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HTC Leo Becomes Second 1GHz Snapdragon Smartphone

Gordon Kelly


HTC Leo Becomes Second 1GHz Snapdragon Smartphone

Let's put it bluntly: Ed quite liked the TG01, I've had more enjoyable root canal. This on the other hand is far more exciting...

Newly leaked with high quality images is the much rumoured HTC Leo, which looks set to live up to its name. First off is the same gang busting Qualcomm 1GHz chipset as found in the TG01, but equally important are the rest of the specifications:

  • 4.3in 480 x 800 capacitive touchscreen

  • 5MP camera, dual LED flash

  • aGPS

  • WiFi

  • Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR

  • microSD expansion slot (32GB compatible)

  • 3.5mm headphone jack (hurrah!)

  • 121 x 67 x 11mm dimensions

  • 1,250 mAh battery

  • Windows Mobile 6.5
Yes, I know the last bit may be a deal breaker for some, but the Windows Mobile latest builds are getting better. Furthermore, capacitive screens weren't initially supported by this admittedly bridging OS, so perhaps Microsoft has a surprise or two in store.

As for the TG01 comparison, well... there is no comparison. It managed a (still impressive - in fact the best part) 4.1in 480 x 800 resistive touchscreen, 3MP camera with no flash, no 3.5mm headphone jack, 1,000 mAh battery and it runs Windows Mobile 6.1 (with a truly horrible custom UI).

So for those that wisely held back on the TG01, it looks like HTC is about to reward you. Given we don't yet have a release date, however, we can't say when. An educated guess? Windows Mobile 6.5 is planned for a Q4 release, it would seem unlikely for HTC to be far behind...


via ai.rs blog

Technical Itch

August 19, 2009, 4:52 am

Well leo sure is a looker and hits all the right notes feature wise, but why choose windows mobile over android? The hero's UI is it's raison d'être, so why change a good thing?


August 19, 2009, 5:07 am

Sorry, but 1250mAh just isn't enough. You need at least 1500mAh (Nokia's putting this batteries this big into all their new mid- and high end handsets.) to run with 1ghz processor. Pity the HERO lasts half a day in extensive use, that really bothers me 'cause i want to jump onto Android phone from my old and knackered E51. Seems that the E52 will be better choice considering battery life...


August 19, 2009, 6:45 am

@Randy - think you're a bit muddled. The battery only needs to be comparative to the power draw and the Snapdragon platform is actually more efficient than the chipsets used in the Nokia N Series. That's why the TG01 can get away with just a 1,000 mAh battery.

Secondly, the Hero doesn't use Snapdragon it uses a much older and more power hungry chipset. Likewise, the iPhone 3GS is much more powerful than the 3G, but its new Cortex chipset is more power efficient than the 3G's so it's battery life went up.

You can't simply equate power to battery life. It's like saying the larger petrol tank on a Bentley means it will manage more miles before refill than a Prius. There are no simple, black and white rules.


August 19, 2009, 7:18 am

Oh c'mon, 4.3 inches? These screen sizes are getting rediculous. At what point is a 'phone' no longer a phone?


August 19, 2009, 7:31 am

I'd say beyond about 4.5in. After all pockets are big, so surely it's the thickness of a handset that is more inconvenient than its footprint?

Dark of Day

August 19, 2009, 9:16 am

Is 4.5in. really the most you guys can fit in your pocket? Thickness is of course an important consideration.

My early draft of "Carry On up the expansion slot" aside

I want bigger screens.

I want the umpc/MID/phone/netbook (actually a laptop) all in one a 5inch device I can leave on all day. We carry bags half our lives anyway, add in a bit of a google voice type service to enable a smaller device when you want one.

I've had a grand burning a hole in my bank account for 3 years waiting for someone to build it (yes, somethings come close -ish)

Damn, ranting now. I only wanted to make the "4 inch gag"


August 19, 2009, 11:03 am

This is the phone I'm waiting for. I liked the Touch HD but this will be my upgrade. I hate iPhones even the 3GS...


August 19, 2009, 12:54 pm

2.8" is the limit to touchscreens for me. That was the screen size of my first Windows Mobile phone - the imate JAM. Anything bigger is just useless to me.


August 19, 2009, 12:56 pm

Also, the battery is just ridiculous. Like one already mentioned, Nokia managed to shoe in a 1500mAh into the new E52 and E55. And those are tiny phones!

Gordon, the new E-series has wonderful battery life.


August 19, 2009, 1:21 pm

Sorry Gordon - you're saying the 3GS is more battery efficient than the 3G? If that is the case, then there must be a lot of 3G people walking around out there with dead phones in the afternoon.

I've just moved to a 3GS, and yesterday was a typical example. Unplugged the phone fully charged at 7am. Went to London - browsing on the train and playing a couple of games - 70 minutes.

Repeated the same journey in the afternoon, and also installed a couple of small apps. By 4 pm, I had the 20% battery warning, and by 6 pm, 10%. I had to charge it again before going out.

I love the phone, and the idea of smart phones in general, but battery performance MUST be improved so you can at least get a full working day out of them - 9 am to 11 pm.


August 19, 2009, 2:54 pm

Like Greg I find my iphone 3G barely lasts a working day (and it's literally dead by lunch if I use it through my work exchange server). It means I only take it with me if I know I can get power (and/or am prepared to carry a power cable), or if I'm out for a short time - in practice this means more often than not I use my Nokia.

