The NEXTG Compatible HTC Desire Z sold by importers Mobicity.com.au is the only real choice for Australians who want a modern Android Phone with a QWERTY slideout Keyboard that is fully compatible with the Telstra mobile network. I’ve been testing it on loan from Mobicity for several weeks and apart from being a bit heavier plus slightly slower and less battery capacity than other HTC Desire series phones it is a solid performer.
The combination of HTC’s big improvements in phone build quality and ever improving HTC Sense enhanced Android interface looks great and improves user efficiency. The 3.7″ 480 x 800 WVGA touchscreen is quite bright and easy to read from.
While the HTC Desire Z has a 800mhz CPU which is technically slower than a lot of other 1000mhz (1Ghz) CPU smartphones it still manages to bootup quite fast and slowness is only apparent on rare occasions eg: swapping between 2 graphic heavy websites on the web browser.
The 5 megapixel color camera supports auto focus and flash as well as 720p HD video recording, face detect and a variety of built-in effects include depth of field, vignette, and more.
The Desire Z ships with Android 2.2 but at time of writing HTC seemed to indicate an upgrade to 2.3 would be available soon.
I wish HTC would release an Android phone with a slider QWERTY keyboard that’s as good as my first Android phone, the HTC Dream pictured above.
Comparing my typing speed on the HTC Dream’s 5 row keyboard to the HTC Desire Z’s 4 row keyboard makes it clear how much speed is gained from the Dream’s dedicated 5th row of number keys. Keys on the HTC Dream keyboard were also more convex (bulging outwards) and rounded so there was good travel when you pressed them compared to the Desire Z keys which feel thin and flat.
Unfortunately it is very unlikely that Telstra or one of the other mobile carriers in Australia will choose to sell the HTC Desire Z. This is a quote from HTC head office when they were asked if they would sell the Desire Z in Australia:
Thanks for contacting HTC. We appreciate your interest with our products and services.
HTC Desire Z is not available in Australia. We have not received an update if and when the model will be available for Australian customers. Please continue to visit the HTC website, where we progressively update to inform our users of any promotion, development, and updates.
If you are looking to purchase one, you may visit online shops. However, please be reminded that HTC does not offer International warranty. If in any case the phone that you will be purchasing will need to be sent away for repair, you will need to send it back to the country of origin.
So you’re only choice is to buy a Telstra NextG compatible HTC Desire Z from an Australian importer such as Mobicity. They also sell a different variant of the HTC Desire Z compatible with Optus and Vodafone. Mobicity have an Australian tech support centre so you don’t have to ship your phone overseas for repairs.
EDITOR: HTC Australia have announced that the HTC Desire Z will be exclusively sold in Vodafone retail stores in Australia from March 2011.