Big and bright display with wide viewing angles; Sturdy and elegant design; Smooth performance; Good battery life; Useful camera settings
Design too large for some; Sluggish "4G" speeds; Takes fuzzy photos in low light; Poor video call quality with Tango
The HTC Titan sports a huge, high-quality display along with snappy Windows Phone performance, but its sheer size will turn off some.
Like a cross between a ginormous phone and small tablet, the HTC Titan for AT&T makes other Windows Phones look like Tic Tacs. Sporting a 4.7-inch display, this device gives Microsoft's lively interface a big canvas for everything from web surfing and Xbox games to watching movies. The Titan is also one of the fastest Windows Phones yet, thanks to a 1.5-GHz processor, and it features an 8-megapixel camera. Read on to find out if this phone is a big hit or literally too much to handle.
DesignSamsung Galaxy Nexus, which has a similarly sized 4.7-inch screen, and it's much heftier than the 3.9-ounce Samsung Focus S (4-inch display). However, HTC's design feels much more solid.
Assuming you're willing to put up with its girth, you'll really like the look and feel of the Titan. It has a mostly aluminum back that's ultra-sturdy, broken up by two small bands of plastic at the top and bottom. An elegantly engraved HTC logo sits beneath the 8-MP camera, LED flash, and speaker. The back is also delightfully easy to remove if you need to replace or pull the battery; one button at the bottom of the device does the trick.
Display and Audio
The Titan gets its name from its 4.7-inch display, which dwarfs the screen on the 4-inch Samsung Focus S. However, this panel has the same resolution as every other Windows Phone (800 x 480 pixels). We would have preferred 720p resolution, like on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or at least qHD resolution. Alas, Microsoft's OS doesn't yet support that kind of pixel density.
The Titan's panel outshone most other phones, though; its average brightness of 425 lux was higher than the Galaxy Nexus' (416 lux) and much higher than the Samsung Focus S' (183).
The speaker on the back of the Titan was nice and loud when we watched that trailer, as well as when we streamed Bush's "The Sound of Winter." The sound was somewhat tinny but certainly clear enough to hear over our sink when washing a few dishes.
Software and User Interface
Like all Windows Phones, the Titan features a dynamic Live Tile interface that displays updates, eliminating the need for a separate notification window. You can turn almost anything into a Live Tile-- from websites and contacts to Foursquare deals--by pinning it to the Start screen. The look of the Start screen can be a little disorienting at first, but you can move tiles around or remove them to completely customize the experience.our full review of the OS.)
The Start screen includes a few of AT&T's own tiles, such as U-Verse Mobile and AT&T Navigator, both of which can be removed. You'll also find a shortcut for the HTC Hub, which feels like a watered-down version of what you'll find on Android phones (weather, news, stocks, etc.).
HTC equipped the Titan with a single-core 1.5-GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory. The Windows Phone 7.5 OS has been snappy and lag-free on every device we've tested, and that was the case here as well. Apps opened quickly, and switching between apps was fast as well. In addition, the Titan switched between landscape and portrait modes just as speedily as the iPhone 4S.
To measure the HTC Titan's performance, we first ran WP Bench, which tests CPU; memory and storage; and GPU performance. The Titan notched 98.54, which is on par with the Samsung Focus S (98.75, 1.4-GHz CPU) and well ahead of the 79.62 turned in by the HTC Radar 4G (1.2-GHz). In Benchmark Free, the Titan got the same 6.3 score in the CPU integer portion of the test, compared to just 4.7 for the Radar.
Web Browsing and Data PerformanceLG Nitro HD and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Those true 4G phones averaged download speeds in excess of 15 Mbps and uploads of at least 5 Mbps. By contrast, the Titan pulled down an average of just 1.9 Mbps, and uploads were a measly 310 Kbps. You probably won't want to upload large photos or videos to Facebook unless you're on a Wi-Fi network.
When surfing the web, the Titan didn't blow us away, either. It took the phone 8 seconds to load the mobile version of ESPN.com, 11 seconds for CNN Mobile, and another 11 seconds for Yahoo Mobile. The full desktop version of NYTimes.com took 18 seconds. Smartphones with 4G LTE take about half as long to load the above sites.
The browsing experience itself could be better. We like that there's an always-accessible address bar at the bottom of the screen, but getting to tabs takes two taps, and sharing pages via social networks takes three taps.
Beyond games, you'll find essentials such as Facebook, Foursquare, Slacker, all of which leverage Windows Phone's unique Metro UI. Our favorite new app is Spotify, which lets you listen to as much music as you want for $9.99 per month. Video fans who want to stream the latest movies will like the Netflix app.
HTC bundles its Photo Enhancer, while others such as Flashlight and HTC Watch (for downloading movies and TV shows) are available for download. Pre-loaded AT&T apps include Code Scanner, FamilyMap, myWireless, Navigator, and U-Verse mobile. Powered by TeleNav, AT&T Navigator is the most useful AT&T app, which delivers turn-by-turn directions ($9.99 per month or $2.99 per day).
Zune Music and Video
However, you can't download movies or TV shows over the air. You need to connect the phone to a PC running the Zune software, which is annoying. You need to use this same software to sync photos and videos. For some odd reason, Microsoft still doesn't let you drag and drop files from the phone to your desktop.
Camera and Camcorder
The Titan also includes a ton of settings to produce better shots, from multiple scene modes to a handful of effects (including negative and solarize). Our favorite feature is Panorama Shot, which guides you through stitching together a wide-angle image.
Our 720p camcorder footage of downtown New York City traffic was on the fuzzy side. While playback was smooth on our desktop, the picture wasn't very detailed.
The front-facing camera on the Titan works with the Tango app for video calls, but we wouldn't recommend using it. Even over Wi-Fi the other caller said he could hear only a few words, and that the audio and video was never in sync.
Call Quality and Battery Life
On our end of the line, calls on the HTC Titan sounded loud and mostly clear. However, a caller said we sounded somewhat distant when we dialed her mobile. When we called back to her landline, she said we sounded better through the speakerphone than through the handset itself.
Although the HTC Titan couldn't perform our battery test, the device delivered good endurance in everyday use. After unplugging the handset at 1 p.m., we still had 30-percent charge left by 10 p.m.
VerdictSamsung Focus S, which is the same $199 on AT&T. The Samsung offers similar performance in a much lighter design, but the Titan has a sturdier build and significantly brighter screen. Bottom line: If you want the largest display you can find on a Windows Phone--and don't mind the girth that goes along with it--the Titan won't disappoint.
|Form Factor||Candybar Touchscreen|
|Operating System||Windows Phone 7.5|
|Networks||GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS: 850/1900/2100 MHz|
|Memory Expansion Type||none|
|Display (main)||4.7 inches/800 x 480|
|Bluetooth Type||Bluetooth 2.1 EDR with A2DP|
|Front Camera Resolution||1.3MP|
|Camera Resolution||8 MP|
|Audio formats supported||WMA|
|Audio formats supported||AAC+|
|Audio formats supported||WAV|
|Audio formats supported||AAC|
|Audio formats supported||MP3|
|Audio formats supported||M4B|
|Audio formats supported||M4A|
|Audio formats supported||eAAC+|
|Audio formats supported||AMR|
|Talk / Standby Time||4 hours/14 days|
|Size||5.1 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches|
|SAR Rating (Head)|
|SAR Rating (Body)|