Review

Review: HTC Titan

After reviewing the HTC Radar a couple of weeks ago, today I have a hands-on review of the second Windows Phone from HTCs October 2011 WP7 device refresh. The phone is called the HTC Titan, and it certainly is a Titan in all respects.

The device is dominated by a massive 4.7-inch display on the front, a slim, black and very HTC design along with a processor that’s much faster than previous Windows Phones. Essentially this device is an upgrade from the first-gen HTC HD7, and an upgrade it certainly is.

Our HTC Titan was kindly provided, as always, by MobiCity, so a big thanks to them for allowing us to conduct this review. Please check them out if you are thinking of buying a Titan.

Specifications

Below is a full table of the HTC Titan’s specifications. As you can see, the device’s main feature is the 4.7” 480 x 800 display and single-core Qualcomm processor at 1.5 GHz. It also features 16 GB of internal storage and an 8 MP camera, already cementing itself as a top-of-the-line HTC device.

  HTC Titan
Product Codes X310e
Codenamed "HTC Eternity"
GSM Bands 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Bands HSPA 850 / 900 / 2100
Display 4.7-inch 480x800 S-LCD
200 ppi pixel density
5-point capacitive multi-touch
Gorilla Glass
Processor Qualcomm MSM8255T Snapdragon (S2) chipset
1.5 GHz single-core Scorpion CPU
Graphics Adreno 205
RAM 512 MB
Storage 16 GB internal storage
12.8 GB available storage space
Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
A-GPS
DLNA
FM Radio
Camera 8 MP rear camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash
1.3 MP front camera
720p video recording (rear)
Ports MicroUSB (charging, data)
3.5mm audio jack
Sensors Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Gyroscope
Light sensor
Proximity sensor
Battery Li-ion 1,600 mAh removable
Launch OS Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango"
Launch Date October 2011
Size & Weight 131.5 x 70.7 x 9.9 mm
160 g

Really there are no notable emissions from the specification list, except for the microSD card slot which not many Windows Phones have anyway and only 720p video recording despite specs that could easily support 1080p.

Review Index

This review is pretty lengthy, so if you only want to find out about certain features skip to the appropriate section below, or simply watch the video overview on the next page.

  1. Introduction and Specifications
  2. Video Overview
  3. Design and Display
  4. Software
  5. Performance
  6. Camera
  7. Media Playback & Call Quality
  8. Battery Life and Conclusion
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53 Comments

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Doesn't seem to be very quick IMO. Apps open slower than on the SGSII, don't have an iPhone4S so can't compare but I'd imagine that is even quicker.

cashman said,
Doesn't seem to be very quick IMO. Apps open slower than on the SGSII, don't have an iPhone4S so can't compare but I'd imagine that is even quicker.

It's plenty fast. There's more to speed than how fast apps open. There's how apps perform under your finger, how responsive and consistent the UI is, and how usable the results are.

Although, it's worth noting the that HTC Hub demoed is one of the slowest apps to launch out there, and certainly not among the best performing. Other apps demoed in the video are a lot faster and more responsive.

Edited by ~Johnny, Oct 30 2011, 2:41pm :

I don't understand why the power button location is such a big deal. Do you often turn your phone on and off? I don't have a real smartphone (have a LG Rumor touch), but I just don't see why you would turn it on and off so much, but this author kept mentioning it.
I actually disagree with his suggested placement, then perhaps could hit when you didn't wish to.

why can I only read the first page of this review?
Clicking next or a page number always brings me back to the first page???

For a phone this big, why is the battery so small. Why can't they make the logic board smaller and make it sit in 1/2 the phone, and let the battery take up the rest?

If Apple can do it, I know others can.

I was in Europe last week and I had a chance to play with a Titan in a store; while I use both a HD2 and a HD7 therefore familiar with big devices I found that the Titan is too big, my opinion of course. The HD 7 is, again my opinion, the limit for a cellular phone, at least for average user.
What I also noted is that a screen of that dimension does not get along well with the OS specs: the tiles appears.... just too big; mind it there are no issue as pixilation but simply put everything seems too big.
So far my next phone will be a SIM Free Samsung Focus S, nothing on the horizon more appealing........ so far.

Why does it seem like every single Windows Phone is the same, except for physical screen size and what add-on memory chip size they use?

For me it would have been a viable alternative to the iPhone 4S if it were available in a 64GB model or at the very least a 32GB model with a mini-sd slot which can support up to 32GB cards. I'd love someone to explain to me what is up with Windows Phone 7.5 devices that have great specifications in all other areas but when it comes to storage they're horribly lacking.

