The HTC Desire Z was a touch device with a pop-out qwerty keyboard. It was considered to be a solid addition to HTC’s already strong product line-up. The Desire Z and its sister product, the Desire HD
, were clearly designed to compete with Apple and Samsung at the high end of the market.
Both products built on the highly successful HTC Desire
, demand for which had far outpaced supply, primarily owing to shortages of AMOLED displays. HTC addressed this in the Desire Z which used LCD screens from alternative suppliers.
The Desire Z reintroduced a qwerty form factor to HTC's portfolio. Its cleverly designed "up and over" hinge aimed to overcome the challenges that consumers faced with qwerty side- sliders. The design of such devices often made it hard to type using the top row of keys because the lip of the top half of the phone acted as a barrier. The Desire Z's design meant the two halves of the device were almost level with each other. Although lacking the enterprise credentials of Nokia's E7
it was undoubtedly a competitor.
The phone had a 3.7-inch Super LCD display, five-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, 1.5GB of internal memory and an 800 MHz Qualcomm processor. It also featured HTC's "fast boot" technology which enabled the phone to be switched on and connected to the mobile network in about 10 seconds.
However, arguably the most-important element when this phone was launched was the software and services associated with it provided by an update to its HTC’s Sense user interface. In addition to the widgets and applications such as the Friend Stream social network aggregation service that were already supported, HTC added Locations (its own maps service), a mobile-optimised e-reader and an e-book store powered by Kobo. The mapping capability saw HTC quietly striking deals with multiple map providers enabling it to offer a rich, on-board mapping experience, likely to compete with Nokia who was pushing hard with its Ovi Maps service at the time.
HTC also implemented the HTC Hub, which gave users access to a wider library of HTC- specific widgets, wallpapers and ringtones. This marked the first tentative steps by HTC into offering a kind of social network for its customers to share recommendations of the best widgets and applications with other HTC owners.