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My HTC Desire Z Review

Updated on January 22, 2012

Before I bought my HTC Desire Z smartphone, I did a lot of research and looking about for the best phone available that also had a full QWERTY keyboard. Price was a factor as well, obviously, but the most important thing to me was finding a smartphone that I could type like a normal person on, without having to worry about those horrid onscreen keyboards so many smartphones seem to have. As you already know, I went with the HTC Desire Z, and I am very, very glad that I did. Read on to learn why I chose this mobile and what makes me hope it will last for a very long time, because I can't imagine using any other phone!

HTC Desire Z
HTC Desire Z


I don't have many gripes about this phone, but I do have a few:

  • The music player is not loud enough. I reckon this is to protect nutters who listen to their music at dangerous volumes, but I have very sensitive hearing and can hear better than most people, and even to me the volume that came with the factory settings was far, far too quiet. I couldn't even hear the music at all if I was on a tram or train. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a way to increase the volume directly, so I downloaded a mixer from Android Marketplace and reset the default volume. And voila! Perfection!

  • Ringer Volume

  • Same issue as above. I simply downloaded a ringtone maker and boosted the volume and then voila! No more issues.

  • Calendar Widgets

  • I am someone who needs calendar widgets to keep track of what I've got going on. The HTC and Google widgets didn't make the grade, IMO. Fortunately, I was able to download Jorte from Android Marketplace and everything was great after that.

Believe it or not, these really are my only gripes. And they can all be worked around. This is a really great phone and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a good smartphone with a keyboard.


The keyboard was more important to me than anything else you'll see the tech sites discussing when reviewing smartphones. I wanted a keyboard that wouldn't feel flimsy and wouldn't seem as though it was in danger of breaking off every time I used it, like some. I was not disappointed with the HTC Desire Z's keyboard. It slides open very easily (sometimes a little too easily, as it can open when you're not trying to slide it out, but it's not a big enough issue to warrant buying a different phone) and the feel is sturdy and strong. The keys have a nice clicky feeling that I think even a Blackberry fan would like. It can be a little tricky training your fingers to choose between the shift key, and the key that chooses alternate symbols, but with a little use, you get the hang of it quickly enough.

Weight / Size

This smartphone is quite sturdy feeling. It's not flimsy or lightweight, and everyone who's held mine has remarked that it really feels solid and heavier than it appears. This may be an issue for those who want a phone that feels less heavy, but I got used to it very quickly. It is small enough to slide into my jeans pocket, though that is not where I usually keep it, as it also slides easily into the front pocket of my jacket. It also fits easily into the inner pocket of my purse.


The camera is decent enough, but I reckon the lens quality isn't the level you'd want if you were trying to take super snazzy photos. In fact, I do have some trouble getting the pictures to come out super clearly, but I have seen examples of fabulous pics taken by the HTC Desire Z on tech review sites, so perhaps I am just a bad photographer! All in all, I am satisfied with the pics I have taken, so I am not complaining.

HTC Sense

I was very impressed with the HTC Sense system when I first bought the phone but I quickly got bored with the selection of live wallpapers and widgets. This was easily rectified when I downloaded (for free!) GO Launcher Ex from Android Marketplace. Now I have a gorgeous, personalized phone with all the widgets HTC Sense offered, and more. If you get this phone and grow tired of the appearance, simply download a new one and there you have it!


This phone has a larger screen than many, and viewing the internet seems easy enough, from my view. I am not on the mobile internet often, but when I am, I have not had any problems enlarging text or whatnot. Google is built in, so it's very easy to search for whatever you're looking for.


If you've ever accessed email from a mobile phone, you know how much of a PITA it can be. Well, one of the best features of the HTC Desire Z is the built in Google Gmail system. It really makes checking mail, writing mail and sending mail a very, very easy task. I'd originally expected it to be complicated and annoying, but it's so easy that I actually use it quite often now. No complaints at all!


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