Mobile World Congress, Barcelona |
New touchscreen HTC ‘Magic’ phone ditches the slide-out keyboard for a virtual QWERTY keypad – along with better browser, bigger battery and 900MHz HSDPA.
The rumours of a second-gen ‘G2’ Android release have been swirling around for weeks – indeed, since before the Australian launch
of the HTC Dream
But was G2 a new device or just a software upgrade? It turns out to be both
As a new handset, the G2 was revealed overnight at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the HTC Magic – a touchscreen smartphone sans keyboard that’s a sweet redesign of the original HTC Dream
The Magic’s curved chassis is a big improvement on the angular and somewhat brick-like Dream, along with being marginally smaller and thinner. Looking under the covers and beyond the obvious lack of keyboard, the main hardware differences are the Magic’s larger battery – a beefy 1340 mAh slab compared to the original 1150 mAh cell – and support for 3G HSDPA 7.2Mbs on the 900MHz band.
This will be welcomed by users outside the big smoke, as Vodafone Australia is recycling slabs of its 900MHz GSM spectrum to use 3G HSDPA technology in order to extend its national mobile broadband network into regional areas
(although Vodafone has delayed the network rollout past its planned activation at the end of 2008, and has yet to advise of the new switch-on date).
The more compelling changes are delivered through the revised Android OS, which now includes an on-screen QWERTY keypad, an overhauled browser and streamlined email setup of email accounts, along with support for A2DP (Bluetooth Stereo). These all come courtesy of Android’s Cupcake update
which has yet to be delivered on the Dream.
To be launched by mid-year, the Magic will be exclusive to Vodafone in the UK, Spain, Germany and France, with other countries to follow. We’re tipping that Australia will be on the shortlist. Vodafone UK has yet to announce pricing.
David Flynn is attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as a guest of Microsoft.