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”.
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:
- 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.
- 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)
- Loving the Augmented Reality apps. SkyMap and Wikitude are a sign of things to come.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.