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I have owned this phone for a couple of years and was overall really pleased with it. It runs on Android and so has all the great Google apps on it, with plenty more available through Google Market store.
The interface of the phone doesn't seem as responsive as some other Android phones - I find that apps can take a while to load, which is particularly frustrating when wanting to read a new text message. When switching the phone on it takes a loooooong time to start up too, which is equally frustrating.
The battery life of the phone tends to be less than a day for me - this is with not really using any other apps other than Whatsapp. If going on a long journey where I can't charge my phone then I have to take extra batteries with me.
My favourite thing about the phone is the pull out QWERTY keyboard. This is one of the few newer smartphones that isn't purely touchscreen. I cannot stand typing on a touchscreen phone and being able to use a physical keyboard is so much more pleasant than on a touchscreen. The keyboard with the Desire Z is easy to use and durable. It does add some bulk to the phone, but for me the benefits of the physical keyboard outweigh any added bulk. The phone does still feel fairly small and fits nicely in my hand. It is much faster typing on the physical keyboard than on the touchscreen keyboard.
The camera on the phone is acceptable, although do I find it difficult to take photographs that aren't blurry. This problem seems to have increased the longer I have had the phone - unless the phone is resting on a stable surface the pictures come out shaky looking.
Overall the phone is durable, I am clumsy and have dropped it on more than a few occasions but it is still running! The build quality feels much better than a Blackberry too. Some people have complained that the keyboard feels like it is flimsy and could break but I have had no problems with this - to me it feels durable, and has withstood many knocks so far!
I'm no good with all the technical stuff when it comes to phones and such, so I'll just stick to my personal opinion of the phone itself. My Blackberry was the first smart phone I'd ever owned, and although I loved the QWERTY keyboard, after just 6 months of use, I was sick of the phone already. Shortest lived phone ever. Anyway, wanting a HTC I began researching which one would be the best for me. I managed to narrow it down to a few options, but this one caught my eye. I liked the fact that it was touch screen because well, that meant a bigger screen for internet browsing etc., but that it also had a QWERTY keyboard underneath. Despite being so used to touch screen technology, I cannot stand touch screen keyboards. One, I like having the physical buttons, and two, touch screen doesn't respond quick enough for me to type as quick as with buttons. That would be my. Main frustration I think. So this phone seemed like the perfect option for me.
The good points...
This phone, along with the frequent software updates, and extensive choice of apps to choose from is great for any smart phone user. Plus, it's quick processing speed, and great visual display, means I can pretty much cover all of the basic tasks I'd normally carry out on my laptop. The phone being very easy to use, has actually meant that I now use my phone more than my laptop! Well, for things such as general internet browsing and online shopping, using my phone for this purpose has proved to be very convenient. I've also been able to connect my phone to the wi-fi to save my data usage on my phone's network. The battery life isn't that bad either, I'd say just as good as any smart phone really (generally requires charging every 2 days if not heavily using the internet). Another thing I like about this phone is how the the keyboard has backlight, so you can easily type in the dark or dim lighting, without having to struggle to see the letters. Another thin I was impressed with, is how not only do you have the pull out keyboard, but you can also use the touch screen keyboard either vertical or horizontally. The memory isn't bad either. I have thousands of messages (too lazy to delete them) and hundreds of pictures, a good handful of apps, and whatever else I have taking up memory. So for the average person, I'd say that's pretty adequate. If it isn't enough however, you just simply buy a micro SD card, with a memory size to suit you.
I've been using this phone now for about 9 months now, and so far so good. I wanted to wait at least 6 months before i reviewed it to make sure I had a good enough opinion. I have to say the HTC Desire Z is by far, the best phone I've owned so far. I'm always getting complimented on it by people saying that they really like it. And that's before they've barely touched it! Surely that can only be a good thing? On that note, it's design overall is pretty stylish too. Although the whole grey tone does seem a little boring, no worries! You can always purchase a case for it. Another good point, is you can choose how you want to lock your phone. Either without any security lock, a password, a code, or a pattern lock. There are hundreds of apps you can download to jazz up your phone even more, or even games to keep you amused which are available from the Google Play Store.
Now for the bad points...
It doesn't have the best of battery lives, but if you're used to smart phones, then you're probably already looking into this expecting to charge it every night anyway. Most of the time I can get away with every two days, and that's with using it quite a lot throughout the day. Also sometimes, if I flip the screen up/down too quick it switches the phone off. Although this can be annoying at times (own fault though) it only takes 30 seconds if that, for it to start back up again. Another bad point, although this won't matter to some, is that you can't customize the colour of the LED notification light, like you can on a Blackberry. Which is a shame. Plus, my phone seems to think that actually, I do want my Facebook contacts syncing to my phonebook, despite me telling it not to do that.
Other than the bad points mentioned, I don't think there are any others I can think of or have come across yet. There really are a lot more good points to this phone than bad. I think if I were to mention all the cool things I liked about it, I'd be here for quite a while!
My overall opinion on the HTC Desire Z is that it is a great phone for my needs, and is the best phone I've had. I love it. It's a good choice of phone for those who want a bit of both, touch screen and physical keyboard. Or even a good phone for easing you into the revelation that is touch screen smart phones.
I just thought I'd also mention that I typed this whole review on my HTC Desire Z.
My main reason for purchasing the Desire Z was for the QWERTY keyboard slide-out attachment. I have mixed opinions on touch screen keyboards, and the keyboards found on Blackberry phones looked too small for me to use. The Desire Z has a simple slide mechanism that allows you to flip out the keyboard, turn the phone on its side and type out a quick text message without much fuss. Since I'm a texter more than a caller, this was a godsend and allowed me to type what I wanted without worrying about autocorrect or trying to push the screen to get the right letters.
The other interesting feature was the camera, which is 5 megapixels and takes both photos and videos. The camera is pretty clear, but I do find that there is often blurry pictures taken when I try to click the button down and my hand shakes somewhat. This can be countered by tapping the screen to take the photo, removing some of the shaky hand syndrome, but it's not always possible. I often have to take two or three photos just to make sure I get one decent one. I've become accustomed to the camera now, so I know how hard to push down on the camera button located on the side of the phone, and how long to hold it in place before the actual photo is taken - there's about a 4 second pause before the actual picture is taken, but whenever I've let others take photos, there is a little learning curve involved.
This phone is Android compatible, although I don't appear to have the same version installed on my phone as my friends with other HTC Desire variants. Whether this is down to me not prompting for updates, or a lack of availability, I'm not sure, but perhaps the auto-update system should let me know when there is a system upgrade available, rather than relying on me to search for them.
The Android Market is easy to use, and the selection of free apps is vast. I tend to go for the multimedia kind of apps, such as Facebook widgets and Comixology's Comic Store app, but there are games available, such as: Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and other big-name Mobile apps.
The only annoying feature is that the phone is designed to work with your social media websites and tries to sync itself with those accounts almost immediately. One issue I had was a massive amount of my Facebook contacts being imported into my phone book, filling it with acquaintances and friends who I would never actually call up, but because they have their numbers on Facebook, my phone decided they deserved a place in my phone book. I wish there were easier ways to keep my actual phone book separate from my Facebook contacts, but if it is possible, it involves fiddling about with the more complex settings.
The web browser works well, although I do notice that it seems to give up if there are too many images on one website, leaving blank boxes instead of images. It's relatively fast, although whether this is down to my connection or the phone is not clear. The browser reacts to the way you are holding the phone, so if you tilt it to open up the QWERTY keyboard, the page tilts with you, giving you a more landscape view of the website.
The battery life is another complaint of mine - it tends to last about 18 hours, meaning that it requires charging almost every night. If I'm on a train journey and I spend about half hour browsing the internet, almost a quarter of my battery life gets chewed up. An app I downloaded which tells me where the power usage is coming from said that it was the display brightness that was eating up my battery - I've since reduced to the brightness considerably, but still have seen no real change to the power consumption. I think this is common of all smartphones nowadays - gone are the days of my old Nokia 3210, which would hold its charge for a week.
This is a nice little phone, although I suspect it isn't quite an 'iPhone beater' - the iPhone certainly boasts a nicer looking menu system, and seems to be supported by more apps and products on iTunes. I do appreciate the QWERTY keyboard and the ability to write text messages quicker than I would do usually. I would recommend this phone to others who prefer the keyboard function, but if you are looking for a smartphone - there are others out there with other benefits such as: long battery life, better cameras, better operating systems, whereas the Desire Z's unique selling point is the flip out keyboard.
A friend and myself both bought a phone the same day. mine is the htc desire z. i paid half the price for it than my friend did for a different phone. This phone does EVERYTHING the more expensive phone does. OK, its a little thicker, but overall, its not BIG, its got a lovely big screen mind. and the best bit, a pop out qwerty keyboard! I can stay connected to all my sopcial networks, sort out business events, the lot, with this phone! I cant reccomend it enough to anyone! dont waste your money on more expensive phones, its really not worth it!!
I was a lucky little monkey as I acquired this phone for free off my sister who had it for a few weeks, decided she didn't like it, then went back to her old iPhone and gave me her HTC. For all you techie sorts, it runs, like all HTC's on an Android operating system and has 800MhZ of processing power. With a respectable 1.5GB internal memory and 512MB of RAM, it also has internal GPS antenna, bluetooth, a micro-USB port and space for a micro SD card.
As per the current fashion, it is a touch screen phone but has the additional benefit of having a slide out QWERTY keyboard. Like most phones with a QWERTY keyboard, the keyboard is tiny and the buttons are difficult to press for anyone with normal sized fingers but it is still handy for those who don't like trying to type text messages on touch screen phones.
Partly due to the slide under keyboard, this phone is a bit of a 'brick', weighing in at 180 grams and measuring 4.69x2.38x0.56 inches. It isn't as sleep as the iPhone or as easy to slip in your pocket (or, indeed, into a small bag). In general, it looks very similar to other HTC phones with a large touch screen taking up most of the space and only one relatively large, square button on the front of the phone.
The user interface of the phone is rather different to the iPhone and takes a bit of getting used to. When you start to use the phone you'll be faced with the home screen. You can put icons that will lead to your favourite apps on here so you can find them more easily and it there is a large clock and weather update on the top of the screen. You can scroll both left and right from your home screen to take you to Facebook friend feeds or to your Messages overview etc.
As you can expect from a smart phone, you can link it to your email accounts so that you will get an alert as an email comes through and can also link your contacts list to your Facebook account so that your contacts will show all the information details that are on your Facebook for your friends and also attach your friends' profile photos to your contacts.
Like most mobile phones, the HTC Desire Z has a 5MP camera and HD video recording. The camera is quick and easy to use although is perhaps a little likely to blur at times. Photos and videos can easily be uploaded to your computer by means of the cable that attaches to the phone charger.
A flashlight function makes use of the camera flash to provide light whenever you need it. This might sound like a bit of a gimmick but it is surprisingly a strong light and effective.
Downloading apps is easy through the Market. In contrast to the iPhone, a lot of Android apps are free (such as the ubiquitous Angry Birds)! There's a good breadth of apps available but I, personally, think iPhone apps are better. However, this might change over time as Android phones become more common.
A nice feature of this phone is the internal GPS. Used alongside Google Maps it works great and I have used it to find my way when I've been lost more than a few times!
The talk time of the phone is meant to be 400 minutes and standby time is meant to be 430 hours but I think these times are a bit adventurous suggestions. I need to charge my phone every 2-3 days if it has been on standby and barely used. If I was using it a lot then I'd need to charge it every night. The longest I've ever talked on it for was just over an hour but that emptied the battery pretty quickly down to about half of its charge.
Like most smart phones, this model is fairly pricey. Even thought this particular phone has been on the market for quite a while, it is still retailing at £244.99 for a sim free model on Amazon. Still, that is considerably cheaper than an iPhone and most smart phones are obtained on contracts, anyway. Although this phone certainly does the job and is fairly user friendly once you get accustomed to it, it also seems to have a habit of freezing (both my phone and a friend's phone has this problem). My phone also regularly seems to delete the names associated with my contacts and leave me with just the numbers. Another friend has an HTC on which the alarm regularly fails.
Although HTC has adopted certain aspects of the iPhone (such as 'stretching' the screen with ur fingers to enlarge images), I still feel the iPhone is far easier to navigate and use as well as easier on the eye. However, if you need a lower budget option, then this may be the phone for you.
I am reviewing this phone after 6 months of use it is excellent!
I am not usually a fan of touch screen phones so I chose this because it has a full sized keyboard tucked away under the screen that folds out using the very impressive Z hinge. The action of the z hinge is excellent and it feels very solid in your hand. The keyboard is excellent with the keys just the right size and spacing.
I am now getting used to the touch screen so its just as well that the touch screen is very responsive. The screen is very clear which is great as I have started watching episodes of tv shows on it on my way to work.
The android OS is great. Very easy to use and the app store is growing.
The GPS and mapping system on this phone is second to none. It comes packaged with a premium navigation package and I now use this instead of my dedicated sat nav.
Over all this is a fantastic phone and I'd say im a full paid up member of the android army
Having had my previous phone for over 3 years I decided I needed a new one. I didn't want a blackberry as nearly everyone seems to have one nowadays and so I went for a HTC on a recommendation and when this model came on special offer I went for it.
Calling and Texting:
The phone, most importantly, is very good at doing what a phone does. Calling people is very easy, there is a shortcut to it on the homepage and entering numbers into the contact list is very simple, and if you get signed up to facebook straight away, it will add the numbers of your friends into it also (if they have put their numbers on Facebook) which is a very time saving idea.
Texting is made very easy thanks to the qwerty keyboard which is easy to use and although I don't text that often, I can type quite quickly now! If however, you only want to type a short text then a standard keyboard will come up on the touch screen where in order to type the letter 'c' for example you have to press the number two three times, even this is very easy to use as the touch screen is very big and therefore so is the keyboard itself.
Well when this arrived in the post, the box itself was very small, only marginally longer than the phone itself. Even though this is quite a big phone it still fits nicely in my hand and is very, very easy to use.
Well I'm not one of these people who knows all about mobile phones and electronics but I do know quite a bit, and this phone has so many features I struggle to even use half of them! One of the main features has to be the qwerty keyboard. This flips out so easily I can do it with one hand and is just the perfect size - big enough to easily type, small enough so as not to look out of place. The touch screen is very good, it is very big and very sensitive, perfect.
Well, lots of people have complained about the battery life but I don't think it's that bad! For me it can easily last for at least a day despite it being connected to the internet, and on full screen brightness. Much better than some of my friends' phones Blackberry etc.
Value for money:
As I mentioned earlier I found this phone on special offer (£200 Carphone Warehouse) and as I was looking for a phone, a HTC in particular, I went for this. In my opinion this is well worth it. It does everything I need it to and more, I honestly couldn't ask for a better phone for the price I paid.
The App Store:
The android app store is vast. There are lots of games to choose from ones which can cost over a fiver to ones that are free. I have downloaded some great apps from there, and most of them have been free, all you need is an internet connection and you can browse and download the app you need in seconds. As you get the phone there are already some apps installed on the phone, these include Facebook, Twitter and Amazon MP3 which I find very good as they offer very low prices for even new popular albums.
Browsing on the HTC Desire Z is an overall pleasurable experience, browsing is very quick, the page you need opens up in, I find, an average of under 5 seconds and typing, thanks to the qwerty keyboard is quick and easy, also, thanks to the touch screen, zooming in and out and selecting the correct link on google is very easy.
The HTC Desire Z has a 5MP camera which is fantastic. I recently took it on a school trip as I needed some pictures for my Geography Coursework and all of the pictures were of very good quality and show lots of detail.
Overall I feel that this is without doubt the best phone that I have ever had and also the best phone that I have ever used. I would highly recommend this to anyone whatever their age or phone expertise.
After a fairly catastrophic crash from my 3 year old Blackberry I decided I should finally get on board with the touch screen revolution. My partner has one of the first android phones, the Google Nexus, and while I have always been impressed with it's functions and design I couldn't quite bring myself to jump in the deep end.
I felt I still needed a keyboard, at least for some things.
The Desire Z took it's sweet time coming out in the UK and it's still not offered on some networks, I ended up ordering it through the Carphone Warehouse on one of their Orange deals. A decision that was worth it's weight in gold since they almost immediately merged their signal with T-Mobile and meant I could actually make calls...but that is another story for another review.
The Desire Z is a hybrid phone almost, it came after it's brother the Desire and the Desire HD, which struck me as rather odd. It has the same touch screen functionality as the others in the range but has a slide out keyboard that is full QWERTY for longer bouts of typing.
