HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z Preview

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HTC recently presented two new Android OS smartphones in London, both envisioned as the heirs to amodel known as the HTC Desire in Europe or HTC Droid Incredible in the USA.

The first of thesewas Desire HD, a phone much likeSprint’s Evo 4g as it will sporta 4.3-inch screen. The other is theDesire Z, a device with a”pop-out” QWERTY keyboard that will be almost identical to the previously announced T-Mobile G2.

Both models are going to support the new HTC online service HTCSense.com, designed to further enhance the Sense UI.

As I had the opportunityto tryout these two upcoming phones,I’d like to bring you my first impressions. Expect more complete reviews from Brighthand as these models get closer to release.

DESIGN & BUILD

Compared to their predecessor, theHTC Droid Incredible (or HTC Desire in Europe), these new mobile phones actuallywill not present anything new, but this is because something new is not possibleso soon aftersuch an up-to-date and well-crafted device was released.

HTC Desire HDIt could better be said that Desire HD and Desire Zwill bevariations of this model, intended for those who want a bigger screen or for those who do not take fondly to using on-screen keyboards and require a physical one.

Screens
The Desire HD is going to come with a WVGA (480 x 800) S-LCD capacitive Touchscreen and 16M-color support, along with the fantastic multi-touch feature. This technology revealsclearly sharper imaging and more vivid colors than the classic TFT screen which comes with theEVO 4G.

However, the imaging is not as impressive as with an AM-OLED screen, such as is included in the Droid Incredible. Still, users will definitively be pleased with it, due to its above average imaging, appropriately selected resolution and the fact that the S-LCD screen is evidently better when exposed to direct sunlight, unlike the AMOLED display.

The same can be said for the Desire Z screen, which is also going to bea WVGA S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, butwill be3.7 inches, which means that the pixel densitywill befar greater on it than on the Desire HD. This makes the images even sharper, and the quality on this device can be compared to an AMOLED screen.

If we consider the fact that an S-LCD screen is better in direct sunlight that an AMOLED display, HTC’s choice of technology seems like a well thought-out move. (I should point out that T-Mobile’s G2, whichisalso being manufactured by HTC, uses a regular TFT screen, even though its resolution is just as big.)

Body
Apart from justa larger screen, the Desire HDis going to be different in that itwill come with an aluminum unibody, similar to the HTC Legend, which will make it even more robust, solid, and convincing.

One more shortcoming is that the Desire Zwill bequite heavy. Weighing 6.3 oz, it is going to bemuch heavier than the bigger Desire HD. It will fit in your pocket, but you will surely feel it, while Desire HDwill betoo big for pocketability, even thoughit is going to belighter.

HTC Desire ZKeyboard
I loved the “pop-out” mechanism of the Desire Z, with the side-popping keyboard. This seems far more practical than the classic mechanism with slide keyboards, especially because the keyboard part is aligned with the screen part as it pops out. Thus, Desire Z seems like a single surface phone and the first key row is easily accessible, unlike many other devices designed with touchscreens and QWERTY keypads.

The keyswill alsobe a bit spaced, which makes using it without looking easier. It’s possible to define shortcuts on the keyboard which speedily start favorite applications.

Desire HD users will have to depend on an on-screen keyboard.

Cameras
The Desire Zis going to come with a 5-megapixel back-facing camera thatwill be able torecord 720p HD videos. The Desire HD, on the other hand,is going to come with an 8-megapixel camera andsupport for recording videos in the same resolution.

While the quality of the recorded footage seemed above average, compared to other mobile phones, photographs taken with these two devices were not on the same level as their competition. They often turned out blurry and the colors were unrealistically interpreted, with the emphasis on colder hues.

PERFORMANCE

The Desire Z is going to use an 800 MHz processor, while the Desire HDwill havea 1 GHz processor. With Android OS2.2 and such a high screen resolution,which model has the slower processoris at times evident. Touch response while zooming in and out was sometime a bit slower than expected.

The Sense UI fantasticallyimproves the Android OS, which is quite familiar, just like with the Droid Incredible and the EVO 4G.

I tried out the newHTCSense.com serviceon these devices. This is going to let you back up your phone or delete all data on it in case it is lost — similar applications were available already via the Android Market.


PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION

To sum things up, the first impressions of the Desire HD and Desire Z are positive, but not spectacular or surprising.

These modelswill be of exceptional quality, software-wise and hardware-wise, but not that different from previous HTC models.

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