A sleek and powerful Android smartphone
The Legend is the smaller of two new HTC smartphones that use the Android operating system, which as usual, comes with the company's own Sense graphical interface (the other one is the Desire – review coming soon).
It resembles the excellent Hero smartphone HTC released last year, with similar dimensions and the same outward-pointing 'chin' at the bottom, but below the surface it’s quite different.
The phone is constructed from aluminium, which is noticeably more pleasant to hold than the plastic used on most phones. There are four physical buttons beneath the 3.2in screen. At the top is a standard headphone jack, and a power button that can also put the Legend into sleep mode.
When flicking through images and between screens, the Legend refreshes its screen with little noticeable lag, even when lots of applications are running. Web pages update quickly, and Adobe Flash applications can be displayed without a problem.
The screen is a multi-touch model, meaning you can pinch to zoom in on web pages, maps and images. It uses technology that makes it appear noticeably brighter than many other smartphones, although less so in direct sunlight.
The resolution, at 320x480 pixels, is lower than on some top-end phones, including the other new HTC handset, the Desire. This hardly affects how the phone operates, though, as the combination of Android’s stability and HTC's attractive software makes for a brilliant mobile internet experience.
The phone's list of contacts automatically synchronises with the Google and Facebook accounts of your contacts, as does the calendar. If a contact doesn't have a profile picture, the phone will cleverly update it with an image from Facebook.
The phone's five-megapixel digital camera took excellent photos in daylight (it was less good in darker situations), and the HTC software makes it easy to flick through shots and share them on social-networking sites.
There are plenty of ways to customise the look and feel of Android. Icons can be dragged around, as can more widgets. The Android Marketplace has lots of extra free and paid-for software to try, including plenty of games.
It can take some time to get used to the Legend’s multiple screens, shortcuts and widgets. The battery life isn’t great, though: it will need daily charging if you use its multimedia functions.
But these are our only real criticisms since even the phone's basic functions were a joy to use. The Legend is easily one of the best smartphones around.
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A simple, easy-to-use smartphone with some clever features Good points Brilliant for media and internet; bright display; easier to pocket than rivals Bad points HTC Sense can take time to get used to; camera poor in low light
£370 or from free on Vodafone contract
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