Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

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Professor

Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Finally gave up on ATT getting any decent Android devices.  Well, the Fascinate seems OK, but lots of complaints on these forums (and elsewhere) about various things.  Plus, the outlook for new devices in the first part of next year does not look very promising either.  And I've always been a big HTC fan.  I found out that Bell Canada released the HTC Desire Z about a month ago, with 3G bands compatible with ATT's network.  I decided to take the plunge.  Not an easy pill to swallow, as an unlocked, unsubsidized device like this goes for a premium (and obviously not for everyone).  But what the heck, its a been a good year, and I decided to get myself a Christmas gift.

 

For those that may not know, and are interested in the Desire Z, the Bell-branded NAM version, model number A7275 is currently the only one that will work with ATT's 3G network.  The European and T-Mobile (the G2) versions will only work on EDGE.  So take care when shopping around.

 

Let me tell you guys, this device is amazing.  The build quality is excellent, with most of the body being a gorgeous brushed aluminum, accented with some slightly grippy plastic (also nice looking, and does not cheapen the appearance).  The keyboard is very good.  The layout is slightly different from my trusty old Tilt2, with the keys slightly smaller (and one less row of keys).  But after one week with the device, I'm already adjusting quite well.

 

I've played around with Project Android on my trusty old Tilt2, so Android is not completely new to me.  I'm still getting accustomed to where some things are located, but that is true with switching to any new phone OS.  Knocks on Android for not being as "smooth" as the iPhone seem largely unfounded to me.  The Desire Z is super smooth, and of course has tons of customization and functionality that the iPhone will never have.  And the HTC Sense modifications are all very nice.

 

TO get the phone up and running, I just had to slip my SIM into the device, and manually enter in the ATT data network APN settings (only had WiFi before I did this), and was good to go with 3G speed.  I already keep my contacts, email, calendar on Google.  So the Google implementation is awesome for me.  I just entered my Google login and password, and it synched all that stuff in a couple minutes.

 

The vendor stated on their website that SIM unlocking voids the manufacturers warranty.  So I decided to go ahead and root, the day after I received the phone (and now overclocked, as well).  Also used a couple different tools (Titanium Backup and Absolute System Root Tool) to successfully remove the Bell bloatware.  The Bell ROM is missing the HTC Locations app (I use Google Maps all the time anyway), and the Android car panel (which I don't really like), but otherwise, the Bell ROM is pretty close to stock.  So I'll stick with the stock ROM for now.

 

Moral of the story, no regrets buying an unlocked Desire Z.  Absolutely loving it!

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Message 1 of 34
Master

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Nice! If only I had the money too...
Probably from mobile, maybe. Smiley Happy
Message 2 of 34
Scholar

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

sweet... smart choice my friend, and I think you did right for not waiting another year perhaps. happy with the keyboard? is it better than tilt? i prolly wait after the holydays and reevaluate my budget 'cause i'll spend a lot this year...
Message 3 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

 


slimslim wrote:
sweet... smart choice my friend, and I think you did right for not waiting another year perhaps. happy with the keyboard? is it better than tilt? i prolly wait after the holydays and reevaluate my budget 'cause i'll spend a lot this year...

The keyboard is actually a slight step backward from the Tilt2, I have to say.  The keys are slightly smaller, so it requires a bit more accuracy, although this probably just takes a getting accustomized to the new keyboard.  The keys also don't stand out (from the surrounding surface) quite as much as the Tilt2 keyboard, and don't press down ("throw") quite as far.  Its a subtle difference, but I'm not sure why HTC decided to mess with something that was already near perfect.  One other minor quibble, the keys are black colored, on a black background.  So it makes it a bit tough to see the edges of the buttons in dim light (distinguish the button from the background surface).  The silver buttons on the black background on the Tilt2 was a nice choice in this regard.  Although I know not all the Touch Pro 2 variants have contrasting keys/background.

