HTC Magic review: Practical magic

GSMArena team, 15 July 2009.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: HTC, Android, Touch UI

Travel light but well-equipped

The retail package of the HTC Magic is pretty decently stuffed with all the essentials covered and a few bonuses to spice things up.

There's the mandatory charger and a miniUSB cable for pairing you handset with a computer. You also get a nicely looking wired stereo handsfree, which unfortunately is one-piece. That means that replacing the supplied headphones is not an option unless you purchase a miniUSB adapter separately.

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There's some nice stuff in the box

A 2GB microSD card is also supplied in the retail package of the Magic, plus a microSD to SD adapter in case you don't have a compatible card-reader. A stylish white leather carrying case is our favorite item in the box. We just hope the snow-white color won't turn to grimy-gray too quickly.

HTC Magic
The leather case is quite a treat

A quick-start guide, a warranty statement and a list of HTC care centers are also in the box. For those keen to accessorize their Magic there's a list of available original HTC accessories, which include some pretty cool stuff.

HTC Magic 360-degree spin

The HTC Magic measures 113 x 55 x 13.7mm, which makes it a decently compact device. There are of course several full-touch handsets that are even smaller but the differences aren't really make or break. You can rest assured that the HTC Magic can easily slip in most pockets, without making much of bulge.

The weight of 118.5 g is about what you'd expect in a handset with these dimensions and features. A few extra grams (and perhaps some metal on the chassis) would have given it a more solid feel, but it isn't too bad now either.

Design and construction

We are pretty fond of the HTC Magic. Its slick curvy shapes and pearl white gloss were quite appreciated across the whole team. Of course, the HTC Magic is available in black too but if you want your gadget to get noticed you know which way to go. We've been on and on about the lack of distinction between touchscreens, so what simpler way to stand out than a fresh paintjob.

White is still rare, though not unheard of, in touchscreens and the HTC Magic makes quite a bold statement for a newbie. The plastic is nicely fingerprint-resistant and you can hardly ruin the phone's looks even if you tried very hard. Some metal on the body would've probably made the entire package near perfect.

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Magic and sorcery: HTC next to Apple iPhone 3G

Most of the front panel of the phone is taken by the 3.2" 65K-color capacitive touchscreen of HVGA resolution (320 x 480 pixels).

The image quality is commendable with sharp contrast and good brightness levels on the TFT display. The 65K-color count turns a weakness on the very rare occasions when single color gradients are noticeable. In all other aspects the Magic screen performs greatly.

HTC Magic
Not the biggest, nor the highest-res but still an excellent 3.2" display

Sunlight legibility is also remarkable with the colors retained almost perfectly even when the handset is awash in sunlight. The only thing that makes it worse than the Apple iPhone's display is the fact that it reflects more light, resulting in an occasional rainbow appearing on the screen.

The response of the touchscreen is also brilliant. A well-known advantage of capacitive touchscreens is their sensitivity, as they don't actually need a push to register a click. Even the lightest of touches does the trick which is probably a large part of the reason why would one buy a touchscreen phone in the first place.

On top of the display is the earpiece, flanked by an ambient light sensor and the status LED.

HTC Magic
The earpiece is between the ambient light sensor and the status LED

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