The non US version of the T-Mobile G2 and a significant addition to the Desire linup, HTC Desire Z is here to make the competition among the Android QWERTY smartphones hotter . With yet another impressive design and close to original Desire hardware, with prices in the midrange leave the Z to be a very desired phone for most of us.
The release of side-slider with QWERTY-keyboard in a form of HTC Desire Z was a rather interesting step from the company. Again, along with the G2 in the US, HTC makes us to judge once again while choosing among competitors from Motorola, RIM, etc.
Eighteen months after the release of HTC Dream now we do have the second side-slider based on Android – HTC Desire Z. And on first impressions, this is one of those devices that will find its users
HTC Desire Z Specs
Form Factor: side slider with QWERTY
Operating System: Android 2.2 with HTC Sense
Network: GSM / EDGE, UMTS / HSDPA
Processor: 800 Platform Qualcomm MSM 7230
Memory: 521 MB
Memory for program storage: 1.5 GB of memory card slot microSD
Interfaces: Wi-Fi (802.11 b / g / n), Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, micro-USB. 3.5 mm headphone jack
Screen: capacitive 3.7 “S-LCD with a resolution of 840 × 480 pixels (WVGA)
Camera: 5 megapixels with autofocus and flash, video recording at 720p
Extras: accelerometer, light sensor, sensor approach, a digital compass
Battery: Li-Ion 1300 mAh
Dimensions: 119 x 60,4 x 14,1 mm
It we do compare HTC Desire Z and HTC Desire HD the first gadget will definitely turn into a winner. While this smartphone is made of various pieces, the back side is made of two elements, a metal cap and the rim around the perimeter, the design of this device seems more coherent and logically complete than one-piece design of Desire HD.
The device is made of plastic with a metal element. In particular, the battery cover is made of metal, as well as the frame around the perimeter of the screen. The plastic has an effect of soft-touch. It is impossible not to note the use of already familiar HTC colors for the design, a combination of several shades of gray – the best choice when the manufacturer makes a device in one embodiment, a single color, or a maximum of two or three. But anyways gray is universal.
The device is relatively thin, especially when you consider that we do have a side-slider. Simply compare the thickness of the HTC Desire Z (14,2 mm) for example with HTC Touch Pro 2 (17,3 mm) or HTC Dream (17,1 mm).
Desire Z is great with its approach to the combination of materials and the choice of colors. It is no longer the very first “robot” with QWERTY (HTC Dream) and chubby side-slider on Windows Mobile (Touch Pro 2). HTC has been improved in terms of design- it’s strict, serious and giving us the feelings of really expensive stuff that was not the case with Touch Pro 2 for sure.
In terms of management and general keys HTC Desire Z has seen several shifts which makes it better worked on than other new products. So, in this device the main control element is the touch panel: with the help of touches on it you can navigate through the menu, move the cursor within the text or document and perform other manipulations.
Another nice thing – the return of the hardware buttons for shooting on the housing. The camera itself is located on the backside, on pair with the cavity of the battery cover. You can see the eye of the camera flash close to it.
Under the touch screen Desire Z has a block of keys: home (back to the main screen, launch the application manager), Menu, Back, Search. This touch pad is highlighted in white backlight and when you touch any button the device vibrates. The answer key and call cancel keys are on the screen. Near the camera button lever to remove the battery cover is located, and it actually looks a lot like a hardware button lock .
3.5 mm headphone jack and microUSB for charging and PC connectivity are at the top and left side of the smartphone, respectively.
Another cool feature of the gadget is that you can always add the connectivity and the main ways of contacting the device with the help of various accessories. In case of HTC Desire there are a few superb ones.
The smartphone uses 3.7 “display with the support of multitouch technology. S-LCD display from Sony is the type of screens which has been used by the company not long ago they moved from AMOLED from Samsung. And now we see this screen in the new supplies of HTC Desire, as well as the newly announced smartphones – Desire HD and Z.
The screen is protected by glass, it is not scratched, although traces and fingerprints on the surface of the display remain. The images displayed by Desire Z, of course, are slightly better than Desire HD, and even simple Desire by the same resolution if compared with these devices (800×480 pixels) has a smaller screen diagonal.
HTC Sense User Interface
The smartphone runs on Android 2.2 with the latest version of the corporate HTC Sense user interface. The new HTC Sense user receive a remote control smartphone due to the fact that the company introduces htcsense.com service, where the owners of HTC smartphones will be able to create their own accounts. And then any user can synchronize data with the service from a phone, call to your remote machine, or delete data from it in case of theft, and transfer your address book from the old to the new HTC, read and store books on the server of your correspondence.
