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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Second Android Phone Is More Elegant than T-Mobile G1

HTC insists the HTC Magic mobile phone for Vodafone is better than its original Android-powered T-Mobile G1 handset. Reviews of the Magic are mixed, but an analyst says the appearance and operating system are improved. He called the G1 the Apple, Inc. iPhone for the poor man. More Android mobile phones are likely.

It's certainly not the G2, but is it a far cry from the T-Mobile G1? HTC is insisting its second Android-powered smartphone, dubbed Magic, is a much-improved model.

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

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