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HTC Titan review

 Review: October 2011  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The HTC Titan runs Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and has the largest screen of any mobile so far, at 4.7 inches.

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Review

The first wave of Windows Phone 7 phones launched a year ago, and it's fair to say that they made a small impression on the smartphone market, most of it bad. To be fair to Windows Phone, it was a tough sell, launching against the iPhone 4 and Android phones like the Galaxy S. At Mobile Phones UK, we liked the first batch of Windows Phone products. We could see the potential. But you had to be a brave kind of early-adopting person to want to take the plunge. One year on, there's a second wave launching into the market, with a more polished version of the operating system. Has Windows Phone 7.5 Mango now got what it takes to go head to head with Android and the new iPhone 4S?

The HTC Titan is the daddy of Windows Phone devices. Clearly Windows Phone needed to get the tanks rolling, in order to make significant inroads into the smartphone market, and the Titan is the Tiger Tank of the mobile phone world. It's headline feature is of course the enormous 4.7 inch display - the biggest on any phone released so far. Now, only a year ago, we were cautioning people that the 4.3 inch screen of the HTC HD7 might be too big for everyday use, so we were very keen to get our hands on the Titan. The question we wanted to ask was - is 4.7 inches the must-have for 2011/2012 or is it just too big for mainstream use? The answer, surprisingly, is that the Titan feels hardly any bigger than a mainstream phone like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the HTC Sensation XE. Clever curves and an ultra-slim 9.9mm body make the slate-like Titan perfectly manageable in the hand. You might struggle to stuff it into your pocket, but in use it really doesn't feel too big at all. Our conclusion is that where the Titan leads, others will follow, and we expect to see a lot more 4.7 inch screens next year. We can't help feeling though, that with such a large screen a resolution higher than 480 x 800 would have been appropriate.

In addition to the huge screen, the Titan has plenty of firepower on all fronts. The processor runs at a lightning 1.5GHz, although it's not dual core. 16GB of memory is built in and there's a respectable 512MB of RAM, so all apps run quickly and the phone can multi-task without hiccups. It's not the ultimate in speed - dual core and more RAM would be necessary to ensure that - but it's pretty fast by most standards. There's no microSD memory card slot, however, so 16GB of built-in storage is all you've got - in fact it's about 12GB available for the user. Again, there are phones that offer more than this. Battery power is impressive, with a huge 1600mAh cell - one of the biggest available.

The camera is excellent. As well as an 8 megapixel sensor, there's a dual LED flash, improved low-light sensitivity and a very large f2.2 aperture to let in as much light as possible. The results are impressive, and can match a compact digital camera in good to moderate lighting conditions. The camera will also record high-quality video at 720p HD resolution, and there's a second front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera. Music and video playback is of very high quality, with 5.1 surround sound output.

Connectivity is excellent too, with HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm headphone jack all present.

But with any smartphone, the software is at least as important as the hardware. So, what does Windows Phone 7.5 bring to the table that the first release of WP7 failed to deliver? Well, appearances are largely the same, with the tile design retained. Tiles are not Android or iPhone style icons, but live elements, updating automatically with information. There's more scope for apps to offer live information under Mango, and more personalisation options too. Facebook and Twitter integration has been improved. Conversations can now span text messages, facebook messages and Windows Live Messenger just as if they were a single means of communication. It's easy to share photos now, too. Email has been improved, with more control over inboxes and better visibility of conversation threads. Music management has been updated with Zune HD adding features like smart playlists.

Mango introduces Internet Explorer 9 as its web browser. This has JavaScript and HTML 5 support, but not flash. There is, however, a separate app for watching youtube videos. Voice recognition has been added, so you can now search Bing by voice, and dictate messages.

Other new features for Mango include more efficient multi-tasking and improvements to the organiser and calendar. Microsoft say that over 500 improvements have been made.

Overall, Windows Phone 7.5 is a viable operating system that can stand up to the competition. We're not going to claim it's the best. That's quite subjective. But it's up there with Android and even iOS, and ahead of Symbian. One of the big bugbears with version 7 was a wide range of Bluetooth problems. Although Microsoft have updated the Bluetooth support for 7.5, we think that there are still a range of Bluetooth problems lurking, including pairing with car kits and headphones. We have no direct evidence for this, but listening to user feedback indicates these problems are still present.

So, to conclude. We love the big screen of the Titan. We like Windows Phone 7.5, although it won't be to everyone's taste and there are still some lurking issues. There's a great camera here and some powerful hardware. But memory is limited, there's no flash support in the web browser and there are other things that prevent this flagship phone from feeling like it's the very best. Having said that, it's available on contract for significantly less than the iPhone 4S, so we can forgive it for not being perfect.


