- Reception and call quality Has AT&T's "4G HSPA", but got consistently fewer bars than my iPhone 4.
- Display Very nice large screen great for viewing videos and pictures, but low resolution.
- Battery life Could not make it through the day. Nice "Battery Saver" feature kicks in with 10% left, but still pathetic.
- Camera No comments
- Ease of use Really simple set up and great OS.
- Design and form factor Yes, its a LARGE phone, but it doesn't feel onerous in your hand or pocket because it is thin and light.
- Portability (size / weight) Yes, its a LARGE phone, but it doesn't feel onerous in your hand or pocket because it is thin and light.
- Media support No expandable memory, but video and audio files played fine.
- Durability Plastic, but didn't feel cheap. Large glass is prone to scratches.
- Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) Most big apps are there, but there are still glaring omissions, and very poor accessory support.
The phone itself is a flagship device. The HTC Titan lives up to its name – it has a giant 4.7 inch screen. It dwarfs the minuscule-by-comparison iPhone, which comes in at 3.5 inches. I really appreciated the extra screen real estate. When watching video or even scrolling around apps that are image heavy like maps or photos, it was really nice to have a big screen. I did run into that situation where it might be too big to the point of bad usability at specific times. It fit in my pocket fine really, but when I would need to use it with one hand it was difficult to hit the power button on the top and then slide to open at the bottom, or hit the volume button on the right while holding the phone with my left hand.
The phone was not onerously heavy either. In fact, because it OS longer than the iPhone, the weight is distributed and not compact in the hand. Therefore it actually feels lighter to hold. It does this without feeling cheap, despite being plastic.
On a side note – I don’t think Apple magically determined 3.5 to be the easiest form factor for usability in one hand. 3.5 was quite large when the original iPhone came out. I think they simply haven’t gone larger because they don’t want to fork developers who would then have to create a new version of apps for a larger screen, and then have a legacy version for old devices.
The phone performed quite well. It has a nice 1.4 processor, which is only single core because of Microsoft’s OS limitations, but you don’t notice it at all. And one of my biggest complaints – loudness – was not an issue on this phone at all. The speaker phone was fantastic. And it has a great feature where if you turn the phone on its face while on a call, the speakerphone comes on automatically. This is a nice touch and something I miss on my iPhone.
Having a large screen was also helpful while typing. We are all familiar with autocorrect’s shortcomings. With a larger screen, the keys are also larger and I found myself making fewer typos.
The Titan has an LED, another nice touch that many Androids have and somehting that I wish Apple would incorporate. However, the Titan’s LED was not utilized as it could be. It only showed charged status and missed calls. No voicemail indicator, no missed email or text indicator. Weird. Like a good idea not executed fully.
One note I found interesting – Microsoft still insists its phones all have 3 physical buttons. A search, back, and Windows button. Android recently moved to a completely buttonless design, and Apple has for long had one home button and nothing else. I will be curious if Windows Phone follows suits, or stays the course with their design choice.
The HTC Titan does not have expandable memory. This means you get the 16GB that come built into the phone, much like the iPhone model of memory design. Windows Phones had expandable memory when they first came out, but as of late this option has gone missing, so it is not an unusual decision. This limited memory didn’t seem to be a problem for me, as even after I installed all the apps I wanted, I still had 90% of my memory left. Whether this is because Windows Phone apps are more efficient in their storage use, or there simply aren’t as many available I am not sure where to place blame/praise.
The one shortcoming understandably is the battery. I could not get through a day with light to medium use with one battery charge. Likely this is due to the large screen. Windows Phone does have a nice feature called “battery saver” that nicely turns off some features when your battery is very low so it doesn’t completely die. This is a nice automated feature that replicates a manual process users of other smartphones have to do when they get the dreaded “10% battery” warning like turning off push, gps, and others in the background unless you use an app that needs it.
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