HTC Magic Review (Verdict: A Good Start)

A few short weeks ago, Rogers unleashed the HTC Magic and Dream, allowing Google’s mobile OS, Android, to descend upon Canada like a swarm of open source, robotic, bright green locusts. I, for one, welcomed our new insectoid overlords. Will had already enjoyed the bleeding edge of Android when it first came out in the fall with T-Mobile’s G1, but since then we’ve experienced the much-touted Cupcake update, and a new piece of hardware to carry the world’s second-newest cellphone platform. The G1 didn’t really come off as a comfortable, let alone sexy smartphone; the chin was bizarrely angled, and could easily get in the way of typing, and the whole thing looked fairly chunky. On the other hand, the Magic, announced in Barcelona at MWC, was a proper device that could easily appeal to the mass market, and make Android more than just a developer’s sandbox. T-Mobile will soon be releasing the MyTouch 3G, their version of the Magic, so read on for a peek into the future.

Update: Samples from the camera now included in the gallery.

I’ve been using a BlackBerry for about two years straight. (No, not the same one, that’s just crazy-talk.) Aside from a mild flirtation with the Nokia N85 during Mobile World Congress, I haven’t used any other kind of phone as my personal device, so getting Android in my hands for any discernible amount of time was kind of a big deal. I had covered Android’s unveiling back in the fall, but everything following that was little more than an insubstantial mirage floating across the blogosphere since Canada was devoid of any supporting devices, and even now with two available, there are still a few geographic limits. Enough jibba-jabba, here are the specs.


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By HTC (T-Mobile, Rogers – $149.99, Vodafone)

  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM7200A™, 528 MHz
  • Operating System: Android
  • Memory ROM: 512 MB
  • RAM: 288 MB
  • Dimensions: 113 x 55.56 x 13.65 mm ( 4.45 x 2.19 x 0.54 inches)
  • Weight: 116 grams ( 4.09 ounces) with battery
  • Display: 3.2-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with 320×480 HVGA resolution
  • Network
    • HSDPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz – Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
    • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz (Band frequency and data speed are operator dependent.)
  • Device Control: Trackball with Enter button
  • GPS: Internal GPS antenna
  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
    • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
  • Camera: 3.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus
  • Audio supported formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC-LC, MIDI, OGG
  • Video supported formats MP4, 3GP
  • Battery:
    • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
    • Capacity: 1340 mAh
    • Talk time: Up to 400 minutes for WCDMA, up to 450 minutes for GSM
    • Standby time: Up to 660 hours for WCDMA, up to 420 hours for GSM
  • Expansion Slot: microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • AC Adapter Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240V AC, 47/63 Hz
  • DC output: 5V and 1A
  • Special Features:
    • G-sensor
    • Digital Compass


  • Outstanding virtual keyboard
  • Solid, stylish construction
  • Smooth user interface


  • Geographic limitations
  • ExtUSB jack (no 3.5 mm for headphones) and no dedicated camera key
  • Significant gaps in operating system
  • Shreyas Kulkarni

    i have been using winmo for last couple of years (o2 xda orbit), and am looking for change. from my perspective, android, lacks the punch.

    no synching with exchange server for emails, lack of radio(!), no office document viewer, no bluetooth file exchange … etc etc these are all deal breakers for me.

    at the price it’s selling, business features are expected in the device. now i am left with either some blackberry (i dont like storm) or or iphone (i already hv an ipod touch) or some HTC winmo once again.

  • Gowtham

    @Shreyas Kulkarni: Dude!! The phone has all the features what you told are not there !! Check it out the magic now comes with the cupcake update ! you can finally move from Winmob to Powerful Google android! And forget about ifail(iphone)

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