HTC Desire Z review

HTC's next Android wunderkind wanders in sporting a QWERTY keyboard

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Our Verdict

We've always been fans of HTC's Android range, and this is another quality handset to add to that excellent portfolio

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 1.50 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 9.83 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification


  • Aluminium chassis
  • Responsive UI
  • Android 2.2 with Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Decent enough camera
  • Both physical and onscreen keyboards work well


  • Screen wobbles in closed mode
  • Hinge seems suspect
  • Battery not terrible but could have been bigger
  • No e-book reader, unlike Desire HD

The HTC Desire is, in effect, the second in the new Android range from HTC, with its much larger brother, the HTC Desire HD, taking most of the limelight.

But it's more than 'spare a thought' for the HTC Desire Z, as this phone is designed to encompass the best Android has to offer with HTC's sublime Sense overlay - and a QWERTY keyboard to boot.

The first thing you'll notice about the HTC Desire Z when you pick it up is the sheer heft, as we're seeing a phone with a 3.7-inch screen coupled with a not-insubstantial QWERTY keyboard and hinge underneath.

HTC desire z review

The whole unit weighs in at 180g, which isn't the lightest on the market, and you can certainly feel it in your pocket... but it's not so bad that if you're hungry for a QWERTY keyboard you won't be able to tolerate it.

The Desire Z itself feels pretty high end, as it's clad in aluminium and has a nice and polished feel to it. The battery cover on the back is well-designed and complements the design well, and pops off with a pleasant jump when using the switch on the side.

HTC desire z review

The front of the phone looks different to the HTC Desire HD, with the usual four touch-sensitive keys (home, menu, back and search) above a clickable optical trackpad that lets you negotiate text and also doubles as an enter key.

The left-hand side of the phone holds the large volume rocker switch, and the microUSB slot, which is uncovered.

HTC desire z review

The right-hand side only has the aforementioned battery cover release and the physical camera button - which we're really pleased to see after it was left off the Desire HD.

HTC desire z review

The top of the phone hold the power/lock key, and it's much more prominent than others in the HTC range, and it's really easy to hit to open up the phone.

HTC desire z review

The 3.5mm headphone jack is also situated here, and is nicely positioned to not get in the way when you're watching videos through wired headphones.

The slide out keyboard has a lovely motion too, as it doesn't glide out; instead, it folds out on itself, lifting and dropping into place. The QWERTY keys themselves are large and easy enough to hit, but not raised enough nor have enough travel to really allow super-fast typing in our opinion.

HTC desire z review

The keyboard also packs another problem: the hinge is really loose, and the screen wobbles under touch input when the keyboard is stowed away.

HTC desire z review

And when open and held vertically, a few shakes can see the screen rock back easily onto your thumbs, which is really not what we'd expect from a device of this class.

HTC desire z review

Sure, it's not going to happen that often, but we'd certainly expected more from the build quality on a device designed by HTC.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1.50 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time9.83 Hour
Product ModelDesire Z
Screen Size9.4 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)180 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.2 Froyo
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height119 mm
Width60.4 mm
Depth14.2 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time430 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameDesire Z Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HLW00800
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The best of both worlds

Touch screens are brilliant for surfing the web and watching videos. Keyboards are brilliant for typing. Now, you get the best of both wrapped up in one phone - the HTC Desire Z with a 3.7" touch screen and Qwerty keyboard.

Your emails, prioritised

Busy people have busy inboxes. But HTC Desire Z makes sure nothing slips through the net by prioritising your emails for you. Like your personal PA, it puts all the important emails at the top of your inbox - keeping you on top of business.

All your email accounts in one inbox

We all have different email accounts - work, home, social - but now you don't have to keep jumping between them. HTC Desire Z grabs emails from each of your different accounts and puts them all into one inbox. So you can sit back and let HTC Desire Z do all the running around.

Limited Warranty1 Year