Official: Vodafone's HTC Magic launched

MWC 2009: New Android phone for the European market

It's official: Vodafone is to bring the HTC Magic to the UK.

TechRadar is at the Vodafone/HTC conference in Barcelona, where they have just announced the arrival of the phone formerly known as the G2.

Now named the HTC Magic, the handset is powered by Google Android, and is the most compact phone to use the Android OS.

The first Google Android phone, the G1, was snapped up by T-Mobile. This time around Vodafone has won the contract war and will bring the HTC Magic to the UK, France, Germany and Spain. Italy, meanwhile, will have a choice of operators.

All the specs

As rumoured yesterday, the HTC Magic features: a 3.2-inch QVGA touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel camera sans flash and – just like the G1 – WiFi and HDSPA connectivity. There's no slider keyboard this time, so the phone is thinner and less bulky than its G1 predecessor.

The HTC Magic features an updated Android OS – codenamed 'cupcake', which fixes a whole host of bugs that were found in the original G1, and has the added bonus of faster web browsing.

The best thing about the handset is that it will be available for free, depending on the contract you choose.

Pre-order

For those who want to pre-order, Vodafone has already set up a page on its website.

Vodafone describes the HTC Magic, which is available in April, as: "powered by cutting-edge technology. So web essentials like Google Maps and Google Search work brilliantly.

The company continues: "You can create shortcuts to your favourite sites and download fun games, news feeds and widgets. Then decide where everything goes - so you can get to it all easily."

More details, straight from Mobile World Congress 2009 as they come.

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.