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HTC Titan - Screen, Touchscreen and Browsing

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The HTC Titan's 4.7in screen is both a strength and a weakness. It helps it stand out against other smartphones, but is - in our opinion - a bit too big. That leap from 4.3in to 4.7in tips oversized comfort into something else. Like that crucial divide between being "a bit cuddly" and "clinically obese".

It may be natural step beyond the HTC HD7's 4.3-incher, but we'd like to call time out to say that is enough is enough - this madness needs to stop. Pushing at the divide between smartphones and tablets is a curious obsession of manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, because they can't really get over that one stays in your pocket and one stays in your bag. Make sure you have big hands before considering buying. We've just measured ours - anything much less than 19cm from wrist to fingertip is a no-go, folks. Get those rulers out.HTC Titan 10

The quality of the display is good. The HTC Titan uses an S-LCD panel, which is what HTC switched to after supplies (and presumably the cost) of AMOLED panels became prohibitive in 2010. It does a good job too, offering vivid colour, decent contrast and excellent maximum brightness. Performance isn't as flawless as an AMOLED panel, though.

In dark conditions, that it uses a standard backlight becomes clear, with plenty of luminescence - with an AMOLED blacks stay black whether you're in a dark or light environment. There's also a tiny bit of blue hue to the screen when viewed at an angle. Altogether, though, it's a good panel.

However, the screen resolution isn't too hot. It has 800x480 pixels to work with, which isn't much for such a large screen. 384,000 pixels may sound like a lot, but it's a paltry figure compared with the 921,600 pixels of the Samsung Galaxy Prime, which has a similar-size 4.65in screen. This probably isn't HTC's fault, as every Windows Phone 7 device so far hasn't strayed beyond 854x480 resolution - and Microsoft has pretty strict hardware guidelines.

Tiny text

The low-ish DPI screen makes zoomed-out text look blocky

Does it scupper the phone in real-life usage? For the most part, no. The Windows UI has been so carefully honed that the relatively-lowly 198dpi pixel density doesn't look at all blocky apart from when you skip to the web browser. Zoom out and text starts to looks a little blocky - with a higher pixel density screen the text would remain sharp - reducing the browsing bonuses of the larger display.Browser

The browser software is great. We recommend avoiding Internet Explorer on a desktop computer, but it does the job admirably on a smartphone. The web address bar is down the bottom, so you don't have to stretch to reach the top of the screen to tap in a web address - important in a phone so big. Windows Phone 7.5's fab virtual keyboard makes typing away very accurate too, although as the Titan is so wide, two-handed typing is recommended in both landscape and portrait orientations.

Once again, our quibbles boil down to one main thing - the HTC Titan is just a bit too big.

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jingyeow

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

ffrankmccaffery

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.

ffrankmccaffery

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.

Runwaypimp

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.

Den

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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