back to article HTC Legend

HTC’s Legend is to all intents and purposes the follow up to the very popular Hero. Like its predecessor it is an Android handset, and GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G are here as Android staples but, as you would expect, the Legend has a lot that is new, updated, enhanced and tweaked too. HTC Legend Nice touch? HTC's Legend For a start …


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  1. Jonathan 10

    Looks great, shame about the battery life....

    If HTC cracked that, their phones would be truely amazing. My hero with 3g data turned on will go flat with in a day with minimal use.

  2. gav_taylor

    right place... wrong time...

    I think the Legend should probably have been released before xmas. HTC have shot themselves in the foot be releasing it at the same time as the desire which is by far a more superior handset.

    As a Hero user, the legend was on my list of possible upgrades, due to the lack of 2.1 update for the Hero I want a new phone, but it seems to be just that bit short of all the other emerging handsets, no snap dragon for instance, which means with the poor battery life and only slight improvements over the Hero, the only reason for buying it would be the all in one case.

    Fail for HTC's timing on releasing the (could-have-been-a) Legend

  3. caffeine addict
    Thumb Down

    all well and good...

    ... but where the 2.1 upgrade to Hero on Orange you lazy bunch of gits. It's been promised for months now...

    1. Mr Brush
      Thumb Up

      Update finally coming

      Not long now:

      1. max allan

        Heard that before

        The upgrade has been "confirmed" at various dates for about the last 6 months. I'm not holdiing my breath.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "Taxi for Mr iPhone."

    Don't let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.


    1. Tim Cook
      Thumb Down


      ..but no. Don't think so. Something tells me the iPhone might just survive this one too.

  5. Bruno Patterson

    Why would you buy this?

    When the HTC Desire is just around the corner.....

  6. Patrick O'Reilly

    The best until the Desire.

    As a Hero user I experience the same very poor battery life. It seems to be the curse of all smartphones these days, as the iPhone also suffers from very poor battery performance.

    It only they could harness the power of the sun, in a space the size of a pea.

  7. Mike Watt
    Thumb Up

    Nice review, but

    Please review the Desire! I imagine that's what most people here would opt for out of the two (beefier CPU and higher res screen), and I want to know if my pre-order is going to be worth the money!

  8. DS 1


    A phone that lasts only half a day.

    Instead of 80%, you should be giving this a much lower score and sending it back to the maker with a stern lecture.

    Its high time you and those like you set a high line on consumer equipment. Equipment this flawed continues to get high ratings on internet reviews and its simply wrong

    1. Gary F

      45% would be a fairer score

      Look here El Reg, if you buy a phone that's really cool but conks out before the day is over then it's frankly the most useless phone in the world. Unless you use it as a door stop between charges, but then £300 is a lot of money for a door stop.

      At least let the damn phone last out until you get home from work in the evening and ideally up to bed time when you can charge it overnight. Sheeesh!

  9. Law

    should have waited 3 weeks for the review

    All the comparisons with current Hero user interface will be null and void when it gets 2.1 and new sense ui early april.... only then will we know whether updating is worth it for things like merged contacts and birds eye view.

    Can I ask a couple of UI related questions though:

    1 - Have they done away with the annoyingly easy to accidentally unlock "swipe downwards from anywhere half way to unlock/answer" lock screen?? I'd much prefer to just use the nexus-one/iphone method of moving a rectangle bar across... when you can just press anywhere along the middle and pull down it's too easy to unlock, my son does it constantly to my phone.

    2 - Does it also have the annoying problem of leaving the phone unlocked in your pocket after ending a call over bluetooth??

    Just a couple of gripes of the Hero at the minute that I hope are addressed in the new update! :)

  10. Mark61

    Exchange Email

    "For the business users out there, Android 2.1 also supports Exchange email."

    ish. It doesn't support remote wipe or pin lock, which means many corporates still won't let it sync with Exchange. You'll still need to buy a 3rd party app (e.g. Touchdown) if your employer insists on these security precautions.

    I still can't believe that Google haven't yet sorted this out once and for all, it seems to me to be a major barrier to wider adoption of Android devices by corporate users.

    1. Chris White 1

      Full(er) Exchange support

      It looks like HTC have added support on top of Android - if you look at the quick start guide ( it says

      "Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync - Now you can use a cool phone while keeping your

      work email and other information safe. Your phone has enhanced support for Exchange security features such as password protection and Remote Wipe."

  11. smalga

    Better then the Hero?

    With the 2.1 release for the Hero coming up, I'm assuming they will both be running the same software... So all you gain is an LED flash, slightly better screen and rubbish battery life.

    Doesn't seem much of an upgrade - I think HTC would have been better off skipping this and just focusing on improving the Hero and plugging the Desire.

