Product Type: HTC Smartphone
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
Is the HTC Desire Z desirable?
HTC Desire Z
Member Name: nevikrose
HTC Desire Z
Advantages: Sleek design, quick processing, very clear call quality.
Disadvantages: keyboard causes more problems than it solves.
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.
Summary: I still reccommend the HTC range to smartphone shoppers, just perhaps a different model.