Comparing the T-Mobile G2 with the HTC Desire Z

HTC Desire Z vs T-Mobile G2

HTC Desire Z vs T-Mobile G2

-Same, same, but different!

HTC recently announced two flavors of the same handset:

1) The HTC Desire Z

2) The T-Mobile G2

Most articles I have found describing these handsets refer to them as (almost) 100% similar to eachother, but that’s not necessarily the case, is it?

Here’s my own comparison chart, showing what I have found being the differences:

Item T-Mobile G2 HTC Desire Z My Comments
FM Radio No (link) Yes Can someone confirm that the G2 in fact doesn’t have an FM Radio, or at least that it doesn’t come with an FM Radio app?
Memory 4 GB 1.5 GB Quite a difference – of course, both comes with slots for extra SD Micro cards, so you can add a 32 GB card to expand storage space, but 2.5 extra GB in the phone sounds tempting…
Interface Stock Android 2.2, but probably with a few special T-Mobile apps Android 2.2 with the latest edition of HTC Sense The new Sense seems kind of cool, but running stock Froyo (Android 2.2) might give you upgrades to the Android OS sooner, and might have performance advantages
Mobile Data Networks Transmit/Receive 1700/2100 MHz 900/2100 MHz The G2 is specifically tailored towards the T-Mobile data networks in the US with the 1700 Uplink freq support, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t give full two-way 3G connection
Tethering No, at least not at launch (link) Yes, USB and wifi
Phone Networks 850/900/1800/1900 850/900/1800/1900
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) Yes Yes Basic GSM Data is supported by both handsets.
EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution) Yes Yes Edge connections should work fine with both handsets.
HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) Yes Yes Both apparently supports HSPA (3G), but referring to the data bands (see above) I’m not 100% sure how well a G2 will work on a European HSPA network – a Z will probably not work on T-Mobile’s 3G network since it lacks the 1700 MHz uplink band
HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) Yes No? This is where the G2 apparently can get “4G speeds” on the T-Mobile HSPA+ enabled network. I’m not sure if this feature lacks in the Desire Z, though, or if the Z in fact is capable of the same, but since it would only work on T-Mobile US’ network it’s never mentioned as a feature.
LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G No No Just to clarify that although T-Mobile use the term “4G” in their marketing, neither the G2 nor the Desire Z has support for LTE, considered to be (one of several?) true 4G technology/ies.

So, how can we conclude?
Before I continue, let me say that there might very well be errors or shortcomings in the above table, and if you are aware of any such, please leave a comment and I will update the table as soon as possible.

Now, I live in Norway, and I’ve had a T-Mobile G1 since November 2008. I bought it on eBay, where I found a friendly seller which had bought the G1, and then had received an unlock code directly from T-Mobile.
The phone has worked well these two years, and it has been the best phone I have ever owned, thanks to all the possibilities of rooting (I rooted it in January 2009, and never looked back…), using custom ROMs (been running Android 2.2 aka Froyo since July), and the vast availability of applications.
But it’s getting old and slow, and I have been waiting for a good replacement candidate for half a year now.

The obvious choice for me is the HTC Desire Z, since I am pretty much dependant on a hardware keyboard (I have actually had full qwerty keyboards on all my phones since 1998 – the original Nokia Communicator (brick, anyone?), the Palm Tungsten W, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 680, T-Mobile G1). But the extra storage in the G2 compared to the Desire Z (4 GB vs 1.5 GB) is tempting – but then again, no FM Radio (but that can probably be fixed, since I’m pretty sure that hardware wise there’s an FM radio chip onboard), no tether (again, can be fixed as soon as it’s rooted…), no Sense (not necessarily a drawback), and that major questionmark regarding data network compatibility – will I get full 3G data connection with the G2 on European GSM networks? Of cource, there’s the added hassle of actually getting an unlocked G2 and have it shipped to me, instead of just buying a Desire Z from an authorized dealer in Norway…

I haven’t decided on this just yet, but thought nevertheless that it could be interesting to show that these two phones are in fact somewhat different.

I will accept your comments now… ;-)
Correct my mistakes, help me decide what to do, share your view

20 Responses to “Comparing the T-Mobile G2 with the HTC Desire Z”

  1. Sigvard says:

    Hey man!