  12. Franners


    A word on processor? My Hero is a bit sluggish sometimes still and I'd like a but of a boost on its successor.

  13. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up

    Its nice but...

    I don't know if its enough of an update over the Hero to be worth considering, particuarly when Android 2.1 will be out for the Hero.

    Still though, I think HTC are producing some nice gear.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    HTC Battery Life

    I used to own a couple of Windows Mobile phones from HTC before I got my HTC Magic. One thing I noticed on the WinMo phones was the bad battery life, I thought this was a symptom of just using Windows to run a smartphone.

    Skip forward to the HTC Magic. Even now I am underwhelmed by the time between charges required by what should be a power efficient phone.

    Is it just a curse of an HTC developed phone that they can't seem to get enough juice into one of their batteries? I don't remember having as much of an issue with other manufacturers.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    somewhat off-topic

    Please review the Desire ASAP

  16. Gareth 18

    Battery Life

    Lets be honest here though, bad battery life isn't restricted to HTC products is it? Its a symptom on pretty much all smartphones. HTC, the iPhone, Sony Ericsson's new high end handsets all suffer from it. Is it mroe of a case that processor and functionality has lept forward far faster then battery technology has?

    Now we have phones with 1Ghtz processors, graphics chips, 3G, wifi, GPS, AMOLED screens, touchscreens, and all sorts of games and applications all fighting for a piece of that juice. I think we need to either be a bit more savvy about how we use our devices to preserve battery life, or we need a replacement for Li-ion.

    1. Tim Cook

      There's bad and there's bad

      Half a day isn't good enough. The iPhone got a bad rep from people who thought having to charge once a day was unreasonable - I use my iPhone a lot but would struggle to flatten it's battery by lunchtime, it's usually always good until well into the evening (or a day or two later if I'm sensible and switch off the unecessary stuff when I'm not using it).

      Blaming it all on fast processors etc is a cop out - there's a lot that can be done in good hardware and software design to match those stand out features with more acceptable (and usable) battery life, even within the limitations of today's batteries, which realistically we're stuck with for a while yet. At the end of the day, if HTC are overloading the specsheets on these phones and producing devices that only impress on paper but don't really work as a phone (ie, aren't able to be relied on as a day-to-day mobile because the battery's dead by lunchtime) then that's a big failure on their part. Forget the excuses, they didn't have to build it that way.

    2. Darren Mansell

      Absolutely Right

      Something has to give. These devices are more powerful than many laptops from 3 years ago yet you wouldn't have expected them to last all day.

      If you have a normal usage pattern for the phones, they're fine with 1 charge a day. You go home, plug it in overnight and you will get a whole day tomorrow.

      I use powermanager and get about 3 days from my Dream (G1) with normal use.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Battery Life

      The biggest drains are GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth (in that order). The trouble is that the average user who's switched to a smartphone won't realise that and will leave them on all day - killing the battery. They'll probably also leave lots of background apps running which are making use of these as well!

      All you need is a bit of time initially to setup the phone correctly and a few widgets or apps to switch things off when not in use - including background apps that you don't need (e.g. try Advanced Task Killer or Taskiller). Oh and if you're using it for navigation in the car - get a car charger and plug it in!

      That way I easily get 2-3 days use from my Hero between charges...

    4. Jason Hall


      While I agree with the above, it probably isn't going to happen any time soon.

      So why not just make the bloody battery bigger?

      I personally wouldn't care if they needed to make the handset 2mm thicker if they could squeeze-in double the time between charges? It can't be that hard now really can it?

      1. noboard

        Look at the size of that thing

        Size of the battery is the big factor in battery life. All the latest smart phone are brimming with technology and stuffed into a tiny form factor, meaning the battery is also tiny and can't power it for long.

        I have a G1 and the battery life was a big problem. I spent £12 on a larger battery and for the cost of a slightly thicker phone, I have something that can last 3 days decent usage or a week with light usage.

        The battery sticking out also acts as a stand when I'm watching videos. Win all round.

  17. Oliver 7

    Bit unfair

    I think the 80% rating is a bit unfair - there's nothing in the review to detract from the experience except the battery life and there are some important caveats to state. Firstly, as the reviewers state, they used the phone extensively including wireless - wireless is particularly draining on my Hero, that's why there's a widget to turn it off when you're finished using it. This would affect any phone in the same way. Also, I found that my battery life improved after a week or two, I have only once had to recharge before the day was out and normally I can get by for two days between charges. I expect the same may be true of the Legend.

