First hands on HTC Magic

The new Google phone called Android G2 or HTC Magic launched earlier on July 2009 is one of the most great phones ever, that are supposed (the Android family) to be an iPhone, BlackBerry and Palm killer.

If you are a Google fan, then a Google phone is all what you need , it's running the Google Android platform and everything from Google could be found inside.

htc-magic-1

Two days ago I got an HTC magic and it's just wonderful, it's design, the touch screen and keyboard, it's support for Google apps natively, and many more features.

Compared to an iPhone it's a little smaller and lighter, it's touch abilities are great but no fluid like the iPhone's, if the touch functionalities on the iPhone are 10/10, HTC magic can get 9/10 easily :)

Also Android supported phones has full access to the Android Market where you can download and purchase new application, it's equivalent to the Apple Store, and you can find almost any application you need. If you don't find your application you can develop yours easily, and yes, you don't need a Mac to develop for Android; Windows, Linux and Mac are all supported to run the Android SDK.

Another point that makes the HTC Magic better than an iPhone (at least my view point) is that it's multi task, means you can run simultaneous applications at the same time, which is not available on the iPhone even with the new OS 3.0. For example, I use it while opening Google Talk chatting with friends, and I get twitter notifications from the #twidroid application, emails from Gmail while listening to music or even taking a tour in Google Street View, and all this happens simultaneously :)

On the other side, you can connect to internet using data connection (3G, Edge, Gprs) or use Wifi, for me I use Wifi all the time since my Subscription does not include full internet access (18€ / month for 1H + 15€ internet if I had full internet), so if you are like my case, I advise you to download this application called #apndroid which changes the APN settings on your phone to ban it from connecting to (3G, Edge, gprs), you may also download 3G watchdog that will help you track you data usage (mine is 0% for the time :D ). Even if you are not browsing the internet many applications still try to connect in the background so be careful if you don't have an internet subscription. It costs 0.34€ / minute which means if you run a twitter application for 24 hours you will pay 8.16€ for just one day! more that 150€ a month yay!!!

Before digging into the technical details, just to mention that the price of the phone bought online (from SFR, and no no, I don't advertise for anyone, it's just a great phone) is 149€ with a subscription of 18€/month during 12 months, 349€ "forfait bloqué" and 449€ for others. so seriously getting it for 149€ with a very careful moderated usage not going online except with Wifi is the best deal I did before.

The HTC Magic has an integrated 3.2 megapixels camera with Camcoder for videos, it has Gmail, Gtalk, Google Maps with street View, YouTube; Android Market, gps, compass and a lot of other features, of course you can get Google Sky, social web application, news, weather and everything else you can imagine from the Android Market. it's integrated touch keyboard is very sensitive and responsive too, sharing photos or videos has never been easier before with Picasa, YouTube, email, twitter or many many other services.

What really impressed me, is the Google Maps and Street View, first Google Maps can show your location with a very high accuracy, Google Street View is sensitive to the compass, so whenever you turn you can see the other sides of the street too :

And if you are a fan of astronomy or wondering what's the name of that star, Google sky show real time/space information, check it out here :

What is good about HTC Magic :

  • YouTube™, Gmail™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™, Google™ Search… it’s just Google.
  • it’s Google Android, so all Google is in your pocket.
  • Android Market : anything you need, anytime you need
  • it’s fluid, fast, customizable
  • you can easily develop your own applications
  • gps and compass : you will never be lost again :)
  • microSD card : unlike the iPhone you can extend the storage of the HTC Magic anytime you want, it’s extensible to 32Go.
  • 3.2-inch touch-sensitive screen with HVGA (320 X 480 pixel) resolution.

What should HTC Magic improve :

  • compared to an iPhone, HTC Magic still not have the speed an iPhone have.
  • some Android Market problems : for me I can’t download applications when I’m on public insecure Wifi
  • the battery lifetime : should hold better than this
  • the Android support for a lot of languages : I can’t read Arabic for example on it

Well that was a quick tour covering 1% of what HTC Magic (aka Android G2) has to offer, for more information refer here :http://www.htc.com/www/product/magic/overview.html

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