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After waiting and waiting for an Android phone to appear at the Mobile World Congress, Vodafone on Tuesday unveiled the HTC Magic, the successor to the T-Mobile G1 (formerly known as the HTC Dream). We were lucky enough to get our hands on a prototype. It features slightly different buttons to the final version, but the rest will be the same.

Unlike the G1, the Magic doesn't feature a keyboard, instead relying on a very responsive touchscreen. It's a lot smaller than the G1 and feels really good in the hand. It also looks much better, in our opinion. The curved edges and shiny finish give it an elegant appearance and feel, and we can't wait to get hold of one for longer time back in the UK.

It will be made available on a Vodafone contract in the UK soon, but no exact date has been announced yet. The Magic will cost around £100 but, depending on what contract you get, that price may go up or down. Vodafone is going to be the exclusive retailer of the Magic in the UK, so, if you want to upgrade from a G1, you'll have to change networks.

Update: Watch our hands-on video with the HTC Magic here.

The Magic is thinner than the G1, but still has the lip at the bottom, so that it curves against your face.
To get around the lack of a physical keypad, Google has implemented an on-screen keypad. From our quick time with it, the keypad seemed similar to the iPhone's. Update: We were previously told by HTC that you can't set the Magic's on-screen keypad to landscape mode, as you can with the iPhone, but that is incorrect. The Magic does offer a landscape on-screen keyboard.
This is the USB charging port, which doubles up as a headphone port. We can't believe that HTC still hasn't made an Android phone with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The top of the phone is curved. It would have been a good location for that 3.5mm headphone jack we're always banging on about. What a shame not to use all this space.
Without a physical keypad, the Magic is a lot smaller and lighter than the G1. We prefer the on-screen keypad, but people who value tapping out long messages may miss the physical Qwerty one.
These buttons aren't the final version, but the trackball is. The trackball's not massively noticeable, but it's larger than the G1's, making it easier to use.
On the back of the Magic, there's a 3.2-megapixel camera. It doesn't have a flash unfortunately -- something we hope to see on the next model.
The curved bottom part feels good against your face and also means that the mic picks up your voice better.
Here's the Magic next to the G1, which is much larger.
The Magic is also thinner than the G1 and fits much better in a pocket.


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