The (sole) blame for that is HTC themselves. They've been doing this (featuring mobiles w/ decent-to-outstanding performance specs, and gimping devices with ridiculously meager amounts of ROM/flash RAM) since they started manufacturing Windows Mobile 5.0 devices back in '04/05. Infuriating stuff, really.

kizuran said,
The (sole) blame for that is HTC themselves. They've been doing this (featuring mobiles w/ decent-to-outstanding performance specs, and gimping devices with ridiculously meager amounts of ROM/flash RAM) since they started manufacturing Windows Mobile 5.0 devices back in '04/05. Infuriating stuff, really.

For me it wouldn't be so bad if they gimped the built in memory to keep the price low but said, 'Hey, here is a slot, cram it with as much storage as you like' - I'd be a happy camper. The lack of real storage sizes goes beyond HTC though because all the Windows Phone devices I've seen are horribly gimped - even the new Windows Phone 7 devices from Nokia are horribly crippled beyond belief with only 16GB of storage.

Really - are there people out there who have hardly any music or something? I'm 30 years old and just casually accumulating CD's over 15 or so years has resulted in a 150GB+ library of music (be it encoded using AAC set to quality of 127) - does everyone else just have half a dozen singles in their library or something?

What does the speakerphone sound like? The last HTC phone I had was an HD2 and the speakerphone was too bad to use. You'd get lots of vibrations and other noise that made it unusable. I'm considering this phone but only if the speakerphone produces good, clean sound.

"only 720p video recording despite specs that could easily support 1080p."

Just so you know, the S2 snapdragon SoC's, of which MSM8255T is one, don't support 1080p video capture or 1080p video playback - they both max out at 720p. 1080p was only introduced in S3 chips.

~Johnny said,
"only 720p video recording despite specs that could easily support 1080p."

Just so you know, the S2 snapdragon SoC's, of which MSM8255T is one, don't support 1080p video capture or 1080p video playback - they both max out at 720p. 1080p was only introduced in S3 chips.

Strange, as the device does indeed support 1080p video playback...

Scorpus said,

Strange, as the device does indeed support 1080p video playback...

Zune transcodes it to 720p video at sync.

Edited by ~Johnny, Oct 28 2011, 2:01pm :

What about the App store and how this compares to Android/iOS? Does it really make a HUGE difference, or is it just missing fart apps? I am interested in WP7 but the app store is the last thing to convince me ...

bushbrother said,
What about the App store and how this compares to Android/iOS? Does it really make a HUGE difference, or is it just missing fart apps? I am interested in WP7 but the app store is the last thing to convince me ...

The app store (Marketplace) has really improved since the beginning of WP7. There are a lot of quality apps available, and of course it doesn't have the same amount as the App Store/Market it still has a reasonable 35,000. I would recommend checking the Marketplace out in a local phone store for more information

Scorpus said,

The app store (Marketplace) has really improved since the beginning of WP7. There are a lot of quality apps available, and of course it doesn't have the same amount as the App Store/Market it still has a reasonable 35,000. I would recommend checking the Marketplace out in a local phone store for more information

THANKS!

Tom W said,
Why no mention of the fact the camera has face tracking, panoramic and burst shot modes? They are all new.

Ah whoops. I did test these and they both work fine, but somehow I forgot to mention it in the review

Scorpus said,

Ah whoops. I did test these and they both work fine, but somehow I forgot to mention it in the review


Yeah they're definitely worth mentioning, especially given the fact iPhone 4S now has face tracking.

As an aside, it's still the only Windows Phone with a gyroscope in it. Even the Lumia's don't have it listed in their specs.

~Johnny said,
As an aside, it's still the only Windows Phone with a gyroscope in it. Even the Lumia's don't have it listed in their specs.

The Samsung Focus S and Flash do include a gyroscope.

Why is it that mobile PHONE reviews never mention how long the battery lasts if you, you know, actually CALL someone on them?

Wakers said,
Why is it that mobile PHONE reviews never mention how long the battery lasts if you, you know, actually CALL someone on them?

I don't have an unlimited calls plan, so phoning someone for 6-10 hours would cost me a fortune

Ha, do you have any idea how hard it is to talk on the phone for 4.1 hours as stated here to test out that theroy? Also, many people use their smartphones in a combination of email,web and talk so reviewing in those terms is more realistic for use.

bdsams said,
Ha, do you have any idea how hard it is to talk on the phone for 4.1 hours as stated here to test out that theroy? Also, many people use their smartphones in a combination of email,web and talk so reviewing in those terms is more realistic for use.

