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HTC Titan review

Andrew Williams



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HTC Titan
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  • Multitasking
  • Custom UI
  • Marketplace
  • Social networking
  • Xbox Live
  • Office WP7
  • Tiny text
  • Browser
  • Titan samples 3
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  • Titan samples 2
  • HTC apps
  • Zune


Our Score:



  • Good screen quality
  • Super-fast performance
  • Windows Phone is a joy to use
  • Great camera


  • Relatively low pixel density
  • It's too big
  • Windows Phone is restrictive

Key Features

  • 4.7in LCD WVGA screen
  • Windows Phone 7 Mango software
  • 9.9mm thickness
  • 8 megapixel camera with f2.2 lens
  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • Review Price: to be confirmed

The HTC Titan's name is no joke. This phone is gigantic, bridging the gap between smartphones and tablets in a manner not seen since Dell's 5in Streak. It runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, has a 4.7in screen and HTC's usual superb build quality. What's not to like? Aside from the fairly high price and that its body works the phone into a niche, not a great deal.

Upon first grasping the HTC Titan, you feel as though you've grabbed a device made for someone else - someone bigger. Unless your hands are quite dainty, it still fits comfortably between the butt of your palm and fingertips, but it strains against the traditional definition of a smartphone. This tech trend of larger screens on pocket devices can't continue that much longer.

For its size, though, the HTC Titan fits remarkably comfortably into a jean pocket. It's only 9.9mm thick, so its cubic volume isn't actually that great.

The Titan's styling continues the trend set by the HTC HD2 and HD7. It's black, simple and feels wonderfully strong. Most of the back is made of metal, and the front covered with toughened glass. The design of the back is rather deceptive, though. The seam a couple of centimetres up from the bottom suggests there's a small pull-off battery cover, as seen in the HTC Salsa. But it's a sham, because the backplate is full-length, released with the press of a little button on the Titan's bottom.HTC Titan

The seam isn't entirely meaningless, though. It shows where the metal of the cover gives way to soft touch black plastic - there's a cutaway of this material at the top too, where the power button and 3.5mm headphone jack live.

These touches don't detract from the rather stern, non-nonsense look of the HTC Titan. It's hard not to be a little impressed by the efficiency of the design - the phone's front is 90 per cent screen, leaving just a 15mm expanse at the bottom for the mandatory touch sensitive Windows nav keys and a similar bit up top for the HTC logo, the speaker to pipe out phone calls and the user-facing camera.

HTC Titan 11

Missing hardware features common to other smartphones, but absent from virtually all current Windows phones, include a microSD card slot and video output. There's 16GB of internal memory built-in, but beyond that you have to rely on the cloud to provide you with storage. The most famous non-expandable smartphone series is, of course, Apple's iPhone range, which now offers models with up to 64GB of internal memory.

The HTC Titan's specs could be seen to fall behind in other ways too. This is the time of the dual-core smartphone processor, featuring in the new iPhone 4S and most top Android phones, but this phone has "only" a 1.5GHz single-core Snapdragon chip backed-up by an unremarkable 512MB RAM. Looked at in isolation, this will be enough to put some off buying the Titan when, at £500 SIM-free, it's a top-end model. However, specs mean little when considered out of context. That's where Windows Phone 7.5 comes in…

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


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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