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What to choose: HTC Legend vs Desire?

We’re back with another review. This time we’ve had two newest HTC Android phones in our lab, so we have decided to do a comparison review. And no, this is not another “Which phone is the best?” kind of review, but simply “Which of these two phones is better for me?” kind. Enjoy your reading.

HTC Legend

HTC Desire

Specifications:

Let’s start with Legend. As you probably already know, Legend is designed as Hero’s successor. Because of that, their specifications are quite similar, with Legend having superior ones, of course:

  • Screen: 3.2” AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, HVGA resolution (320×480)
  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz
  • Memory: 512MB ROM, 384MB RAM, expandable via microSD cards (up to 32GB)
  • Camera: 5MP, Auto Focus, LED Flash, geotagging
  • GSM: Quad-band GSM support, dual-band 3G with HSPA
  • OS: Android 2.1 (Éclair) + HTC Sense
  • Battery: 1300mAh Li-Ion, up to 7 hours of talk time, up to 560 hours of standby
  • Other: GPS receiver, digital compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate + A2DP, microUSB, 3.5mm stereo audio jack

HTC Desire vs Nexus One 01

Desire is designed and marketed as HTC’s flagship Android phone. Its specifications are almost identical to Google’s Nexus One, because HTC designed both, with only few minor (or major, depending on POV ;-) ) differences:

  • Screen: 3.7” AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, WVGA resolution (480×800)
  • Processor: Qualcomm QSD (Snapdragon) 8250 1 GHz
  • Memory: 512MB ROM, 576MB RAM, expandable via microSD cards (up to 32GB)
  • Camera: 5MP, Auto Focus, LED Flash, face detection, geotagging
  • GSM: Quad-band GSM support, dual-band 3G with HSPA
  • OS: Android 2.1 (Éclair) + HTC Sense
  • Battery: 1400mAh Li-Ion, up to 6 hours of talk time, up to 350 hours of standby
  • Other: GPS receiver, digital compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate + A2DP, microUSB, 3.5mm stereo audio jack

First impressions:

HTC Desire is very similar to N1 in appearance, key differences being optical trackpad instead of trackball, and hardware navigation buttons, instead of touch sensitive. Majority of device’s shell is made out of some rubberised plastic, which feels excellent in hand. Metallic frame surrounds the screen, and its tight fit with the rest of the case only adds to the build quality. Wobbly power button ruins previous impression, but only a little. Android, of course, flies on 1 GHz processor. Everything works very smooth, and phone is quite responsive.

HTC Desire

HTC Desire

Legend, on the other hand, is something very unique on the market. We can’t remember when we saw a device with such an excellent build quality. Majority of device’s body is made of one-piece aluminium, which is not only fingerprint free, but feels really great in hand. Screen is protected with thick coating. There are some rumors that it is scratch free, but we haven’t dared to test that theory ;-) Battery cover is very easy to remove, and reveals probably the best designed phone interior we have ever seen. Everything inside is easily accessible, and fits to the last micron. Simply beautiful. Android works fluidly on Legend, with a few differences to Desire, but, we’ll come to that later.

Second impressions:

We must say that both of these models are almost of the same size, and both of them feel great in hand. Both of them have hardware navigation buttons, which is nice, since you can more easily find them in the dark. But having said that, we must note that almost everyone can use Legend with only one hand, and, in most cases, you will need two hands for Desire (one to hold it, other to navigate it). Desire’s navigation buttons are simply placed too low on the device. On the other hand, Desire’s buttons are easier to locate without looking, since they are a little more elevated than Legend’s.

HTC Desire

Both smartphones have almost the same layout, with power button, and 3.5mm stereo audio jack placed on top (which is convenient), volume rocker placed on left, and microUSB connector placed on bottom. Only difference is that everything on Legend fits to the last micron, as we have previously said it.

HTC Desire

Battery is another major difference between these two models. As you may expect, Legend can last longer on its smaller capacity batter, simply because of Legend’s lower CPU frequency. Desire is on a par with HD2 when it comes to power consumption. With moderate daily usage (few calls, surfing, Wi-Fi, a little GPS and gaming), you can expect to squeeze about a day out of Desire, and two days out of Legend. In any case, always carry microUSB charging cable with you, just in case.

