By November 28, 2011

HTC Titan Review

HTC Titan ReviewThe Titan is one half of the newest phones released by HTC with the latest version of Windows Phone 7 but this is the most interesting device. Mainly because of the gargantuan 4.7 inch screen, a fast 1.5 GHz processor and Windows Phone 7.5. There is no doubt that it certainly impressive on paper but how does it perform in real life? Has HTC been too ambitious with the screen size? Should you choose the Titan over anything else? Read on to find out!

What’s in the box?

  • Device: HTC Titan
  • Battery
  • Earphones
  • 3-Pin UK Wall plug
  • USB to Micro-USB sync/charge cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Warranty info

See the unboxing video below:

 

 

 

The 10 Second Review:

  • Device: HTC Titan
  • Price: SIM Free: around £400
  • Summary: A well built, fast and smooth handset that has one of the biggest screens on a phone that I have ever used.
  • Best of: Screen, Windows Phone 7 Mango, Zune Pass, Xbox Live integration
  • Worst of: Huge screen may be to big for some people, battery could be better, no removable storage
  • Buy it now from: Clove.co.uk

 

HTC Titan Specification:

  • Processor: 1.5 GHz
  • Platform: Windows® Phone OS
  • Memory: Total storage: Up to 16GB
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Dimensions: 70.7mm x 9.9mm x 131.5mm
  • Weight: 160 grams (5.6 ounces)
  • Display: 4.7-inch touch LCD screen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • Network: HSPA/WCDMA
  • Europe/Asia: 850/900/2100 MHz Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • Internal GPS antenna
  • HTC Locations
  • BingT Maps
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • DLNA for wirelessly streaming media to your TV
  • A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
  • PBAP for phonebook access from the car kit
  • Gyro sensor
  • G-Sensor
  • Digital compass
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Camera: 8 megapixel camera with 28mm lens f/2.2 aperture, double LED flash, 720p HD video recording
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery Capacity: 1600 mAh
  • Talk time: 270 – 710 minutes for GSM and 140 – 410 minutes for UMTS
  • Standby time: 230 – 360 hours for GSM and 260 – 460 hours for UMTS
  • 3G: Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed and up to 5.76 Mbps upload
  • GPRS: Up to 80 kbps downloading
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n

 

General:

On the top of the device you have the power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack whereas the bottom of the handset houses just the microphone. The Micro-USB port is the only thing on the left hand-side of the HTC Titan and the up/down volume rocker and dedicated camera button is on the right. The 8 MP camera, dual-LED flash and speaker grill is on the back but the entire front is taken up by the 4.7″ screen with the capacitive buttons underneath and the ear speaker grill at the top.

HTC TITAN - 6 views - Carbon Grey-420-90

 

Review

It has been just under a year since I last used a Windows Phone 7 handset and that was when I reviewed the previous generations’ heavyweight, the HTC HD7 with a 4.3 inch screen. However, the new big boy in town is the HTC Titan with an impressive 4.7 inch screen that dwarfs anything else around it, so that is where we will start with this review.

As I just said the LCD screen on the HTC Titan measures in at 4.7″ with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Now this may seem a far too small of a resolution for a screen that big and I thought that too before I had used it but honestly, it really isn’t a problem.

HTC-Titan (1)

The quality of the screen is actually quite good: the colours especially are great, the blacks are deep and it is very responsive. Around the screen there is a little lip that protrudes out which serves two functions that I really like: to designated where the screen is when you are using it and to prevent scratches when you place the HTC Titan it face down.

But the most important aspect of the screen is it’s immense size! At 4.7 inches, this is easily the biggest phone I have ever used and I before I had even it my hands, I was concerned about whether or not it would be too big. But after using the HTC Titan for a while, I started to get adapted to the size of it and after a few days I started to like it. But then when I had to sent the phone back, I had to start using my Desire HD again and it just felt far to small! Even for a screen that is 4.3 inches! As for whether or not the 4.7 inch screen size will catch on, I am unsure, but personally I am sold. There is just so much more real estate for you to view and use and therefore it adds to create a better user experience, but probably for only the people who have larger hands.

Just like almost every HTC handset, the Titan has unmatched build quality. The handset weighs just enough to not be too heavy but light enough to not make it feel cheap, most of it is made of metal giving it a really nice solid texture and there are no squeaks or creaks at all. This is probably one of the best built handsets I have ever used.

Powering the Titan is an equally titanic processor clocking in at an impressive 1.5 GHz. Now, I do understand there has been quite a lot of confusion about whether this is a dual-core chip or not and in this case it is the latter. However, when using the Titan, I do really feel that it couldn’t possibly get any faster and therefore I am not phased one bit by it not having a dual-core processor underneath.

 

The HTC Titan is one of the first handsets to be released in the UK with the latest version of Windows Phone 7: codenamed Mango. Although aesthetically, the two versions are identical, there have been many subtle and important changes to the operating system.

It still has the unique and colourful Metro interface that uses large tiles for accessing apps but now can be used as widgets but on WP7, they are called Live Tiles and they can show anything from how many unread emails you have to vary on colour depending on how close your flight is to leaving.

IMG_20111107_162136

The homescreen is the place where you should put all of your most important apps such as the phone, text messaging, social networks etc… But if you press the little arrow in the top right hand corner or if you just swipe across with your finger, you see the menu where you can now access all of the installed apps on the device; Helpfully arranged alphabetically.

