|dc/dc ||10-06-2010 11:43 PM |
I recently gave up my US BlackBerry service due to T-Mobile charging me for data roaming even though I had their "Unlimited" international plan and the WAP APN disabled, and had pretty much decided on an Android phone to use with my Afghan SIM card due to my exclusive usage of Gmail. I determined that Expansys was going to be my best option to get an unlocked, unbranded device shipped out here to my APO address. I debated between the Motorola XT720, the HTC Desire, and the Legend, and decided on the Legend based on its build similarity to the original iPhone; which I have always been impressed with. Unfortunately, it took a very long time to get here due to issues at the mail transit point for my base, but now that I have it in my hands, I'm even more blown away with just how nice this handset actually is.
I have already dabbled in the Android world at various times with a T-Mobile myTouch 3G and a Samsung i7500 Galaxy, so I knew what I was getting into with the OS, but this is my first foray into Sense. I absolutely love it. Android with Sense takes all the great things I love about the iOS UI and takes them to the next level (i.e., placing widgets and icons anywhere on the screen).
The build quality is amazing. It is a solid piece of aluminum, the 3.5" headset jack is shaped normally, the battery and SIM card are easy to get to, and the buttons are well placed and sturdy. In my opinion, it's built the way the iPhone 2G should have been. Despite the curve at the bottom where the battery door is located, the device is very pocket-able, and it feels great in the hand. The touchscreen is just as responsive as any of my iPhones, there is no lag within Sense, the spell check is very accurate, and it doesn't smudge anywhere near as much as any of my previous iPhones (2G, 3G, 3GS) or my current iPad 3G. The optical trackpad works as expected, though it is not used for much except the camera.
As there is no 3G at all in Afghanistan, battery life has been decent so far on WiFi and GPRS (once it gets activated by AWCC). I don't have any third-party data apps installed other than Oanda Currency Converter, so the only things consuming data are the Google apps (push) and Facebook (not push).
The only major issue that I've had so far is with upgrading. The phone came with a fairly early build of 2.1, and I knew there were newer official versions available, so I set about trying to get it upgraded (mainly for multi-touch). This proved to be a serious challenge. Despite my device being unbranded, no updates showed available in the OTA update checker, so I dug through the Internet to find one I could do from a PC. I eventually found it at shipped-roms.com, got it downloaded, but the device just wouldn't accept it on the grounds that it was not correctly branded. As a result, I had to go through the steps to create a Goldcard from the 2GB SD that came with the device. Although it was tedious, I got through it and was finally able to update. My Legend is much faster now, and I should be tied over until the official 2.2 build is released.
For anyone that doesn't live in the US (or doesn't care about 3G) and wants a very solid, great-performing Android phone, this is definitely it.