HTC Magic Australian Launch

HTC Dream.jpgI'm here at Walsh Bay for the Aussie launch of the HTC Magic. Stay tuned for more as things get interesting...

UPDATE: The event's all done, but it was all about the phone, not the carriers. There were, however some interesting elements discussed...First up, they're not talking pricing or plans. This is a HTC event, talking about the handset and Android.

The Magic will be launching (whenever that is), with the Android 1.5 software (Cupcake). As we've been aware of for a while, some of the features in Cupcake worth noting are A2DP Bluetooth, onscreen keyboard, video recording, and the latest Webkit browser (including flash).

Watching YouTube on the Magic, you can select High Quality mode, just like on your PC. Not sure if the sceren would actually make the most of that quality boost for the extra data you'd chew through.

Regarding the Marketplace, apparently there are over 3200 free and paid apps on the marketplace, although there's still no word on the Australian launch of paid apps. The powerpoint slide says "coming soon" though, whatever that means.

There are two different models available in Australia: One for Voda, one for 3. The Voda model has firmware updates over the air, the 3 does it using your PC; Voda you need to download an Exchange app, the 3 comes with the software pre-installed; Voda lets you geotag photos, 3 has a smart-dialler app; 3 comes with pdf, Word & excel viewer, voda you need to download. Essentially the difference is that Voda partnered with Google and HTC, 3 only partnered with HTC.

Battery life is better than the Dream (according to HTC) although apparently a large part of that is the cupcake update.

There's still no 3.5mm headphone jack - which is kind of crazy in this day and age.

Exchange support is push, apparently, which is a pleasant surprise. Although after some further discussions the difference between the Voda and Three versions is obvious: The 3 version (which comes with exchange support) uses HTC software that licenses Microsoft's Activesync, whereas the Vodafone version requires a (free) thrid party download, which may not feature all the same functions. So bottom line is that if you're a business user, the 3 version may be a bit better for you.

3 are planning on announcing pricing at Midday today. We'll keep you posted.

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