HTC Magic review

Can HTC's second Google Android based handset cast a powerful enough spell over us to forget the iPhone? We check out the HTC Magic.

HTC Magic

Moving between pages is also done via a slick effect and we encountered no limits on the numbers of pages we could open the Opera Mobile has a three tab limit which gets frustrating.

As slick as Android is, as soon we got our Magic up and running the first thing we did was head of to the Android Marketplace, via the icon and search for those essential apps without which we couldn't function. Yes, we quickly found a selection of Twitter applications, choose one which looked good (Twitroid), downloaded and installed it. We did the same with other apps such as LastFM, and Accuweather.What impressed about Android was that it enables notifications for third-party apps to run in the background unlike the current iPhone 2.0 OS. This meant that when new Tweets arrived a icon appeared in the notifications area at the top and the phone buzzed - and the same applies to email. The notification area is easily accessible by simply dragging down from the top and from here you can see more details of what is occurring on your phone.

The built-in apps are impressive GPS gives Google Maps a high level of accuracy and we were happy with the responsiveness when walking through London. You can even select a Street View mode when you're in a covered area.

The Picture Gallery apps is good and rotates images using the accelerometer quickly, while scrolling is a simple side to side affair. Again, zooming in is done via the on screen zoom tool while panning around is done with the finger.

The camera itself is a respectable 3.2 megapixels. The lens auto focuses, and does so much faster than an HTC Touch HD we compared against. Images are fine in good light and colours, while not completely accurate, are at least not over saturated or washed out. There's no flash though, and we'd rate the camera as just about adequate. The camera records video too, but it's somewhat low resolution and blocky as a result.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.