IMG_20111107_162146

You can also give your own personal touch to your HTC Titan if you wish by choosing from a range of different vibrant colours that govern the accent colour on your handset from red to purple and brown to pink. You can also change the colour of the background and the options are white or black. I would suggest the latter because a black background will drain the battery considerably less than a white one because 4.7 inches of white pixels will probably only last a couple of hours.

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The dialler on Windows Phone 7 is frankly rather good! The numbers are huge and easy to see and press and it makes dialling super easy. Call quality was as good as you would expect and you also have access to all of the phone features you would expect such as speaker, hold and mute.

IMG_20111107_162536

The next latest addition to Windows Phone 7 is probably the biggest, most needed and probably most useful and that feature is multitasking! You now no longer have to wait ages for each app to start up or navigate all the way back to the home screen to check your emails again. You do this by holding down the back button and then all of the most recent opened apps show up in a card view that is slightly reminiscent of the now obsolete WebOS. While this addition is most welcome I do feel that it is far overdue and I still don’ t understand why it took almost 12 months to add but now that it is here, there is no point complaining.

IMG_20111107_162210

One of the best features of Windows Phone 7 is it’s email client: it is clean, well laid out and has pretty much every feature you could want from an email client. It supports everything from Hotmail to Gmail to Exchange (a huge bonus for business users) and everything in-between. Across the top you’ll find your Inbox, Unread, Flagged and Urgent email categories and you can switch between them by simply swiping across the screen.The interface itself is clear and simple.

IMG_20111107_162238

Another improvement to Mango comes in the form of Unified Inboxs (or “Linked Inbox” as they are called on WP7), which is a huge plus from me and probably from everyone who has more than a single email account and this was one of my biggest complaints about the previous version of Windows Phone 7.

Even typing is a delight on Windows Phone 7 because you get to use the fantastic keyboard. You get the spell correction of Android and the simplicity of the iPhone keyboard. And on the Titan it is even better because of the big screen. I can fly across the keyboard and it makes sending long emails a breeze. It doesn’t lag or hang. Very responsive. There is also an emoticon button as well which is a nice feature for all those people you like using smilies :). The keyboard can also rotate but in this orientation the letters don’t go all the way to the end of the screen. Could be annoying for some but I didn’t really notice that much.

IMG_20111107_162718IMG_20111107_162726

The browser has also changed significantly with the Mango update as it has the same code as IE9 on Windows 7. It is really fast at loading web pages, it is very smooth when panning around the page and the browser itself is very rich in features. You can also view web pages in landscape or you can double tap and get the text to resize around the screen to make it easier to read but it like the iPhone, it cannot view Flash content and depending on your stance, this is either a good thing or a bad thing.

IMG_20111107_162259IMG_20111107_162307IMG_20111107_162318

A unique feature for WP7 is the Xbox Live integration. Being an avid gamer myself, I thought that this feature is brilliant. You can earn extra achievements by playing Xbox Live games downloaded from the WP7 market, send and receive messages from you Xbox Live friends and customize you avatar from the phone itself.

IMG_20111107_162553

Games are particularly good on the HTC Titan probably due to the huge screen and the powerful processor There is no lag at all and it’s very responsive and smooth and this addition will probably be the biggest attraction of users to the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Media is also a huge thing on Windows Phone 7 with the addition of the Zune Pass. This gives you access to almost every track on the Zune marketplace and this is without a doubt the best feature for me on Windows Phone 7; Having access to millions of songs for just £8.99 is really a great deal. Yes I know not every song is available and yes I know you usually have to download them to the device before you can start listening, however, for the money you pay and for what you receive in return, it really is fantastic value for money.

IMG_20111107_162403

The Titan has an 8 megapixel camera that is one of the best that they have made for a long time. There is a 28mm lens with f/2.2 aperture and BSI sensor which is certainly impressive for a phone camera.

IMG_20111107_162452

One of the advantages of all Windows Phone 7 phones is that they all have dedicated camera buttons that when pressed from anywhere in the software, it opens up the camera app so that you won’t miss those important moments.

Check some sample pictures out below…

Titan Picture 1Titan Picture 2

Titan Picture 3

 

Battery

For such a huge screen, I was actually surprised that the HTC Titan managed to get through most of the day on one charge probably thanks to the 1600 mAh battery. However, this is still one area of all modern smartphones where I want to see a huge step forward as with pretty much every smartphone I have used (that includes Android handsets and the iPhone), I have had to manage carefully what is running and how to make the most of the battery.

 

Conclusion

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the HTC Titan: I loved the screen, Mango is a well needed update which does what it says on the tin and the hardware quality is fantastic but there still isn’t that “want” factor with the Titan that other devices have such as the iPhone. Everything is there for it to be a fantastic top of the range smartphone but there is no compelling incentive for anyone to switch over from other platforms. Unfortunately this seems to be the case with almost every other Windows Phone 7 handset even despite the Operating System one of my personal favourites.

As for the Titan, I can definitely recommend the handset with 100% certainty, however I can’t say that this handset is better than anything else on the market so you will have to make up your mind if you pick the Titan, the iPhone or an Android phone because it has to be a personal choice. But if you do decide to plunk down the cash for the Titan, I highly suggest that you try the phone out first because 4.7 inches may not be for everyone!

 

Review by: Patrick

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Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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