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.
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.
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…