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.
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 800×480 screen. Unless you make these things issues for the sake of the specs, they won’t become problems.
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.
Score in detail