HTC Titan 2 Review: Bigger, But Not Better
The HTC Titan 2 follows up its excellent Windows predecessor, the predictably named Titan. And if you loved the original, I can understand why this phone would excite you: a jumbo display, a whopping 16-megapixel camera and AT&T's LTE. Unfortunately, it doesn't keep up with the competition, and it's more of an unwieldy underdog than a gadget giant.
The body lives up to the name Titan -- massive and bulky, with its thickest point over half an inch in girth. At more than 5-inches tall and almost 3-inches wide, if you have average-sized hands, it'll stretch your fingers, though the bezel along the edge helps you get a grip. Your pocket will, since it weighs in at a bit more than six ounces -- it's a hefty to say the least. If you like the size, you'll be fine with the design. It looks much like the original Titan, with a larger lip on the bottom. But it's not exactly beautiful or sleek.
On the plus side, a larger body size means a larger 4.7-inch display -- but unfortunately, the bigger dimensions don't mean high quality. With its generous size, turned off, the screen looks like a hit. But once you turn it on, the lackluster 480-by-800 pixel resolution makes you do a double take. Yes, the display is big, but it fails to capture the definition and vibrancy -- the 199 ppi pixel density means it's about as sharp as a plastic butter knife left in the sun for a year. Translation: you'd have a better experience on a 3.7-inch display.
HTC heavily markets the 16-megapixel behemoth of a camera -- far and away the most megapixels in any device on the market. But, again, bigger numbers doesn't always mean better quality -- mo' megapixels, mo' problems. When you read the specs sheet, you get excited, but the photos that come out are underwhelming. There's nothing wrong with the shots beyond a faint yellow tint, but it's hard to get a truly in-focus picture. You could easily it for a 5-megapixel shooter, or even lower.
The Titan runs on Microsoft's Windows 7.5, dubbed "Mango," software, which distinguishes it from other AT&T handsets with an attractive tiled layout. The operating system offers a refreshing change from iOS and Android -- it has a sleek and simple layout, great if you're a first time smartphone buyer.
You can customize the tile arrangement so your most-used apps are prominently positioned, and you can remove pre-installed tiles you don't need, which makes it easy to forgive AT&T for any bloatware. It's out of sight and out of mind. The only drawback: tiles come in one uniform size, so you can't make them smaller or larger. That means if you want to see more options pop up on the screen, you'll be limited by the number of tiles you can fit on the home screen. Microsoft promises to add different sizes in Windows 8.
Internet Explorer 9 is solid, but it can lag. I'd recommend a third-party browser, since it happened quite often when I tried to stream music videos over YouTube.
You're stuck with a limited 16-gigabytes of storage. That's more than enough considering the multimedia limitations, but bizarrely HTC didn't include a microSD slot, since you the back bottom pops off. But that means you can't carry a huge library of songs.
Still, you can download music at Microsoft's Zune hub. The app is simple to browse and you can easily find what you want, but you don't have much of a choice in music player options. Oh, and there's a built-in FM radio too. A nice, yet often forgotten, feature.
Like all other Windows phones, there's the app issue too -- Microsoft's marketplace simply doesn't have the choice of apps that Android and iOS do. Sure, you'll find the big hits like Angry Birds, but for lesser known programs, you'll have to go without them, or find poor knock-off substitutes. The app scarcity is easier to swallow when you consider how powerful the battery is. The 1,730 mAh pack gives ample power, and even though it runs on LTE and packs a large screen, it will stay powered up well past a full day's work.
The Titan has its strengths and weaknesses, and your opinion will depend on the cost. Unfortunately, it's a terrible deal. Nokia's Lumia 900 -- another Windows device with LTE -- is half as pricey. It also features a better lens and has one of the most unusual and praised designs. The original Titan earned its name, but a year later, and with more options on the market, its successor doesn't fit the bill. If you're a Windows fan and want a massive display, then it makes sense. But otherwise, you're better off staying away. ♦
Other Reviews From Around the Web:
Categories: Windows | Fun | Trend Setter
Samsung Galaxy S4: Outstanding, But Full of Gimmicks
Enjoy This Article? Get E-Mail Updates -- It's Free!
AMOLED (ClearBlack / Accelerometer / Proximity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor)
September 07, 2012
Worth the Money
I had the Lumia and I can tell a huge difference between cameras. I started with the Lumia 900, and eight phones later, I got the Titan 2. It's so much better.
The touch screen for the keyboard is a bit off. Sometimes it doesn't read touches as fast and accurate as Lumia.Was this review helpful to you?
15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.
blog comments powered by Disqus