HTC Desire Z Review

HTC has come a long way since the first Android device HTC Dream, and Desire Z is only the second slide-out QWERTY Android phone from the company till now. The device was recently launched in India for a price of INR 25,990 and is a welcome addition for QWERTY lovers. The only other decent phone with similar form-actor and FroYo in the Indian market is original Motorola Milestone. IF you are looking for an upgrade from Milestone, Desire Z might be the right choice for you. Check out more in our detailed review below and do let us know about your experience with the device in the comments. 

Hardware:
Similar to other HTC devices, Desire Z sports a solid build with both plastic and aluminum chipped in. Desire Z looks high-end and the tweaks-like release hatch for battery cover is a  welcome edition. Personally, I don’t like the traditional battery cover release mechanisms in which you have to strive hard to remove the cover.
Phone is heavier and thicker considering the slide-out QWERTY keyboard.In the front is the optical trackpad, standard touch-buttons for Android actions. On the side, you have a dedicated camera button, battery cover release hatch, volume rocker and a mini-USB port. On the top you will find the usual 3.5 mm headset jack and power button.
The SIM and the microSD card slots are inside the battery cover and you will have to remove battery if you want to change them. Battery is 1300 mAh Li-ion.

Geeky Details:
HTC Desire Z features Qualcomm MSM7230 CPU clocked at 800MHz, which is also a part of Acer Liquid Metal. It is seriously a performance giant, don’t go by the CPU clock. It performs brilliantly and the benchmarks below are a proof of it.. Other internals include 512MB of RAM, and 1.5GB of ROM with microSD card expandable to 32GB.

Software:
HTC Sense with Android 2.2 is a total winner and though some might prefer a vanilla Android build but the usability tweaks that come with Sense are worth it. While the Sense experience is pretty much same as the original Desire, HTC has put in some tweaks like recent apps in notification tray, personalisation options via a palette key in the right hand bottom.
There are several pre-configured wallpaper layouts and widgets, and you can always download more if you want.
Coming to Android 2.2, you will get all the goodness of FroYo here, from JIT compiler to Apps on SD card. You don’t have to worry about internal storage space anymore. HTC has already announced that Desire Z will get Gingerbread update, so if you are going for this device, you are in luck..

Pre-Installed Apps: HTC has chipped in some of the most useful apps in the phone, so that you don’t have to run to the Android Market as soon as you buy the device.

  • Adobe Reader, Facebook, SoundHound, Stocks, and Twitter. Along with these you get HTC’s                 own apps like Peep, HTC Likes, Locations, Teeter and more.
There are some bugs in Sense, which we hope, will be removed in the coming updates. One of them causes problem with notification bar that gets struck at times. 

Camera:
Desire Z’s 5 MP camera  is pretty decent and you can rely on it in needy situations. Don’t expect it to replace your point and shoot but still it is good enough to get nice shots even when lighting is not great.
Focusing can be a problem in dim-light areas.
Camera settings are the usual and not many to get you confused. You can play around with ISO, White Balance, Resolution among others. You will need a microSD card to click images, it won’t let you save in internal memory.

Battery Life and Connectivity:
It packs 1300mAh battery inside, and we found that it performed excellently in daily usage, even with constant Twitter/Facebook updates, lots of email, browsing, constant WiFi connection and phone calls. But, it would have been great if company had put in a 1500 mAh one. If you are a mid-heavy users, you will have to plug-in a charger every night, else next day you will be running around office looking for HTC charger or USB cable.
Connectivity options are the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and USB, all of them working perfectly. It comes with HSPA connectivity [14.4 Mbps download], which,combined with Wi-Fi hotspot can help you get data connection on the go.
Display:
HTC Desire Z comes with a 3.7 inch S-LCD with a maximum resolution of 480×800 pixels.It is bright and colorful and there is no blurring around icons or screen edges. Pinch to Zoom works flawlessly and so is the virtual keyboard. I am not much of a fan of slide-out QWERTY keyboards, so most of my typing was on the virtual keyboard itself.
However the touch buttons below display are a big disappointment and they can be very annoying at times.  They donot responds at times and you have touch them again and again. I hope HTC works this out in the upcoming models. 

Wrap-Up:
HTC has done a remarkable job with HTC Desire Z in making a solid and  professional smartphone. Apart from small issues with HTC Sense, the Z-hinge, Desire Z is the decent piece of hardware at INR 25,000. Those of you looking for an Android device with QWERTY, Desire Z is the right choice. The upcoming Gingerbread update certainly makes the deal sweeter.


Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav Shukla is the editor of AndroidOS.in. If you'd like to reach him, drop an email at 'gaurav@androidos.in' or connect with him on Twitter (@gauravshukla).

3 thoughts on “HTC Desire Z Review

    Sachin

    (April 12, 2011 - 9:46 am)

    are all its features are really useful in India?

    Reenesh

    (March 29, 2011 - 10:24 pm)

    Battery life is not so great. I am a medium user of the apps and I need to plug in the charger every 2 days.

    Rakesh

    (March 29, 2011 - 8:22 pm)

    How abt the Battery Life…….??
    since at first it might come for long time i guess but htc later on get’s drained so fast…..!!!!

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