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HTC Legend vs HTC Hero vs Google Nexus One: Android meltdown

We've pitted the HTC Legend against its predecessor, the HTC Hero, and the current king of the smart phones, the Google Nexus One, in a beauty pageant of Android goodness

Flora Graham

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As of today, we're taking a punt on the HTC Legend being the phone of the year -- although not as powerful as the Google Nexus One or the HTC Desire, and not as cheap as the Samsung Galaxy Portal, we think HTC could have found just-right territory with the Legend.

But before it can claim its crown, the Legend has to go up against its predecessor -- former CNET UK Editor's Choice the HTC Hero.

We'll be spending plenty more time with the Legend while testing it for our full review, but in the meantime click 'Continue' to see how it stacks up to the Hero in our lives.

We've also snuck a Google Nexus One in for a quick comparison at the end, but stay tuned for a massive HTC-themed fray as soon as the HTC Desire joins the party.

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Both the Hero and the Legend have 81mm (3.2-inch) 320x480-pixel screens, but the Legend has the AMOLED type. That means the Legend's screen looks much brighter -- but comparisons of the iPhone and the Google Nexus One have shown that AMOLED screens don't necessarily improve on the colour reproduction of LCD screens. Nevertheless, in person the Legend's screen definitely has the wow factor compared to the Hero.
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HTC has ditched the call and end buttons on the front and re-jigged the positions of the home, menu, back and search buttons. It's also replaced the trackball with an optical trackpad, which we think will be equally useless, but looks and feels better doing it.
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The chin on the Legend is less pronounced than on the Hero, giving it less of an arch. HTC promises the silver aluminium case will be tougher than a plastic case, but the texture of the Hero's Teflon-coated bod is hard to beat. If you like the metal-wrapped MacBook, the Legend's case looks and feels similar to that finish.
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The HTC Sense user interface has been spruced up throughout the phone, including more colourful icons in the Settings menu -- but you'll lose out on the helpful hint text underneath each option.
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In a quick test on the same Wi-Fi network, the Web browser on the Legend resolved the complicated CNET UK site almost twice as quickly as the Hero, and we spotted some differences in the Webkit browser. For example, by default it rendered the page full-width, rather than zoomed in as on the Hero.
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The Legend sports the same resolution 5-megapixel camera to the Hero, but adds an LED photo light. The phone also has an unlock key on the top, like an iPhone or Google Nexus One.
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On the bottom, the Hero's mini-USB port has been swapped for a smaller micro-USB socket.
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The Legend is the same height and width as the Hero, but it's almost 3mm thinner -- the Legend is 11.5mm thick and the Hero porks out at 14.35mm.
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Tucked next to the Google Nexus One on the right and the Hero on the left, we can show off the Legend's smaller screen and 7mm shorter case.

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