HTC Titan – A Review of HTC’s New Mammoth

It has been well over a year since the very first crop of Windows Phone 7 devices were let loose upon the smartphone world; featuring models from HTC, Samsung and Dell, amongst others. Whilst these devices made a good first impression, I could not help but feel that they were lacking in any distinctions that would truly do the platform justice. Instead, they seemed to give the image of being Android devices in disguise.

Thankfully, a new brigade of handsets has come charging over the hill to set the record straight, with the HTC Titan being undoubtedly the most head-turning of these. I dare say head-turning would be an understatement, as the Titan is certainly not a device to be taken lightly.

Size Matters

When setting eyes on the HTC Titan, you will immediately appreciate the weight the name carries; the device sports a massive 4.7″ 480×800 pixel display, one that not only secures the Titan’s place as the largest available Windows Phone, but also one of the largest smartphones one can buy without straying into the territory of small tablets.

Of course, this size could be easily seen as off-putting to users looking for a slightly more pocketable smartphone. It certainly wouldn’t be a lie to say that the Titan’s size can easily become a nuisance in situations where pocket space or the size of one’s hand is limited.

The HTC Titan looks a charm, mostly thanks to an unparalleled display size.

The phone feels like solid granite when held.

Although it’s size may be considered excessive, the HTC Titan is more than comfortable to hold; the overall dimensions of the device extend little beyond the space occupied by the display, and an exquisitely curved aluminium chassis makes for a smooth and unfettered grip. This same aluminium shell also makes for an unparalleled build quality; the phone feels like solid granite when held, and you could be forgiven for thinking that it could survive a fall from space.

The actual aesthetic of the phone is nothing too interesting, but it has a smooth, solid look to stay in tune with the build quality. The shell can be removed for SIM and battery access via a convenient button on the underside of the phone, an area which is also inhabited by a microphone.

Of course a smartphone wouldn’t be a smartphone without some sort of physical interface or two; Titan has a standard mini-USB slot on its left side, whilst the right side is shared by a volume control and a convenient physical camera button. The top of the device is crowned by a power button and 3.5mm headphone socket, whilst the rear hosts an impressive 8 megapixel camera with accompanying dual-LED flash, and a speaker.

Big on the Inside

Of course all this exterior appeal would be somewhat hollow without some killer power on the inside. Fortunately the HTC Titan does not disappoint in this regard either; under the massive display lies a 1.5ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5ghz, an accompanying Adreno 205 graphics processor, and 512mb of RAM.

The extra power is noticeably beneficial; navigating through the operating system’s various features suffers no slowdown.

Some may be wondering why HTC didn’t opt for a slightly lower clocked, dual-core processor in the Titan, a sentiment I would agree with if Windows Phone wasn’t already incredibly efficient with hardware usage.

With this advantage borne in mind, the higher-clocked single core processor suddenly seems incredibly generous. This extra power is noticeably beneficial; navigating through the operating system’s various features suffers no slowdown, whilst games are treated to a very charitable framerate boost.

The 4.7" display of the HTC Titan makes for a brilliant viewing experience, although it could use a bit of a boost in the resolution department.

Not to mention that all of this looks absolutely brilliant on the Titan’s massive S-LCD display, where colours are vivid and images in movies and games appear as large and as vibrant as ever.

Unfortunately the device’s abnormal screen size also shows a slight letdown in the resolution department, which, due to Windows Phone-imposed limitations is restrained at 480×800 pixels. With a size of screen such as this, a resolution more suited to smaller phones makes for a rather average pixel density, one that becomes uncomfortably obvious if your eyes wander closer than a foot from the display.

I had expected the benevolent tirade of above features to prove a back-breaking drain on the device’s battery, but surprisingly I found the battery to comfortably last me a good full day before requiring a recharge. Considering the power and display size you get with the phone, this is a most welcome positive.