    The Hero will be getting the Android 2.1 update starting on 2nd April it would seem (current rumours on xdadevelopers) so the interface differences will be minimal over the Hero (particularly looking forward to OBEX Bluetooth transfers and a usable text-copying facility!!!) CPU is only 100MHz quicker so probably not worth the extra spondulicks now that the Hero will presumably be discounted, leaving the AMOLED screen and the LED flash as the only real improvements.

  18. Dafydd Lawrence

    More on battery life

    Personally with a smartphone I think the best to hope for is a full day of reasonable use before it dies. It can then be charged at night ready for the next day. Gone are the days of my old nokia that only needed to be charged once a week, it isn't going to happen with these screens and processors for a while. With my Hero I have this even with Bluetooth, GPS (not active), 3G and WiFi left on all day.

    However, I charge my phone at night, can charge it while driving, can charge it from any USB port and so the only times I have a problem is when I am out on the mountains and I am using the GPS for mapping and recording my tracks. But I now use a 3000mAh lithium battery powered charger that is about the size of the phone, chargers from the car socket and can triple the length of my phone usage. I wouldn't carry it around on a day to dfay basis but left in my rucksack next to my phone it is ideal. It was only £9.99 and has an LED readout of the amount of charge left.

    I never have a problem with battery life now.

    The legend running for half a day would be a pain but it could be due to it being tested continuously and therefore has the screen on for long periods of time.

  19. Steen Larsen
    Thumb Up

    Hero Battery Life Improvement

    The HTC Hero battery life almost doubles if you stop unwanted synchronisation tasks and increase the email polll time from the default 10 minutes to, for example, 2 hours.

  20. paul 97

    battery life

    My HTC Hero last 2-3 days most of the time when I dont use it heavily.

    Under heavy use I can make it crap out in a morning.

    On a side note - I had a old school Nokia - mono screen, no bluetooth or 3G or anything really.

    Been sitting in the garage powered off for 18 ish months.

    75% battery left when recently powered on. Now sits in my car as an SOS phone.

  21. MarkOne
    Thumb Up

    Loving the Hero

    Recently got a HTC Hero (well a TMobile G2 Touch) from T-Mobile on their tenner a month deal for unlimited data, unlimited texts and 100minutes.

    It's a FANTASTIC phone, much better than my iPhone 3GS that went before it. I may upgrade to a Legend in the fullness of time (I won't pickup a Desire, as like the iPhone, it's too bulky).

    I love the functionality and formfactor of the Hero. it's a 100% phone rating from me, and will be 120% when it gets Android 2.1 soon...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MicroSD Card

    People always complain about non-hotswappable MicroSD cards, but realistically, how often does anyone actually swap microSD cards?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Battery Life

    It's a deal breaker for me. I could just about cope with charging once a day, but my iphone regularly used to start to flag at about 4pm. And judging by the clamour for chargers at that time of day I wasn't the only one.

    Which meant I sadly had to return to my E71. Not as nice as the iphone in almost every way - but the battery lasts significantly better (some of this may be related to the fact it doesn't scream "fiddle with me baby!" like the iphone).

    My android touchscreen phone suffers the same problem, the blackberry doesn't. I am unsure whther this is because the small screen really affects battery life, or the small screen just puts you off fiddling with it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Oh dear...

    You poor poor souls.

    Android is as dead in the water as this iPhone wannabe.

    Why buy a copy when you can have the real thing?

    1. dogged

      wrong icon

      Fixed that for you.

    2. alun phillips

      AC @ 18:07

      Because mayhaps we don't want the locked down system of an iPhone and I certainly wouldn't let that malware iTunes anywhere near my pc (but thats ok as there isn't a linux version), that said the legend should be right up your alley a flash phone for the fanbois, specs are ok for now but it's gonna get a pummeling from the Desire / Nexus ones in the next month or so

    3. Oliver 7

      Perhaps because...

      1. The contract is half the price

      2. You can remove the battery or upgrade the storage (32GB cards out now)

      3. The SenseUI is better than the iPhone OS

      4. You're fed up of people ostentatiously using their iPhones like it's some kind of status symbol (why do they always hold them in their hands even when not using? - put it away!!!!) and don't want to be mistaken for one of them

  25. Mr Brush

    Not that much improvement over the Hero?

    The only improvement I see here is getting rid of the trackball.

    The CPU doesn't seem that much faster, battery life is worse. I bet they haven't even added user dictionary editing.

    I'll stick with my Hero for the time being. The 2.1 update should be rolling out in April:

  26. sleepy

    Isn't it funny.

    Before iPhone there wasn't a smartphone that looked like iPhone, and Android looked nothing like iPhone. Now most smart phones look like iPhone, especially Android ones. Don't tell me that isn't copying. Users should be grateful to Apple for showing HTC how to make a usable phone.

