We've gotten the lowdown on that HTC Magic seen sporting Exchange support over in CNET Asia's capable hands, and as many readers opined, it's indeed a custom solution rolled by HTC without any Google involvement. Of course, HTC is no stranger to customizing OS builds loaded onto its devices; it already does this with every single Windows Mobile phone it sells, so we shouldn't be surprised to see some tweaks on its Android wares, either. Here's where it gets juicy, though: it turns out that Google forbids user of the "with Google" branding (as seen on the back of the G1, for example) when the build is customized, so the particular Magic that was being tested here lacked the Google name. Not all Magics are sold this way -- it's a carrier decision. Vodafone's version is Google-branded, for example, but in order to score the Google name they've got to comply to Google's standards for the software load.

Some unlocked Magics (like CNET Asia's) are being sold in this sans-Google configuration, but if you like your Google apps, don't sweat it -- these devices still have GMail, Maps, and the like installed -- it's strictly a marketing and branding issue we're talking about here. In addition to Exchange support, the HTC-customized Magics include a reworked Smart Dialer with better contacts integration, a "much more responsive and full featured" camera app, and additional home screen widgets not found on the Google-ified Magics. We know which version we'd choose.

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