HTC Desire Z T-Mobile Review UK
The HTC Desire with a keyboard its the HTC Desire Z
When HTC released their HTC Desire, they finally showed the potential that they have been hinting at with their previous phone. The HTC Desire was fast, looked great and was relatively cheap. Plus it had the latest version of Android which is becoming one of, if not the prime operating system for mobile phones. Arguably it is the first phone that takes on the iPhone and wins in most respects. Whether you think its better or not is opinion, but this was the first phone to be mentioned in the same breathe as the iPhone, due to the "traditional" top mobile manufacturers Nokia, LG etc could not, and bar the recent Nokia N8 still cannot compete with the iPhone.
However like Apple, HTC have been busy updating their smart phones, and this latest version the HTC Desire Z is one of its most versatile phones yet. It not only features a high responsive 3.7 inch touch screen, but also a keyboard. Essential for those who prefer the feel of a button when typing messages. But is this a tacked on add-on and update or has HTC delivered again?
Features of the Desire Z
Very good. The camera is a 5 megapixel lens with auto flash. This makes for good quality images in any light. The main highlight that HTC are pushing though is its admittedly excellent 720p video recording. A feature added from its larger HD brother.
Like most people, when I first saw the iPhone I thought, well that will be horrible to text on unless you are stood still as you cant feel the buttons. Images of being on a shaky train etc. would mean you would struggle to text easily. Whilst this problem was not as bad as expected, buttons are back with the Desire Z. Just as we have all got used to texting without buttons, HTC decides to bring them back for people who can't live without them. And to be fair they have done a great job. The Desire Z has its keyboard stowed underneath the phone, similar to a N97 mini. However, it has what HTC call a "pop hinge" which smoothly reveals the full QWERTY keyboard. I think its a great feature as it gives you the best of both worlds. An ultra responsive screen, as we have come to expect from HTC as well as a full keyboard for frantic texting and internet use. They keyboard also has room for custom keys and shortcuts which is a nice feature without the need to open the menus.
Android with HTC Sense
While HTC have been busy updating their phones, Google have been tweaking Android too. On HTC phones what means is HTC Sense and Android 2.2. It is still the great system it always was. It is very customisable, and you flick through the home pages with ease. There are some nice features with Sense such as on demand mapping, as well as a Kobo powered E-Book store optimised for phones. Whilst not everyone would want to read a book on such a relatively small device, compared to the Amazon Kindle for example, it is a nice touch which many people would actually use.
The Desire Z itself:
It's a very smart looking device as you can tell from the images. What impresses most is the size. Due to the keyboard being tucked away you would expect it to be chunky in your pocket, but the slimline casing does a great job. Battery life is also good thanks to Android with standby time rated at a smart phone respectable 590 minutes.
Dimensions: (LxWxT) 119 x 60.4 x 14.16 mm
(4.69 x 2.38 x 0.56 inches)
HTC Desire Z Cases and other Accessories available now
To buy the HTC Desire Z or not to buy?
Overall this phone is a joy to use. It's incredibly versatile, much more so than its bigger brother the new Desire HD. The QWERTY keyboard makes a welcome return, and its interface with the smooth responsive HTC touchscreen really do work well together. The HD camcorder is fantastic, whilst still images are more than adequate. For me HTC have created a good niche with this phone by adding the keyboard. Whilst its not quite as powerful as the Desire HD, you really would not notice the differences in operation. It packs a true punch, and offers it all in a much better sized package for a significantly cheaper price. This is a truly great smart phone.
V Rating (out of 5 V's):
Overall (not an average): VVVVV