 

But these are all very minor criticisms.  These slight imperfections detract from the overall quality of the phone very very little.  And the subtle differences will probably be soon forgotten as my thumbs adjust to the new keyboard.  The Desire Z is simple amazing.  I didn't think I would find such a huge difference in the overall experience.  But this phone is light years ahead of my old Tilt2 in terms of smoothness of the OS.  Its simply a joy to use, with hardly any significant lag.  I knew it would be much smoother than the poor old Windows Mobile OS, but the difference is vastly greater than I expected.  And this was with my old Tilt2 running one of the smoothest, fastest, lightweight custom ROMs for the Tilt2 (Simplicity), and with the CPU overclocked to 768 MHz.

 

The overall performance of the Android OS, along with the huge library of quality applications have made me a very happy camper.  Plus, you still get a high degree of customization, custom ROMs, etc. (thanks to XDA) that I enjoyed on the old Windows Mobile platform.

 

 

Message 4 of 34
Contributor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

redpoint73

Hey just curious, so when you log into your online at&t account, does the system detect that you have an HTC Desire Z? 

Message 5 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

 


fawksfeather wrote:

redpoint73

Hey just curious, so when you log into your online at&t account, does the system detect that you have an HTC Desire Z? 


 

No, interestingly it still shows my device as my old Tilt2.

 

AT&T can only identify IMEI numbers for devices which they sell/subsidize.  But I'm suprised that it didn't read it as a new device of some sort.   I've heard of Nexus One's coming up as Blackberries.

Message 6 of 34
Guru

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

They couldn't ID my Nexus. The rep said it came up as unknown.
Message 7 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

 


davidusr wrote:
They couldn't ID my Nexus. The rep said it came up as unknown.

 

So I assume my phone's IMEI is coming up as unknown, and the device on my account when viewed on the website just defaults to the last known device?

Message 8 of 34
Guru

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

That's my assumption. My phone pic on my OLAM showed as "no image".
Message 9 of 34
Teacher

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Thanks for that valuable information.............

 

Can you tell us where and how you purchased

 

Thanks

RW

Message 10 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

I got mine at Negri Electronics.  But you can also find it on eBay (search "Desire Z A7275" or "Desire Z Bell") or other online vendors.

http://negrielectronics.com/htc-desire-z-850-1900-3g-unlocked.html

 

But if you can wait a bit, and don't need the hardware keyboard, then you might wait until ATT releases the Inspire 4G.  Especially if you qualify for upgrade pricing.  The Inspire is very similar to the Desire Z, but actually with a slightly better CPU and bigger screen.  But if you need the hardware keyboard, the Desire Z is the best phone around.

Message 11 of 34
Teacher

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Thanks RedPoint........I do prefer the Qwerty

Message 12 of 34
Mentor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Did you debrand your Z or have you left it stock Bell firmware?? I have a Z in transit from Canada and am thinking of debranding it like I did my Telus Desire. Does the Z have a lot of Bell branded crapwear on it or is it stock Android ??

Message 13 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

Redpoint I am Happy and jealous both at the same time! (lol). i got my eyes set for the Inspire but cant understand AT&T's love affair with releasing phones with no physical keyboard.  Thats the main feature i liked from the Tilt (1 and 2).  I may just have to do like you, buy an unlocked phone to my liking rather than purchase from ATT.  Their lack of really, i mean really good customer-grabbing cell phones seems like their focus is on other facets of the business like it was back in mid 2000's. I hated that period.

Message 14 of 34
Professor

Re: Got my new phone: HTC Desire Z (unlocked, Bell Canada branded)

 


Moe3754 wrote:

Did you debrand your Z or have you left it stock Bell firmware?? I have a Z in transit from Canada and am thinking of debranding it like I did my Telus Desire. Does the Z have a lot of Bell branded crapwear on it or is it stock Android ??


 

I left mine stock, but rooted.  I considered debranding per the guide on XDA.  But it was a bit intimidating with the hex editing.  The only things you gain from debranding is HTC Locations (I've always used Google Maps, and find Google Navigation awesome, so no use for HTC Locations) and the Android Car Panel ( I played around with Android on my Tilt2, and found the car panel to be pretty useless).  So I decided to stay with stock for now.

 

There is a good amount of Bell bloat on the phone.  But it was pretty easily removed using instructions on XDA.

 

 

 

Message 15 of 34
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