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Handset Review: HTC Desire Z

Desire Z is a superb smartphone with tons of features crammed up in a smallish smartphone.


PerformanceLooksQwerty KeypadEase of use



When it comes to based smartphones, not many handsets have a physical keypad. Neither any manufacturer is trying to make such devices.
The HTC Desire Z is among those very few Qwerty keypad based Android smartphones.

Its big bold size along with grey and brushed aluminium finished metal body are enough to attracts eyeballs. In terms of ruggedness, this phone is a star. An occasional drop on a relatively softer surface will do no harm to it but that doesn’t imply that you be careless with it.

The slider mechanism, as compared to most of the Qwerty smartphones, is a notch above. This phone’s keyboard slider mechanism works on the swivel out pattern, like the one found on the N97, but without the angular placement. So the keyboard sits flat with the phone, making it more comfortable to use.

The ‘swivel out’ design work in three different hinges giving extra stability and durability to the whole thing. Even in the longer run the three hinge design will definitely prove better than sliders and swirlers.

The Qwerty keypad has the right pitch for people even with fatter fingers. The keyboard also has two programmable keys that can be used as shortcut keys.

A big point of concern is the thin ribbon cable, which connects the phone’s lower and upper part, as dust and dirt could easily settle in these areas that could create some serious issues in the longer run.

The Desire Z features a magnificent 3.7 inch capacitive touch based display, the most important and useful feature of this phone. The screen delivers crisp and vibrant visuals and definitely gives best possible support for recently added games on the android marketplace.

Talking about the operating system, the Desire Z runs on Android 2.2 Froyo, slightly older for a relatively newer phone but it works fine. People at HTC have modified the operating system and have added the HTC Sense to Froyo, which in turn works exceptionally fine and adds a few tweaks and enhancements to the stock system .

The phone runs on the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform but surprisingly despite having a 1 GHz processor, HTC chose a slightly underpowered 800 scorpion for this device along with the stock Adreno 205 graphics processing engine. But this does not mean that the phone is slower but a more powerful processor would have been better.

During the whole testing operation, the phone never got hung, although with too many applications running the performance goes a few notches down but not something to break the heart of an Android fan. With 1.5GB of on board memory which doubles up as and 512 RAM, this phone performs flawlessly and without any hiccups or freezes nor are there any delays in execution of operations.

The Desire Z also features a very good five camera with a dual power flash. The camera does a brilliant job in bright light conditions and a good job in lower light with the help of the flash.

Since the camera is placed on extreme left, during close ups the flash might prove futile and may cast a bright halo on one side of the pictures.

Videos, shot by this camera, are impressively smooth and flicker free. There’s also a selection of entertaining filters and effects that you can add to your snaps. Nothing out of the ordinary but these effects can sure zing your shots up a bit.

The Web is impressive and supports multi-touch gestures. With support for and 802.11b/g/n WiFi, the Desire Z comes fully loaded as far as wireless connectivity comes in to play.

You can open almost every daily use applications on this and still somehow it manages to keep going. For multimedia, it sports the default Android player, but you are free to add many more as you like and can download from the Android marketplace.

Playing games is of great fun on this device. With an HD capable display and a dedicated graphics engine, this smartphone has got enough muscle to take on the most strenuous of games and run them flawlessly.

Battery life is one of the major drawbacks of this phone. With a number of applications running and display set at bright level, it won’t last more than a day. Although users can activate the battery saver feature to save the battery but still the 1300 battery does not seem adequate for such a device. The battery should have been alt-least a 1600 mAh or more considering the weight of this phone which is on the much higher side.

To conclude, the Desire Z is a superb smartphone with tons of features crammed up in a smallish smartphone. It impresses at almost all the fronts, except the battery and the fragile parts which might turn out to be a problem in the future.

Agreed that it is a slider Qwerty keypad based phone but still does not hides the fact about the heaviness of the device.


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