June 21, 2009 5:24pm
We’ve been playing around with the HTC Dream since launch date to give this device a good go around. This is one of two phones that Rogers released with Google’s Android platform – the other is the HTC Dream.
When I did the unboxing it reminded me a great deal of the iPhone packaging, simple, clean a only comes with the necessities. In fact, the Magic has some similarities to the iPhone and comes the closest to date of what people call the “iPhone Killer”. However, the Magic is a separate device and should be reviewed individually.
The Magic feels like it’s meant to be held. It only weighs a measly 116 grams and comes packed with everything you could want (e-mail, contacts, web, camera, video and the Android market). The overall dimensions of the Magic are 4.45 x 2.19 x 0.54 inches and has a distinguishable HVGA display of 3.2 inches (resolution of 320×480). The screen is a nice size and makes watching video (YouTube or your own) enjoyable. I must say with this one of the first devices to have the Android platform I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy this was to get to start using.
One of the key features of this is the Andiord Market. This is Google’s version of the Apple AppStore or the BlackBerry AppWorld. Although it’s incredibly easy to download apps from several genres (Games, Communication, Entertainment…) the unfortunate missing piece of the puzzle is that you can only currently get free apps in Canada, no paid apps yet. Don’t get me wrong there are a great deal of amazing free apps available but some incredible paid apps that would made the device more spectacular. This is only a temporary setback as there will be the paid apps coming shortly.
In regards to setting up your e-mail. The Magic can use your gmail, Microsoft Exchange and up to 5 POP3 or IMAP e-mail accounts… in total time this took me honestly under 30 seconds to accomplish and I was good to go. Since this is a touchscreen I was curious how sensitive the keys would be for typing message (text as well). Overall I found the full QWERTY keyboard tight at start but over a few days I got used to the the spacing between keys. However, in comparing to other touchscreen devices I found this right up there with the best of them – considering it’s one of the first devices to have the Android platform.
The web loaded fast and was cool to use. It has this magnifying feature where you can zoom in closer to the story you are looking to read, especially using the touchscreen and the trackball made made it a bit more exciting to play with. But the best feature by far is how the Magic renders the web pages and how you can flip between open browsers, or what they call “windows”. You can have several running at the same time and flip between them all.
For the music player, this can hold up to 16GB with a microSD card. Another setback to the Magic is the lack of a standard 3.5 mm headset jack. This comes with a USB that you’ll have to use. However, the speakers are decent and getting your music on there is simple. You can have quick access to your play list by dragging the application straight to your desktop. Speaking of the memory, the 3.2 megapixel camera has auto-focus, but no flash (night pics will be a challenge). The pics come out with good quality and can be viewed bu using the trackball or tapping on the screen, not simply flicking your across the screen… not a big deal.
Overall the HTC Magic in a great device, and for the price of $149.99 it’s well worth it. Check out the review here: