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HTC Desire Z Smartphone Review

By on December 14, 2010
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The HTC Desire gets a keyboard.

Good: SenseUI & HTCSense.com and Zippy performance
Bad: Big and bulky, No Arabic
Price: AED 2500
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The original HTC Desire was one of the best Android based devices for its time. It was fast, sleek and HTC timely upgraded it to the latest version 2.2 of Android. I was thus looking forward to the two new models announced by HTC a few weeks back- the Desire Z with a full landscape sliding keyboard and the Desire HD with a massive 4.3” screen.

The Desire Z is the first one to land in our labs and to tell you the truth, I was a bit shocked when I picked it up the first time around. While most upgrades of phones tend to be lighter and sleeker, HTC makes absolutely no apologies about beefing it up- the desire Z is 33% heavier and 18% thicker than the original- yes I know it has a hardware keyboard but I think the Desire Z is strictly a man’s phone and by that, I mean that you need larger hands to handle it comfortably.

Packaged in a very standard brick-like box, the Desire Z comes bundled with your usual assortment of accessories like the charger and the headset. An 8GB MicroSD card is pre-installed beneath the battery which means that you will need to power the device off if you want to switch your expansion card. Speaking of powering up, one of the things that HTC showcased about these devices was its quick boot which work wonderfully on a warm-boot- three seconds and you’re back into the Smartphone but cold booting takes about the same time as other Android devices- about a minute.

The construction quality on the Desire Z is pretty impressive- the phone feels incredibly solid in your hand with no creaking parts at all. Even the “jump” mechanism of bringing the keyboard out is quite tight and my repeated attempts to try and loosen it failed. The device generally feels good, but I found the metallic battery cover a bit of an overkill and an attempt to intentionally pimp the device. A 5 MegaPixel camera along with a xx flash sit above the battery cover while a sliding switch next to the battery cover opens it up and allows access to the 1300mAh battery.

Another complain I have is that the bottom row of buttons are not actual buttons anymore but touch based- I prefer the actual buttons on the original Desire. Below the buttons is the trackpad which I think is a bit useless on Android based devices as the touch screen is capable enough to navigate the device. The volume rocker is placed on the left side along with the USB connector below it while the right side has a two step camera button. Lastly, the lock switch and the 3.5mm audio jack are located on the top of the device. The back side features the 5 MegaPixel autofocus Camera along with an LED flash.

Internally, the Desire Z uses the Qualcomm MSM 7230 CPU running at 800 MHz along with 512MB RAM and 1.5GB ROM. GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 radios are included along with HSPA for high speed Internet connectivity.

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About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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