HTC Magic review

Can HTC's second Google Android based handset cast a powerful enough spell over us to forget the iPhone? We check out the HTC Magic.

Naturally, a Google address bar sits at the top. As the scroll wheel acts as a button we expected to be able to launch the keyboard by pressing it, but it doesn't you have to tap inside the text field for the keyboard to pop up.

Does this work as well as the iPhone's? Pretty much. Letters pop up as you type so you can see what you're hitting, with word suggestions appearing in boxes at the top just tap to use one and it auto corrects common mistakes too. It does feel a touch narrower than the iPhone's keyboard in portrait mode. However, thanks to the built-in accelerometer the display will blur and then reform in landscape mode. Like this, the keyboard reigns supreme with enough space to increase accuracy and speed. However, there's no haptic feedback fripperies, and a touch screen approach is still only really suited to shorter texts and emails. Oddly though, this can't be done on the home screen but only inside the main browser or the email app.

Switching to this mode also takes more time that we would like with a noticeable pause as the screen blurs and reformats.

Ease of set-up, however, is one of the benefits of the Magic. It prompts you to enter your Gmail details but you can skip this if you don't know or don't have an account at that point. Gmail setup just asks for your user name and password and then you are presented with a near copy of the desktop Gmail experience with access to starring, labelling and searching mails. We were stumped for a good while on how to reply or forward emails but it turns out you have to scroll all the way down to the base of your message to see this. (Move this to the top please Google!).

What's missing though is integrated Google Docs, which is a shame and something we hope Google is working on correcting. It's especially an issue seeing as you can only view your office documents rather than viewing them too.

Internet browsing is first rate. Pages are rendered quickly, and you can scroll up and down with a swipe of your finger. Navigating links is very speedy thanks to the scroll wheel perhaps too speedy with it sometimes being difficult to make the correct selection without it sliding off. Speeds are good in HSDPA-enabled areas, and the phone drops down to Edge and GPRS when it has to. The Menu option lets you search within a page, and copy text you simply highlight text and when you let go it's copied to the clipboard - you can then paste back into text fields.

Featured Resources

BIOS security: The next frontier for endpoint protection

Today’s threats upend traditional security measures

Download now

The role of modern storage in a multi-cloud future

Research exploring the impact of modern storage in defining cloud success

Download now

Enterprise data protection: A four-step plan

An interactive buyers’ guide and checklist

Download now

The total economic impact of Adobe Sign

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by Adobe Sign

Download now

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go
Cloud

The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go

25 Sep 2020