Review: HTC Desire Z

Do you remember the first HTC slider the Blue Angel? It was made in 2004; since then HTC has made many phones, and I think that this the best QWERTY keyboard phone to date – not just from HTC, but from all mobile phones. You might be looking at this phone wondering if it is T-Mobile G2. For hardware purposes, yes, although in the software department it is different.

Hardware: External
We will start with the thing you see first when you look at the phone, the 3.7 inch 800 X 480 SLCD touch screen. Although it is vibrant, gives off good colour contrast and viewing angles, it’s not as good as an AMOLED. Right below the screen are the four capacitive touch buttons for Home, Menu, Back, and Search. Although having capacitive touch is a great idea, I sometimes hit them while in the middle of a text. Surrounding the outside of the screen and buttons is a brushed aluminum bezel. Placed below the screen, the button intersecting the brushed aluminum is the track pad/status light. This made it extremely easy to navigate long web pages without having to flick the screen every time. On the top/front is the speaker for your ear and a hidden LED light for your status of charging. Around the outside there are two buttons: the power/wake/unlock button on the top right hand side, and the designated camera button on the bottom right hand side. There is a volume rocker on the left side, and in my opinion it’s in a weird place. It should have been moved up or to the centre, as I often hit it accidentally. On the top of the phone there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack and on the bottom is the microphone. The back of the phone is my favourite piece, because it has a full aluminum back battery cover with plastic around the outside, a loud speaker, as well as 5MP camera that shoots 720p videos with flash and auto-focus. Behind that battery cover you will find your 1300MaH battery, as well as your SIM card slot and your microSD card slot that comes with an 8GB installed. When comparing this phone to its brother phone, the Desire, it is 0.1 inches bigger and an ounce and a half heavier, due to the aluminum and the flip-pop-out keyboard. The keyboard’s keys are spaced out nicely and have two programmable shortcut buttons. The plastic on the back of this phone makes it really easy to grab on to when it’s fully flipped open or closed. The way you open and close this phone is how it got its name, the Z hinge, it enables the keyboard to flip up and over the keyboard, making the top row of buttons accessible to your fingers and allowing you to type with ease. Although it did feel like it was very easy to get open at times, a little bit of a stiffer spring would be nice.

Hardware: Internal
The Desire Z has the same internals as it’s T-Mobile partner, the G2, with a 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 chipset (the second generation of this processer that is more efficient and runs faster than the first generation 1GHz chipsets), as well as 512MB of RAM, 1.5GB of ROM, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS as well as FM radio.

The Desire Z is running on a lower clock speed than its 1GHz Froyo cousins, although it’s technically faster because it’s more efficient. Thanks to the new 800MHz MSM7230 chipset and optimized OS, we have a chart-topping Quadrant score averaging 1400. It’s just like any other HTC device with the usual Froyo specialties, like live wallpapers, WiFi hotspot, Flash support, Google backup, and so on. But one new tweak is that the Start tray shows your recently opened apps. Another subtle change is that the right button on the home screen’s bottom tray has been boosted by a few new personalizations such as live wallpapers, HTC scenes, and ringtones. If you're a big fan of HTC Leap, A.K.A helicopter view, you'll be pleased to know that you can now hold down on any panel thumbnail and then drag it around to rearrange the order.
Overall, the new Sense with the add-on and its little tweaks here and there make it the best (from what I think) OS to lay over Android.

720p, check.
8MP, check.
Auto focus, check.
Flash, check.
As well as many effects and the advantage of changing the ISO, brightness, and saturation, you can do auto focus by tapping on the screen on what you want to focus on and then press the shutter button on the screen or (my favourite button on the whole phone), the 2-stage camera shutter button. The camera defaults to 800 x 480 resolution, although in the specs it states 720 p resolution.

Final Thoughts
Overall, I thought this phone was very good. Everything complemented each other nicely, from the exterior to the interior interior and software. The build quality of the phone was good with no big gaps or misaligned panels, and the pop out keyboard is excellently spaced out. Internally I would have liked to see the new 1GHZ processor, as well as have 720p video enabled right of the box. Sense flows nicely over the stock Android OS, and is a nice addition for this phone. I was very happy with this phone and would highly recommend it to anyone. I give it an 8/10.