Neowin Member Reviews: HTC Titan X310e

It's that time of the week again, where we showcase a review submitted by a member in our forums. Remember that we consider all reviews that are submitted here. Who knows, your review might make the front page next week!

This week we've selected a review from ~johnny for his extensive Window Phone, HTC Titan round up.

Introduction

The HTC Titan X310e is an odd one. HTC promoted their large screened HD7 as an entertainment device, complete with kickstand to let you enjoy it’s large screen wherever, whenever. With the Titan, HTC have decided to make the screen bigger – even better for enjoying movies and videos, and even chucked in HTC Watch, a video rental service – but they’ve decided to kick out the kick stand. Not a great idea.

On the front of the device you have deceptively small speaker hidden under the speaker grill, a 1.3 MP front facing camera , the 4.7” 800x480 SLCD screen, and 3 capacitive touch buttons.
In a rather peculiar design move, the screen actually sits inside the battery cover – the battery cover is not only the entire back of the phone, but it’s also each of it’s corners, and even has the speaker grill from the front of the phone. It’s not something anyone will immediately notice, but it’s a unique touch to the design.

Read the rest of the review on our forums ->

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backlit, 8MP, f 2.2 rear racing camera

This is not the most MP found on a WP7, see Fujitsu is12t - 13mp.

However, depending on how it is getting its 'pixels' it could be a lower quality camera considering size of chip, lens, etc. As they are only available at the time in Japan, I haven't tested one yet myself either.


but they've decided to kick out the kick stand. Not a great idea

I would have liked to have seen them keep this feature, but a lot of people were snapping them off or getting them caught, etc.

There are a TON of after market universal kickstands and cases with kickstands. Which I would guess is what HTC's thinking is, as the kickstand was a problem for cases on the other models.


Of course, a lot of 4S's great picture quality is down to great software too, and I very much doubt HTC's abilities to match Apple in that regard

HTC doesn't have to compete with Apple on software processing. It comes down to raw light/pixels captured. If you were worried about the best quality picture to put on facebook or other online site directly from your phone, they don't allow the full 8mp resolution anyway, so any additional 'processing' is going to be rather worthless.

If you are using the photos outside of posting online, which is why you might need 8mp over a cheaper camera, then you would be using at the VERY least something like Live Photo Gallery that has image processing, or (insert image processing software brand here.)

WP7.5 does have software processing, called auto-fix, that is rather close to exactly what Apple has done on the iPhone, except it is optional, so you can choose the captured pixels, which is kind of important to anyone that is semi serious about good camera shots, even with a phone.

With Apple, you don't have the option of NOT using it, which means you are losing captured pixels and image detail with an iPhone.

Another thing to consider, even on the phone, you can buy a ton of photo enhancing applications that are far more advanced that what Apple foists on their users.


This has to do with the WP7 2048x2048 texture limit I presume, but it's a slight downer.

I keep seeing this presenting as 'limitation' of WP7. It is a misconcept that this is a 'hard' limitation.

However, you are right that it is a bit silly that Microsoft's Camera/Photo App developers don't code around it.

Here is why this exists...

WP7 is using DX9 GPU technologies for the UI and Apps (Silverlight and XNA).

So this sets a base texture size limit, and with the DeviceCap of GPUs in phones, 2048 is about the right size to memory to performance, and thus WP7 works inside this hardware and DX9 mobile limit.

So the GPU accelerated UI and controls are designed around this and lock to 2048 for performance reasons, although you can shove beyond this, and the texture gets CPU rendered, which is like using a freaking Android.

However, there are several ways around this, and still keep GPU acceleration and even use a standard control with a 2048 limit.

For example you can use multiple controls/containers and break the image apart and load them into adjacent controls. Other tricks are to load a 'piece' of the image into the control, or also use more advanced versions of this like DeepZoom does, where you are dealing with a finite texture size, but have access to infinite pixels.

So it isn't a real restriction, and it only exists because of the GPU accelerated nature of WP7 and how its built in controls deal with images/textures that are subject to DX9 and hardware limitations, but it can be programmed around, which is either an issue of performance and/or time or just and oversight that the WP7 developers didn't program around this for the Camera and Picture Hub.

People thinking that WP7 is 'limited' to 2048 pixels is not accurate, and it is also kind of sad that the technology that gives WP7 its fast UI speed is what created this misconception that 'bad developers' and now even people in the IT world are repeating.

If people are going to say WP7 is limited to 2048 pixels/textures, then then should also say Android is limited to 1x1 pixels, as it has no acceleration and concept of textures in the base UI.

1 - never said it was, but it's f2.2 BSI sensor certainly sound more appealing. Couldn't find a spec sheet on any reference sensor Fujitsu might have used, but I'd really love to see some english speaking blog give that thing a proper whirl. I tried to buy one, but not even eBay has them around :[

2 - Still prefer a built in Kickstand, considering the price this thing is sold at they could have chucked one in. I remember the good old days of the HTC Touch Diamond, where you got a brilliantly designed box, free real leather case, a lightup charger, free screen proctectors and 3 nice magnectic stylus'. HTC were are about the premium experience back then. Now of course, it's cheap cardboard boxes, and excluding whatever they can. I guess that's what happens when they get mre popular, trying to save money. I understand trying to be affordable, but I wish some company would try and grab the luxury market again.

3 - The Titan overly compress' and softens it's images, which auto-fix isn't going help much. And using auto-fix tends to emphasis noise in all the pictures I've tried. It's no match for taking a good, sharp picture with correct colour and white balance in the first place. If it took pictures in a RAW format it wouldn't be an issue, but it doesn't, and the 4S takes better pictures

4 - End of the day, I know the reasons they've done it. But it's there, they haven't worked around it, and it exists everywhere in the OS, and it no matter what the explanation, it's still a downer.

(Coincidently it is annoying when you have a very long TextBlock in Silverlight on WP that gets cut off because of texture limitations. Even happens to it's containers as well).