The device is built on Qualcomm MSM 7230 platform processor with a frequency of 800 MHz. Less than that of Desire, but I do not think it will be not be that evident in its daily work. Anyways those who wish to have more powerful processor can overclock their gadget to 1.9 GHz. The smartphone has 521 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB of memory for storing user data and installed software. Set wireless interface standard for the modern smartphone Android – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
In HTC Desire Z is equipped with 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and video recording as 720p (1280×720 pixels and a plate of names and permissions for the curious). This is a little disappointing if compared with HTC Desire HD which has more powerful 8 megapixel camera. But still this does not mean that we have to forget about the main advantages of the camera including the face detection, built-in effects including depth of field,vignette and also support for geo-tagging.
There is a wide list of apps and features available on HTC Desire Z including:
Quick and easy way to store, synchronize and transfer files of any size across the network. It’s like a case for online documents for your phone.
Application that allows browsing through, edit and create documents in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and more – watch files Adode PDF.
Built-in tools of quick search will quench your thirst for knowledge, allowing you to select a word or a funny text on your HTC Desire Z and find information about it in Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, or in your dictionary.
Want to learn more about the logo, location or word? Just take a photo, and Google will give you everything at once, it knows everything about this image. It’s like Google, only with pictures .
A new way to find your city. Using GPS on your mobile, check out all the cool places recommended in the neighborhood and find out where your friends are.
Find out what’s happening around and tell everyone what’s on your mind with Peep, HTC application for Twitter.
Google Sky Map
With this application your HTC Desire Z becomes a window into deep space. It does not matter day or night around, just send it up to see a map of stars, constellations and planets that are in that part of the sky .
It does not matter, whether you run or you ride a bike, walking on the mountains or just wander around the neighborhood – write your own routes in MyTrack. And with live statistics of speed, time, distance and elevation difference, at the same time you will know exactly how healthy lifestyle you do have.
Use the integrated search application to find restaurants, hotels, banks, various attractions! Left your guidebook at home? Well, your HTC Desire Z will become a true travel companion.
Visited the stunning location and you want to go back there next time? You saw an interesting place on the internet and you want to visit it? Footprints will help you! You can easily create your Footprints (bookmark with complete information on the location), using an application on your phone or on htcsense.com.
The device became available first via the most popular online stores of Amazon.uk for £499 , which was a little surprising. Anyways then one of the UK mobile operators- Vodafone started offering the gadget for free in case of signing a two-year contract with a payment of £30 monthly. Following the sample O2 also adopted the same tariff. Now there are some rumors that the device will soon be available in Philippines.
Before the advent of HTC Desire Z I quite sincerely believed that the form factor of the side-slider with QWERTY has not completely exhausted itself. And so I began to think after the appearance of Google Nexus One and HTC Desire. In both devices on-screen keyboard (especially in the Desire branded HTC) proved to be convenient so that I did not see any sense in further anticipation of smartphones with a hardware QWERTY. Before the release of Desire was the HTC HD2, but the use of its keyboard was not so easy, is was not responsive to the depression, had a more inhibited response, although it was close to being ideal. And the appearance of HTC Desire showed me that software keyboard can be just as comfortable as Softpedia.
And then HTC released a new keyboard gadget, which I like not because of the keyboard but on the background of the other announced smartphone flagship. I can not judge the motives of the company, how it was planned to position the smartphone HTC Desire Z against Desire HD for almost similar to the price, but the objective technical superiority of the latter. Yes, Desire Z will come up with a rather high price tag at the start although not as expensive as the same HTC Touch Pro 2 in early sales.
Of all written following conclusion: Technically HTC Desire Z is closer to a simple Desire and even somewhat easier in design this device for my taste is one of the strongest for the company. This is the smartphone which can be called another analogue of G2 and combines the use of quality materials and their combination performed with taste and style. Yes, like all other new HTC, “Z” is equipped with touch keys, is devoid of hardware buttons for calls and has a battery with 1300 mAh of the total charge which will be barely enough.
But, in my opinion, HTC Desire Z more than a simple Desire or Desire HD, deserves the favor of the venerable public. Because this smartphone is recognizable mature product of HTC, a company that knows how to make the device not only with the “wow” effect or a maximum set of features, but also beautiful on a combination of qualities of smartphones, which are cute and at the same time practical.
You can find more reviews of Desire Z @ TestFreaks.