HTC Desire Z smartphone
HTC Desire Z review: HTC's Desire Z is an excellent smartphone but its biggest selling point -- the physical QWERTY keyboard -- has a poorly designed hinge mechanism
- Excellent touchscreen, great software, updated HTC Sense and HTCSense.com features, HD video recording
- Poor hinge design, keyboard is not exceptional, battery life is not great
The HTC Desire Z is an excellent smartphone, mainly due to a combination of Google's excellent Android platform and HTC's Sense UI. However, its biggest selling point -- the "pop-out" physical QWERTY keyboard -- has a poorly designed hinge mechanism that detracts from the handset's overall appeal.
The HTC Desire Z aims to offer most features of the company's flagship Desire HD smartphone with the added benefit of a pop-out QWERTY keyboard to aid text entry. Unfortunately, while the Desire Z remains an excellent smartphone, the keyboard has a poorly designed hinge mechanism that detracts from the phone's appeal.
UPDATE: The HTC Desire Z is exclusive to Vodafone and is available for $0 upfront on Vodafone's $49 cap over 24 months, or $0 upfront on the telco's $65 'Infinite' plan, which includes unlimited calls, unlimited text and unlimited access to social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Foursquare.
HTC Desire Z: Design and display
The HTC Desire Z is a chunky smartphone that feels quite heavy. Its 3.7in display is smaller than the Desire HD's, but the phone is much thicker. Like most HTC phones, it features a few nice design touches — a brushed aluminium battery cover and front fascia, rounded edges, and smooth, hard plastic.
The key feature of the HTC Desire Z is its "pop-out" QWERTY keyboard. It utilises a Z-style hinge (hence the phone's name) to fold out, over and then onto itself. The motion of the hinge is smooth, but the design means it is difficult to open with one hand. The keyboard itself is well designed, but not exceptional; while each key is large and well spaced, they aren't raised enough to provide great tactility and they offer minimal travel when pressed. We liked the two shortcut keys to the right of the space bar; these can be assigned to open an app or shortcut. Overall, though, we much prefer the design and layout of the keyboard on the Motorola Milestone 2.
The HTC Desire Z feels very well constructed until you pop open the keyboard; the hinge feels loose and the screen wobbles back and forth, even when only slight pressure is applied. If you're lying down and typing, the hinge also closes on your fingers. The Desire Z's hinge feels like an unfortunate design flaw. With software based keyboards continually improving, manufacturers that opt for a physical keyboard really need to make it exceptional; in this case HTC has not.
The hinge of the HTC Desire Z's keyboard leaves a bit to be desired (bad pun intended).
The HTC Desire Z has a 3.7in SLCD screen. It lacks the vibrancy of the Samsung Galaxy S's Super AMOLED screen and the iPhone 4's IPS screen, but it produces crisper text than the Desire HD. Viewing angles are excellent, though the display can be a little hard to see in direct sunlight. A minor design complaint is the fact that your fingers brush against the slightly raised casing when swiping across the screen, which can become annoying when you are constantly moving between home screens.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Xiaomi planning second version of its revolutionary Mi Mix ‘bezel-less’ phone
- Apple smartphones outsold Samsung's in Q4
- Apple joins Wireless Power Consortium, charging up iPhone 8 rumor
- Now you can control your smart devices from your Pixel, no Google Home required
- Everything we think we know about the LG G6
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSQL Database Administrator (DBA)NSW
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- CCSalesforce - Functional Analyst (BA)NSW
- CCUser Experience Designer - Part time - Short contractACT
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCLevel 2 IT Service DeskQLD
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- TPData AnalystWA
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTIMO Change Manager - EclipseNSW
- TPProduct Owner - Cloud SolutionsQLD
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- FTApplication Support Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- CCProject Scheduler-Port MacquarieQLD
- FTSenior Security Sales SpecialistVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- FTScrum MasterQLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)QLD