First Look: HTC Desire Z

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First Look: HTC Desire Z

The Desire Z seems a bit of an oddball. It's a big touchscreen phone, along the same lines as the Desire, but it also includes a keyboard that emerges from underneath and an optical touchpad for general navigation.

That hybridisation means it's a bulky device: it's thick, measuring 14.2mm and, at 180g, pretty heavy too. Neither are we completely convinced about the mechanism through which the keyboard appears. Instead of sliding smoothly, it pivots on a double hinge out and over. It feels a touch on the flimsy side.

The keyboard itself, however, is beyond reproach: if you don't get on with touchscreen text entry, this is the phone for you. The keys of its physical, Qwerty keyboard are large, well-spaced and responsive.

That, combined with the beautifully bright, clear 3.7in 480 x 800 TFT screen, means the Desire Z is just at home tapping out texts, tweets and Facebook updates as it is browsing around complex web sites.

The presence of Android 2.2 as standard boosts that browsing no end. There's Flash 10.1 support, so you get all of the web, including games, embedded video and rich content, and performance is nothing short of superb. Panning and zooming complex websites is an experience as smooth as silk, as is navigating the UI.

Overall, the Desire Z looks like an excellent phone. We will bring you details about Australian pricing and availability when it comes to hand, but in the meantime while the Desire Z will likely be a touch pricier than the standard Desire, but if you'll take advantage of that keyboard it looks like it will be worth shelling out for.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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