The HTC Magic is HTC's second Google Android-based smartphone. It offers the Google Android software that worked so well on the T-Mobile G1, but combines that with a slimmer, sleeker design.
Currently (at least), the HTC Magic is available only in Europe. It's available from Vodafone in the U.K., Spain, Germany, France, and Italy.
T-Mobile has announced plans to launch its second Android-based phone in the U.S. sometime during the summer of 2009, but the company has not said whether that phone will be the HTC Magic.
The HTC Magic features a slimmer design than the boxy T-Mobile G1, thanks in part to the absence of a hardware-based QWERTY keyboard. Where the G1 sports a slide-out keyboard, the HTC Magic is touch-screen only. While this makes for a more attractive phone, it may make for a less-usable one, too.
Like the G1, the HTC Magic offers a 3.2-inch touch screen with a 320-by-480 resolution.
Software and Messaging
The HTC Magic comes with the latest version of the Android operating system, version 1.5. That means it is tightly integrated with Google offerings, such as Gmail, Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Talk. You'll find various applications available for download in the Android marketplace.
And while the HTC Magic is made to work with Gmail e-mail accounts, you can synchronize it with Outlook e-mail accounts, too. It includes support for multiple mailboxes, and can sync your calendar and contacts, too.
The HTC Magic supports high-speed 3G networks, as well as Wi-Fi wireless networks, so you have plenty of options for speedy Web browsing. The Android browser worked very well on the T-Mobile G1, displaying full versions of Web pages, and allowing you to scroll in and out with ease, so I expect Web browsing to be similarly impressive on the HTC Magic.
Like the T-Mobile G1, the HTC Magic includes a 3.2-megapixel camera that includes auto-focus. Unfortunately, like the G1, it lacks the ability to capture video clips.
GPS, Music and More
The HTC Magic includes built-in GPS, which works in conjunction with the Google Maps application to deliver driving directions. It does not deliver spoken turn-by-turn directions, though.
You also get a decent music and video player. If the HTC Magic retains the music features found on the T-Mobile G1, you'll also get easy access to Amazon's music store.
Stay tuned for a full review of the HTC Magic.