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iPhone 4 Rival Alert : HTC Desire Z Down To £220

If you want an affordable Android-based QWERTY keyboard smartphone, there's not much choice around, though the HTC Desire Z which was launched last year is still one of the best value-for-money options.

The handset, available for £220 at Play.com unlocked and unbranded, comes with almost the same specifications as the HTC Desire.

A 3.7-inch WVGA touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass overlay, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset clocked at 800MHz, 512MB RAM, 1.5GB ROM, HSDPA, a microSD card slot, a five megapixel camera with 720p video recording and, most importantly, a full QWERTY slide out keyboard. At 180g and with a thinckness of 14.2mm, the device is a pretty chunky chap which will not appeal to those who like a svelte handset.

The Desire Z runs on Android 2.2 Froyo with HTC Sense UI on top with no prospects for an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, although there's a very vibrant userbase that's determined to get the Desire Z running. The phone has already received Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense 2.1.

It is worth noting that Play.com is also selling a 16GB microSD card for £11.24 and a 32GB one for £22.49.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.