We don't need another HTC Hero, but we're completely stoked for a Legend. The HTC Legend takes everything that was great about the Hero, including the Android OS, and ramps it up with a foxy aluminium body and AMOLED screen.

The Legend still has a trace of the chin that we learned to love on the Hero, but it's slimmed down to just a hint of the Jimmy Hill. The case is crafted from a single piece of aluminium, with a round aluminium button encircling the new optical trackpad. Happily, it looks just as awesome as it sounds.

The Legend has the same 81mm (3.2-inch) capacitive touchscreen as the Hero, but it's been jazzed up to the sharper, brighter AMOLED type, and the bezel around the screen is smaller than the Hero's, so the phone overall is smaller and sleeker. It has a processor running at 600MHz.

We got a glimpse of the Legend's specs ahead of time thanks to a leaked roadmap and even some lovingly rendered images , but now we've had the Legend in our hot little hands, we appreciate what a delight this phone is.

The optical trackpad, which is similar to the one introduced by RIM on the BlackBerry Curve 8520, looks cool and works like a charm. We never found the trackball on other Android phones that useful, but if it has to be there to make Google happy, we're glad HTC has managed to come up with something that looks so slick.

The four option keys along the bottom are unobtrusive, but still clicky enough to give some feedback when you press them, and the screen looks sharper and more flush to the surface of the phone than the Hero's slightly set-back screen.

The good-looking Sense user interface is all there though, including some small tweaks such as Exchange calendar syncing and a nested conversation view in the email app. The Legend rocks version 2.1 of the Android operating system, just like the Google Nexus One, so you won't miss out on any of the latest features from the little green robot either.

HTC says we can expect the Legend to be born in spring of this year. So if you're thinking of buying a Hero, wait. In the meantime, check out our hands-on video and then click 'Continue' for more pics.

Update: Before its launch, HTC told us in no uncertain terms that the Legend would have every feature that the Hero has, except Flash. But now HTC confirms that the Legend will support Flash, and that it's fully up and running on the current pre-release samples of the phone.

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The angled chin on the Legend reminds us of the Hero's but it isn't as pronounced.
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We think the aluminium case looks great, and the matte surface also helps avoid fingerprints
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There's a handy 3.5mm headphone jack on top and a 5-megapixel camera and photo light on the back.
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