HTC is no more an obscure maker of handsets with the Windows Mobile. It is a powerhouse of smart phones and it has been crowned by the consumers to be the king of software and design innovation in manufacturing award winning handsets. The Desire Z is also one among these handsets.
The build quality of HTC is quite legendary and the Desire Z is not an exception. The battery cover and the screen are made put of brushed aluminum. The rest of the handset is made of grey plastic which is soft to touch. This material allows the signals to penetrate easily to the antennae. In spite of employing a slide out QWERTY keyboard, the handset is quite thin. It measures only 0.56 inches in thickness and it has a considerable heft of about 180 grams which has to be taken into consideration. Though the heavy feeling creates solidity in the build quality, it becomes unpleasant after a while.
The Desire Z sports a 3.7 inch LCD touch screen display. It has the Super LCD technology and a native resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. The display has a good gamut of color, improved viewing angles and contrast and good sunlight legibility under the maximum brightness setting. The handset can be used under direct sunlight when compared wit the handsets using the previous generation of LCDs. There is a black frame under the screen, housing the four small Android keys. These perform the menu, search, back and home functions. This frame also has the optical track pad. This allows the swiping through the home screens and in the navigation around the menus.
The keyboard slides out in a flush manner making use of Z hinges for this purpose. The keyboard itself creates mixed impressions. It looks excellent in pictures but in person it has a chiclet layout. The spacing between the key caps is not quite sufficient and it hinders the fast typing. The keys feel stiff and the key travel is quite shallow. There is an elevated rim around the keyboard. The left of the keyboard has the volume rocker and the micro USB port while the right side has the latch slider for the battery cover. The top edge has the power key and the audio jack. The back panel has the 5 mega pixel camera lens and the LED flash along with the grill for the speaker.
HTC has a touch interface that falls into the best interface category. The HTC as well as Google have decided to stay quite close to the Android 2.2 experience. The HTC makes use of the HTC Sense on the Desire Z. the latest version of the HTC Sense can be found only on the Desire HD and on the Desire Z. the Sense interface has many options. The personalization and the customization of the interface are completely new. The Sense UI is quite easy to load. The setup initially requires the entering of the user's details and then adding all the accounts that are to be synchronized and then registration of the handset on the HTCSense.com. The important addition is the inclusion of the cloud based services through the new website. The HTC Hub is used to check for the recommended applications and the updates to the existing applications. The home screen can be loaded with number of widgets. The profiles can have different functionalities. There are many skins that can be used on the profiles and these are available in the HTC Hub.
The Desire Z packs a 5 mega pixel camera which is simple and easy to handle. The interface of the camera is touch friendly. There are a number o image adjustments and color effects that can be made use of before snapping a shot. It lacks the shooting modes like night mode and macro. The shots are taken quickly and there is no lag in the processing of the snaps. The camera captures sufficient details. The representation of the colors is accurate. The camcorder records videos with a frame rate of 30 fps. The recording is quite smooth. The panning might cause proverbial frame dropping here and there.
The image gallery displays thumbnails of the videos and pictures and also offers touch sharing. The DLNA capability makes the streaming of the multimedia files a snappy process. The Connected Media icon looks for the media servers for streaming the files. The music player is visually appealing and it supports the sorting of tracks by playlists, artists, etc. The direct link that connects to YouTube displays the videos that are available for the song that is currently being played. The loudspeaker performs averagely and the bass punch is lacking. The sound is better on plugging the headphones the FM radio is quite sensitive. The video playback is smooth without any hiccups when playing MPEG 4 and H.264 video clips at high definition.
The ear speaker has an average strength. There is no issue in hearing the callers in a quiet environment. When it comes to outdoor usage, it struggles even with the highest level of volume. The quality of voice is good. The callers can hear us loud and clear. The included 1300 mAh battery is estimated to offer a life of about 6 hours and 40 minutes of talk time with the 3G connectivity. It is one among the two handsets in the market with the latest iteration of the Sense UI.