Originally codenamed the HTC Sapphire, the HTC Magic will be the second Android powered handset to be released by HTC. The HTC Magic is widely seen as the successor to the popular HTC G1 Android phone that was released across the US and Europe last year.
The HTC Magic will be available exclusively on the Vodafone network across UK, Spain, Germany and France. A definitive release date has not yet been issued but Vodafone have announced that the HTC Magic handset will be available in April 2009.
There has been speculation that once Vodafone’s exclusivity period with the Magic is over, the handset will also be made available across the T-Mobile network re-named as the HTC G2.
The Vodafone HTC Magic is very similar in design to it’s G1 predecessor, the more noticeable difference being the Magic’s lack of physical QWERTY keyboard. Instead, the HTC Magic is a fully touchscreen device and makes use of Android’s onscreen keyboard.
The HTC Magic arrives pre-loaded with extra functionality than the G1, thanks to updates from the Android Cupcake development branch. These additional features are expected to be rolled out to current G1 owners later in April.
The technical specifications of the Vodafone Magic are also quite similar to that of the T-Mobile G1. Both Android phones share the same 3.2 Megapixel camera (again without flash support), and include Wi-Fi, HSDPA, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The HTC Magic is slightly slimmer than the G1 (thanks in part to the lack of a slide-out keypad), measuring in at 117 x 55 x 14 mm and is also slightly lighter at just 118.5 g. The Magic also have a display resolution of 320 x 480 with 65K colors, measuring 3.” in width.
Again the folks at HTC refrained from including a 3.5mm audio jack on the Magic, but as with the G1 there’s still a whole host of audio filetype support including, MP3, WMA, MIDI, AMR, as well as AAC and AAC+ with rumored support for eAAC+ files yet to be confirmed.
The HTC Magic’s internal memory weighs in at 512MB with is expandable up to 16GB with the use of MicroSD memory cards.
Whilst many G1 owners still grumble about the phones poor battery performance, the Magic is said to be a big improvement over it’s predecessor. Whether this is a result of the updated Android firmware remains to be seen but the HTC Magic currently offers around 7 and a half hours of talk time battery life with up to 420 hours of standby power.
Here’s some hands-on video footage of the HTC Magic in action. The video isn’t in English but it does give an excellent demonstration of the Magic handset and it’s improved features.