HTC Magic: First Impressions

The guys at Gizmodo gave the HTC Magic on Vodafone a quick spin and the first impressions were very good with one major caveat. The finish and form factor were rated great with great features, great weight/feel and a solid offering but the on-screen keyboard was cramped and lacking. Check out the video and see for yourself:

This is why I’m a big fan of the G1. Does it look perfect? No. Does the HTC Magic look better? Definitely. But I’d take the G1 keyboard over the Magic keyboard any day of the decade and since mobile use revolves around inputting information to get the response you want, the keyboard is a pretty important element. Sure, you can do a lot with the touching and flicking and all that jazz but to do advanced stuff – which is where we all want android to take us – you need a good keyboard.

Granted the hard/soft keyboard are 2 totally different schools. I like the hardware keyboard. I could be converted if there was a software keyboard that worked properly. But when you take a software keyboard and then cramp it together to further complicate things… no thanks. That’s just my first impression though. And remember… that’s a first impression OF a first impression. The jury is definitely still out on the HTC Magic but its safe to say that its a good looking device that will definitely attract its fair share of Europeans.

All I’m saying is how can you title the article “Close To Perfection” when the keyboard – an unarguably central piece of the next generation mobile devices – is pretty severely flawed or limiting?

[Via Gizmodo]

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  • http://www.googleandblog.com/ Michael Martin

    I would definitely keep the G1 over this phone.

    The G2 is just a cheaper alternative in a prettier package…although for now it will just be available in Europe.

  • Tony S.

    The first thing that I always wanted to ‘erase’ from the G1, was the keyboard.
    Since the first Casio and HP PDAs, I never liked keyboards.

  • Andrew R

    Keyboard issues asside the camera and especially the vidoe interface seems to have very poor ergonomics. If I want to take a picture or video I want to do it quickly. Not go through some menu structure. There must be a way to integrate some hard buttons to the side to activate, switch between functions and use the camera functions.

    And please update the resolution of the camera it’self. Android units are still far from the convergent device I was hoping for.

  • southwick

    Personally I love the keyboard, its one of my favorite features. I have had to type stuff on an iPhone and didn’t enjoy it. Maybe with time I could pick it up, but I really like my flip out Physical keyboard.

    On that note, I want an onscreen one also. For texting, email, posting I want my easy to use physical keyboard.

    For browsing and quick responses I want an onscreen keyboard. Hopefully a software version is released soon.

    On that note, I think it would be good for both options to be available. I could definitely see people wanting a version much thinner that lacked the physical keyboard.

  • Jonathan

    Look. It’s this simple. More devices = platform longevity. Why do you think WinMo will never die? Too many manufacturers trying to recuperate non-recurring engineering costs. Too many users invested in paid software. Too many developers invested in the learning curve, etc. ad. infin. As the Android community, we need to cheer-on and exalt all such manufacturers, carriers, and users that embrace the platform because this is the only way we keep this thing alive. If you don’t like each and every new device, don’t buy it, but trashing it isn’t healthy for us. Cheers, -Jonathan. p.s. – I love real keyboards, especially the G1’s 5-row, dedicated numbers, one.

  • http://blog.gauntface.co.uk Matthew Gaunt

    The only thing I’m looking forward to is the possibility of getting a G1 cheaper once these are released so I can develop for android, I’m a student and simply cannot afford the G1 but want one to create and test apps

  • Alan

    @ Matthew Gaunt

    The SDK is free and has a perfect emulator. no need for a G1 to create/test your apps at all…go download it from the dev site!

  • Mike

    For all of us early adopters of T-Mobile’s G1, does anyone think there will be a subsidized (cheap) upgrade path to the G2, assuming it hits the US market?

  • Jonaldo

    This isn’t officially a G2 is it?
    It’s not T-Mobile so the only link is HTC who have nothing to do with the name ‘G1′ or ‘G2′.
    I can’t see why HTC would offer any upgrade to a Magic from a Dream and as far as I’m aware this isn’t anything to do with T-Mobile so they wouldn’t offer an upgrade to a handset that isn’t theirs.

    Of course I could be completely wrong, but the fact this is on Vodafone at release in Europe suggests very little connection other than HTC and the operating system.

  • Chris

    Apparently the Magic is a Vodafone exclusive in the UK at least, so I doubt T-Mobile would give you a discounted upgrade :p

  • bradbellicose

    i have the magic and my g/f has the dream- my friends make fun of us and call us the magic dream.. gay, i know– anyway, ive tried the dream keyboard and i find the keys way too small- my touch keyboard has bigger keys, makes it easier- also, the touch keyboard allows the phone to be smaller and less heavy- i also find that the slide out keyboard mechanism is a bit flimsy– seems like in time the thing is going to break.. all in all- touch is the way to go.. people are more interested in it