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HTC Magic

 HTC Magic Discontinued
17th February 2009

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The HTC Magic is HTC's second Android-powered handset after the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream. We first brought you a glimpse of this handset last month under its codename "HTC Sapphire" and assumed (incorrectly) that it would be heading for T-Mobile.

It seems that Vodafone have snapped up exclusive rights to the HTC Magic in the UK, Spain, Germany and in France through SFR. Vodafone will also be selling it in Italy, although they don't have exclusive rights in that market.

Perhaps best described as the G1 without a QWERTY keyboard, the HTC Magic has a 3.2" 320 x 480 pixel touch-sensitive display, a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus, GPS, WiFi and 3.5G support.

The controls on the HTC Magic are minimal, other than the touchscreen display there is a trackball and some basic control buttons, and that's it. Everything else is done through the screen.

 HTC Magic The Android operating system can be thought of as a work in progress. One key weakness with the original G1 was the lack of video playback for anything other than YouTube. This has been improved, and the Magic can now play back MPEG4 and 3GP clips, which is still a pretty poor selection by current standards. Most major audio formats are supported though, and always remember that the Android platform is still under development and a future upgrade should bring more features.

Compare this phone to the HTC Touch Diamond2, LG ARENA or Samsung Omnia HD and it seems that the hardware specifications are looking a bit dated. But the key selling point with Android is the quality of the operating system and the ease of adding new applications through the Android Market. And the "Google" co-branding indicates that this handset integrates well with Google's ever growing suite of web-based applications.

This is a slightly more compact device than the G1, and at 119 grams it is much lighter too. The large 1340 mAh battery provides up to 6.5 hours talktime on 3G and an impressive maximum standby time of almost four weeks.

It is looking likely that the HTC Magic will be the second Android handset to market. Vodafone say that the Magic should be available in April. Rivals Huawei have said that their Android phone will be out in Q3, and the Kogan Agora was recently cancelled, so it could well be a one-two for HTC.

No guidance was given on cost, but as the G1 is free on T-Mobile's £30 / €45 tariffs, then expect a similar deal from Vodafone on the HTC Magic.

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HTC Magic at a glance

Available:

Q2 2009

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSDPA + WiFi

Screen:

320 x 480 pixels

Camera:

3.2 megapixels

Size:

PDA-style device
113 x 55 x 14mm / 119 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

GPS:

Yes

Battery life:

6.5 hours talk / 27 days standby (3G)
7.5 hours talk / 17 days standby (GSM)

 

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