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HTC Magic - HTC Magic

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis



Our Score:


As we've already mentioned the Magic uses a capacitive touchscreen rather than a resistive one. The screen is actually one of the best features of the phone. It's bright, produces vibrant colours and is very responsive to touch input. It's also used for all text input via the onscreen keyboard. The keyboard can be used in either portrait or landscape mode and by default the phone is set up to vibrate slightly every time you touch a key to provide a bit of extra feedback. However, if you're not happy with this you can turn it off in the settings screen. The onscreen keyboard works so well especially given its neat predictive text system.

The Magic runs the latest Cupcake version of the Android OS, which is not only easy to use, but is already showing some significant refinements over the original incarnation of the OS (onscreen keyboard support for instance). All the key features and applications are accessed via the main menu which you open by dragging up its tab from the bottom of the screen. You can also drag and drop apps from here onto the home screen and re-arrange them as you like. Plus you can swipe left or right on this home screen to access additional screens of icons. There's also a notification bar at the top of the home screen that you can drag down to see all your alerts and prompts neatly gathered together in one place.

As you would expect the phone includes Google's own apps such as Gmail, Calendar, Maps and Talk. These are nicely implemented with clear and easy to use interfaces. There are some neat additional features too, such as the mail management bar in Gmail that you can drag up from the bottom of the screen to add labels to emails or send them to the trash can. And when you're in Streetview in Googlemaps you can turn on the phone's digital compass so as you move your phone around, the image on screen will pan in sync with it.

The Android browser is for the most part excellent. It renders pages accurately, has nicely laid out controls and works great over either HSDPA or Wi-Fi. However, Android's lack of multi-touch is most sorely missed when it comes to zooming and resizing page elements in the browser. While the browser will intelligently zoom in on a picture or column of text to fill the screen when you double tap on it, it doesn't always get it quite right so you end up having to fiddle about with the onscreen zoom buttons to try to position it correctly. On the iPhone, with multi-touch pinch to zoom, resizing page elements is much faster.

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