HTC Magic review

The second Google Android phone finally lands: with new features and an upgraded interface, it's a belter

HTC Magic
The HTC Magic is a vast improvement on the first Android phone - the T-Mobile G1

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The camera on the HTC Magic has come in for some stick with its 3.2MP sensor with no flash, and it seems the criticism is only partly justified.

While it may only be a one-trick pony (the trick being taking pictures when the conditions are perfect) it manages that trick with considerable aplomb, as you can see here:

Now compare that picture to one taken with a 10MP Samsung P1000 camera:

As you can see, there isn't a huge amount of difference, and to be honest we were pretty impressed when we viewed the images on a computer screen.

However, once the lighting began to fall, the lack of any kind of picture settings began to hurt the picture quality on the HTC Magic:

As you can see, the picture detail is far more defined using a compact camera:

And once you move inside, and especially with varying lighting conditions, the camera on the HTC Magic is unable to cope and create the sharp lines necessary to take a good picture:

With flash on the P1000 camera, a lot of the issues were taken care of, something that surely would have helped the HTC Magic:

And once you get into low lighting conditions, it was pretty much game over:

And the same photo taken without flash on the P1000, but with night mode activated (again, something we would have liked to see on the HTC Magic, but as mentioned it was completely devoid of camera settings):

Video wasn't much better, taking a slightly jerky and low resolution movie. There was (as with the camera) the opportunity to load it up to the internet in a variety of forms (with YouTube an obvious favourite given the Google synchronisation).

But overall, it was a camera to forget, despite managing to pack in video recording from the off (Apple, take note).

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.