The phone itself is well made, it's sleek, solid design with no rough edges and it certainly doesn't feel cheap. It's a little heavy, compared to it's peers, but the added weight only serves to feel more reassuring in my pocket. The phone isn't bulky on its own but I feel like it needs a case to keep it safe for scratches and bumps and that immediately makes it seem almost brick-like, enough that several people have commented on it.
I thought my most used feature would be the QWERTY keyboard, however, I found the touchscreen pad to be intuative enough that I use it often for texts and entry on searches, only resorting to the keyboard for longer emails. The keyboard itself has resulted in a few irritating quirks. The most annoying of these is the fact that flipping out the keyboard unlocks the phone, since it's very easy to carelessy pick up the phone and have the keyboard slide out you then have to lock the phone manually before putting it in your pocket; not a big deal bit an irritation nonetheless. The second is that the shortkey fuctions change when you use the keyboard to enter text instead of the touchpad. Sliding out the keyboard chaged the orientation of the screen automatically and means that some key functions are not bound the same way. While this is by no means a tradegy, it took me a few frustrating minutes to relocate some of the punctuation symbols when I first used it. I still sometimes forget where to find the '@' button.
The android system is fast and responsive and the only time I find the phone hangs is if I have it charging on USB. This counts for a lot with me as i tend to be quite a hard taskmaster to my phones and I dont like to be kept waiting by technology.
The interface is mostly intuative, and it can throw you if you install an app that changes things around a bit without you realising. Mostly however, it doesn't take long to aquaint yourself with the phone. I don't like the cluttered 'all applications' menu, I would prefer to be able to sort them into groups, but with many customisable homescreens that is mostly possible. Widgets too, larger, limited visible information screens that you can place on a home screen can make the phone behave as all sorts of things. A weather watcher, a stock monitor, a news feed, a world of warcraft portal, a calendar...all of these things and more are available to place on your homescreens that with a couple of swipes can be at your fingertips. It's astounding what technology can provide us with these days.
I reccommend you install 'appbrain' instead of using the marketplace alone to look for apps as it includes much more functionality.
I like the built in browser, I like the ability to pinch zoom and scroll, I havent installed an alternative browser because I havent felt the need but I do notice that if my phone loses it's data signal sometimes it won't let the browser connect when it finds it again and requires a brief 'turn it off and on again' quick fix, same goes for Twitter and the news feed. Kinda frustrating.
Phone calls are consistently clear and the volume range goes from silent to really quite loud, since my Grandmother speaks very quietly on the phone this is an excellent feature. I dont like the built in address book though, and I have yet to find one I like enough to stick with. HTC likes to synch all of your contacts so they are in one place, it will look for link from social networking, email, phonecalls, you name it. Not only does this seem a little big brotherish to me, but it also means that if it bugs out or misses one you can end up with double contacts and it can sometimes get a little messy. I see the point of it, I just dont like it.
I think overall I would have prefered to have gone with a HTC Desire or Desire HD rather than the Z. It was a nice idea, but I think the keyboard causes more problems than it solves. I still think that HTC is the best option for smartphones out there and having used both, it still beats the iPhone hands down.
I moved on from my HTC HD2 simply because of the low battery life. Everything was great with the HD, beautiful screen, etc, I could have possibly had a spare battery, but with the unresponsive touch screen it was the last straw. The HD2 just had to go.
Now, I have replaced it with the Desire Z, and while reluctant to leave the windows op. system, have been more than pleased with the Android 2.2 replacement. The browser is naturally different - and as I use mainly the web site, www.mycall.mobi for calls and number look-up (excellent one click calling mobile site) I did have some serious (but unfounded) apprehension about how mycall.mobi would look, and make my calls, on the Android browser.
There was no problems at all! The site and the calling worked perfectly.
The Desire Z model, with the keyboard, I believe has really "raised the bar" on these mobiles. Until something new is found to replace or extend the life of the battery, there is always going to be a trade off, with screen size, battery weight, etc. The desire seems to have traded this dilemma just about right, with a large useful screen combined with a 1-2 day battery life. The screen is brilliantly coloured, the cap. touch is responsive, far better than the HD, and even the web sites look better. Would I? Yes, I'd buy another one. The Desire Z is, arguably, at the top of my selection list, for a while now at least.