Review: TMN HTC Magic (Android)

Since the iPhone was out, i secretly hoped that my mobile carrier in Portugal -TMN – would come to their senses and at least provide some decent alternative below 500€. Unexcited by the Crackberries or even the Nseries, when Google announced Android mobile OS in 2007 i thought the waiting was over. 2008 went by and no geek device worth mentioning (ok, maybe Nokia’s E71 made me think twice) and i was getting really nervous the past few months with no news regarding the “Google phone”.

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Disclaimer:
This is a review for TMN’s HTC Magic, based on a device provided by the company. TMN is a Fullsix client, but that never kept me from being demanding.

A few weeks ago, after complaining on Twitter about the lack of exciting devices on TMN, out of the sudden the company announces that HTC Magic is available for pre-order. If things seemed promising, it got even better as last week a member of the board kindly allowed me to review the device. As i only had the chance to pick the package yesterday, let’s cut it short with an unboxing video and highlights first:

With less then 2 busy days getting acquainted with HTC‘s multitouch device, here’s the first impressions:

  1. It feels just about the right size. And since we’re on the ergonomics, why do multitouch devices feel so slippery and greazy? Extra points for the HTC Magic sticking to only one side button. I freaking hate those devices where you’re always pressing external buttons unintentionally.
  2. Yes, it’s true. It’s not a blazing fast OS. Kind like Firefox 3, before 3.5 was out. So, let’s hope for an updated OS soon (altough i’ve read somewhere you can use the Hero‘s ROM on Magic already)
  3. Loving the Augmented Reality apps. SkyMap and Wikitude are a sign of things to come.
  4. The integration with Google services is, in my opinion, the best feature. From complete mobile sync with your address book, to smooth experience on Google maps, it’s where Android shows its best. And it can only get more efficient, if Sergei and Larry wish so.
  5. Pay close attention to extra apps (notifications, GPS monitoring) as it can drain your battery and data plan. Which takes me to one question for TMN: can we have some decent mobile data plans, please? And while you’re at it, a support page for the device would be nice also.
  6. It’s not an iPhone. Can we please stop with all the comparisons? And yet, i feel there’s more future on the Android platform, as nowadays the iPhone ecosystem is starting to feel a bit like MySpace. Somehow i feel the developers are slowly shifting to more open platforms, and it’s always useful to pay attention to the Alpha-geeks

Overall it’s a solid device and one of the best choices for those who can’t live by without Google services (yes, i’m already thinking about Wave). I still don’t dream of electric sheep, so if there’s anyone interested on providing an iPhone 3GS for review you could still change my mind 🙂 Any questions, feel free to drop it in the comments.

8 thoughts on “Review: TMN HTC Magic (Android)”

  1. nice review. 🙂

    No comments on third party apps? is there a good variety? are they polished? do they pay attention to detail, ui, etc? how much do they cost, compared to the iPhone?

  2. @Pedro Wikitude is third party and it’s great. It’s been only 2 days (and i’ve been pretty busy) so i only installed about 20 apps, all of them free, available on the mobile Android Market.

    Some of them are a bit sluggish and i’m a bit paranoid (pun intended) on installing apps that have access to personal data (besides Google applications). Still wasn’t able to find a decent voice recording app, with speech-to-text capabilites.

    Favourite apps so far:
    Astrid
    Backgrounds
    Twittdroid
    Wikitude

  3. I think ( and yes I’m an iPhone user), the navigation is not as intuitive as the one on the iPhone, the lack of letter browsing on the contacts is a big lack of functionality,
    saw the SkyMap and it’s really impressive.
    Overall it’s not the iPhone “killer” but why do they have to kill which other? Their’s room for everyone.

  4. Can you buy paid apps from Android Market? I have a Hero with a TMN sim but still I can’t buy them.. just free apps 🙁

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