably leap further ahead.


March 10, 2010, 10:32 pm

Surprised that Google Maps doesn't have the pinch to zoom feature - I thought that was a Android 2.1 benefit (at least it is on my Nexus One?)

Nice design however - you mention the speakerphone being weedy, how loud are ringtones when out and about. The Nexus One is far too quiet!


March 10, 2010, 10:48 pm

I usually hate when the Micro SD card is hidden away with the battery, but the design of that bottom section looks very stylish.

Big Rich

March 10, 2010, 10:53 pm

@DaGMan79 - The speech recognition you're thinking of is only on the Nexus One at the moment as far as I know


March 11, 2010, 12:10 am

Have to say I think the phone's missing two buttons, call and end. Yes software can replicate functions but this isn't necessarily better. Just ends up taking more clicks/presses/taps to do the same thing.


March 11, 2010, 12:47 am


I'll give you 3 things Android has and the iPhone doesn't:

- notifications

- multitasking

- background applications

IMHO these make a huge difference. It might not be as smooth and polished but it makes it a much more productive and "smart" OS. I would feel incredible frustrated to switch from my antique (already!) G1 to even the latest and greatest iPhone because of the need to run one task at a time.

I remember that at some point there was a rumor about Windows 7 entry level edition being able to run only 3 applications at a time and everybody was outraged. But if it comes from Apple it's considered "magical".

I'm sorry for sounding "anti-Apple" (I'm really not, I have a MacMini and a Time Capsule) but I hate the double standard aproach: everybody seems to be quick to point out what a device doesn't have/do in comparison with the i{insert-device-here} but never the other way round.

OK. Flame away!


March 11, 2010, 1:17 am

@HK Multitasking? Freedom?


March 11, 2010, 2:36 am

@Big Rich - Speech recognition is also on the Motorola Droid as far as I know.

Greg Shewan

March 11, 2010, 3:32 am

Seems like its an overall improvement, pretty much the same approach Apple have taken. Better processor, better camera, better screen etc. Although I think Apple took a step back with the 2nd and 3rd gen phones... plastic! If you are forking out that much money for a 'premium' handset you should get that legendary industrial finish from apple, after all isn't that what made them what the are today!

On a sad note I have to say how lucky you readers are in the northern and western hemispheres, this is available eminently in your locations... in South Africa we JUST got the Hero! :( I did think the fluidity comparisons were a bit of a stab though Ed? Its a very slight the difference in speed.

So will upgrade to that next month! What a great review, as always, keep up the good work!


March 11, 2010, 4:01 am

Nice review.

Recommending this for my sister (she was looking at a Hero).

This is definitely more of an everyday user, iphone rival smartphone compared to the Desire and Nexus one. The two "premium" phones are much more geeky, more like mobile computers with their processing power and large screens. I am looking at one of those two for myself so hope TR gets them in soon, however I do love a physical keyboard, but wouldnt go for a droid. I need a snapdragon with 3.7 screen and a physical keyboard (that would probably be a pocketbuster though)

The Doctor

March 11, 2010, 4:03 am

"I look at my friends iPhones and really I feel Apple are right in suing HTC"

Goodness, I wish I could divine patent infringements just by handling something!

Greg Shewan

March 11, 2010, 10:47 am

@The Doctor

Totally agree about the patents.... only Apple could sue for that ;). Lets hope common sense prevails and HTC continue to deliver a great mobile experience.


March 11, 2010, 2:21 pm

@sorin; There's a world of difference between a desktop OS being able to multi task and a phone OS, if Apple only let you run 3 Apps at a time on the desktop, there would be equal out rage from it's users. Apple have limited the phone OS because of current handset restraints in terms of horsepower; however certain apps do allow multi tasking and other applications save when you exit and start exactly where you were when you reopen them, I don't even really notice it doesn't multi-task.

Have you ever used an iPhone to see how this works?

Apple do shoot themselves in the foot sometimes, but with the iPhone, it is the most polished experience out there and others are still playing catch up. Like their computers, Apple always make a great experience, some like it others feel like they want more freedom, which is fine, but the iPhone is a great device and I would say it's still the best overall. (Overall meaning, it hits more than it misses)


March 11, 2010, 9:15 pm

@jacko; I agree desktop OS's are a total different story but that's not what I was saying. I was talking about double standard: if it comes from Apple it's OK, that's the way it should be even if others prove it can be different (my G1 multi-tasks with far less horsepower than the iPhone 3GS).

