Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HTC Titan II review Bigger than usual

HTC made quite a statement when it announced the original Titan in the summer of 2011. Its sequel is aiming to do so as well. After all, smartphones with 16MP camera sensors are a rare sight on any market. Launched at the same time as the attention grabbing Nokia Lumia 900 during this years CES, the HTC Titan II appears built for the sole purpose of besting the Finnish flagships spec sheet.

The HTC Titan II is hardly a revolution in the realm of devices, running Microsofts mobile OS, thanks to the software giants strict hardware restrictions. It only ups the original with the presence of LTE network support, as well as a beefier camera unit.

But what a camera unit it is! The HTC Titan II packs a monstrous 16MP sensor, which is the biggest one, offered in a smartphone on the U.S. market. The camera alone puts the Titan II in the way of some seriously established smartphone players. Heck, it might even try and give your point-and-shoot digicam a run for their money.

The first thought, which ran across our minds when we saw the HTC Titan II for the first time was whether the handset was fresh enough to carry the "II" moniker. After all, the AT&T exclusive, Windows Phone running smartphone is almost impossible to tell apart from its predecessor, especially when you look at its front. Here is our usual initial look at its pros and cons.

Key features:

4.7" 16M-color S-LCD capacitive touchscreen of WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support; tri-band 3G with HSDPA 14.4 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps
LTE network connectivity
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS
1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 CPU, Adreno 205 GPU 512MB RAM
16 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash; dedicated button; 1.3MP front-facing unit
720p video recording @30fps
16GB of built-in storage
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Standard microUSB port (charging)
Wi-Fi b/g/n
Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
Mobile Office document viewer/editor
Social network integration and cloud services
Built-in A-GPS receiver
Stereo FM Radio with RDS
Equalizer and sound enhancer present
1730mAh Li-Ion battery
Comes with HTC Hub and a load of handy, exclusive HTC apps
Surprisingly light and easy to handle for its size
Main disadvantages:

720p video recording does not do the massive camera sensor any justice
WVGA resolution does not look that great on a screen this size
Non-expandable storage
No mass storage mode; Zune only file management and sync
No Flash (or Silverlight) support in the browser
No DivX/XviD video support (automatic transcoding provided by Zune)
Non-user-replaceable battery
A much higher price than its direct competitor, the Nokia Lumia 900
Design is dated and not exactly innovative
Clearly, the HTC Titan IIs specs are as good as they get on Windows Phone device these days. The handsets camera might even help it find its way to the shopping lists of smartphone buyers with a knack for photography. So far so good then, we say.

Unfortunately though, the road to success is not perfectly laid out for the HTCs latest Windows Phone creation. The smartphone was announced, and hit the AT&T shelves together with the Nokia Lumia 900, sporting double the price tag, as well as significantly lower marketing budget. With the Finnish creation getting levels of attention and media coverage, previously reserved only for Apples iPhone, the HTC Titan II will likely have trouble getting the attention it deserves - a fact which will make it difficult for the device to sell in large numbers.