Home Icon

HTC Legend

By Leigh D. Stark | 12:00 am 04/06/2010

HTC made waves last year with the Hero handset, a speedy smartphone that combined the HTC Sense interface with an established Android operating system. The design was very user-friendly, with a touchscreen and trackball providing an interface that combined the best of both worlds.

Now HTC is one-upping its Hero handset with a Legend. A slick good-looker with improved specs, it’s one of most impressive mobile phone handsets to come across our desk in a long time.

The look and feel

The most obvious thing about the Legend is that it doesn’t look and feel quite like anything else out there, and that’s because of one simple reason: it’s not made of plastic.

Most phones are constructed from materials that can’t survive a two metre drop to the pavement, but the HTC Legend is one of only a few to sport an aluminium casing. Off the top of our heads, there was the Porsche phone, a tosser’s handset made from the engine of a 911 (or Boxter or something), and the first iPhone. This used aluminium as the based material, but HTC takes this one step further.

In much the same way as Apple creates its new line of MacBook Pro notebook computers, HTC starts with a block of aluminium and carves out the interior with machinery. The resulting unibody case is super-robust because, rather than being built from multiple parts, it is derived from the one piece of aluminium.

So, in the hand, the Legend has a pleasing heft. It feels like quality, and it feels strong without being too heavy. The handset also has some rubber livery – over the camera and battery compartments, to help protect more vulnerable features and to enhance shock absorption.

The Legend's aluminium casing is made from one piece of aluminium, making it super strong.
The Legend’s aluminium casing is made from one piece of aluminium, making it super strong.

Continuing the design seen on previous handsets such the Hero, the “chin” is still at the bottom of the handset, providing an extra place to put your thumb. What used to be a trackball in previous-model phones has been replaced with an optical trackpad making for a thinner option that doesn’t ever need replacing. The four soft buttons for Home, Menu, Back, and Search remain above the chin, providing just enough buttons to complement the 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen.

The chin also conceals the battery, SIM card, and microSD slot in a compact and slim compartment. It’s easily one of the best-designed battery sections we’ve ever seen, with an incredibly thin battery and the ability to change microSD cards without being forced to remove the battery.

As for the looks, think of holding an item of absolute class and integrity to your ear and you’ll have it nailed. The HTC Legend’s metallic silver finish is courtesy of the aluminium, so there’s no faux poshness here. It IS posh.

And unlike the back and white glossy plastic cosmetics of the iPhone, the Legend’s metal finish makes it a nice match for a MacBook Pro or iMac. If, that is, you’re the type who likes to accessorising your tech like jewellery.


While the HTC Hero had a fair amount of grunt with its 528MHz chip, the Legend doesn’t push it too much higher.

Packing in a newer 600MHz processor, the Legend isn’t as fast as its 1GHz high-end brother, the HTC Desire, but that doesn’t work to its disadvantage. The phone is still snappy and responsive as you flick through screens. A little lag is noticeable when running a few applications simultaneously – multitasking is something this phone can do – but generally the performance is excellent. In fact, just about the only thing you’ll miss from a higher spec’d Android phone is the animated “live wallpaper”.

HTC has worked hard to make the Android 2.1 operating system just as fast as on the HTC Desire, with very little noticeable slow-downs. In fact, the company has gone for a lower-speed chip helping the battery to last longer. While our Desire needs a recharge every day, the Legend can go for at least two without any problems.

The Legend comes with a five megapixel camera, GPS, and supports up to 32GB of microSD memory making it, in terms of feature-set, very close to the Desire. It’s just a little smaller and less expensive.


At $599 outright, it’s an excellent phone for anyone wanting a smartphone with all the fixtures and fittings, and a handset body that’s way more durable and spiffy than their last. Users can also get it for $0 up-front on a Vodafone $49 cap plan.


Comments are closed.

Price (RRP)

$599 or $0 on a 49 cap

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Aluminium body, great design, excellent price

Product Cons

Could be faster, no live wallpaper support




Value for money


Ease of Use

Latest reviews

  • Review: DeLonghi PrimaDonna Elite coffee machine

    DeLonghi’s latest machine may have a name deserving of people who fancy themselves over the top, but its quality speaks volumes enough that its actually deserved.
  • Review: Benq WiT LED desk lamp

    Benq may not be a brand you typically associate with lights, and we know it best for monitors, but your next work light could come from some neat R&D…
  • Review: KEF M400 headphones

    A brand synonymous with excellent audio, KEF is at it again with a pair of on-ear headphones that aim to bring audio to a compact and fashionable package. Does…
  • Review: Amazon Kindle Oasis

    Electronic books have already delivered a future where we can bring all of our books with us, but the next development will be one of super thin tablets that…
  • Review: Acoustic Research M2 (ARM2) media player

    While the phone has overtaken the conventional media player, those of us with special needs and high resolution audio are embracing a new generation of media devices, and Acoustic…
  • Review: Husqvarna 136LiHD45 Hedge Trimmer

    If a guy who rarely enters his backyard can use a hedge trimmer, it’s a winner, and that means Husqvarna’s battery powered 45cm trimmer wins the gold, ticking the…
  • A phone with a difference: LG’s G5 reviewed

    LG’s quest for the ultimate flagship phone has been all about constant evolution, and for its 2016 attempt, we’re seeing the best one yet. Is it enough to unseat…
  • Review: Telstra Tough Max

    Telstra's Tough Max isn't like your ordinary phone, because if you need something that feels like it has been made for Australia, this may well be it.
  • Review: Apple iPad Smart Keyboard for 9.7 inch iPad Pro

    One feature on the iPad Pro can only be used with style of accessory: the dock connector, and it can only talk to keyboard cases. Right now, Apple’s Smart…
  • Review: Aftershockz Bluez 2S Bone Conduction earphones

    Imagine if you never had to wear an earphone again and could just hear the music in your head. That doesn’t have have to be a dream, because the…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More