We’ve all been looking forward to today’s media launch of HTC’s Android-powered Magic but eager would-be Magicians are in for a disappointment.
The morning briefing was devoid of any hard details such as when joint carriers Vodafone and Three would release the Magic onto the market or more importantly how much it would cost and what the monthly data allowances would be. Indeed reps from the carriers were a no-show.
We do know that there will be some minimal and likely confusing differences between the handsets offered by each carrier. Three will have the HTC Magic but Vodafone gets the oddly-named HTC Magic with Google.
Three’s Magic will need to install OS updates via the PC and will come with Exchange synchronisation and push (via Microsoft’s own ActveSync) and a document/PDF viewer preinstalled along with a ‘smart dialler’ app which lets you type the first few characters of a contact’s name in order to quickly jump to that person’s phone number.
Vodafone’s Magic with Google will download firmware over the air and while it lacks the Exchange sync and file viewer these can be downloaded for free from the Android Market app store. It also lets you apply GPS-based geotagging to photos and easily upload photos and videos to Picasa and YouTube.
However the photo and video uploader app will also be a free download for Three customers while Vodafone users can download Three’s preloaded dialler.
In short the difference mainly comes down to which software is pre-installed on each handset apart from Vodafone’s over-the-air updates and geotagging.
And as we pointed out last week Vodafone’s Magic will run on both the 2100MHz and 900MHz 3G bands which the carrier has used to extend its Australian coverage while Three’s Magic is limited to its 2100MHz network and cannot roam onto Telstra’s Next G.
Update: Vodafone has advised us that their HTC Magic will be available from Monday June 15th. 3 has since released its pricing plan starting at $63/month with 1GB of data with availability from ‘mid-June’.