First impressions on my Android powered HTC Legend

I recently bought an HTC Legend. My old phone was broken and I have plans to develop an Android app. I've been using the phone for 3 weeks now, and I'm not exactly as thrilled about it as I think I would.

Open source from Big Brother

I was hoping to have a little piece of open source software in my pocket. In fact, it turns out that Google has a little more piece of me when I'm using the phone.

The software is not that open. Maybe it's because of my phone carrier, SFR, but there are a lot of pre-installed and useless apps that I can't get rid of.

Some settings can't even be changed because I'm only a user of my own phone and don't have a root access by default. The "Accessibility" setting panel is a joke (I'll post a picture of it later)

When I first switched the phone on, I was asked for my Google credentials. Once entered, all my Google life was downloaded to the phone : mail address book, google maps location and google calendar meetings. Asking first if I wanted that would have been great.

Because loading 500+ mails address book into a phone memory is not the kind of "smart" I was expecting from a smart phone. I had to manually remove all the contacts I needed not from my phone.

And then the phone was complaining again, when it tried to synchronize back with Gmail, when it tried to remove the mails from my online address book.

I didn't want them downloaded in the first place and once I removed them I didn't want them to be deleted from my online address book !

Disabling sync

So I tried to remove the google account from my phone, but that is clearly impossible and is NEEDED to make the phone work. What ? This is stupid.

I'm not confortable with having a device from which I can't even remove my credentials... At least I disabled the auto-sync feeature.

An other thing to note is that if you want to fine-tune what kind of data your phone syncs, you first have to enable the auto-sync feature and quickly disable the data you don't want, because they all are checked by default.

Other settings

Even changing the default ringtone is a chore. There's no way to easily select a music file saved on the SD card. There isn't even a native file explorer, you have to download one from the Market.

The camera quality isn't very good and the auto-focus makes pictures more blurry with it than without. Even my old Nokia XpressMusic was taking better shots.

Conclusion

I really am disapointed by this phone actually, and by the Android platform as a whole. Maybe the underlying app is great but as an end-user we are blocked from it.

I'll try to root my device and remove the SFR rom to get what I want and need.


Tags : #android #google #htc-legend

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