But call time isn't mentioned at all. You can call someone for ten minutes to see if it takes anything off the battery, surely?

Battery life for other uses was predicted based on "usage patterns", so hiding behind that excuse is nonsense.

There's no point having a smartphone if you can use the wifi on it for several hours, but if you make a twenty minute call half of your battery has gone. Using mobiles as a telephone is actually still important to people.

bdsams said,
Ha, do you have any idea how hard it is to talk on the phone for 4.1 hours as stated here to test out that theroy? Also, many people use their smartphones in a combination of email,web and talk so reviewing in those terms is more realistic for use.

Umm there's no need to do that at all. WP Bench has a battery life feature that just drains it and records the result.

I'm aware of all the suggestions on how to drain a battery. I'm only a part time writer and to be honest I don't have 7 hours to sit around waiting for the battery to drain.

As for a battery benchmark, it can't properly test all variables. Running endless clock cycles or web page refreshes is not an accurate picture of a phone's battery life. Most people use their phones for a variety of things, not refreshing pages for 7 hours or making 8 hour phone calls.

Scorpus said,
I'm aware of all the suggestions on how to drain a battery. I'm only a part time writer and to be honest I don't have 7 hours to sit around waiting for the battery to drain.

As for a battery benchmark, it can't properly test all variables. Running endless clock cycles or web page refreshes is not an accurate picture of a phone's battery life. Most people use their phones for a variety of things, not refreshing pages for 7 hours or making 8 hour phone calls.

Oh come on. I'm not asking for 8 hour phone calls, just an indication on resistant the battery life is to telephone calls. It is still a mobile telephone at all. I appreciate that we use them for other stuff now too, but you made absolutely no mention of it at all. It's a telephone, people use it to make and receive phone calls.

About the biggest problem I have with smartphones at the moment is that if I make/receive a 30 minute phone call early in the morning, I have to be careful with how I use it for the rest of the day because I'm struggling with battery power. Not everyone can get to a powerpoint at any point during the day.

Tom W said,

Umm there's no need to do that at all. WP Bench has a battery life feature that just drains it and records the result.

Not all platforms have that; I was speaking in general phone review terms.

Edited by bdsams, Oct 28 2011, 1:11pm :

Wakers said,

Oh come on. I'm not asking for 8 hour phone calls, just an indication on resistant the battery life is to telephone calls. It is still a mobile telephone at all. I appreciate that we use them for other stuff now too, but you made absolutely no mention of it at all. It's a telephone, people use it to make and receive phone calls.

About the biggest problem I have with smartphones at the moment is that if I make/receive a 30 minute phone call early in the morning, I have to be careful with how I use it for the rest of the day because I'm struggling with battery power. Not everyone can get to a powerpoint at any point during the day.


WP7 doesn't have such problems, in my experience browsing or playing the games drain battery much more than phone calls. so if I used the phone too much for entertainment and ended up with 20% battery, I can turn on battery saver mode and it will be enough for just making calls in next 5 hours or more.

Phone manufacturers: If you're going to include a large screen, please increase the resolution as well. Don't put 480*800 on a freaking 4.7" screen! Also S-LCD ftl.

tsupersonic said,
Phone manufacturers: If you're going to include a large screen, please increase the resolution as well. Don't put 480*800 on a freaking 4.7" screen! Also S-LCD ftl.

that is a limitation of the platform right now. So the Manufacturers cant do anything about it for now. Wait for Tango.

tsupersonic said,
Phone manufacturers: If you're going to include a large screen, please increase the resolution as well. Don't put 480*800 on a freaking 4.7" screen! Also S-LCD ftl.

They probably would have done that, if Windows Phone allowed it.

tsupersonic said,
Phone manufacturers: If you're going to include a large screen, please increase the resolution as well. Don't put 480*800 on a freaking 4.7" screen! Also S-LCD ftl.

Absolutely agree. Just compare it with the Galaxy Nexus' 4.65-inch 1280x720-pixel HD Super AMOLED PenTile curved glass display.

yardman said,

DOA ?

"Dead on Arrival".

It does have several advantages over the Lumia's - a faster processor, front facing camera, gyroscope, and it's screen size advantageous for those for type a lot on their phones or who have slightly poorer eyesight.

On another note - love the indepth reviews, not a great fan of paging though.

Edited by ~Johnny, Oct 28 2011, 1:33pm :