In With The Big Shots

The Titan’s camera is another area worth going into detail on; the phone sports an 8mp 2.2 aperture lens camera, with a dual-LED flash and auto-focus, we are also treated to a front-facing fixed-focus camera for video calling. Windows Phone also offers up 720p HD video recording capabilities, and the latest update also brings along a handy feature for lining up and composing panoramic shots.

So how does the camera actually stack up? Well surprisingly it performs incredibly well for a phone-based shooter, taking crisp and rich shots and good-quality video. Given the average quality of earlier Windows Phone devices, this came as a pleasant surprise.

Final Thoughts

It’d be an understatement to say that the HTC Titan lives up to its foreboding name, in fact, it surpasses that in almost every department. It looks and feels great, as well as managing to pack some absolutely killer hardware inside.

If that wasn’t enough, all this is iced with a brilliant 4.7″ monster of a display which, whilst lacking slightly on the resolution front, will treat your eyes to no foreseeable end.

Of course there are some who may find a device of this magnitude a little too big, who may find themselves better off with a smaller Windows Phone serving. However if you’re one of the many who thinks that bigger is better, you literally can not go wrong with the Titan.


Summary

Big, bold, and packing some beastly power, the HTC Titan easily establishes itself as the best of it's kind, as well as being powerful contender in the smartphone arena at large. If you happen to be in the market for a Windows Phone device, this is it.

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  • Nick

    lol seriously, with a phone that size, single core? Aren’t they making quad-cores now for android?(I could be wrong but i’m pretty sure they’re almost here).

    I’ve played around with my sisters DroidX2, and compared to my DroidX, it’s SO much snappier, everything happens faster. I didn’t realize how slow my 1ghz phone was until I played with her phone, and hers is just a dualcore 1ghz. They’re coming out with 1.4ghz dual core etc. For a phone that big, it’s a bummer it’s a single core. And that resolution… 400X800?! ugh… it’s more than an inch bigger than the iphone, and the iphone is a measly unreadable 3.5in screen with a crazy nice resolution.

    Sure, it’s windows, not android, but I would have a hard time imagining the operating system itself being coded in a way where it’s quicker than Android, considering it’s windows, it’s a newer phone operating system, and Google’s obsessed with speed. WP7 may be hardware accelerated, but androids FINALLY taken care of that with ICS.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a 4.7in screen than anything smaller, that sounds like it might be the perfect size for a phone for someone who uses their phone often and doesn’t wear girl pants with the 2 inch deep pockets… but they really should have done much better for a phone that size…

    • Blackhawk

      My phone is an HTC HD7. It runs with a 1ghz single core Qualcomm cpu and it runs smooth, especially since we have received the Mango update. They have done a pretty good job with the optimization of the WP7 platform.

      Well yeah, the resolution is the same on every single WP7 phone, 480×800. This is still a requirement from Microsoft that may change with the Apollo update.

      According to some informations – rumors or not, I don’t know – the Apollo update will have:
      Multi-core CPU support, expandable microsd slot, various screen resolutions, Skype integration might come too

    • Ben Clark

      “Sure, it’s windows, not android, but I would have a hard time imagining the operating system itself being coded in a way where it’s quicker than Android, considering it’s windows, it’s a newer phone operating system, and Google’s obsessed with speed. WP7 may be hardware accelerated, but androids FINALLY taken care of that with ICS.”

      As much as I hate to point it out, you are incorrect on this part. The programming of an operating system and its kernel can have a huge impact on how system hardware translates into real-world performance.
      A good example of this would be the early-generation iPhones and the HTC Hero; the Hero had better hardware, but would suffer from unplayable performance issues with many applications whose iOS counterparts suffered no issue.

      I think the claim that Google is ‘obsessed with speed’ is also rendered a little sketchy by my above point, Android has always been relatively sluggish in my opinion, although it is a great operating system besides. Also, if they have been so obsessed with performance as you claimed, then why has it taken them so many revisions to get hardware acceleration in?

  • http://www.ssiddharth.com/ Siddharth

    Just to clear things up: my HD7 is single core and it runs butter smooth. Every single person whom I’ve shown my phone to commented on the scrolling performance.

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