Samsung Wave S8500 vs. HTC Legend – Review

by Jerry D on August 30, 2010

As somebody pointed out to me recently, the HTC Legend hasn’t been involved in many punch-ups since we started the Big Phone Fight experiment. So we’ve thrown it into the ring with the powerful Samsung Wave to see whether it can still hold its own. Here goes…


First things first. The connectivity options on the Samsung Wave include 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), support for all of the flavours of Wi-Fi that matter (802.11b/g/n), plus Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. The Legend, meanwhile, comes with 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), the older Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and a double-whammy of 802.11b/g Wi-Fi in its own connectivity package. The newer Wave takes an early lead. (1-0)

Size & Weight:

So how large are these two phones? The Wave looks bigger than it actually is and has dimensions of 118.0 x 56.0 x 10.9mm. The Legend is squatter than its rival, measuring 112.0 x 56.3 x 11.5mm. The Wave is the bulkier handset of the two, but you’d have to get a tape measure out to notice the difference. Weigh the two phones and the difference is clearer – the Wave weighs 118g, while the HTC Legend is 126g. (2-0)



As far as imaging is concerned, the Wave’s 5.0 MP camera features autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile/blink detection, image stablilization and, wait for it, HD video recording. For video calls, there’s also a front-facing camera. So it’s superbly specced for a mid-range cellphone.

The HTC Legend matches its opponent with a 5.0 Megapixel camera of its own, as well as autofocus, an LED flash and geo-tagging functionality. It can’t, however, stretch to HD and the spec only features VGA video capture. Still no points for the Legend in this fight. Hmm. (3-0)


Samsung has built the Wave with a 3.3-inch touch-sensitive display. The bright, Super AMOLED screen has a cracking resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The Legend’s touch-sensitive AMOLED screen is a shade smaller at 3.2 inches. Not a problem. But its 320 x 480 pixel resolution is no match for the Samsung display. (4-0)


Speed is crucial in this day and age, especially as phones can be customised with a variety of different apps and utilities. Samsung has built the Wave with a speedy 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 chip. The Legend, like so many smaller phones, skimps on grunt. It uses a Qualcomm MSM 7227 processor, rated at only 600MHz.

As for software, the Wave uses Samsung’s own Bada OS, which hasn’t really made much of an impact so far. If Samsung was that confident in its abilities, perhaps we might have seen the Galaxy S running it instead of Android. The Legend, like most HTC phones these days, runs Android 2.1 (Eclair) iced with HTC’s Sense UI. (5-1)


In terms of storage capacity, the Wave features 2GB of internal storage. It’s not much, but it easily trumps the 384MB of standard memory in the Legend. The Wave also features a microSD slot to boost the storage to a roomier 32GB. The Legend’s overall capacity can be increased to 32GB via its microSD memory card slot. (6-1)

Battery life:

Calculating the staying power can be tricky. But Samsung says that its Wave can deliver 8.5 hours of talktime, while the Legend is rated at 6.0 hours. Meanwhile, standby time is quoted as 450 hours and 560 hours respectively. (7-1)



The Wave also includes a stereo FM radio with RDS, FM radio recording, GPS/A-GPS, Samsung Mobile Navigator and a digital compass. The Legend features a stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS/A-GPS, all squashed into a gorgeous aluminum unibody design. (7-2)

The Samsung Wave wins!

samsung wave s8500 Samsung Wave S8500 vs. HTC Legend   ReviewThe Samsung Wave emerges as the winner of this fight (7-2). It’s a thumping victory, aided by superior technology that includes the fastest processor, the best screen, a more flexible OS and a lighter, slimmer build.

It’s a flattering result. The Legend doesn’t deserve such a whipping as it’s still got much to offer and ultimately its Android OS offers a better long-term experience. Still, this is a hardware comparison first and foremost, so the result stands.

Do you agree with the outcome of this fight? Leave us a comment below now…

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