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HTC Titan user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 14 reviews:

Reviewed by mistake spotter from pluto on 11th Oct 2012
What is battery size 1230 or 1600 coz at top of review U say 1600 then in features list irs 1230
Rating:

Reply by S21 from UK on 12th Oct 2012
Thanks. It's 1600. We've corrected it now!

Reviewed by Thuasiram from India on 22nd May 2012
i don't know why people always think of half cup empty. windows phone is awesomw. i was a windows user since HTC Titan (old with WM 5.0)i never saw a person who uses 300K apps. windows offers apps which we use on daily basis. and it is fast, stable and awesome live tilt technology.
i think Wm way dominates IOS (compared to cost iphone(50k, where as we can get wm for just a half of it). i think it wouldnot be a good idea wasting 25k for a bitten apple
Rating:

Reviewed by Lewis from UK on 19th Apr 2012
Having used this phone for a few weeks I can say that it's an ok device and windows phone OS is ok. The OS lacks customisation but it is a smooth/fast OS. The handset is great. Just wished it was a little smaller. But other than that it is ok. However I prefer IOS and the size of the iPhone. So I have gone back to the iPhone 4. Plus the app store has far more choice than marketplace.
Rating:

Reviewed by Pip from UK on 15th Apr 2012
I've had my HTC Titan about a month now, moved from an iPhone 3GS after much hesitation about WP7. Android interface didn't really interest me. I love the Titan though!

The Titan is of good solid build, lovely big crisp screen (resolution specs are lower but you don't notice it, absolutely lovely for photos and videos and the operating system), battery life comparable to iPhone (will last a heavy day's use but needs charging every night). Nice loud volume for music and films, call quality fine. Again, processor specs are lower but you never notice, it zips along really quickly without any lags.

The Mango operating system 7.5 is lovely to use, it just does everything very smoothly and simply, a pleasure to use. The marketplace may not have the volume of apps but it does have the quality, it has everything I want and need so I'm really happy.

Small gripes would include inability to make folders, and would like a decent week-view on the calendar (or ability for 3rd party apps to manage the calendar directly).

Overall really pleased, would recommend WP7 and the Titan to anyone - and hopefully the operating system update codenamed Apollo due end of this year will make it even better.
Rating:

Reviewed by cove19 from UK on 14th Apr 2012
Not sure why this website only gave 4 out of 5 for this device. My impressions after using it for the past 3 days is awesome.

I traded in my iPhone 4 for this handset and I'm not sad to see the back of it. Since apples updates for ios5 my iPhone was turning into a nightmare. Main problems were with battery life. Normally i could get full days use from one single charge with a good 40% battery left before 22:00. After the last lot of updates this was never the case.

Back to the HTC Titan. 5 out of 5. After heavy use getting to know the windows is and the phone I can't see any issues with battery life. Windows mango is is great and a blessing to use. Apples IOS has had its day. Android is great but best suited to tablets. Windows mango is superb.

Well done Microsoft and well done HTC.

I only have one niggle about the hand set, well not the phone but with finding good phone cases for it. ;-)
Rating:

Reviewed by Okenwa from United Kingdom on 16th Mar 2012
I have used HTC Titan for two months as a replacement for HTC Touch HD.It has been a blissful experience.I was initially worried about the size of the screen but my worries completely went when I first handled the phone.It does not feel big.I often read comments about the number of pixels but from my experience this is not an issue at all as the screen display is impressive and colour display vibrant.If you are ebook lover like me, you will love HTC Titan with free Amazon Kindle apps for download from window market place.The battery life is good.I only charge it overnight and never needed extra charging within the day despite being above average user.I nearly gave up on window phone because of limitations in apps but I have been won over again by the efforts put in HTC Titan.
Rating:

Reviewed by whataguywants from United Kingdom on 16th Mar 2012
Got the Titan as a replacement for the Lumia 800 which is a great phone but battery life sucks. I was a previous iPhone fan but the WP7 OS blows it and Android out of the water. The large screen of the Titan compliments WP7 perfectly. The screen doesn't feel too big in the hand and I think that 4.5" plus screens will be the standard in the near future. Everything less seems inadequate in comparison. My only gripe is that you cannot see the screen at all when taking pictures in daylight. Battery life could be better but no worse than most smartphones and better than the Lumia 800. Buy this phone, you won't regret it.
Rating:

Reviewed by ally from USA on 16th Feb 2012
wow!!!
Rating:

