New Google Phone Draws Mixed Reviews

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , , , , |

“This is NOT the G2!”

So said HTC Corp. President and Chief Executive Peter Chou at at the launch of the ‘Magic’ – HTC’s second, hotly anticipated iteration of its Android-powered mobile phone.

Chou’s comments at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona underscores how far HTC believes the new phone is a departure from the G1, the first phone based on Google’s open-source software and launched by the Taiwanese manufacturer last November. HTC has grown marketshare globally against rivals, including market leader Nokia, through phones based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform.

To be sure, the phone has been greatly improved, and although the user interface still looks and feels like the G1, there are several important differences.

Most obviously, the Magic doesn’t have a slide-out keyboard, making it more stylish and sleeker in design. A version with a silver and white body will be available in the U.K., France, Spain and Italy, while a black version will be sold in Germany and Italy.

Christian Lindholm, an industry commentator and partner in design consultancy Fjord, says the touch-screen keyboard is as easy, if not easier, to use than Apple’s iconic iPhone and its little chin, or lip, at the bottom of the phone makes it easier to hold in the hand.

The gadget blog Gizmodo wasn’t so sure, writing that “the keyboard felt cramped, probably a result of the screen size, which is smaller than the iPhone’s.” Rival blog Engadget called the keyboard as “blissfully typable” but dismissed the software as needing improvement “since we managed to crash the software keyboard without too much trouble.”

The Magic doesn’t have the innovations featured in HTC’s new Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 phones, such as push Internet and “people-centric” contact integration.

Nevertheless, perhaps in a sign of its confidence in the Magic, HTC plans to stamp its brand in a more prominent place than on the G1, where it was discreetly positioned on the edge.

The phone will be available exclusively through Vodafone, but inside there’s no sign of Vodafone Live, the operator’s branded mobile offering; it’s the basic Google-developed user interface, with no integration of the proprietary innovations of the operator or handset maker. An HTC representative said new iterations would be more widely HTC-branded.



Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: