Debuting alongside the Nokia Lumia 900 on April 8th, the handset is HTC’s followup to the original Titan, a massive Windows Phone the company debuted in late 2011.
Under the hood, the Windows Phone Mango handset comes sporting a 1.5 GHz S2 Snapdragon processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. The phone has 800×480 Super LCD screen, and comes rocking a 1.3-megapixel froward-facing camera for video chatting as well as a massive 16-megapixel rear-facing cam.
However, it’s also $100 more with a new contract than the Lumia, its only LTE Windows Phone competition. So is the HTC Titan II worth the extra cash?
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Titan II is that it’s huge. The phone measures 5.2 in. tall and 0.39 in. thick. The Titan’s curved design makes it easy to hold (even for medium-sized hands), but if you’re used to toting around something smaller like an iPhone then the Titan will definitely be an adjustment.
But if you have trouble viewing content on smaller screens, the Titan II offers a decent amount of screen real-estate that’s easy to read and interact with.
The phone has a 4.7 in. touchscreen, which is on the smartphone high end. The Nokia Lumia 900 has a 4.3 in. screen. Unfortunately, the resolution on the Titan’s screen is just 800×480 — exactly the same as the Lumia and the original Titan.
The screen resolution is a limitation of Windows Phone, which currently can’t support higher res displays. But it stands out on the Titan II’s gigantic screen a little more than it does on smaller displays like the Lumia.
Zoomed-in text on the screen can often look pixelated and jagged, and video and photos look less sharp than they do on some other handsets running competing operating systems.
The 16-megapixel rear-facing camera is where the HTC Titan II really shines against the competition. 16 megapixels is larger than many of the point-and shoot cameras out there, and the phone’s dedicated camera shutter button can make you feel like you’ve got a traditional camera in your hand rather than your smartphone.
The Titan II’s built-in camera app comes loaded with a ton of scene modes and the kind of settings you might find on a point-and shoot. There’s a great panorama mode which allows you to shoot a panoramic shot by simply panning your phone across a scene.
Less exciting is the Titan II’s video-capturing abilities. The handset is only capable of recording 720p video, rather than the 1080p available on much of the competition. Sure, 720p video is by no means horrible. But it’s a definite downside if you’re looking to play your videos back later for friends on a television.
If you haven’t tried out Windows Phone, you should go check out a handset at your favorite mobile retailer –- even if you’re not in the market for a new phone. The OS is clean, easy to use and perfect for smartphone newbies, as well as anyone looking for a simple no-nonsense smartphone solution.
Even though the Titan II has a single-core processor (another limitation of Windows Phone), the OS was able to zip smoothly along. App support for Windows Phone is considerably smaller than that available for iOS and Android, but we were able to find most of the apps we were looking for in the store. Their design meshed well with Windows Phone’s Metro interface.
Microsoft is very strict about the requirements for Windows Phone devices. They want to make it so you’re looking at many of the same specs from handset to handset.
One important thing Windows Phone currently doesn’t support, besides high-resolution displays, is microSD expansion. The Titan II comes with 16GB of built-in storage. After mandatory installs, however, you’re looking at a little over 13GB of available storage on the device for your apps, photos and videos.
If you’re someone who’s going to be snapping a ton of pictures with the handsets 16-megapixel camera, or recording 720p videos you’re going to eat up all that storage space pretty quickly — forcing you to store your content in the cloud rather than on the device itself.
Worth the Buy?
We really enjoyed the HTC Titan II, and would definitely rank it as one of the best Windows Phone handsets currently available. Unfortunately, its $199 price tag makes the handset twice the price of the LTE Nokia Lumia 900 (also on AT&T) which offers a superior body design and screen for half the cost.
What do you think about the HTC Titan II? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
One of the first Windows Phones
The HTC Titan II is HTC's first LTE Windows Phone, and one of just two LTE Windows Phones currently on the market.