Another issue with the Magic is its accelerometer, which is used to automatically switch from portrait to landscape view as you tilt the phone in your hand. The problem is that the accelerometer doesn't seem to be as sensitive or as responsive as those on most other handsets we've used. Sometimes there's a significant pause before it registers the orientation change, if at all. The result is that you can find yourself having to make sharp movements to make sure it gets the message.
The Magic uses the same Qualcomm 528MHz processor as the G1 and although it feels very speedy for the most part, performance issues do creep in here and there. For example, when scrolling around web pages or emails it's not as smooth as on the iPhone. However, the Magic's battery life is very good by smartphone standards. We got around two and a half day's usage out of it with general web browsing and picking up email on both 3G and Wi-Fi.
While the G1 was only available on T-Mobile, it is Vodafone that has snapped up the Magic as an exclusive. The basic contract is priced at £35 a month for 600 anytime minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited mobile Internet access, but it ties you into a relatively long 18-month contract. With the Palm Pre waiting in the wings and possibly a new iPhone on the way that's quite a long commitment, so it might be worth waiting a month or two before deciding on whether to go for the Magic or not.
The Magic feels very much like the phone that Google should have used to originally launch Android. It's far superior to the G1 in terms of looks and usability, while enhancements such as the addition of the dedicated search key and tweaks to the user interface are also very welcome. It's only really the lack of multi-touch support and a few rough edges such as the iffy accelerometer that hold it back. On the whole though, we'd say it's the second best smartphone available on the market today, just behind the iPhone. And considering we hold the iPhone in such high regard, that's no small praise.