Manufacturers and networks insist on labelling any new smart phone with a physical keyboard a business phone, which is understandable, but short-sighted. Upcoming phones such as the Nokia E7 and the Dell Venue Pro have been clumped in the colourless corporate category, but many people don't like typing on touchscreens, and they're not necessarily carrying a briefcase.
To whit: the long-awaited HTC Desire Z has shown up in a print advertisement, spotted by Eurodroid, which shows Vodafone should very soon be stocking the Android 2.2 smart phone. And guess what -- it's shown up on a business tariff, available at £30 per month.
With that you'll receive 3,000 minutes to UK landlines, 750 minutes to UK mobiles, and a pathetic 250 texts. You'll also have 500MB of mobile Internet and email usage. The Desire Z hasn't shown up on the official Vodafone website, but you can sign up for the device through Mobiles.co.uk, although this isn't direct with the network. You can also find the device unlocked for around £420.
We were impressed with the HTC Desire Z, giving it a very respectable four stars in our full review. It's not as glamorous or, er, desirable as its large-screen brother the Desire HD, but it runs Android 2.2, supports Flash and has a 5-megapixel camera to go with its 3.7-inch touchscreen. But it's all about that Qwerty keyboard -- it flips out on a cool swivelling hinge, and we found it very comfortable to use.
If you want a smart phone with a physical keyboard before Christmas, whether for work or play, this looks like a good alternative to the old faithful, the BlackBerry Torch and Bold. There's also the upcoming Nokia E7 and Dell Venue Pro we already mentioned. We're also very curious about the LG Optimus 7Q, which we haven't seen in the flesh but understand runs Windows Phone 7 and is a Qwerty brother to the LG Optimus 7.
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