HTC Desire Z smartphone (preview)

HTC's Desire Z Android smartphone includes a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 3.7in touchscreen

Most popular Android phones on the market utilise touchscreen keyboards, but HTC has seen fit to give Android a bit of QWERTY love with its Desire Z smartphone.

Check out our HTC Desire HD preview.

Check out our original HTC Desire review.

The HTC Desire Z is basically a smaller version of the Desire HD, and offers a slide-out, physical QWERTY keyboard. It has a SLCD display which, at 3.7in, is the same size as the HTC Desire's.

HTC describes the Desire Z as having a "pop hinge", which the company says allows for a more comfortable typing position. The Desire Z is powered by an 800MHz processor, which is slightly slower than the Desire HD's, and has a 5-megapixel camera with single-LED flash and 720p HD video recording. The phone has 1.5GB of on-board memory, along with a microSD card slot that supports cards of up to 32GB in size.

The HTC Desire Z will run the latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Android, which adds full Flash support, built-in wireless tethering, and the ability to store third-party apps on your SD card, in addition to a range of other improvements.

The Desire Z is one of the first smartphones to benefit from HTC's new Sense software. Enhancements include a shorter boot-up time (10 seconds), faster rendering of maps (along with a digital compass built into the map), and DLNA support for connection to compatible televisions. HTC also launched HTCSense.com, a set of desktop-based services that largely centre on backup and security. You can locate your phone on a map if it's stolen, remotely lock or wipe the handset, and archive contacts, text messages and call history.

The HTC Desire Z is expected to launch in Australia before the end of the year. No pricing or carrier details have been announced.

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