Hands on: HTC Desire Z

It's official - the HTC Desire has spawned a range of Android smartphones. We just got touchy-feely with the flagship Desire HD, and now we've got a preview of its slightly-lower-specced, keyboard toting brother, the Desire Z. Decisions, decisions...

 

Look and feel
Like the Desire HD, it's made of light aluminium, but instead of a screen that stretches over its entire front like HTC's Windows-powered HD2, there's a non-touch area that houses the optical touchpad as seen in the original Desire. The 3.7-inch touch-screen packs a widescreen WVGA resolution and instead of an AMOLED screen, has an SLCD display that seemed clearer and brighter. HTC also says it is more energy efficient than its AMOLED counterpart, so we may be seeing an increase in battery life. Like the Desire HD, it runs on Android 2.2 with HTC's new Sense UI - see our story for the full rundown on how it plays. 

 

The QWERTY
So, this keyboard ain't your usual slide-out number. Instead, it comes out on what HTC is calling a 'Z-hinge' (see pic, below), which means the screen comes out an angle before resting on the top lip of the keyboard. It's a four-line QWERTY, very slim, so despite a length of 119mm, even smaller hands will find it easy to reach all parts of it. The keys are soft and responsive to the touch, and there are also a few function keys that you can customise with app shortcuts or symbols, which is something we haven't seen before.

 

Under the hood
Where the Desire HD (and Desire) run on a 1GHz processor, the Desire Z makes do with 800MHz and a lesser 512MB of RAM. We still have 1.5GB of on-board memory, expandable by a microSD slot, and support for HSDPA and Wi-Fi. The five-megapixel camera has auto-focus and flash, and is also capable of high-def video capture at 720p.

 

The Desire Z will launch in October on Vodafone, with tariffs TBC.

Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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