Yes, I have used an iPhone and yes, the experience is second to none but saying that you don't feel it doesn't multi-task might just be because you have gotten used to it. Yes, you can do just fine without multi-tasking but once you have it and get used to it you just can't go back.

I would say that Apple have "crippled" the iPhone just to be sure the interface stays fluid and responsive at all times (which it does and that gives that great user experience) but that is putting form over function.

Then there's also the cost of ownership issue. For example you have to subscribe to MobileMe = 99$/year to get push mail, calendar and contacts sync, things that you get for free with Android.

Listen, I'm not saying the iPhone is inferior to Android, HK just got me started by saying that Android "still seems like a poor copy" of the iPhone.


March 11, 2010, 9:53 pm

@Sorin: You don't need to subscribe to MobileMe for Push Email if you have GMail. Calendar and contacts sync for free through iTunes with outlook on the PC.


March 12, 2010, 9:13 am


The Nokia N900, which runs on the same hardware as the 3GS + has a much higher resolution screen multitasks like there's no tomorrow, and yet it offers comparable battery life. It multitasks in a fashion like the PC - that is whatever is open continues running in the background, not halted like other OSes. Apple has no excuse - other than the effectively nonexistent battery management on the iPhone OS to blame.

I ran around 10 windows on my N900 and everything remained snappy and responsive, even after I loaded up 3 resource hungry games (Angry Birds, Bounce Evolution, and VGBA). Blame the coders, not the hardware.


March 12, 2010, 2:22 pm

@sorin; You don't need to subscribe to mobile me to get push email, calendar and contacts, my gmail works great for free.

@Rickysio; Maybe you are right, I certainly haven't used the N900 and it does get a decent (not great) review from this very web site. However, as much as I don't want a company to control the OS and limit it to justify itself (like Apple do to a degree) I do appreciate that the user experience I get from the iPhone is the best I've ever used.

Like I said, I've not really had any time where I've missed 'proper' multi-tasking, I can do several things at once anyway, with the phone, Internet, email or music and most applications just reopen where you left off anyway......

No doubt Apple will surprise us all with v4 of the OS and introduce multi-tasking! But I guess they will only do that if it doesn't impact on the performance of the handset and like you say that could be the coders fault rather than the hardware, either way, Apple will make sure the experience is second to none.


March 12, 2010, 4:03 pm


The iDropReception issues?

Indeed, the experience of moving an iPhone 3GS that was loaned to me for testing (at that point I was deciding between Milestone(Droid), Palm Pre, 3GS, and the N900, so I borrowed from friends/tried out at shops. I tried the Milestone and Pre out at shops, and the N900 and 3GS from friends.) like some sort of mime was an experience that was second to none. Heck, even a $40 Nokia fares better. You might argue that the metal used inside might result in interception, as the chrome ring around the screen is most likely metal. But damned it, even the X1 which has more metal than the iPhone 3GS fares the same (as in, poor reception), so I don't see the argument, other than that Apple doesn't know how to design antennas.

The UI is indeed pretty, but it's shallow and pretty much useless. And you ask why would one miss 'proper' multitasking? Well, when I play games and a message comes in, it's really really goddamned idiotic of Apple to not allow me to pause the game in the background and let me answer my SMS, then resume gaming. Rather, I have to freaking restart. And lose all my progress. Pitched as a gaming device, this is really, pathetic. There was a time when I was about to set a new high score, then bam, because I needed to answer the call there goes my highscore. I remember I damned near chucked the 3GS at a wall, but stopped because it wasn't my 3GS.

The issue is that the instantaneous reopening of an application is pretty much limited. Most games have significant load times, and so do some other applications, even on the 3GS. Admittedly it's much better than on the 3G model, but still...

It's exceptionally galling when I keep hearing people boast the push notification system of the 3GS as being superior to ALL multitasking implementations, because apparently it saves battery life.

The 3GS has a battery of roughly 1220mAh in capacity. My N900 has 1320mAh. Given that both have comparable internals, and the N900 can multitask, has a much higher resolution, and actually runs at full speed (the 3GS is underclocked), it would be logical to assume, with all those above mentioned battery saving features (No calls, no sms-es, no multitasking, underclock) the 3GS should last longer, despite having a smaller battery. Unfortunately, the N900 lasts much longer. About 1~2 hours longer. Which makes all those Apple defenders' defences(those that call Apple's battery saving measures godly) really really bad argument makers.