The 1500mAh in my E71 gets me 3 days continuous use with a fair amount of browsing/calling/gps each day. If I turn off 3g and only text/call a little (on holiday for example) it lasts a week. Only really find the battery gets eaten when I've got mail for exchange running permanently connected over 3G, but even then it lasts all day and night.


August 19, 2009, 3:00 pm

Just trying to draw the editors attention to the fact that in Firefox 3.5 with adblock plus that there is a space two items down on the latest news (as in it is further down the page than it should be). I am assuming this is an ad and personally, whilst I understand the site needs advertising, this is a step too far since this actually interferes with the sites usefulness, since when I load the page I can just see the title of the first news article. If the site is to interest someone so they don't navigate away from the page, surely it should be designed with the main reason people come here as its number 1 priority, which is to read both news and reviews, with ads being down the side. Personally it has been infuriating since I load this page two or three times a day and therefore usually don't even have to scroll.


August 19, 2009, 3:17 pm

Moving on from the battery discussion;

Don't forget Toshiba's non-existent after-sales support. Good luck getting more than one 'keep-the-lawyers-at-bay' firmware update out of them!


August 19, 2009, 3:39 pm

I like the clean look of this (esp the non-glossy back) and the specs sound tasty too. I really wish that HTC released a phone like this for Android though. I've played with all current Android phones and the lag (even with tweaking) is a real turn off. Apart from sony's 'rachael' there's nothing on the horizon that promises snapdragon + android. :(


August 19, 2009, 3:46 pm

The hardware looks excellent, and with the screens of the HTC's new WinMo skins it looks like this could be a very good indeed. However why are screens getting so big? This phone may be slim, but it's still going to be as big if not bigger then the TG01 and holding a slim and very wide device to your ear is difficult at best.


August 19, 2009, 4:17 pm

you guys are kidding right? you think a 4.5 inch screen on your phone, your everyday phone would be good? christ i still find my Touch HD huge! this device sounds great apart from the screen size. been watching the roms closely and wil trial on my HD before committing to new phone. if the hero had these specs i wouldnt even look at a wm device


August 19, 2009, 4:29 pm

@Gnormie: I'd personally propose that the reason for ever increasing screen sizes is the on-screen keyboard. Large screen means larger "keys" and so easier to type. Also large screen means larger check boxes/menu items without reducing the number on screen...

It's almost a shame that my HD contract is still on until summer nextyear, but then again, if these devices are coming out now(ish) I can only imagine what will be available when I come to the end of current contract.


August 19, 2009, 5:52 pm

@Andrew Violet: I agree with your comments re. advert completely. I think the ad should be down the side. Will we get to the point where the first page is completely covered with ad's ? Suppose i'll never know because i will have gone elsewhere before that. Please guys, dont spoil the site.

Martin Daler

August 19, 2009, 6:36 pm

ah, the ads. I was wondering why the reviews column had slipped down. I think the advertisers shoot themselves in the foot. I quite like relevant informative ads, afterall I might want to buy one of these toys, that is why I like to read up about them. But I hate all the eyegrabbing distracting glitzy migrane-inducing tricks they deploy, so I just adblock anything that moves. Result, zero ads and zero click-through revenue, which must be a bad thing.


August 19, 2009, 9:13 pm

@Greg - yep, they do. 3GS has up to 30% better battery life. In short: use an iPhone like a phone and it will last like a phone. Use an iPhone like a laptop and it will last like a laptop.

@Runadumb - absolutely. It's about thickness and weight not footprint.

Oliver Levett

August 19, 2009, 9:14 pm

The Leo is set to have a September release (unlocked), and should be on Orange UK.

Also, it will debut with WM6.5 (though HTC Daily builds are all with WM6.5.1)


August 19, 2009, 9:52 pm

Yes, the screen size. I can see your point on the thickness and weight (certainly the logic I apply to laptops), but a phone is useless to me if I can't fit it in my jeans pocket without it jabbing into my bodily appendages. I find that even my 3.5 inch iPod Touch can be a bit big for my pockets, and that's actually thinner than my phone.

To be clear, I'm not saying that these huge screened phones shouldn't exist, I'm sure plenty of people with clown pockets have a use for them, but where are the 'compact' phones? Smartphones seem to be getting ever larger, as if there's some kind of screen war, while the market for smaller devices is apparently being neglected.


August 20, 2009, 12:33 am

Enter the iPhone nano...


August 20, 2009, 12:45 am

@Gordon: Lets agree to disagree shall we ;)


August 20, 2009, 8:24 am

The phone is actually smaller than the TG01. TG01 has one of those 80's type screens with huge bezels.

TG01: 128 x 70 x 9.9mm

Leo: 121 x 67 x 11mm

Touch HD (iPhone almost identical): 115 x 62.8 x 12mm

Nokia N97: 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9mm

As you can see the Leo is not as big as some people think. It's only few mm wider and taller than the Touch HD/iPhone but thinner.

No more constant zooming in/out, squinting with a screen this large. I use to own N800 internet tablet and web experience is almost good as the desktop. No smartphone has the same experience even the iPhone (for you fans), mainly because of the huge 4.13" 800x480 screen.

I think this about the largest phone I would tolerate just because of the HUGE screen.

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