google androidHTC Magic, a touchscreen mobile phone that runs on Google Android OS, is now available in India through Airtel. And it’s an unlocked phone so you can use the device on other GSM networks in India as well.

Google Android vs Google Phone

If you have never heard of Android before, it’s an Operating System for mobile phones that is developed by Google.

Unlike RIM (BlackBerry), Apple (iPhone), Nokia (Symbian) and other mobile phone companies that develop the mobile OS and the hardware, Google is only developing the OS part while the hardware of mobile device is manufactured by other companies like HTC, Lenovo and Samsung.

So when someone says “Google Phone”, it essentially means the that phone runs on the Google Operating system which is known as Android. And since Android internally runs on Linux, some users have even managed to install the Google Android OS on their Nokia phones and Asus notebooks.

Video Tour of Google Android – HTC Touch

Google Phone in India

The HTC Magic is the first Google Android phone that will become available in India through Airtel at around 30k INR. It’s the same phone that’s marketed as Android G2 or myTouch 3G by T-Mobile in America and a unlocked version of this phone was given to all attendees of the Google I/O conference.

The HTC Magic is Wi-Fi enabled and features a 3.2 Megapixel camera (that can record still photos as well as video) but unlike the Nokia N97, it has no physical keyboard. Other models like the HTC Touch and HTC Dream (or G1) feature a keyboard but none of them are in India yet at least through official channels.

The phone features a unique bar coding application so if you are shopping somewhere, you can quickly scan the barcode of any product in the shelf to get more information about that product using your Google phone.

While Airtel is the exclusively selling HTC Magic Android phones in India, the good news is that these are unlocked phones so you can buy a phone from Airtel and use the SIM of other cellular networks like Vodafone, BSNL, Reliance, etc.

Should you buy the HTC Touch

HTC is about to launch a new smartphone called the HTC Hero that is just as big as the HTC Magic but features a 5 megapixel camera and best of all, it will be the first Android smartphone to include a native Flash player. The HTC Magic can only play MP4 (MPEG-4) video format while the Hero has support for Windows Media files as well. I will probably wait.

Video Tour of Google Android – HTC Hero