Although Nokia has been receiving its fair share of attention for its recent Windows Phone devices, including the Lumia 710, 800, and 900, HTC has added its own respectable contribution to the mix: the Titan II.
Featuring a gray, contoured body and a 4.7-inch display, the Titan II sports an excellent 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and is available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. Priced at $200 with a two-year contract, the Titan II isn’t quite as good as a deal as the Lumia 900, but it’s still a solid option for those looking to experience Windows Phone 7.5 Mango on a 4G connection.
Build & Design
The Titan II takes more of a conventional approach with its design than the other recent major Windows Phone release, the Nokia Lumia 900, which was somewhat polarizing thanks to its unorthodox combination of rounded edges and sharp corners. With the HTC model, users will find the design to be much more familiar, thanks to its rounded corners, flat edges, and slightly rounded back.
One thing that that the Titan II does have in common with the Lumia 900, however, is that it’s gigantic. Depending on your preference -- and hand size -- this may or may not be good news for you. When I previewed the phone earlier this year at CES, I bemoaned its large form factor, but some of you may prefer it, as it afforded HTC the opportunity to fit the device with a sizable screen. But no matter your preference, you’ll always know when it’s in your pocket; measuring 5.12 x 2.76 x 0.39 inches and weighing in at 6 ounces, this is no small device. They weren't kidding when they put "Titan" in the name.
A unique aspect of its design that I did appreciate is how the bottom edge of the phone is gently curved upwards, putting it closer to the user’s mouth when held up to the ear. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus phones, the entire phone isn’t curved, only the bottom edge is, so when it’s viewed from the side the handset has a sled-like shape. I enjoyed this design choice, as it was subtle and felt comfortable against both the face and when reaching for the capacitive navigation buttons below the display.
The 4.7-inch, 480 x 800 WVGA Super LCD display of the Titan II is, unfortunately, nothing to write home about. Compared to the low reflectivity and deep blacks of the Lumia 900’s display -- due in no small part to Nokia’s ClearBlack technology -- the screen of the Titan II was okay at best. Aside from the blacks not being as deep, colors did not pop nearly as much, and even on the highest settings, the screen was far from the brightest I’ve ever seen (which also caused some issues with visibility in direct sunlight).
Also, the screen has a pixel density of 199 ppi, which doesn’t look great on the phone’s massive 4.7-inch display. I was surprised at how easily I could see individual pixels without even having to look all that closely. A display this large deserves a better pixel density to go with it, because otherwise it’s kind of pointless to have a huge, generally poor display.
The button and port placement is generally standard fare, with the volume rocker and dedicated camera button located on the right side of the device, the power/standby button and 3.5mm microphone jack on the top edge, and the micro USB (charging) port on the left side. A 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera can be found in the upper right-hand corner above the display, and a large, 16-megapixel rear-facing camera is positioned toward the top of the backside of the device (with a speaker and dual-LED flashes located on either side of it).
Unfortunately, like the Lumia 900, the 1730 mAh battery of the HTC Titan II is not removable. A small panel located on the bottom fifth of the backside of the device can be slid off to access the SIM card slot, but that’s it.
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