The HTC Legend is the phone everybody is clamouring for. At the centre of a storm between Apple and the Taiwanese mobile maker, it’s arguably the best and most complete iPhone rival to land. But the question is, does this unibody Android phone sate our smartphone appetite? Or is it a case of glossy looks with very little going on upstairs? Dive into our HTC Legend review now and we’ll give you the complete verdict.
Read the rest of our HTC Legend review
HTC Legend review: HTC Sense
HTC Legend review: AMOLED Screen
HTC Legend review: Design and build quality
We were smitten with the HTC Legend the moment we clapped eyes on it in Barcelona last month. Just a few short weeks on and we’ve been able to give the full metal Android phone a proper going over, to see whether our first flushes of cellular crush were all down to that sexy frame and spruced up HTC Sense UI.
The answer? Emphatically no. This is undoubtedly the very best Android mobile phone we’ve played with since the release of its predecessor, the HTC Hero. While that’s not to say it’s flawless, the HTC Legend is a stunning device, pointing the way to the next-generation of fully-connected Android phones.
Read our HTC Legend review: HTC Sense
The basis of this is, of course, Android 2.1. We loved it in the Nexus One, but now it has the HTC Sense UI on top, it’s even better. Multiple Gmail accounts, Google Goggles and a more powerful browser are all here, but they sing now that HTC Sense has added some stunning new features.
You can deep dive into what’s what with our dedicated HTC Legend: HTC Sense review, but suffice to say its new lick of paint is sensational. The ‘7 screen leap’ which you get when pinching the homescreen is an Android take on Apple’s desktop Exposé feature, give an at-a-glance peep at all your homescreens simultaneously. It means you can easily see every widget or shortcut in an instant, without flicking through homescreens to get to what you want.
The HTC Legend includes the excellent new Friend Feed app and widget too. It’s a cool and clever addition which marries your Facebook, Twitter and Flickr streams into one place, updating in real time so you don’t need to duck into extra apps whenever you want to know what your pals are getting up to.
The browser and email clients have also been given a tickle by HTC Sense, and the addition of a news reader is ace. Stick in all your RSS feeds and you can access the lot from the front page or your bookmarks (making sure Electricpig is slap bang at the top of course).
Read our HTC Legend review: Design and build
But the software on screen is just half the HTC Legend’s appeal. The phone itself feels superior in every respect to its predecessors, due mainly to its groundbreaking construction. We’ve taken an in-depth look at the build of the HTC Legend in our design review. But you should know that its body is what truly makes this a truly stunning Android phone.
The unibody slab is a great move by HTC, let down only by the plastic around the five megapixel camera, there in order to access the wireless services that make the phone tick. The protruding ‘chin’ of the HTC Legend is less pronounced than that on the HTC Hero, but it’s still a pain when the phone’s in your pocket, although jettisoning that nasty trackball is a seriously smart move on HTC’s part.
The HTC Legend’s new optical trackball is much easier on the fingers. The only question we have is whether it’s wholly necessary. The touchscreen is such a delight to use and the hard keys along its bottom edge take care of the business of sliding back through web pages and zipping back to the home page.
Talking of the screen, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a real peach. This is HTC’s most tactile effort yet, as seen in the excellent on screen keyboard, which is the most accurate we’ve ever used on a touchscreen Android phone. For more on that, make sure you read our HTC Legend screen review. Yes, the display on this phone is so good, it warrants that much attention.
The 5MP snapper is more than capable too, but as with all smartphones these days, it’s built to service social networking add-ons rather than take compact-killing pictures. That’s not to say it’s poor, just that it’s nowhere near to being a stand-out feature on what we regard as the best phone of 2010 so far.
It’s with relatively few regrets then, that the HTC Legend has stolen our hearts. This Android phone truly takes Apple to task, with a host of neat software additions, and a design, build quality and finish that doesn’t just leapfrog the competition, but kicks it in the backside on the way.