Tell them they're Dreaming

The amount of attention the HTC Dream gets when I flash it around in New Zealand is quite remarkable; and the HTC Magic on Vodafone seems set to get even more.

I've been using the HTC Dream, the Optus variant, for a while now and while I wasn't quite sure of it to start with, the phone's really grown on me. In fact, with a few UI tweaks and a fix for the rather short battery life, I'd pronounce it "excellent".

Now, I wasn't going to write about the HTC Dream until it had the Cupcake or Android 1.5 update — a little tricky since I'm in NZ and can't get it over air through Optus' network — but the amount of attention the phone gets when I show it to people here is quite remarkable. Vodafone, Telecom, Microsoft and Nokia executives were all hugely interested in the HTC Dream without being dismissive in the slightest. One Microsoftie was stunned how good Android is given that Google has had comparatively little time to get the Linux-based OS to market.

I've been expecting the keyboard-less version of HTC's Android phone, the Magic or G2, to show up on the NZ radar soon, and today, Vodafone announced it. Here are the two side by side:

HTC Dream and Magic

(Credit: HTC)

The Magic will be available in June, Vodafone says, but the mobile operator hasn't set the pricing yet, which is a bit irritating — what's with all these pre-announcements of products that aren't ready for the market yet?

A quick look at the specs for the Magic reveals that it'll do 900MHz UMTS as well as 2100MHz, making it more suitable for Voda's 3G network in NZ. Other than that, the hardware seems pretty similar. The Magic gets 512MB ROM compared to a meagre 256MB for the Dream, and the battery capacity for the former gets a welcome boost to 1340mAh whereas the latter is limited to 1150mAh, yet weighs more at 150 grams, compared to 116 grams.

The fatter battery and presumably, better power management, give the Magic 50 minutes longer talk time (400 minutes on 3G, 450 minutes on GSM) and much improved standby time, up to 660 hours on 3G; whereas the Dream dies after 402 hours.

Windows integration is provided with HTC Sync for the Magic, so you can use it with Outlook and Exchange. And, of course, there's the Android Marketplace from Google, for developers wanting to write and flog software for the phones. Microsoft should at this stage perhaps start sweating just a little.

Right, now to organise some Cupcake for my Dream...