Thursday, January 14, 2010

HTC Magic ROM Upgrade


I got the black HTC Magic from Smart last December. It came with the stock android 1.5 OS when it came out of the box with no Google integration and Android Market. I am pretty sure the average phone user will be turned off from what they see. There are absolutely no interesting applications included. I wouldn't be surprised why this was one of the slowest selling models in Smart. They started offering this unit for P3500 in Plan 3500. I believe it is now free under Plan 1800.

Fortunately, an HTC Sense ROM upgrade was available at that time. The ROM was posted in the HTC website on November 10. Make sure you apply the Singapore/Philippines ROM and not the Malaysia/Indonesia/Vietnam one as that one does not have Market. My unit was apparently registered as a Malaysia model and I couldn’t download the Singapore/Philippines ROM. Communicating with HTC and Smart was not at all helpful and gave me canned responses. I couldn't download the Singapore/Philippines ROM (update Dec 26, 2011): you may now download the ROM without entering a serial number at http://www.htc.com/sea/help/htc-magic/#download) when I entered my serial number, so I contacted HTC support and they replied:
Thanks for contacting HTC.

With regards of your query, we have checked the SN you provided, it is shipped to Malaysia, you might want to use the below link to download it

http://www.htc.com/sea/SupportDownload.aspx?p_id=267&cat=2&dl_id=759

Please be informed that the phone will not come with Android Market application after upgrading.

Thanks

HTC
I was able to download and apply the Malaysia ROM and it did not include Android Market. I settled for SlideME to install apps but it was too limiting. The forums said that the Singapore ROM had Market so I contacted HTC again to help me get the Singapore/Philippines ROM. They replied:

Thanks for contacting HTC.

With regards of your query, you need to talk to the store that you bought the phone from to see if they can arrange with replacing a new phone.

Thanks

HTC
Now I wrote to Smart Customer Care who replied 2 days later: "Kindly visit any Smart Wireless Center for this to be checked over the counter." Based on prior experience, I doubt they even know what the phone is. I am sure they will just tell me that they will have to refer this to someone else.

I decided to take things into my own hands. I was able to download the Singapore/Philippines ROM upgrade using a serial number I got from the net. When I ran the RUU upgrade, it aborted with a CID check error. I followed the instructions for the gold card method to override the carrier id check and the ROM upgraded proceeded smoothly. It even configured Smart APNs correctly. I presume this should work with HTC Magics of other countries as long as the hardware is identical.

After the upgrade, it will prompt you for your google username and password and that’s when everything becomes interesting. Market is now available and you get HTC Sense. It is now a thing of beauty. With the upcoming Android 2.1 upgrade in the horizon, things should get even better.