HTC Desire Z review

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

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The HTC Desire Z is full of applications and services to help accessorise and improve the performance of the phone, and many of these make it a real pleasure to use.

We always want to be wowed when we first turn a phone on, and that's another thing HTC has taken care of with the Desire Z.

There are a couple of new things that HTC has added with the new Sense UI that really make a difference here, such as the HTC Hub: is a place to get elements that totally overhaul your handset - from widgets to new messaging sounds; it's all here and free.

HTC desire z review

This also requires an HTC Sense account, offering all manner of extra elements, and most are presented in cool, swipe-friendly thumbnails that show off the power of the inbuilt GPU we referenced a few times earlier.

Downloads are swift and easily viewed - if you buy one of these phones use this function as soon as you can to try it out, and you'll feel like the link between cloud data and your phone has never been closer.

The other new offering is HTC Likes, which is a collection of applications that HTC is promoting from the App Market - but with this portal there are descriptions, comments and likes/dislikes (including those from your HTC Sense friends) to let you know how popular the app is in real time.

Here are our picks of the applications HTC has added to the Desire Z out of the box - and we're pretty impressed with some of them.

Flashlight - this is exactly how is sounds, and we only wish there was a home screen widget for it. Offering three levels of brightness, it uses the LED flash on the rear of the phone to create a handy torch.

HTC desire z review

News and Weather - this little widget shows you the local weather in your region (although the HTC Weather widget is also excellent and does the job a little better) as well as local news.

HTC desire z review

With an easy swipe system and various categories to choose from, this is a really good place to keep up with what's going on in the world of politics or what Cheryl said/did/tasted like on X Factor this week.

Reader - We were going to put in a little diatribe here about how we thought the screen was probably a little small for the Reader application as we were downloading the Avid Reader scene you need to activate the app.

But then, despite the new scene popping up on the Desire Z, there was no reader application, and no bookshelf either. It's really disappointing, as on the HTC Desire HD it's a really good offering.

3.7-inch screens aren't too small for such a thing, as the Desire can handle books fine on the Aldiko e-reader... sadly you're going to have to go down the same route here.

However on the Desire Z it's not the best as the screen is a little bit small for reading a full novel - even the Desire HD struggles with it, and that's got nearly an inch on this phone's screen.

SoundHound - This is a Shazam-style application, but one that goes one step further - you can hum and sing and lalalalala a song into the phone and it will try and identify it.

HTC desire z review

Utterly pointless for 90% of songs you can't remember (you very rarely can remember the name even if you read it) and it can be a little inaccurate - but it's a fun way to ridicule your mates down the pub.

However, you only get 5 free tries per month (five less than with the HD), so don't go overboard too soon.

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