Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This one's no Betty La Fea

HTC Magic a.k.a Google Phone 2

HTC Magic, or the Google Phone 2, is the much awaited upgrade of HTC's G1, the first smartphone that runs on Android software.

I called the G1 -- popularly known as the Google Phone -- the Betty La Fea of the mobile industry because like the protagonist of the TV show, the G1 is full of substance but suffers much on its looks.

Now here comes HTC Magic, or the Google Phone 2. It's everything the G1 has but less the boxy design and boring looks. HTC has removed the flip-out keyboard in the Magic, which means no more clunking sound everytime you use the keyboard. And also because of the absence of the keyboard, Magic is now slimmer, more sleek and sexy compared to the G1.

Setting up the Magic is similar to the G1, all you need is a SIM card and a Google account. Since the Magic is not yet officially launched in the Philippines, you need to manually input the APN of your provider whichs is "internet.globe.com.ph" for Globe and "internet" for Smart. From there, all you need to do is follow the onscreen prompts.

As expected because the phone runs on Google's Android, integration with its core application is perfect. Gmail, Calendar, Maps and Talk runs smoothly using the Magic. There is also a dedicated YouTube button for quick searching and viewing of YouTube clips.

Heard from the grapevine that by year’s end, there will be at least 18 phones on the market worldwide based on the Android operating system.

At present, there are at least two Android-centric phones — T-Mobile’s G1 and the "Magic" made by HTC and available in Europe -- but which we have right now in the MB Techlab.

The ramp-up of Android phones intensifies a battle among some of the world’s biggest software companies to create the operating system for the world’s phones. Android goes up against a coming-soon new version of Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows, Apple’s proprietary iPhone system, the Blackberry platform, a new Palm OS for its Pre called WebOS, Symbian and a host of Linux-based systems.

(Published June 5, 2009 in the Technews Section of the Manila Bulletin)

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