Overall, the HTC Magic is a great improvement on its predecessor, and not just cosmetically. Its shape, button placement and use of the new Android 1.5 upgrade is all a definite upgrade, and despite the appeals of our G1-loving friends, we don't miss the physical keyboard one iota.

We liked

The touchscreen is to die for, Android's 1.5 firmware upgrade has really done the business in terms of adding new functionality, and Google's presence throughout the phone really adds a number of applications that are genuinely useful and ultimately cool.

And that's before we even get to the Market app store. Why it might currently be leagues behind Apple's effort, and there's a good chance it may never become more popular.

But the fact that it's open source means there will be some darn good applications coming from some very clever people in the near future, and as each of these is installed, the HTC Magic becomes that much more awesome.

We'd even go as far as saying it's a genuine iThrone contender as it offers something very different but equally as compelling as the iPhone, and for all the people that simply don't want Apple's device they would find a lot to love here, especially with all the applications on show.

We disliked

That said, we still had a number of things to feel like we were sold short on slightly, namely the lack of a 3.5mm jack on the chassis itself and a bog-standard 3.2MP camera with no flash, as well as the slight lag when using the accelerometer. The lack of responsiveness at the base of the screen was also slightly annoying, requiring multiple presses on more than one occasion.

Some users might also find the chassis a little lightweight as well, especially those that were really excited by the way the original G1 looked. The new Samsung i7500 might fix a lot of these problems without losing any of the functionality, so we're certainly looking forward to that comparison.

Verdict

In short, this is a very good upgrade from HTC, which has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the last 18 months, and all we can do now is salivate at the prospect of a year chock-full with new Android handsets. However, they'll all have to go the extra mile to beat this new kid on the block.