March 12, 2010, 6:44 pm

@Rickysio; Sorry, don't know anything about the iDrop reception issues? I have issues with the O2 network sometimes, but that happens on a Nokia 6110 Navigator as well, so if there is a problem with iPhone reception, I'm not aware of anything major that has affected me.

I get your comments about having to exit games / apps to answer a call or text and yes, if you do answer the call, the game does end. That is a pain and yes, that isn't right. However you can decline the call and the game does pause allowing you to continue without losing progress. Obviously not great, but as you pointed out that you were loathe to exit the game to lose the high score, you could have just declined the call!

I actually don't play games that much, so this isn't an issue for me.

I've never mentioned that the push notifications are superior to ALL multitasking and I would say that the push notifications are a good way around the issue, but it certainly isn't the best implementation.

I've said all along that I believe the iPhone is the best user experience I've ever used, I also said I've never used a Nokia N900 and from the review this site gives it, I may never have one, although I guess that you would higher marks than this site gives it?

I do look forward to new Android or Nokia handsets being released, I'm certainly not tied to Apple for any reason, so if I think there is a better handset out there when it's time to upgrade, then so be it.

One thing I would add is that a lot of people get so fixated with 'features' that they miss the point about how well those 'features' are implemented. Apple do a really good job in that respect and that is important to me. Look at how many phones from Nokia / HTC / Samsung / LG or whoever have come out and trumped the iPhone in terms of features only to have missed the mark in implementation or other areas and you can see how good the iPhone is in that respect.

More recently some handsets like the latest HTC and maybe even the Nokia N900 are challenging well and I hope that continues.


March 12, 2010, 7:45 pm


Declining the call from the Principal = dead lil ole me. I was waiting for the call, so in a sense I shouldn't have gamed at that time. :S

Reception apparently has become subjective. No two different 3GS units perform the same - I borrowed another unit just now (actually I didn't borrow - just played a game of Tap Tap with my friend) and being that the unit I trialled was bought in the same timeframe as the unit I was playing Tap Tap on, apparently reception capability changed. WTF. (I immediately advised the prior friend who loaned me the 3GS to go get it checked again, of course.)

Given your O2 status, you should be living in the UK, so you could try the N900 out in shops, I guess?

And I wasn't talking about you when I mentioned about the proponents of the push system - it's more like a just in case anyone wanted to bugger about it.

And indeed, I'd give the N900 more marks than the site does, mainly because it was done quite unfairly, and they actually left the review of Nokia's new flagship (In specs, it wins everything else in Nokia's portfolio. Arguably in OS, too. S60 is great, but Maemo is incredible.) to a freelancer... >.>

Implementation of features... I agree with you on that point, but that's mostly because Apple takes it's own sweet time to do that. They worked on the iPhone for 4 years, and it was an incredible testament to the apparent mediocrity of the programmers assigned to the iPhone that they apparently spent more time prettifying everything rather than implementing features already present in other mobile OSes way earlier (S60 had multitasking... about 2 decades ago.)...

More recently the HD2 became a butt of jokes for apparently being rejected for WinMo 7 update because it had too many buttons (two too many). Certainly a win for Apple in that firmwares keep getting updated, but Apple's iPhones all have the same number of buttons.

Nokia actually would win in a sense, but I have to see Apple's plans for the long run before I can say for sure. Regarding the 3 digit Nokia sector (N710, N800, N810 etc), Nokia has consistently released firmware that updates (or even goes through the hardwork and blends firmware revisions together upon community request! The OS2007HE for the N710 is an example) Wiki for more info, I have too much to say and too little patience to type it out, because the N900's keyboard is not the best to type essays on when you're sleepy (it's 11PM over here). Apple would lose if they introduced a new OS and discontinued support for say, the 2G, but it's still too early to say.

(This part does not apply to you. Just putting it out.) iPhone models look the same, anyway. Other than the back of the 2G versus the 3G/3GS, there are little differences, so every time I keep hearing people lambaste the N900 for using the same old Nseries design, and yet they cite the iPhone as an example of good design variation. I start laughing uncontrollably every time I read something like that. So when I see that HTC actually varies its designs and improves on it, I do feel tempted to support HTC.

Unfortunately I prefer Maemo over WinMo, so I didn't get the HD2 but the N900.

(I just realised I keep making discussion get off topic in whatever product category I post. >.>)

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