Vodafone and HTC unveiled the phone on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
"The Magic is a better-looking phone than the G1. The form factor is more elegant," said Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence. "At the margins, that will attract people. All things being equal, some people will choose a phone with the physical keyboard. But my sense is that a lot of people would prefer this phone. It is a refinement of the first version."
The HTC Magic offers a variety of mobile Internet capabilities, beginning with an Android-optimized Webkit browser. As would be expected, it also features Google applications, Google Maps and Google Search as well as favorites like YouTube. The Android Market lets consumers download games and applications over Vodafone's network.
The Android platform is backed by Google, and although the reviews on the phone are mixed, Sterling said there are improvements in both the physical appearance and the operating system that may cause Vodafone customers to upgrade. "The G1 was sort of the poor man's iPhone," he said. "That's not the case with the Magic. It has a slicker appearance as well as technology improvements."
By Jennifer LeClaire