Reviewed by Ahmed from UK on 27th Jan 2012
Got the Titan this week, been really looking forward to it after using the Trophy for a short while, which was my first Windows Phone. However after 2 days this is sadly going back. Don't get me wrong, as others have said this is a great looking phone with a wonderful bright screen that looks very similar to AMOLED. But the sheer size and weight of this thing obviously isn't for everyone. Even though I have fairly normal size hands and fingers, after 2 days use I've ended up with an aching thumb! To the extent I was stating to be put off from using the thing as it started to become so uncomfortable to use. All in all interesting experience, after using the Galalxy S2 a few months ago missed the larger screen and was really looking forward to this. So its goodbye Titan as the search continues for the best Windows phone.
Rating:

Reviewed by Andre from UK on 19th Jan 2012
I've had two android phones to date and was unimpressed with the Os. My wife has iPhone and although the iOs is impressive, I've never been impressed with the function of the phones. I bought the titan several weeks ago after researching it for a few weeks. Verdict, the best phone I've ever seen or used. I can't fault any aspect of it. The pixel quality is awesome, speed is unbelievable, its simple to use, excellent camera etc. Best HTC phone to date. Windows Os is quite impressive too. Zune is brilliant too, easy to use. Ok, windows Os is not as big as IOS or android, yet, but I hope that will change in time. As long as htc continue to make phones like the titan, and windows expands, I'll stick with it!
Rating:

Reviewed by Phone Man from UK on 5th Dec 2011
Excellent phone. Could be an issue for some people due to the larger size. I have small hands and struggle with one handed operation definitely needs 2 hands to operate.Windows phone 7.5 is very smooth and efficient. Highly recommended it just works! No flash is a positive in my opinion. I turn it off on my SGS2 as it slows it down and is not really needed for general browsing.
Rating:

Reviewed by MRB from United Kingdom on 31st Oct 2011
I have had this phone for two weeks now, and in that time I've been bowled over by it's speed, stability and all round performance. Previously I had an iPhone and I can honestly say I don't miss it at all. I feel Microsoft have done a great job with the OS, it's very intuitive to use and looks fantastic, and actually makes both iOS and Android look extremely dated. The app situation isn't quite as bleak as some say, in fact there are some excellent free ones available, and I've found equivalents to all my iPhone apps. I've read several reviews on this phone and they keep mentioning the 'low' screen resolution - this really is a non-issue, the display is outstanding, and colours are nice and vibrant too. It's great for showing your photos (incidentally albums are synched with Facebook which is another positive about WP7). Internet browsing on this phone is a superb experience, the IE9 browser works nicely and is very quick on a 3G or wireless connection. It doesn't support Flash though which is a bit of a shame. As far as I'm concerned the only downside to the Apple is that the WP7 music player doesn't support gapless playback, but in the scheme of things this isn't a major issue. The sound quality is excellent. All in all an excellent phone. I have no regrets. It's more unique than an iPhone, and I know it's subjective, but I think it's better.
Rating:

Reviewed by John Styring from England on 29th Oct 2011
I own the galaxy s2 , iPhone 4 and iPad 2 all great products in their own right. The htc Titan is in my opinion the perfect phone, the screen is superb (don't be put off with all,the hype about pixel counts ) fantastic display of detail and clarity. The integration of Zune and Xbox is unique and is far superior to iTunes , Call quality and battery life are outstanding , mango now allows you massive selection of free ringtones with the ringtone app, super loud ringer. The review above states no flash which also is absent on all iPhones and iPads . The Zune music bluetooths perfect on my parrot hands free car kit giving superb audio quality through the cars sound system, In all a truly outstanding phone that lets you have best of both worlds , a phone and super sized web browser, microsoft word and people and friends integration. The live tiles are amazing and informative without the battery drain which affects android phones. Again love the s2 iPhone 4 and ipad2 but this Titan phone is in all the perfect phone.
Rating:

Reviewed by JayBoy from England on 28th Oct 2011
Wow what a phone. Having previously left feedback for the Omnia 7 and Mozart its now time for my Titan review. 1st things 1st the screen is huge! It maybe too big for some people so i suggest playing with one before you purchase. Even though its SLCD its far better than previous gen WP7 HTC mobiles (mozart,HD7,Trophy). They really do look washed out in comparison. Another great improvement is the camera. HTC have been knows for producing great phones but having below par cameras. Not on the Titan. Its the best i have seen on a HTC yet (not had chance to play with Sensation XE). The video recording is ok but not as good as the still camera. WP7 Mango flies on the handset and games work better thanks to the faster processor. So id recommend this to people who like big phones. If its going to be too large for you then get the Radar, or wait for the Nokia Lumia 800 for Samsung Omnia W
Rating:


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