HTC recently presented the Titan and Radar, the first two smartphones that come with Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), the new version of this Microsoft operating system. I had the opportunity of briefly testing these two devices, which should be available on the market next month.
HTC Titan can be seen as the successor to HD7, with an even bigger (4.7-inch) WVGA resolution S-LCD screen. Although the phone is rather large because of its display, it is also quite slim. As it is 9.9 mm "thick", it is one of the slimmest smartphones with Microsoft's operating system. It is also the only smartphone with this operating system that has a 1.5 GHz processor.
In a way, the HTC Radar is the successor of the Mozart and 7 Trophy models, and it comes with a unibody casing, a 3.8-inch screen and a 1 GHz processor, which is the minimum for Windows Phone. It is significantly smaller but still it is slightly thicker than the Titan (10.9 mm).
Build & Design
From the manner in which it is crafted and designed, it is easy to conclude that HTC Titan is going to be to Windows Phone what Samsung Galaxy S II is to Android OS -- convincingly the most powerful phone, and one that raises the bar for the competition. With its huge display combined with a slim look, Titan strongly physically resembles the Samsung flagship.
Still, Titan is almost void of plastic elements; even its battery cover, which takes up nearly the entire back side, is crafted out of metal alloys. The front has just a small portion of free space above and below the screen, where the logo is situated, along with the front-facing camera and three capacitive keys.
When held, the HTC Titan seems convincing and powerful. Given its size, it is completely to be expected that it feels more natural when held by users with larger hands. Weighing 160 grams, it seems heavier than it looks, which is clearly the price to pay for such a design and a large 1600 mAh battery.
HTC Radar is not much lighter, even though it is quite a bit smaller (it weighs 137 grams). It comes in softer casing colors (including white), which will make it interesting to the female audience, and it does not have a changeable battery due to its unibody casing. The built-in battery is quite powerful; it has a capacity of 1520 mAh.
Both devices use the same type of screen and screen resolution, though not the same size. It provides exceptionally sharp imaging, although not as vivid colors as the most powerful Andorid phones and iPhones have to offer. The Windows Phone user interface is designed with exceptional contrast, which emphasizes color perception on all devices which use this OS, including these two phones. Typing on Titan's touchscreen is, of course, a real pleasure given the display dimensions, while smaller (or at least slower) fingers are required for Radar.
The 1.5 GHz processor that is at the heart of the Titan can handle its WVGA resolution and Windows Phone 7.5 with ease in all phone usage segments. All tasks are performed exceptionally smoothly, with a certain kind of elegance, which hints that a very fast chip is behind the device. This especially refers to Internet Explorer 9, which seems the most powerful and fastest mobile web browser available, and thus the biggest practical advantage Mango has compared to the older version of Windows Phone.
The HTC Radar comes with the same web browser, but a slower processor, which is evident, but only when zooming in and scrolling web sites, not when they are downloaded and rendered.
In another welcome improvement, the new Windows Phone version finally offers threaded text messaging and conversation view for email.?
The Titan comes with an 8-megapixel camera, while the resolution of the Radar's camera is 5 megapixels, but both create solid photographs and equally solid 720p video recordings. It is a shame that Titan, with its powerful hardware and lush display, does not also support Full HD resolution for taking videos.
It is a good thing that both devices have the latest version of software for camera performance with touch focus, sweeping panorama, burst mode and a key for switching to the front-facing camera. These options are specific to these two phones and will not come with other HTC smartphones, not even those that will include Mango.
Up to now, the most powerful phone running Microsoft operating system was Samsung's Omnia 7, which has had this title for nearly a year, but there's a new claimant: HTC Titan. Those who used the HTC HD7 did not have a real reason to change their devices, but HTC Titan seems like a successor worthy of the switch. This smartphone will surely make those who use iPhones and Android OS think about Windows Phone.
HTC Radar is not as technologically advanced as HTC Titan, but compared to its predecessors, the move to a newer version of this operating system gives it a heads up. There are plenty of similar phones on the market, but it is the only choice at the moment to those who want a middle-class smartphone with Windows Phone Mango.
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