Just when I was starting to get comfortable with the Blackberry Bold, my daughter decided she wanted to trade me and give me her HTC Dream. Then, just when I began to get comfortable with it, my son asked me if I wanted a new phone...an HTC Magic. Could I say no? Of course not!
I have had "hand me down" phones for several years now and this would be my first brand new, never touched by any other family member's hands, kind of phone! That in itself was thrilling, but when the HTC Magic arrived a few days after ordering it I found it to be easily adapted to due to its general familiarity thanks to using the HTC Dream.
What I really like about the Magic
The Magic, which is an Android OS operated phone, is less weighty than the Dream, due mainly to the fact that the Magic no longer has the slide out keyboard. The Keyboard it does have is called a "Soft" keyboard and is accessed directly from the screen. Initially I didn't think I would like this and was almost positive when I attempted to text the first few times with it and was hitting every "wrong" key which resulted in a text that would normally take me a few seconds to compose stretching to about 2 minutes! However, as with everything, the more you use it, the more you become adept with it. I like the intuitive feature that automatically "senses" when the keyboard is needed to type something, and it's automatically made available. The soft keyboard can be set to auto complete words, vibrate or sound like an actual keyboard when pressing letters, etc. I'm not crazy about the fact that to get from letters to numbers/symbols I have to hit a separate key for that action, but once you get use to the layout of the keyboard it seems to work rather well.
The notification of messages is clear and easy to distinguish from email message notifications and you can easily change the ringtone/notification signal for each of these via the settings for the phone. I like the feature that allows the message responses to pop up when someone has responded to you and this makes it much easier and quicker to use the messaging feature. I added a different app for messaging which provides "talk bubbles" but the standard message program that comes stock with the phone is easy to use as well, although not as eye appealing.
A few days after receiving the Magic, a new update was made available called "Sense UI". This update has added some really nice features to the phone, making it a "dream" to use. The update was unavailable to the Dream, which resulted in our Cell provider, Rogers, issuing a free HTC Magic to any customers who currently owned the HTC Dream phone. I thought that was pretty cool.
The new UI update divides the main screen into several screens instead of the three that the Dream had, which you can easily "thumb" through using the touch screen feature. One screen may have the ability to allow you to view all your email messages from practically any email account you may use including ones that now you may be using an email program such as Outlook, for. You can set another screen for your Twitter accounts, another for your calendar and yet another for your apps, contacts, clock, weather and much more. Truly a flexible and valuable feature that allows you to make the Magic a phone that works just like you do.
The Magic comes with plenty of apps already but I downloaded several that I had in my Dream including a great little shopping list program, message program, voice notes program and several others. The response time for downloading was quick and installation of every application was effortless and smooth without any user input being required and no issues in either installation or in use.
The phone came with its own 2Gig memory card and the Magic has a larger on board memory capacity as well. At this time the Magic is only available in black in our area, although white may be available in the US by now. It's a sleek, easy to handle and easy to store phone. For those who prefer to carry their cells in cases that clip to the hip, I found that the Roots cell cases work fairly well with the Magic. I'll do a review on the case I purchased shortly.
The phone offers both video and camera. The video length is restricted only by the size of memory you have available on your memory card so there isn't the minimal 45 second clips.
What I don't like about the Magic
The battery tends to die rather quickly - well quickly for me. I'm use to my Blackberry being in need of charging ever 4-5 days. The dream needed charging about every 3 days. The Magic needs charging every 1-2 days. Of course to be fair, I usually have the WiFi active while at home and I also have most of my emails, twitter and facebook accounts sending me updates frequently, so it's understandable that my phone sucks back battery power quickly.
I can charge the phone via the USB cable although I try not to do that very often, usually only when I'm transferring files. It comes with its own charger and with headphones that plug into the usb port on the bottom of the phone.
It comes with its own camera which takes very decent images however, it is missing the flash feature which I would prefer.
In order to keep fingerprints from the phone and screen its best to purchase the screen protectors that reduce the prints on the screen at least. The shiny face and back tends to keep you polishing the finish just to keep it looking presentable but this is a very slight inconvenience overall.
I'm quite pleased with this phone overall. The operations of call answer, dial, lock and app access is all very easy and intuitive with finger access with a simple slide sideways, down or upwards depending on what you are accessing. USB transfer from phone to computer and computer to phone is drop and drag simple.
I'd recommend this phone for those who don't like bulky phones, are ok with soft keyboards and who just love applications and ease of access to just about every account they have online. A pretty decent phone overall.