    Nice rundown of the similarities and differences. For my part, I shuffle my feet before choosing Desire HD, or Desire Z. I agree with the hw keyboard. It’s very nice to have one. Software keyboards tend to fill up the screen, and then you can’t see what you’re doing.
    Then again, the extra processor power on the HD would also be nice…
    For my part, there is no reason to perform the hassle of getting a foreign phone. I use 16 GB micro sdhc card in my Magic currently, and will likely not miss the extra 2GB of ROM. Allthough I do find it strange that HTC actually bothered to make the G2 different at all… After all, it’s just a branded phone…
    A dream come true would be a atachable keyboard for the Desire HD, if you ask me… :§

  2. Im thinking of changing to the blackberry . Whats the latest on the newtorch? Decent?

  3. Stefan says:

    Have you ever considered a Nokia N900? I have T-Mobile, also, in the US, and after having acquired said unlocked phone in November of last year, I could not find one single reason to switch …

  4. Os says:

    Apparently the T Mobile G2 will have 768mb of RAM where as the Desire Z has 512mb.
    Could be useful for the modding scene and general performance!
    Also with exchange rates and taxes etc, the G2 works out cheaper!

    If the G2 works properly in Europe I will definitely be getting one!!

  5. Anybody compare the new iPhone to the new Blackberry? I had a Blackberry back in the day but made the switch because their screen was too tiny. Ill concede the new one looks pretty sick.

  6. fox_lee says:

    If the G2 works properly in Asia(same as Europe,2100Mhz), I will get one without any hesitation!!!!!
    p.s. Up to now, i’m not sure how well will G2 work on Asia/Europe 3G.

  7. Another Title…

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  8. Sonji says:

    Don’t decide to not get the Desire Z based on the “extra” memory. I am currently testing the G2 (moving from WinMo) and its memory has only 1.2 after all the bloatware TMo and Google has put on it. I need a keyboard and I need an email app that accepts MS Outlook appointments. I find that this phone (android? without Sense?) cannot do this. There is currently no way that your rooted system will stay since whatever root you do, is gone after a reboot. I’m still unsure whether I will keep it, feels nice, keyboard is almost as nice as my Touch Pro 2, but unless I can find a workaround for the appointment thing on the phone, it might be a deal breaker. Too Bad because the Hardware is LOVELY. I’ve had it two days and the hinge is a little loose considering how new it is. Any suggests for the appointment workaround?

  9. Jón says:

    That is interesting, I’m going to USA in 2 weeks and want to get an Android phone there, since they are so much cheaper than here. The T-Mobile G2 is tempting, but T-Mobile proprietary stuff is a bit concerning, and I wonder about updates as well. The jury is still out on if the phone is rootable or not, but I have confidence in the Android hackers.
    The other option is the original Nexus 1, or getting HTC Desire, which is basically a tweaked Nexus, and wait for the prices of HTC Desire Z to drop a bit.

  10. T-Mobile Fan says:

    Careful with the T-Mobile G2 if you plan to root it. T-Mobile confirmed that the G2 won’t stay “rooted.” As it turns out, the phone will self-repair per a built-in lock that ensures the handset will find itself back to a stock state.
    See T-Mobile press release regarding this matter:

    http://press.t-mobile.com/articles/t-mobile-G2-code-level-modifications

  11. T-Mobile Fan says:

    Careful with the T-Mobile G2 if your into modding/rooting. The phone won’t stay “rooted.” As it turns out, the phone will self-repair per a built-in lock that ensures the handset will find itself back to a stock state. Here is T-Mobile USA’s official statement regarding this matter:

    http://press.t-mobile.com/articles/t-mobile-G2-code-level-modifications

  12. nicole says:

    thanx a lot! this is helpful!!!
    i was struggling between desire z and g2… because desire z is hard to get and freeeeeeeekin’ expensive…also s’one told me it impossible to have desire z work w/ at&t 3G network. i was so disappointed.
    i would consider getting an unlocked g2 now… i guess
    anyway thanx ! >_<

  13. cynthia says:

    Hi guys, I am in the same situation now. I want a phone with keypad. however HTC desire z is soooooo expensive. I am in UK at moment and i can not even get it from the major provider yet!! they say the phone will be lauched soon. I guess there will be an expensive period before the price droppe. I think I want to get a g2 from states. I can ask my brother to send me one. Can anybody tell me do I need to pay tax or something if he send me as a gift via post? none of us plan to visit each other soon but I want the phone NOW!!!

