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Vodafone conjures up Android-based HTC Magic

Do you believe in magic? Vodafone does, with its exclusive new HTC Magic running Google Android. Finally, a phone with a decent name -- and believe us, we're going to milk it

Oh woah, woah, it's magic! Yes, with Mobile World Congress mired in phone names veering between the mundanity of things like Nokia 6700 and the sheer silliness of Beat DJ or Tocco, HTC and Vodafone calling their new Android-based handset the Magic is a gift to your phone-weary correspondent.

Could it be magic? This is the second handset to run Google's Android operating system, and frankly it doesn't look that different to the T-Mobile G1. The Magic is available exclusively through Vodafone over here and in Spain, Germany and France. It comes in white for everybody except the Germans, who get it in black, while the lucky Italians get both colours and will be able to get the phone on other networks.

Let's take a magic carpet ride through the specs. It boasts an 81mm (3.2-inch) QVGA touchscreen and trackball. It supports POP3 and IMAP email, with Google Mail and Google Talk baked in. Google Maps and YouTube are also included, with more apps available through the Android Market.

Seems like a kind of magic. Andrew "Every Little Thing He Does is Magic" Lim is picking a card, any card with HTC as we speak -- he'll probably try to make it disappear, the cheeky scamp -- and his hands-on story with photos will appear here on Crave shortly. Now that's magic.