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Vodafone snags Android-powered HTC Magic

Vodafone and HTC announce the HTC Magic at GSMA Mobile World Congress, Vodafone's first Google Android smartphone, for the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy.

HTC Magic

To our disappointment, there hasn't been a ton of Google Android news to come out of GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009 so far. Huawei announced on Monday that it plans to start selling Android devices later this year, but other than that we didn't see a T-Mobile G2, and Samsung already said it would not show its Android phone at the show as it has been delayed until the second half of 2009.

However, we did get one device announcement. The bad news is that it's not for the U.S. market. On Tuesday, Vodafone said it will bring the HTC Magic to market this spring--the first Google Android device for the carrier. The Magic will be a Vodafone exclusive in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and France and will be available on a nonexclusive basis in Italy.

The HTC Magic features a 3.2-inch HVGA touch screen and trackball navigator, but doesn't have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard like the T-Mobile G1. The quad-band smartphone will offer various e-mail options, including Gmail (of course) and POP3 and IMAP accounts, and will support Google applications like Google Maps and Google Search. Vodafone customers will also have access to the Android Market, from where they can download more applications and games for their smartphones. Other goodies include a Webkit browser, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSDPA/WCDMA (900/2100MHz), and a 3.2-megapixel camera.

The HTC Magic will come in multiple colors: white for United Kingdom, Spain, and France; black for Germany; and both colors for Italy. Exact release dates and pricing schemes were not announced at this time, though there was mention that the Magic would be "available for free on various price plans." Vodafone also plans to release the HTC Magic in other markets over the next few months.