    On the other hand I used to have one of those nice Kodak instant picture cameras until Kodak lost to Polaroid's patent case. I still have a few pictures from it to prove it wasn't an illusion. So perhaps keep some of your favourite snaps as a memento of your HTC phone, in case they have to stop supporting it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Sleepy? Dopey more like...

      Actually, Android now shows the iPhone for the restrictive-piece-of-shit-with-a-couple-of-clever-tricks that it always actually was. The iPhone UI is starting to look seriously dated next to the HTC Sense phones.

    2. Mr Brush

      Trip trap trip trap

      Go away troll, your Jobsian brainwash is showing.

    3. Law
      Paris Hilton


      So you define any phone that has a large touch-screen as looking like an iphone??

      Strange - I had a HP iPaq over 5 years ago that "looked like an iPhone".... clearly they copied the future iPhone look, as it's so good it transcends time and space.

      Any decent touchscreen phone needs to drop the main keypad buttons and have a large screen, you seem to be ignoring the obvious differences between android phones... apparently the fact my Hero has a chin, a trackball, 6 buttons on the face, and 2 LED's, has a metallic rim, a removable back means nothing, as long as it's got a big screen it's an iPhone wannabe.

      The iPhone didn't invent or even re-invent the touchscreen phone, what they did do is raise the stakes in terms of usability and they also made capacitive touchscreen almost the norm (which makes on-screen keyboards actually usable)... Yes, other manufacturers have had to raise their game in terms of software and design since the iPhone, but it's in no way them copying the iPhone. Samsung phones still look like samsung phones, HTC are playing with some really nice designs and tech at the minute... motorola are really surprising people with some nice ideas, even if their keyboards are a bit pants.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Funny, yes

      That the iPhone bears a passing resemblance to a Palm T5 or TX. If only Palm had put a Treo phone chipset in to that, rather than jumping onto the Handspring model for Palms-with-phone, then we might be saying something completely different.

      My treo 650 is still soldiering on after 4 1/2 years, but it obviously isn't as sexy as an iPhone, Android or a Pre.

      BTW, I know it does not have WiFi or built-in GPS (my GPS unit connects by Bluetooth), but I charge it on the way home on a Friday in the car, use it all weekend for calls, games and media, and it is still over 50% full when I get back in the car on Monday morning. And I can get LOTS of applications for free from many different sites.

  27. xpert_con
    Thumb Up

    Nexus One is quality so the desire should be too!

    I have a nexus one and Its amazing. If the desire is anything like it, the phone will be amazing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The desire

      The desire is the N1 hardware, in a new case, running Sense UI ... the same software in this review on a N1 essentially.

      If you've rooted your N1, there's a alpha of the desire ROM available that works very well on the Nexus (no FM radio yet though).

  28. Unimotorcyclist

    Nothing new

    Nothing new here on the Legend, and rubbish battery.

    My Galaxy Portal can last 4 or even 5 days with normal use and a faster CPU, and i5700 fits into the bargain basement category for Android phones.

  29. Ben Rosenthal

    not sure

    about buying another HTC after the lack of updates for the Hero (even though I'm loving the MoDaCo Custom ROM it pushed me towards).

    Really is a great phone now it's been updated a little, but very disappointing to have to go to an external source for it and lose my warranty.

  30. Hardmilk

    Maybe there is another plan for the phone...

    Like others have said, its a bit of a bad idea releasing it so close to that of the Desire, but then... HTC also just announced the Evo 4G days before the official release of the Desire "SuperPhone" as it's reffered...

    I guess operators could market the Legend as a budget 'droid device, possibly even with availability on PAYG? (although I've not really looked at the price of the legend) So maybe it will end up as a low-cost monthly tarrif option... Either way, I'll be after the Desire when thats out, as my farewell from the land of WinMo.

  31. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Pump and dump

    Why do HTC need to release so many smartphones?

    They should create one decent phone, spend time engineering it well, good industrial design, decent brand name and then advertise it well.

    Instead of producing a new handset every 6-12 months, making it butt ugly with a stupid name and not advertising it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pump and dump

      I think you are confusing HTC with Samsung. Besides, there is nowt wrong with HTC's industial design - the Legend craps all over the iPhone in that respect.

  32. MarkOne

    re: Why get this rather than a Desire?

    Simple, some of us PREFER the formfactor of the Hero/Legend.

    The Desire and iPhone are too big. The Hero and Legend are perfect for me.

  33. Alastair Montgomery

    Contract Fail

    "exclusively from Vodafone" FAIL!

    One thing that really annoys me is that networks grab the exclusive rights to handsets.

    I was interested in the HTC Legend until you could only get it contract on Vodafone.

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