HTC Desire Z review

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

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HTC desire z review

HTC has been hurtling towards smartphone stardom for over a year now; just look at its stock prices to see that it's not just a select few that's getting excited.

From around the Diamond2 onwards the company has been churning out top-end handset after top-end handset (with some questionable choices in there, admittedly) so the question is: can it keep up the pace?

The HTC Desire Z is clearly a phone designed for a certain demographic: those that like Android, like touchscreens but want the freedom of a physical keyboard as well.

But does the rest of the package stand up as a well-rounded phone or is it the mobile equivalent of Frankenstein's monster?

We liked

We have always been fans of HTC's Android line-up, and the HTC Desire Z doesn't stray too far from the pack.

The polished aluminium chassis feels like a decent lump of quality in the hand, and the cool fold-out hinge really adds something unique.

The 800MHz processor's perceived lack of zip was nowhere to be seen, as nearly every time the Desire Z responded under the finger exactly as we expected.

HTC desire z review

The Locations application is actually a real boon - finding things nearby is excellent and the way you can integrate Google Maps Navigation in shows that it's not meant to be a completely separate product.

The new Sense UI and portal are also both good additions to the party, with the former offering some nice cloud cross-over for phone customisation.

We disliked

The build quality of the HTC Desire Z, while it feel premium, is actually a little suspect. The hinge feels a little flimsy, and pressing down on the touchscreen on our review unit actually caused it to wobble a little.

The keyboard will obviously add some heft, but the weight and depth of the device makes it sit a little uncomfortably in the hand at times too.

The battery life is once again a little low - and why we couldn't have a larger capacity option in there when there's so much chassis to play with, we don't know. It's not terrible, but there will sometimes be days when you might struggle to get through the whole day without charging.

Video still didn't display properly, and navigating through it is a nightmare in the Gallery and Video applications - you'll need to download additional software to make it easier, and that's something we're never happy recommending users should do.


Whether you like the HTC Desire Z or not is will depend on your love for a physical keyboard. If you want one desperately and love Android with a fiery passion, then the Desire Z is for you.

However, if you can take it or leave it, we'd suggest you look elsewhere. While the Android 2.2 OS works well and plays nicely within the phone, you're carrying round a rather substantial amount of extra heft with the Desire Z.

The new HTC Sense is a step forward in terms of an impressive UI, and the addition of things like Locations can only be a boon.

It's a decent attempt at bringing it all together in one tidy package - we just wish the hinge was a little more solid, as other than that, it's a top phone.

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