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HTC Titan - Call Quality, Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


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Review Price to be confirmed

We've covered the apps, the camera, the interface - but neglected whether the HTC Titan can actually make phone calls well. It can. The maximum call volume is very good, and voices sound clear and robust. It's not brittle or reedy as you'll hear in some other smartphones.

There's also active noise cancellation - although this benefits the person you're calling rather than yourself. A pinhole microphone sits up on the top of the Titan, monitoring ambient noise. The phone then fiddles with the sound reaped from the main mic - the one that listens to you yammering on - and removes this ambient noise from it, by applying an inverse wave. It'll come in handy if you're talking to someone outside on a windy day, or by a motorway.

HTC Titan 5

We've criticised the HTC Titan several times for being so big, but surprisingly the main cause of this size, the screen, doesn't kill battery life. The phone uses a 1600mAh battery that will last a good day and a half off a full charge, with frequent email checks, a bit of game-playing and a few sessions with a handful of choice apps. Yes, you'll have to charge it every day to be sure - unless you're a very casual smartphone user - but it betters many Android smartphones.

An inevitable comparison with Android phones is one of the HTC Titan's big issues. Similarly-priced phones like the Samsung Galaxy SII and Motorola Atrix offer either a faster processor or higher-resolution screen. High pixel density screens are all the rage at the moment, and the 4.7-incher of the Titan only emphasises how "not high" its pixel density is. But, just as the 1.5GHz processor makes light work of Windows Phone 7.5, the interface still looks fab on the sub-200dpi 800x480 screen. Unless you make these things issues for the sake of the specs, they won't become problems.

HTC Titan 2

However, after living with the Titan for a while now, we can't get over that it still feels a bit too big. It's not a fault of the design as such - it's about as small as you can reasonably expect a 4.7in phone to be - but we'd advise you to stop and think rather than barrelling in, wallet open, under the assumption that bigger is better.

At £499, or free on a £30 or so contract, it's a top-end phone, so there's plenty of worthy competition. And unless you're particularly keen on its high-spec camera, the last generation of Windows Phone handsets are Mango compatible, run like a dream and are available for £100 less. The most important development in Windows Phone handsets is the software, not the leaps this second-wave device makes in specification.


The HTC Titan reminds us of quite how enjoyable Windows Phone is to use. It's quick, intuitive and stylish. However, this phone also makes us realise quite how silly the trend for ever-expanding smartphone screens is. This is undoubtedly a great phone, but for most people it'll be just that bit too big.

Have giant-sized hands? There's very little not to like about this phone. Its screen and processor can't match the specs of top-end rivals like the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Prime, but when running Windows Phone, these things just don't matter. It looks and feels great throughout.

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September 2, 2011, 10:05 pm

I expect MS to give financial incentives to app developers to create cross platform apps. That should open app stores to real competition and grow the WP userbase


September 3, 2011, 5:49 am

@Dave Gilbert: The two reasons you've given against choosing this handset - the OS and the utilitarian design - are exactly the two I'd look for when buying a phone. The sheer clarity and cohesiveness of WP7 are qualities that even iOS can't manage let alone the afterthought that is Android. The application market is constantly growing and with quality submissions. I have an Android tablet (Nook Colour) and visiting the app store feels similar to shopping in a pound shop - mountains of tat hiding the odd gem.

David Gilbert

September 3, 2011, 6:20 pm

Point taken, but it was not the OS itself I have an issue with, more the lack of support given by developers, a similar problem facing the Android tablet market. I think that WP7 is indeed a powerful OS, but like MeeGo could disappear due to lack of support, which would be sad as diversity if always good.
By the way, I completely agree regarding the Android app store, it's like shopping in the discount bin of a bargain basement shop.


September 3, 2011, 11:03 pm

The support while no where near the level of even Android is gradually growing. I was pleasantly surprised to find 'International Snooker' a wonderfully realistic game and a personal favourite of mine having already been ported from over from iOS and Android. You have to remember that Microsoft has a lot riding on WP7 and few would bet against it pulling it off. Meego sadly took too long to enter the market and lacks the devotion from it's parents Nokia and Intel to really make even a late effort. All being said who really what the future really holds.


October 21, 2011, 5:25 am

The Apps are just too expensive to consider buying a windows phone. Don't care why, it just makes WP7 a big no no.

Greg Shewan

October 21, 2011, 12:17 pm

I disagree about the screen size issue, I think these powerful smartphones are content driven and anything under 4 inches is just underselling the entire point of owning one. However the phones themselves could use a bezel trim, with that accomplished I think we could see significantly smaller phones with large screens.

Case in point: the Galaxy Nexus. It is about the same size as the SGSII but has a screen with a .35 inches larger diagonal. If WP7 and iOS ditched hardware controls like Meego and ICS then this would be possible. Only a thin strip would be needed for the earpiece, sensors and camera. On my SGS the top and bottom of the bezel are almost 15mm when they could be as small as 4-5mm, perhaps even smaller if Samsung could make the branding smaller.

Martin Daler

October 21, 2011, 1:18 pm

The huge screen seems like a waste of space, literally. It is just a regular 3.7" screen stretched out to 4.7". Had they instead kept the same pixel density and added more pixels, that would have been a benefit. But to simply make a 3.7" screen take up more space, why? When I could achieve the exact same benefit simply by holding a 3.7" screen a bit closer to my face?

We don't want 'bigger' screens for the extra space they take up, we actually want more screen.


October 21, 2011, 2:16 pm

Andrew (The reviewer), you say the multi-tasking is a bit meh as the app is restarted when you tap on it again. Well it also did this on the iPhone when it was first introduced. Apps have to be modified to work properly with multi-tasking just like the iPhone.

Luan Bach

October 21, 2011, 2:46 pm

They'll get lots of cross platforms apps as soon as they let people develop in C++

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