We've just gotten to grips with HTC's luscious new Desire Z slider (you'll know it as the T-Mobile G2 in the US) and it is indeed a slab of finely crafted metal. That Z hinge that the company is touting feels pretty robust, requiring a reassuring amount of torque to get it to spring open. And it really is a spring, it flips from closed to open instantaneously. The QWERTY button array feels pretty terrific, giving us just the right amount of responsiveness, while separation between keys feels a lot more spacious than the images would lead you to believe. It's also worth noting that, exactly as HTC promised in its keynote, the Desire Z has one of the most accessible top rows in the slider smartphone business. We honestly didn't think there was a difference between typing on it versus any of the other rows. That's quite the feat, and easily positions this as the best competitor to Nokia's newly announced E7. Are we witnessing a QWERTY renaissance? We sure hope so. Check out the gallery below and hands-on video after the break.

Update: Added a second video to demonstrate the Z's ridiculously fast startup and more under Android 2.2 Froyo.

HTC Desire Z -- more hands-on pics!

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HTC Desire Z hands-on

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