Review Price £359.95
HTC Desire Z - Screen, Keyboard and Interface
Though this phone's 3.7in screen may not top the charts when it comes to size, it certainly wears the crown when it comes to quality. Its saturation, contrast, and viewing angles are exceptional for an LCD panel and it's beautifully crystal clear and sharp so beats all AMOLED displays going. Only the iPhone 4 beats it in our opinion and that's really only down to that screen having a slightly higher resolution – 960 x 640 pixels versus 800 x 480 pixels. Quite simply, the Desire HD should have had this screen!
Also impressive is the touch sensitivity of the glass touchscreen, which responds to the lightest of taps and flicks and makes typing on the on-screen keyboard just as good as any other touchscreen phone.
Tthe physical keyboard is also excellent. The layout is top notch with highlights including two 'Fn' buttons, so you can activate secondary functions without either thumb, and two easy to set-up shortcut buttons (those labelled 1 and 2 with the three dots on) giving you quick access to your favourite programs. The keys are nice and large with a decent action, though not quite as good as the best with there being a slight leaning towards feeling mushy. Nonetheless we found we were able to touch-type after only a short period of practice.
The phone's Android software has had HTC's usual facelift giving the whole thing a more cohesive and elegant style than standard Android.
The home screen is arranged into seven horizontal panels (three to each side of the homescreen) onto which you can place widgets and shortcuts while along the bottom are shortcuts to the main menu, the dialler, and the options page for customising the homescreen. Here you can add widgets, change the wallpaper, and set the phone's theme. There are some pretty slick looking interface's on offer with a variety of themes – like work or play – to choose from. Log into the HTC Sense service and you can also download more.
Tap the dialler and, as well as gaining access to a number pad, your list of contacts (which, once you've logged into your Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Exchange accounts will be fully populated with profile pictures, status updates, and info) is also there ready for you to start scrolling through – we really like this as it prevents the need for you to open your contacts list separately.
The 800MHz Qualcomm MSM 7230 processor provides adequate performance with most apps opening quickly and the interface gliding and sliding around at a reasonable pace. However, there is a just about perceptible stutter when scrolling through menus and such like, as compared to faster devices like the Desire HD.
As always there's also the general feeling that Android has a few too many options and menus, making it a bit fiddly to use sometimes. However, once you learn what's what it's very nice to use and is very capable. And the tweaks made by HTC only add to this.
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