Written on 10/20/2010 05:37:00 PM by poison_ivy
Another one that would be competing for your hard earned money come the Holiday season is the HTC Desire Z, HTC's latest QWERTY android mobile phone running Google's latest build of Android 2.2. What I have is actually the US version of the HTC Desire Z, the T-Mobile G2 but it's actually the same mobile phone save for a few differences like internal storage capacity and 3G bands. So if you're thinking of getting the HTC Desire Z, see what you're in for.
The HTC Desire Z or T-Mobile G2 is one sleek hardware. The phone is made from a combination of plastic and aluminum and effect is gorgeous and the phone actually looks pretty slick. On top of the device is the power button and the 3.5mm headset jack, on the right is the camera button, on the left is the volume rocker. On front of the mobile phone, below the 3.7 inch capacitive is the optical trackpad. You can reveal the QWERTY keyboard by pushing up on the screen and the latter will sort of pop up and slide into place. I don't know why HTC felt the need to do that since sliding keyboards are pretty okay to me.
The QWERTY keyboard is large and has a nice tactile feel. It sort of feels rubbery but nice. The keyboard has just about every symbols you can use, including a dedicated "www" button and three shortcut keys which you can assign any of your chosen applications.
The HTC Desire Z runs on an 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM. Running Froyo is pretty smooth and there's live wallpapers too. Kinetic scrolling and opening apps is pretty fast, no hiccups so far. I really don't know what's new on Froyo. The T-mobile G2 runs stock Android while the HTC Desire Z actually has the HTC Sense. Like I said, I think there are only minor improvements from android 2.1 to 2.2. Things like updated looks, marketplace, etc are things I don't normally take notice but here are the things that are actually important: Flash support, WiFi tethering, and updated camera controls. WiFi tethering is not present on T-Mobile G2 but I heard that it will probably be in a future update, it is available on the HTC Desire Z though.
Another difference between the HTC Desire Z and T-Mobile G2 is the FM radio. The HTC Desire Z reportedly has one while I don't see an FM app on the T-Mobile G2. On the app side, there are many included apps on the T-Mobile G2, I don't know if it would be the same for the Desire Z. What I like best is the QuickOffice app which lets you view and edit word and excel files as well as view PDF files. You don't have to spend another $9.99-$30 for a word and excel editor, unlike the iPhone.
My favorite feature on any Android handset and probably the best on the HTC Desire Z is the browser. There's flash support and things such as find on page. Android 2.2 also added a select text feature, you can now copy text which is not on a text field such as web pages and email. Of course, it's not as good as the select text on iPhone but it's a good addition. I tested flash by playing the videos on my sidebar and so far so good. Videos played on the browser without opening the dedicated YouTube application and I can pan in and zoom without any problems.
What I hate about Android 2.2 is that Google didn't feel the need to upgrade the music player. Of course, I'm sure it won't be a problem for the HTC Desire Z that will be released here in the UK because it has HTC's awesome music player but since the T-Mobile G2 has stock Android, you're stuck with the standard music player which still doesn't have equalizer presets or any coverflow interface. The speakers on this mobile phone is also a joke. It's tinny and not as loud as compared to, say, the iPhone. Of course, things get better with a headset but if you're planning on sharing your music via speakers, I'd advise against it.
Call quality is actually pretty good, users can hear me loud and clear and it goes both ways. Haven't experienced any dropped calls although since the T-Mobile G2 can only use the 2100 3G signal here in the UK, I have problems getting decent 3G signals.
The HTC Desire Z/T-Mobile G2 has a 5 megapixel camera and is capable of 720p video recording. Picture quality is great and the flash is actually useable. I have a hard time uploading sample videos because of my slow internet connection but below are some sample shots taken with the mobile phone's camera.
Although some might be skeptical that the HTC Desire Z would make waves in the UK considering that there's already the iPhone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy S which has the same OS, bigger screen, faster processor, and almost the same specs but I'm sure there are some, like me, who would be sold. First, there's the awesome physical QWERTY keyboard which I actually prefer, second, the HTC Desire Z is much more pocketable and has a better looking design compared with the Galaxy S. And although the Galaxy S has a faster processor, you really won't notice it since the 800MHz processor blazes through Froyo so as long as carriers price this just right, I'm sure the HTC Desire Z won't have any problems selling in the UK.