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
Could this be the phone that you Desire?
HTC Desire Z
Member Name: SpiderJamb
HTC Desire Z
Advantages: Nice Camera, Easy to use QWERTY keyboard, Android Market support
Disadvantages: Camera can be fiddly to use, Short Battery Life
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.
Summary: Not quite an iPhone beater, but one of the better mid-range smartphones out there
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