Monday, 28 November 2011

HTC Titan review

One big scary smartphone, the HTC Titan. Visible from space. Oh well, a little exaggeration won't hurt. But as far as we can tell, they certainly wanted it big enough to see from Finland.
Microsoft have a thing going on up north that they want to explore. But old-time partners HTC won't take the cold shoulder. They are honoring their part of the agreement and making a big statement.
The size of the Titan aside, the message HTC are sending is loud and clear. Nokia will be instrumental in shaping the future, essential to fulfilling the vision of a third ecosystem. But here we are, delivering here and now.

HTC Titan

The Titan is among the first WP7 Mango phones to make it to the market. It’s the biggest too – and likely to stay this way for quite a while. And although it feels good to think HTC were keen to show to newly-fledged allies Nokia what’s what, the size of the phone is more than just muscle flexing.

Read More After This Break.....

Many upgraders will be looking at the Titan and the bigger screen is the right thing to show them. Otherwise the doubters would’ve been right to ask: why Titan and not a Mango-running HD7. But the display is not the only upgrade over last year’s Windows Phone flagship.
Key features:
Massive 4.7" 16M-color S-LCD capacitive touchscreen of WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
Dual-band 3G with HSDPA 14.4 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS
1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon CPU, Adreno 205 GPU 512MB RAM
8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, 28mm wide-angle lens, F2.2 aperture and BSI sensor
Hardware camera button
720p video recording @30fps
Ample 16GB of built-in storage
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Standard microUSB port (charging)
Wi-Fi b/g/n
Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
Mobile Office document viewer/editor
Social network integration and cloud services
Built-in A-GPS receiver
Stereo FM Radio with RDS
Comes with HTC Hub and exclusive HTC apps
Main disadvantages:
A bit on the gigantic side
Screen size stretches the resolution a little thin
Non-expandable storage
No mass storage
Zune only file management and sync
No Flash (nor Silverlight) support in the browser
No native video calls
No DivX/XviD video support (automatic transcoding provided by Zune)

We already let a spoiler slip in our recent shootout. The Titan is an impressive cameraphone. It falls short in the video recording department but the lack of Full HD video is a platform limitation. Dual-core support is yet to come to Windows Phone 7. The HTC Titan is no slowpoke though on its 1.5 GHZ processor.

It’s got the typically solid HTC build too. The phone sure looks a handful but not as scary as some may think. The Metro UI plays its part here too. The Windows Phone 7 interface is good-looking and offers a novel software experience. The first generation didn’t quite get everything right but the Mango update is a big step forward.
Mango has enabled multitasking and improved the overall experience, while HTC are lending some of their custom add-ons to a package with already solid Office and Organizer credentials and deep social network integration.
The HTC Titan is a quick ticking smartphone – responsive and well connected. It’s a capable cameraphone too, well above the usual HTC standards. Plus, the OS is out of its teens and ready to be taken seriously.

HTC Titan live shots
The Titan should be the phone to solidify HTC’s reputation as a Windows Phone partner and help Microsoft make a transition from strictly-business to media-centric and social.

Retail box
The massive HTC Titan leaves almost no room for accessories in the box. You can rest assured though that the essentials are covered. A set of earphones, a USB cable and a detachable charger head are in the bundle. The usual leaflets are there too and that's it. Being a Windows Phone device it doesn't come with expandable storage, so no memory card in the package.

Design and build quality
The 4.7" S-LCD screen is the reason we're careful with the adjectives describing the HTC Titan. It's not as frighteningly big as you might have imagined. We can't really see it as the ladies' favorite but we have to acknowledge the market's been steadily moving towards bigger screens.

Display test50% brightness100% brightness
Black, cd/m2White, cd/m2Contrast ratioBlack, cd/m2White, cd/m2Contrast ratio
HTC Titan0.262338910.565671007
HTC Sensation0.211738090.61438720
Motorola Atrix 4G0.483146520.60598991
LG Optimus 2X0.232289820.353471001
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc0.033410780.333941207
Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II02310362
HTC Incredible S0.181629080.31275880
Apple iPhone 40.1418913410.394831242
The Titan feels nice to the touch. The styling is sober, consciously stripped of embellishments. The phone has the typically solid HTC build. It’s nearly all-screen up front and almost no bezel.
The HTC Titan is well built and reasonably comfortable to hold
Compared to phones like the Galaxy S II, there's nothing out of the ordinary about the Titan. Placed side by side with an HTC Radar, it really looks a lot bigger but then again the difference in screen estate says it all: the Radar has a 3.7" display.

A 4.7" screen makes for a big phone
The S-LCD capacitive unit of the HTC Titan has WVGA resolution and not qHD, which has been something of a favorite for HTC lately. We're guessing it's because WP7 isn't very flexible with different resolutions.
To put things into perspective, the HTC Sensation XE's 4.3" touchscreen has a pixel density of 256ppi, while the Titan manages only 199ppi. And while we were largely unimpressed with the Sensation XE, the Titan is quite a disappointment.
Yes, the screen size is quite a stretch for the resolution. This is most embarrassingly visible in the web browser, where text is as good as impossible to read at max zoom-out. On the 5" HD screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note this not a problem at all. Text is even smaller but absolutely legible on the sharp screen.
Compared to the preceding HTC HD7, one fault the engineers did well to address was the low response time of the screen, which caused an unpleasant ghosting effect when scrolling listed menus.
Above the HTC Titan's screen there's a secondary 1.3 MP video-call camera, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor. Three haptic-enabled capacitive touch controls are placed below the 4.7"display. The Back, Home and Search keys are well-spaced and nicely backlit in white.

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