Interestingly enough, AMOLED screens also show some differences. Legend’s screen seems a little more vibrant than Desire’s when you hold two devices together with the same level of brightness. But, that extra screen real-estate on Desire is quite handy, and everything looks sharper because of WVGA resolution. If you plan to use any of these phones on a sunny day, be sure to crank brightness to its highest level.

HTC Desire

Both smartphones have similar 5MP camera. You use optical trackpad on both devices to shoot pictures, which is really convenient. Legend can shoot 2592×1728 pictures at maximum, and Desire can produce 2592×1552 at maximum in widescreen mode. Desire’s software can detect faces on picture, and Legend’s can’t. As you can see from the galleries below, Legend is capturing a little more faithful colors than Desire, at least to our eye. Both devices’ picture settings were at their factory default.

HTC Desire

As we have previously mentioned, everything flies on Desire’s 1 GHz CPU. Legend is also quite speedy, and average user won’t notice difference in speed between these two devices. But, these extra 400 MHz can make a difference. For example, you can select live (animated) wallpaper as screen’s background on Desire, and you can’t on Legend. For simple, everyday usage, 600 MHz is more than enough on Android 2.1.

Both devices come with quite enough of bundled software. There are your standard social networking applications, YouTube player, PDF viewer (with pinch-to-zoom support), Quickoffice, voice recorder, FM radio, Google Maps for navigation (without pinch-to-zoom support on Legend at the moment, we must say), and Flash support in Internet browser (and browser has pinch-to-zoom support on both devices). You can easily download everything else from the Market. We are surprised with omission of DivX player on Desire, since it was already announced last year, but as we learn, it will be available as update later on.

There are seven virtual screens on your disposal. You can easily access any of them by using Leap View which shows you thumbnails of all seven screens on one screen. To access Leap View, simply do pinch-to-zoom on any of the screens, or press Home button on central screen.

Sense UI is real treat, as always. You get beautiful and practical widgets on both devices. Contact list is organised by persons, and it groups text messages, e-mails, Facebook posts, etc. by each individual contact.

Summary:

Each of these two phones has its high and low points. Legend has, in our opinion:

These high points:

  • Exceptional build quality
  • Unique casing
  • Vibrant screen colors
  • Battery life
  • Sense UI
  • One hand usage
  • Connectivity
  • GPS
  • Fingerprint repelling surface
  • How it fits our hand

And these low points:

  • Good, but slightly weaker Wi-Fi than Desire’s (probably because of metallic casing)
  • Lack of multitouch in some applications (namely, Google Maps)
  • Insufficient memory

HTC Desire

And Desire is also something quite special:

These are its high points:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Vibrant screen colors
  • Sense UI
  • Processor power
  • Memory
  • Big screen
  • Connectivity
  • GPS
  • Fingerprint repelling surface
  • How it fits our hand

And these are its low points:

  • Battery life
  • Slightly washed out colors when comparing with Legend’s, both on screen and pictures
  • Needs two hands for proper usage

As you can see, neither of them is clear winner. We have desired Desire since it was announced as Bravo last year, mainly because of its specifications. And because of them, Desire is our choice.

But, at the same time, we are really jealous of Legend users. That smartphone is quite unique, and makes you stand out. Just take it in your hand once, and it will immediately win your heart. With bigger screen, stronger processor, and more memory, it would certainly be in the Top 5 phones in the world. But, what would you desire then ;-)

With small price difference between them, you will make your final choice based only on you personal preferences. We suggest you to go out, and try both phones personally. But, rest assured, you won’t lose if you choose either of them.

What have you chosen?

 

HTC Legend Screenshots:

[nggallery id=12]

 

HTC Legend Photos (WARNING: images are 5MP images from device, ~1.5MB per photo):

[nggallery id=13]

 

HTC Desire Photos (WARNING: images are 5MP images from device, ~1.5MB per photo):

[nggallery id=14]

Phones courtesy of Vip mobile


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