HTC Desire Z review

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

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The upgraded Sense UI present on the HTC Desire HD is also back in full force on the HTC Desire Z too, and it's equally as good and well-stocked, despite the phone only packing a MSM 7230 Qualcomm 800MHz processor.

HTC desire z review

Packing Android 2.2 and the new Sense UI, there's not much more HTC can pack in here - that's until Gingerbread arrives, of course.

HTC desire z review

The main home screen is flanked by three either side, where you can drop a huge number of widgets and icons to customise the phone as you want.

Applications are accessed by pressing the small triangle in the bottom left-hand corner, and dragging the notifications bar down from the top will show you any messages or notifications you need to be aware of.

But that's all offered by nearly all Android phones - it's the extra stuff that HTC has popped on the Desire Z that we're interested in.

HTC desire z review

The first new addition is the 'palette' key in the bottom right-hand corner; it lets you alter the theme, design and layout of the Desire Z in a multitude of ways. (The same menu can be accessed by long-pressing on an empty part of the home screen).

HTC desire z review

Here you can choose new skins, to make the phone's OS look slightly different, or choose from a number of pre-configured widget and wallpaper layouts, each designed for different tasks. For instance, the Entertainment offering stocks the FM radio, FriendStream social networking and Music Player widgets.

What's really neat is the internal GPU of the Desire Z is able to flick through these pre-configured options with a delightful slickness, and if you want to get more, then simply click the 'Get More' option, and you're taken to another online portal, which looks the same as the on-phone experience.

Sure, you need to sign in to the HTC Sense service (which you'll need to do anyway to get all the benefits of the features) but the speed and ease of which you can alter your phone is almost breathtaking.

The overall operation of the HTC Desire Z is as good as anything we've seen; there were a few more very, very slight instances where the phone would judder and lag a touch, but this had the effect of breaking the spell of complete speed rather than proving to be a real irritation.

HTC desire z review

The live wallpapers, easy widget manipulation (long press on one to move it around, remove it by dropping it on the rubbish bin or new to the upgrade Sense UI, drop it onto the edit option to change its settings) and Leap View (pinch the screen to see all your home screens in real time as thumbnails) are another indication that HTC has really got the interface right on the Desire Z.

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