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  15. A says:

    Just adding my $0.02.
    I am currently using the G2. When I took it out the box & booted it up, I was immediately amazed. As soon as I put my SIM card in, the phone asked me to download & install a system update for tethering, wifi tethering & wifi calling. I did, and all work very well.

    The phone can now be permanently rooted, for those who might not have already known.
    http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/09/t-mobile-g2-gets-a-permanent-honest-to-goodness-root?icid=sphere_blogsmith_inpage_engadget

    I don’t think there was a native radio app pre-installed, but there are many very good free radio apps in the market. I used to run one when I was using a Motorola Cliq.

    My Z-hinge is very loose. However, if the hinge were tighter, it would be harder to open, and thus; more likely to break. During normal use, the keyboard does not come open on its own, or do any other irritating thing.

    The processor, while having a lower spec than some one the market, has repeatedly been called the fastest of any phone currently on the market. Many people have submitted YouTube videos displaying the speed against other phones. I’ve seen the tests, straight from the box, this phone can not only beat the Epic 4G in a speed test, but the actual speeds of the processor have been seen above the capabilities of the legendary Nexus One. I was going to buy a Nexus One until I saw this test:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn5UKl5z0Os

    While the test is not exactly perfect, the results still warrant a long second glance. This is obviously not a slow processor. Besides, T-Mobile will spread my payments over time with minimal finance charges, and no contract.

    With rooting, there is also an app to overclock the processor up to 1.42 GHz. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5LvjlE4Vyc
    That overclock also works on Desire z, Desire HD, and myTouch HD.

    Personally, I think my phone is amazing as-is, and will most likely not be rooting (but maybe next year). Again, this phone is amazing… I don’t know what else to say. EITHER of the two phones are amazing (and roughly the same thing), and I think will prove worth the money.

  16. A says:

    Oh, another thing: Since it doesn’t come with Sense, I use Lookout Mobile Security. I don’t personally know exactly what sense does, but Lookout has a phone finder (making the device scream when I lose it with the ringer off), backup, and many other nice features.

    To illustrate the speed of this phone, I will say this: My home PC is a nice, NOT obsolete computer, running Vista, and perfectly suitable for gaming. My phone is faster than my PC with almost everything. I can even play a limited number of web-based flash games on my phone, but it’s pretty slow with the ones on Facebook. BUT, they do load, and almost all are operational.

    Plus, Wifi calling means I finally have a great signal in my apartment, despite living in a dead spot (and when I say dead spot, I mean the only thing that works inside these walls is cable – as in when I call directv, or clearwire, etc., they all say I can buy it, but it won’t work here).

  17. mwburden says:

    The reason that the G2 doesn’t have FM radio is that the FM radio app requires some APIs that are in Sense that are not in the G2′s ROM.

    Besides the Desire Z ROM, there are some third party ROMs (both with Sense and without Sense but that include the necessary APIs) that have FM Radio capability.

    The Z hinge is fine. The G2 (or at least MY G2) has magnets that hold the screen in place when it is fully open or fully closed. Put a paperclip against the back of your screen when you have the keyboard open to see for yourself.

    T-Mobile should have never advertised the unit as having 4GB. Although it DOES have a 4GB memory chip, HTC used this chip’s ability to improve speed and reliability at the cost of halving the capacity, so the G2 only has 2GB, and only about 1.2GB available when you first turn it on.

  18. clarence says:

    i enjoyed reading this knowing i got the best of both. i recently got a g2 since im in the us. i wanted the desire z so i flashed the desire rom in my g2 and overclocked. also the things you mentioned: the g2 really only has 1.5gb internal like the dz. flashing the new rom also gave me fm radio, and i also have wifi tethering. so it really doesnt matter which you get cause with these phones whatever you want there is also a way to change or add it.

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