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I'm new! A few questions ahead of buying

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by wilsonf1, May 23, 2011.

  1. wilsonf1

    wilsonf1 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey Guys

    So I lost my N900 in a drunken episode at the weekend, time to buy something new.

    I love QWERTY phones so naturally this looks a good choice.

    I've heard a few issues, some software, some hardware, but I think all smart phones are like that, there's always a glitch here and there right?

    How long has the Desire-Z been out, and does it receive software updates - and will these continue? Coming from the land of the N900, it basically got neglected!!!

    I saw a wifi signal problem on youtube when you hold the phones left side in landscape mode... is the natural position in landscape to hold the back of the keyboard rather than the screen? I'm gonna try it out in a shop in a few days but wouldn't mind your feedback!

    Kinda sick of hearing about the Z-hinge already! My view is, if it's breaks because "it's sooooo flimsy" within 1 year, it's covered by a warranty surely?

    Cheers for reading everyone!


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  2. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    Hi James, and welcome!

    I think it was released in the UK back in late October - I got mine mid-November. It's already had a couple of minor updates and will be receiving another to Android 2.3 sometime in the very near future. There's also a lively development community around the device, thanks to its close relationship to the T-Mobile G2.

    It is for me, as holding it any other way makes using the k/b difficult. :) No signal problems with mine.

    Some people like it, some don't. See how it feels to you before you buy, but I've had no problems with it in the six months I've been using it so far.

  3. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I had a Nokia N97 prior to the HTC Desire Z. The N97 had way more issues than the Desire Z. I had a few glitches with the Desire Z when I first got it. None of those issues were really serious and most have gone away after a couple of months. The N97 issues were persistent and was the reason I switched phones. The only other smartphone I had some experience with is the iPhone 4 which my father-in-law has and he has came to me a number of times to fix issues with it.

    In Canada, it was released in November 2010. I picked it up the week it was released. I received an update a month or so ago. Word is that the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) will be available for the Desire Z this summer.

    I have noticed that the signal strength does drop a bit when holding it this way. It only happens from far way from my router. Even though the signal indicator goes down, I am still able to access the internet. I haven't noticed any degradation in service when the signal strength indicators drop. I also never totally lose the signal. The YouTube videos I have seen show the signal indicators drop, but they do not show that the phone is unable to access the internet.

    I personally never had an issue with the hinge. Some people do not like the feel of it. It is loose, which allows for easier opening and closing. Some people prefer a tighter hinge. The hinge and supports appear to be made of some tough metal. I've had it for 6 months now and I have not noticed any sign that it may break.
  4. wilsonf1

    wilsonf1 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    That's awesome guys, cheers for your detailed responses.

    I actually got to have a quick go down at a shop this morning and was pretty keen!

    Further questions are:

    - does it have any free Sat Nav? I don't need a voice to tell me where to go, but the N900 had ovi maps which worked like a sat nav, had my route on a line and the map moved as i drove. Can Google Maps do that, or is there something pre-built in to do this?
  5. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    Here in Canada on Bell, the Desire Z comes with Google Maps and one other navigation app. Only Google Maps is free which is what I use exclusively. I did attempt to try the other one, but it asked for payment, so I didn't bother.

    Some difference between Google Maps and Ovi Maps (on my N97) are as follows:
    • Google Maps requires a data connection as it fetches maps as you go. It will always have the most up to date map. Ovi Maps can pre-load maps and can navigate without a data connection. If you pre-load maps, you have to keep updating the maps manually to ensure you have the most up to date maps. You can still navigate out of a serviced area as long as you pick the route while you still have data coverage. Google Maps will cache the route in memory, so you can lose data coverage and still navigate.
    • Google Maps by default uses the Android text-to-speech engine. The voice sounds more robotic, but it does say the name of the street as you navigate. Ovi Maps uses sound files. There are sound files that include street names, but I did not like those when I was using Ovi Maps.
    • Google Maps shows back lanes between streets. Ovi Maps do not show back lanes.
    • Google Maps has much better search capabilities than Ovi Maps. On my old N97, I use Google Maps to find places and then use Ovi Maps to navigate to them. Google Maps does not have navigation on Symbian, so I had no choice there.
    • My experience with the city that I live in is that Google Maps seems to pick better routes the Ovi Maps. If you are in a foreign city, you won't notice the difference. Both will get you to your destination.
    • Google Maps has better traffic information than Ovi Maps.
    • Ovi Maps has lane indicators while navigating. Google Maps does not.
    • Google Maps has a view that keeps your facing of motion towards the top of the screen. Ovi Maps tries to do this with the internal compass. In the cars that I have driven, the compass does not work properly while inside a car because the metal in the car interferes with the compass, preventing an accurate reading. Google Maps seems to calculate your facing based on your direction of motion.
    Hope this helps.
  6. wilsonf1

    wilsonf1 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    many thanks for that, couldn't have asked for a better response!

    will have a go on my mates desire and probs order one end of the week.. then join the family!!!

    thanks all
  7. wilsonf1

    wilsonf1 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I got one today, for an amazing
  8. misbehave

    misbehave Lurker

    Welcome to the DZ family!
    Now I would suggest you head to Android Market and get the Tedd's Droid Tools app for your Desire-Z.
    I personally think it's a must have for Desire-Z that still have it's original Android 2.2 rom and is not flashed with any version above 2.2.
  9. wilsonf1

    wilsonf1 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    awesome thanks! so what does that app do? I'm not flashing anything!

    i got the Advanced Task Killer app - do yo guys just open it every now and then and just clear the entire list - and that should improve battery?

    any other tips for battery saving? my mate told me me to turn off searching for wifi once im out of my house if i dont need the net (and can rely on my data plan)
  10. dazcaz

    dazcaz Newbie

    I came to the DZ after a N97 Mini. The N97 was the biggest pile of s**t I have ever owned. The only decent thing about the 97 was Ovi Maps. I found Ovi Maps to be very good indeed. Google Navigator is good, but I preferred Ovi.
    There are a few snags with the DZ. I find that the GPS loses signal and doesn't find it again. To overcome this, I have to turn the phone off and re-start it. It's OK then. Very hard to do when the phone is stuck in it's holder and your doing 70MPH down a motorway :)

    The Gallery tends to lose photos, but they are there when you connect the phone to your computer. For some reason the gallery tends to not find them sometimes.
    I had a problem where the phone would reset it's ring tone to the default, regardless of how many times I set it to another. This seems to have fixed itself.

    Apart from a few irritations, the DZ is a cracking phone. It's loudspeaker could be better. The N97 could fill a room with music, the DZ can be hard to hear. Nokias have always been great music players.

    I really like my DZ. It is the best phone I have owned. All the Desire range are superb as are the later non Desire HTCs.

    The hinge is a tad loose, but nothing to worry about. I have found recently that if you hold the phone too vertically, the screen half tend to slide itself closed... Rarely a problem, but at the time it was annoying me :)

    They pop out keyboard is great, but it does lack cursor keys. The little "track pad" is difficult to use. I prefer keys. Again this is a minor niggle. I am slowly getting the knack of the track pad.

    I'm on Orange and being on 1800 Mhz means that the phone seems to struggle with signal strengths. I drop calls where my N97 had better signal. I guess this is due to the metal body. Others with the Z on 900MHz don't have any problems... Maybe it's an Orange thing.

    Battery life isn't great. I have to charge my phone every night, and I do most of the battery saving tips.

    Real plus-es are:-
    The screen is brilliant.
    The camera is superb in good light, and not too bad in low light.
    It's tough... I've dropped mine a few times onto concrete flooring and it's not even marked.
    The keyboard... That's the main reason I got the Z.
    It's stable. I rarely have to reset the phone. My N97 was being reset maybe 10 times a day.
    It's an Android, and it's about to get the upgrade (end of June apparently) this will make great phone even better.
    Thousands of applications, some of them are even useful :)
    SD card storage... Only niggle is you have to take the battery out to remove/change the card.
    Wi-fi hotspot built in... No need to get a tablet with a sim card, just connect you tablet to your phone using wi-fi and share it's data... Why have 2 data contracts when you only need one? :)

    I love my DZ. it's not perfect, but it's bloody good even with the downsides.
  11. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    If an app is written properly, you should not need a task killer. The way Android works, it caches apps that you started. If you loaded an app, used it a while and then don't use it anymore, it will still remain in memory, but it is not running and does not drain your battery. If you decide to use that app again, if it is cached, it will load up faster. A long press on the home button shows the last several apps that you launched. It does not necessarily mean that they are running and taking processor time.

    Task killers may reduce battery life if you don't know what you are doing. Some tasks need to be loaded and if you tell the task killer to automatically kill it, it will just restart and thus drains your battery by constantly restarting and killing. I don't use task killers for this reason. I may get better battery life or I may make it worse.

    You can turn off WiFi if you know you will not be using it. You can do it through the settings. If you do this often, there is a widget for it. Turning off the WiFi service will save power.

    There are some apps that constantly poll and update your display. The stock ticker widget is a classic example. Other ones are your social networking apps or sport score apps. They can be configured to update periodically or only upon launch. If you update periodically, it will be fairly up to date and will launch faster or the widget will display up to date information without having to take action to update it. You may be able to update the polling interval. Polling every hour uses less energy than every minute.

    Turning down the screen brightness can help you save energy. The Desire Z uses a super-LCD display. These display has a back light that is on when the screen turns on. By turning down the brightness, the back light will use less energy. Using black backgrounds does not save energy on the Desire Z. The backlight is still on, just the pixels block out the light.

    I personally find that the screen uses the most power on my phone. There is a screen in the settings that lists what percentage of the total energy each system, service or app uses. I find the screen is usually at 60% to 75% of the total energy.

    If you do not use BlueTooth devices, you can turn BlueTooth off. You can also just turn it on when you need it. There is a widget that allows you to easily turn it on or off.

    My experience with my two smartphones is that it runs out of energy quickly when it is brand new. Then over the course of a few weeks to a couple of months, the battery seems to last longer. The manual states this as well and the cause is that new batteries store less energy than ones that have been used a few dozen times. I also think that with a new phone, you fiddle around with it more. Then once you configure it the way you like, you don't have it on as much.
  12. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    Same with me. I was using the N97, not the Mini.

    My experience is that the DZ's GPS is better than the N97. I had more problems with the N97 than the DZ. The DZ locks in very quickly.

    Ovi Maps does have some very good features that isn't available on Google Maps. My favourite is lane indicators that tell you which lanes you should take when approaching an intersection or junction.[/quote]

    Never had these problems before.

    Loud speaker is poor. Difficult to hear sometimes when on speakerphone. It does have a really nice feature where if you turn the phone screen down and place it on a surface, the speaker phone automatically turns on.

    The lying on your back holding the phone above you can cause this. I adjusted my grip to prop up the screen with my index finger. May seem awkward at first, but I got used to it.

    I had to charge my N97 every night before as well. Not a big deal for me. Once in a while I charge my DZ part way through the day. Usually, if I use the GPS, I would have to charge before the day is over. The same goes for my N97.

    I feel it's the second best phone I ever used. The Nokia 6126 is the best, but it is just a feature phone. The DZ does way more. It has its fault, but they are minor.
  13. misbehave

    misbehave Lurker

    That app let you use the square optical track button below the screen to answer in-coming phone call instead of having to use the touch screen to accept the call. I like this way better (also faster).
  14. misbehave

    misbehave Lurker

    For those who have the Gallery losing photos problem, just install a free app called ADrescan from Android market. It solved my Gallery losing photos problem.
  15. dazcaz

    dazcaz Newbie

    The above should be SDrescan. Found it and installing :)
  16. tousif

    tousif Lurker

    Am confused between desire S @ Z??

    Can anyone suggest me which to buy??
    I love to play the games.. So i need a good processor..
  17. misbehave

    misbehave Lurker

    Honestly, neither one are really good for gaming.
    Get a PSP or 3DS for way better gaming experience.
  18. tousif

    tousif Lurker

    But still suggest me one phne... Either Z or S???
  19. misbehave

    misbehave Lurker

    I will pick the Z.
    I will never get any smartphone without a physical QWERTY keyboard.
    tousif likes this.

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