Live Blog: Vodafone press conference, HTC Magic announced

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We’re live at the relatively low key Vodafone press conference at Mobile World Congress, where they’re apparently announcing the Android-powered HTC G2 – otherwise known as the HTC Magic (Update: They specifically said that this is not being referred to as the G2. Looks like the G-numbering is a T-mo-only thing.)

All times are in CET.

12:00 PM: Show should start soon. Screen still reads as pictured above.

12:01 PM: Mics are on!

12:02 PM: WiFi is spotty. What we know so far: 3.2″ QVGA touchscreen, trackball, no availability or pricing being announced. 99% chance the G2 shots we saw recently were legit.

12:03 PM: Peter Chou is now onstage. Holding the Magic.

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12:05 PM: Currently just discussing the HTC/Voda partnership, how to make the mobile internet usable and enjoyable. “As a software platform, Android is flexible, powerful, and also makes mobile internet easier and enjoyable”

12:06 PM: “The magic will come when the device fits into your hand and into your life”

12:08 PM: Watching a video. It’s the one we saw a few days ago. Looks gorgeous.

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12:09 PM: “We’ve done it.” – saying they’ve developed a product that really shows Android

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12:10 PM: Magic’s UI being shown; nothing new here from the G1. They’re currently showing how to change the wallpaper. More hardware stuff, please.

12:13 PM: Now they’re talking about the Market. They’re working to make sure folks who are unfamiliar with Android aren’t too lost.

12:14 PM: Will launch initially in UK, Spain, Germany, France, and non-exclusively in Italy. “More countries to follow”. Online registration will be available for early pricing details.

12:15 PM: Showing Street View. Will have compass mode, just like the G1.

12:16 PM: That’s going to be one tough aspect of launching Android phones; unless they tweak things a lot, most people already know the software.

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12:19 PM: Q&A Time. Wait, almost – more availability stuff. Online pre-registration opens today.

12:20 PM: Pocketlint: Why is the G2 launching on Vodafone instead of T-Mobile? Chou: We don’t call it the G2. This is the HTC Magic. Kind of skirted the rest of the answer.

12:21 PM: Is it touchscreen only? Yes.

12:22 PM: What’s the price? They’re not specifically saying yet, but 99 to 199 (euros, presumably)

12:24 PM: Rich Brome of Phonescoop: Availability planned in North America? Chou: Not currently, but they’re working on it.

12:24 PM: Vodafone is usually quite critical of the number of operating systems on the market; yet you’ve added another. Do you plan to slim down? “We’re still working on 20+ operating systems – what ever is the final number of contenders, it’s still a lot less than the number of proprietary OS a few years ago. We can debate on how many is too many, but the focus is [on the customer]. This is a great phone, a great design.”

12:26 PM: 3.5 mm jack? Doesn’t look like it. Dongle needed, again.

12:27 PM: What megapixel is the camera? Why no flash? 3.2 megapixel. No flash because it’s “not trying to replace your professional camera. For day to day life, it’s good enough”

12:30 PM: All wrapped up. Time for the hands on. Check back later for our impressions.

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