One of the best weapons in Windows Phone's arsenal is a well-designed phone, which is why I'm happy that HTC is along for the ride. HTC has a history of beautifully designed phones that are exceedingly polished with a premium feel, and I think the HTC Titan certainly fits that bill. Aside from its good looks and imposing size, it packs in a solid 1.5GHz processor, the latest Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system, an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 720p HD video capture, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and support for AT&T's HSPA+ network. The Titan will cost you $199.99 with a new two-year agreement, but if you're interested in trying Windows Phone you should definitely give the Titan a look.
The HTC Titan is aptly named. Measuring 5.2 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 0.39 inch thick, it has a very large footprint and seems quite massive in my small hands. It is also quite a hefty phone at 5.6 ounces, though that contributes to the phone's premium feel. Yet, it is relatively thin, and the tapered edges along the back let it cradle comfortably in the hand. In fact, the back and sides of the Titan make up the phone's entire shell. When you remove the casing to access the battery, you're essentially separating out the display and the phone's innards from their metal housing. The result is a streamlined head-to-toe design that looks and feels luxurious.
The reason behind the Titan's impressive size is the large 4.7-inch Super LCD display. It has a WVGA (800x480-pixel) resolution, which is the same resolution as on the HTC Radar 4G. However, because the Titan has a much larger screen, the pixels are a bit more visible, especially so with text. When I browsed Web pages in zoomed-out view, for example, letters were noticeably blocky. Yet, the Titan's screen shines in almost every other respect. The display is visible even at an angle, and the bold graphics of Windows Phone really come to life with the screen's capacity for showing off vivid colors and deep blacks. It's certainly not as rich as the Super AMOLED screens we've seen, but I found it more than satisfactory for most tasks.
The touch screen was really responsive. I swiped and scrolled with ease through Windows Phone's fluid interface, and launching applications took less than a second. The virtual keyboard on the Windows Phone felt intuitive as well--each tap of the finger hit precisely the right key and I didn't find myself relying on autocorrect too often. You also get a proximity sensor and an accelerometer, which appears to kick in quite quickly to shift the view from portrait to landscape and vice versa.
Beneath the display are the standard Windows Phone touch sensor keys for the back, start, and search functions. Along the right are the volume rocker and a camera shortcut key, while the Micro-USB port sits on the left spine. On the top are a 3.5mm headset jack and a power/screen lock key. On the back of the phone are the 8-megapixel camera lens along with a dual-LED flash, while the 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera perches above the display on the upper-right corner.
The HTC Titan comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, and reference material.
The HTC Titan ships with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, which is the latest version of Windows Phone as of this writing. It brings plenty of improvements like Twitter integration in the People hub, threaded conversations, multitasking, and a better Bing search engine. You can read more about them in our in-depth review of Windows Phone Mango. Personally, I'm a big fan of the Metro user interface, and I find it to be extremely fresh and intuitive. I feel it's a viable alternative to the Android and iOS operating systems, as long as you're satisfied with the available apps.
Aside from the stock Windows Phone interface, HTC has added a few of its own touches to the Titan. You can access the HTC Hub, which houses HTC's now-famous clock and weather widget along with featured apps, and news and stock feeds. There are also HTC-specific apps like HTC Watch, HTC's video download and rental service, HTC's Photo Enhancer, Locations, Notes, and Connected Media. As you might expect, AT&T preloaded several of its own apps on here, like AT&T Live TV, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Navigator, and more. Of course, there are the usual Windows Phone apps on here as well, like MS Office, Local Scout, and Bing Maps. The nice thing is that you can unpin and uninstall these apps completely if you don't want them.
Additional titles are available through the Windows Phone Marketplace, which has more than 35,000 apps in its catalog.
The HTC Titan is a quad-band world phone with speakerphone, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calling, voice dialing, and text and multimedia messaging. Other connectivity features include Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), GPS, and support for AT&T's HSPA+ 14.4 "4G" network. As I said earlier, the Titan has a front-facing camera that you can use for video calls. The phone comes with the Tango chat application for just that function. Calls can be made over 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi.