...and brought me a brand new, unlocked, SIM-free HTC Desire Z today. Yay! Seems like Santa was taking very close look to my rant about Android vs. N900/Maemo I wrote less than two months ago - thanks Santa! Anyway, I am going to use Desire Z as a primary phone from now on, yet I'm not letting my beloved N900 anywhere either and let's say I'm putting it in "standby" mode as a secondary phone. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how these two devices directly compare and what I'll specifically miss from Maemo world in Android.
First impressions of Desire Z are quite good with one, slight exception - famous "Z" hinge between keyboard and screen. It feels quite loose and fragile and it's exceptionally easy to open it unintentionally. Strange that otherwise very solid and good looking device gives fragile and cheap'ish impression by that hinge.
Moving onto hardware keyboard. Keys are well spaced, yet they're also a bit "shallow" and don't have that good "typing feeling" as on N900. Nokia's keyboard, despite being packed, is slightly better in that aspect. Obviously layout is completely different to N900's and it's just a matter of time and getting used to. One thing I definitely miss is lack of arrow keys which proved to be exceptionally handy in N900. On the other hand, I like the ability to assign handy shortcuts to launch certain actions, yet type-ahead searching across various lists is limited. Generally, in terms of general usability and "feeling" I reckon N900 keyboard definitely wins here, yet Desire's isn't too bad either.
Software. I didn't play with Desire Z that much yet, however as some of my readers might know I already had other Android device for a little while already, where I've been enjoying pure Eclair and then Froyo experience. With HTC-made device it's completely different thanks to the whole HTC Sense overlay on top of base OS. It's not just about home screen (which can be easily replaced with Android's standard or 3rd party launchers) but whole bunch of ugly-looking apps that HTC decided to tuck into the device. I'm going to research ways of getting rid of this, yet I also might just give up and get used to this. Time will tell.
Speaking about software, I definitely recommend appbrain.com - an online Android Market browser which also offers ability to synchronise installed apps between online account and phone, or in fact - multiple phones. Thanks to appbrain I was able to reinstall all apps I've installed earlier on my ZTE Blade within just minutes. Great stuff!
I didn't have chance to play with my new toy too much, so I can't really tell much more just yet. I still need to sort out few things before I settle down with Desire Z as truly default day-to-day phone, however I'm going to take notes of things that I particularly miss/like and publish another post on that later, so stay tuned.
PS. I am not totally converted to Android (yet). I am going to use N900 still and I'm looking forward to see MeeGo/Harmattan released, so I will follow that front very closely.