HTC Magic (Phone)

September 29, 2009

Filed under: Toys — Tags: , , , — CJ @ 3:32 pm

About 2 months ago, I dropped my trusty TyTn II with the screen extended, and damaged the screen to the point it wasn’t useable. As I was looking to upgrade anyway (but wasn’t in a rush – the TyTn II is an excellent phone), rather than repairing it (although I probably will get it repaired as a backup now) I went out and bought a new phone.

I was planning to wait for the HTC Hero and Touch Pro 2 to be released, but a quick comparison showed the Hero to be identical to the HTC Magic which was already out in everything except that the Hero has a 5MP camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both features that don’t really interest me. Anyway, I wandered down to the Three store, had a bit of a trial of one and then purchased one of those, and must say I’m very happy with it. I must say I’m liking the Android interface, and it’s quite refreshing going from Windows Mobile 6.1. WM is nice, and works well enough, but at present, it is still very reliant on having a stylus. Android is designed around finger-touch inputs. I especially like the correction/prediction of the on-screen keyboard. It was missing a few words (or almost-words) I use, but they’re easily added just by typing them in and selecting them. The Android Market is a great source for apps too that provide extra functionality I like (e.g. SSH Client, IRC Client, IM Client etc).

A few minor things I don’t like – the included alarm clock app I found to be unreliable. A few times I had it set and it didn’t go off at all! Easy enough to fix by downloading an alternate clock app from the market, but it would be nice if it just worked. Also, the office app is only a viewer, not an editor. There’s a number of notepade-esque programs around, but it would be good to have something like this included. It also took me a bit to get used to the idea of apps not closing, but just being backgrounded. I’ve downloaded taskiller to close them off completely, and am still unconvinced that the apps in the background don’t offer a performance hit. Also, at the time I purchased it there were no turn-by-turn voice navigation apps. There’s Google Maps, but that’s more for planning than actual navigation as you go. Recently Sygic Mobile Maps has been released, and CoPilot also have a version available for Android, but I’m yet to test either. I’ve not liked CoPilot in the past when that came with the TyTn II, and read not great reviews on Sygic’s route finding. Will probably wait to see what else comes along.

All in all though, now that I’m more used to the Android interface, I really quite like it. It’s a much shallower learning curve than Windows Mobile was, and the Android market makes it much easier to install additional apps than searching around on the internet.

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