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HTC Magic Phone Review

by on May.16, 2009, under technology

In today’s technology market there is surely one phone everyone thinks of when you consider Smartphone’s, which is of course the iPhone (or possibly the Blackberry Storm). However for the past week I have been using the latest Smartphone from HTC … the HTC Magic. Recent reviews all over the internet report that this phone will soon become iPhone’s biggest competitor and I can see why.
Looking at the specification for the phone, this weighs in at 116g with the dimensions 4.45 x 2.19 x 0.54 inches. To me this is a very nice size for a phone and while the screen may not be as large as some of the other Smartphone’s available at the moment the user interface makes up for this.
The first thing I noticed about the HTC Magic is that there is no physical keyboard interface of any kind, the phone actually utilises a software QWERTY keyboard which adapts to the orientation of the phone. At first it took a couple of minutes to get used to as does the predictive text because if words are not found within the dictionary the phone defaults to the nearest match. Whilst this was a little annoying at first now all my typical words have been added, I now find using this interface to be a lot quicker than it was on my old phone which used a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

Features

Ok now down to the feature list, the basic features of this phone that come with this phone are simply what you would expect from a smart phone. By default it comes with the following:

  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / mini USB / GPS
  • Touch screen
  • Email clients (x2)
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with video capture support
  • Integrated web browser
  • Multiple Desktops (3)
  • Media centre
  • Calendar / multiple alarms
  • Google Application Integration including Maps, Email, Talk, Search
  • YouTube video player
  • Desktop widgets – default widgets include calendar, music, search, analogue clock and a picture frame


These are the main default features which don’t look that impressive but the way the features are integrated throughout the phone actually works really well. There is also the ability to install further applications by utilising Google’s Android Market which contains literally hundreds of free apps that can be downloaded straight to your phone.
Now, some of you may be wondering why there are two email clients. Well, one syncs your Gmail account whilst the other allows for access to any IMAP or POP email. The latter is very easy to set up; by adding your email address and password the software looks up the email settings on the server and then allows you to tweak them if necessary. Whilst the email subsystem may not be as sweet as the Blackberry’s (which uses a push mechanism to provide a real-time email system) there are settings to define how often the client checks for new emails. There are also reports that the Google Android OS supports push technology for emails however I have yet to find any evidence of this (will research it more and report back).

Touch Screen

Now some of you may be wondering how well the touch screen interface performs. Well first impressions are very impressive with the ability to detect varying levels of pressure. The one problem I have found though is around the edges of the screen the responsiveness can be a little flaky with the occasional touch being ignored. Normally I would say this is a concern but over the past week I have found I only use the sides of the screen when using the keyboard. Saying that, the predictive text software is very good at picking up these missing key presses and as a result the inaccuracy around the very edge of the screen shortly becomes un-noticeable.
I have a few friends who are also phone mad with a couple of them owning Apple’s iPhone. Now after letting them play with the touch screen interface on the HTC Magic they were all impressed at how well the interface feels and responds in comparison to what they are used to. I would this is classed as a success for HTC’s latest addition. One friend had recently upgraded his phone to the Blackberry Storm, however after only a week he had a play with this and immediately rang Vodafone to switch to the Magic.

Could this be the nearest competitor to Apple’s iPhone? Could Apple’s domination in the Smartphone industry be over? Where do you see the future of Smartphone’s heading?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.9/5 (10 votes cast)
HTC Magic Phone Review, 3.9 out of 5 based on 10 ratings
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