HTC Desire Z review: Desires A-to-Z
A fine organizer on board, office doc editor included
The HTC Desire Z comes with the usual set of organizing apps with the added advantage of a document editor.
That’s the Quickoffice app, which has support for viewing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, including the Office 2007 versions and it can create Office 2003 Word and Excel documents.
There is also a PDF viewer to handle PDF files. All the apps work fast, despite the downclocked CPU, but editing complex documents gets slow at times. With the hardware QWERTY keyboard, editing documents is actually possible however – on-screen keyboards just take up too much space, leaving you with little room to edit something that was meant to be viewed on a computer screen.
When editing a Word document, you get plenty of formatting options (more than you get on Windows Phone 7). You get text effects (italic, bold, etc.), you can change the font and its size, color and highlight (from a color picker, not just 3 pre-selected colors like in WP7).
However, when you tap Format you get a long list with all the options in it – usable but not quite user friendly. You can’t create tables or lists either. The situation with spreadsheets is similar – enough features, but not presented in the most user-friendly way.
The doc viewer integrates with the Gmail app, which makes viewing attachments a cinch. You can’t download them to the phone’s internal memory however. Attaching saved files (and we mean all kind of files) is possible though.
The calendar has four different types of view: daily, weekly, monthly and agenda. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to serve as a reminder.
The Agenda view shows a list of all the calendar entries from the recent past to the near future. It’s a very handy tool when you need to check your appointments for the next few days.
There is also a calculator aboard. It is nicely touch optimized with big, easy to hit buttons. Flipping it horizontally, enables some more advanced functions like logarithms.
The HTC Desire Z features an alarm clock application, which can handle multiple alarms, each with its own start time and repeat pattern. The Desk clock app turns your Desire Z into a… well, Desk clock. It displays the current time and date and allows you to switch off the display backlighting to save battery power or not disturb at night.
The World clock app allows you to quickly check the time in different time zones, while the stopwatch and timer apps might come in handy if you plan to take the phone with you when doing sports.
The Stocks application gives you quotes from Yahoo finance. The Voice recorder might be quite useful for making audio notes and the weather app brings Yahoo’s weather forecast for your area a click away.
There’s an HTC-branded flashlight app too – it uses the LED flash and you can set it to 3 levels of intensity. Nice and all, but the Android Market is full of this kind of apps already.
Facebook and Twitter fans will appreciate the preinstalled Facebook and Peep apps, which allow you to update your profiles on the world’s largest social networks.
The official Twitter app for Android also came preinstalled – some might prefer it over Peep (both are very good, so whichever one you choose will do fine). They integrate with the phonebook, so you can read your friends’ tweets from there, no need to launch the app.
There are two handy search apps Quick lookup and Search Anywhere. Quick lookup lets you enter a query and view the Wikipedia article (formatter for easy reading), search Google, YouTube, use Google Translate or look it up in Google Dictionary. The Search Anywhere app is a universal in-phone search that covers anything – from settings and messages to songs and videos.