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Performance:

The earspeaker is of average strength – we had no trouble hearing people when it was quiet around, but outside it struggles, even on the highest volume. Voice quality was good, though, emphasizing the speaker, not the ambient noise. When we called from the HTC Desire Z, the other party was able to hear us loud and clear.

The standard 1300mAh battery is rated for 6 hours and 40 minutes of talk time with 3G connectivity turned on. During our review usage, the phone barely lasted through the day, especially when we were using the GPS software.

Conclusion:

The HTC Desire Z is one of the only two handsets so far with the new version of Sense UI, and deserved our attention, even just for that. HTC didn't stop here to make it stand out in the Android crowd, however, and added a physical keyboard with clever, if somewhat pointless,  Z-hinge mechanism.

Wrapped around in brushed aluminum, with soft-touch coating where needed, the HTC Desire Z is certainly a looker - a rather heavy one, however. The physical keyboard is not perfect, but it is better than most on this rare breed of Android handsets, which have side-sliding QWERTY keyboards.

The new HTC Sense, though, is the feature that can take your breath away here. It offers a myriad of functionalities and customization options, wrapped up in rich colors, and beautiful animations. The next-gen Snapdragon chipset ensures flawless performance, while the new additions to Sense UI, such as cloud-based services to manage your phone, and the Locations app with its offline navigation capabilities, added to our growing impression that the HTC Desire Z is currently the best Android handset with a physical keyboard outside of the US.

Another high-end alternative with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Froyo, would be the yet unreleased Motorola MILESTONE 2. If you are a Symbian fan, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro has one of the best physical keyboards we've tried on a mobile, and shoots HD video at 30fps as well.

HTC Desire Z Video Review:





Pros

  • New HTC Sense with cloud services and offline navigation
  • Powerful 2nd generation Snapdragon chipset
  • Attractive design and solid build
  • Generous 1.5GB ROM storage for apps

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Physical keys’ spacing and travel could be better
  • Poor choice of shooting modes
  • The earspeaker and loudspeaker could be stronger

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

8.5
6 Reviews

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