HTC Magic Android mobile phone
HTC's Magic -- the company's second Android smartphone -- improves on the earlier HTC Dream
- Stylish design, responsive touch screen, Android platform, notifications and status bar, excellent integration with Google services, Android Market app store, polished Web browser, Microsoft Exchange and PDF/document viewer out of the box
- No 3.5mm headphone jack, mediocre non-Gmail e-mail support, no over-the-air updates, no geotagging
HTC's Magic, available on 3 Mobile, has corrected many faults of the previous Dream, making it an excellent smartphone on the whole. The lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack is disappointing and the Android Market is still in its infancy with no paid apps available, but the Android OS has massive potential.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
The second Google Android smartphone to be released in Australia, HTC's Magic will be launched on the 3 Mobile network in Australia. A significant improvement over the HTC Dream, the Magic benefits from Android's Cupcake software update and a far more pleasant design.
A slightly different version of the HTC Magic will also be launched on the Vodafone network.
The biggest improvement the Magic offers over the Dream is its design. The Dream was chunky and quite bland, but the Magic is slim, glossy and stylish. It features rounded edges and a curve below the screen. It weighs less than the Dream despite retaining the same 3.2in screen size. Unfortunately, the glossy finish means the Magic is highly prone to fingerprints and is almost impossible to keep clean.
Aside from the finger-operated touch screen, the HTC Magic utilises a BlackBerry-style trackball for navigation, along with a number of physical keys below the display. The trackball is responsive, but we weren’t too fond of the depression surrounding it, as it easily collects dust. We did like the Magic's dedicated navigation buttons (home, menu, back and search) despite the fact that they are a little small. The keys' backlighting adds a touch of class and makes them easier to use at night. The answer/end call keys are a bit too cramped, though, making it easy to accidentally press one of the shortcut keys when trying to answer or end calls.
Another big improvement is the HTC Magic's display: it's brighter and sharper than the Dream's and possesses better viewing angles. The interface still doesn't support multi-touch. The improved display helps with data entry, as the Magic lacks a physical keyboard. While this may be a negative for some, we found the Magic's on-screen keyboard to be excellent. We were able to type quickly and accurately in both portrait and landscape modes, despite the keyboard looking cramped. Its auto-correction and spell check features are very effective. The Magic's accelerometer does lag a little when rotating the keyboard, and fixing typos isn't as effective as it is when using the iPhone 3G.
The main attraction is obviously Google's Android platform, and the Magic's interface functions almost identically to the Dream's. The home screen is split into three pages, allowing you to add any icon from the main menu onto the home screen simply by pressing and dragging it. Once again, the best part of the interface is the notification and status bar: dragging it downwards reveals a full screen of your latest notifications; they remain on-screen with the full details until you clear them. This drop-down screen is available wherever you see the status bar.
The HTC Magic has received Android's 1.5 Cupcake software update, adding functions that were missing from the Dream. In addition to the afore-mentioned on-screen keyboard, the Magic adds integrated universal search, video recording and playback capabilities, a better Web browser with flash support and A2DP Bluetooth — all features that were missing from the Dream.
Unfortunately, unlike Vodafone's HTC Magic with Google the HTC Magic on 3 doesn't allow over-the-air firmware updates; you'll need to perform these manually by plugging the phone into your PC via the included USB cable. This version of the HTC Magic also lacks the ability to geotag photos, but unlike the Vodafone version it supports Microsoft Exchange and displaying PDFs and other documents out of the box. It also has what 3 calls a "smart dialler". The smart dialler allows you to quickly filter contacts when you begin to dial a number or type the name of a contact.
The HTC Magic's integration with Google services is excellent. Android automatically synchronises your Google calendar, mail and contacts over the air. When you add a new contact or calendar event on your PC, it will automatically appear on your phone and vice versa. If you don't have a Google account, you can create one on the HTC Dream itself and you can then easily import a contact list from Microsoft Outlook or even Apple's address book. Support for Microsoft Exchange is on offer, though this requires a download from the Android Market.
Unfortunately, the regular mail client (a completely separate application from Gmail) remains mediocre. There is no way to delete multiple e-mails, no way to mark all e-mails as read and you can't download or view attachments. We also had an issue with our test Yahoo account: each time we opened the mail app our e-mails all showed up as unread, even if we had read them.
Google Maps and Street View remain, and the compass mode when using the latter is impressive: the built-in accelerometer and GPS act like a compass that allows you to see the street in 360 degrees as you rotate and move the handset.
As a multimedia device, the Magic fares slightly better than the Dream thanks to the ability to record and play videos, and the presence of A2DP Bluetooth. However, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a real let-down.
Battery life is slightly better than the Dream, though we were still forced to charge our HTC Magic every night. With Wi-Fi turned on, regular phone calls and messages, and the occasional e-mail, the Magic can be a battery hog.
3 has confirmed the handset will be available in mid-June on a range of plans, the cheapest of which will cost you $69 per month — $29 per month for 3's 29 Cap plan, $24 per month for handset repayments and $10 per month for 1GB of X-Series mobile data.
3 offers the HTC Magic for free on its $99+ caps; combined with the cheapest $10 data pack (1GB), it will cost you at least $109 per month. 3 offers the X-Series data bundles with the HTC Magic at half their regular price: 1GB for $10, 2GB for $15 and the maximum 3GB for $20 per month.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
- Boost Mobile Doubles Data Offering With New Summer Plans
- BlackBerry KEYone Black Launches in Australia
- HTC U11 Plus latest rumours: Release date, price and specs
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCAndroid developerNSW
- FTPractice Director DevelopmentSA
- FTData ModellingACT
- FTMid-Senior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTPMO Project Coordinator, Multiple projectsOther
- FTCustomer & Sales Support Associate - TelecommunicationsOther
- TPEL1 Business AnalystACT
- CCSCCM EngineerNSW
- CCI&CS Communications LeadVIC
- CCITSM Integration Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTWorkspace/ Workplace Lead/ Manager - ABW environmentOther
- CCEnterprise Architect ? Network & InfrastructureNSW
- FTLead Business AnalystNSW
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- CCPega LSA - Banking IndustryVIC
- CCSystems Analyst / Consultant ? SAPQLD
- FTDigital Business Analyst - IntermediateQLD
- FTManager, PortfolioOther
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- FTPayments Business AnalystVIC
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperQLD
- FTProduct Support ManagerVIC
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- FTTIBCO Integration SpecialistOther
- FTTIBCO iProcess LeadOther