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Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: AT&T HTC TITAN

Well, I managed to jump on the $.01 deal on all Windows Phone 7 devices AT&T had the day after Thanksgiving and used it for over a week. What a mostly wonderful week.


First, lets pass out some specs:

Windows Phone 7.5
4.7 Inch Screen!
1.5 GHz Snapdragon Processor
16GB Storage (12.89 Available)
512MB Ram
HSPA+ (4G)
8 Megapixel Rear Camera with Dual LED Flash, 1.3 Megapixel Front Facing Camera
720P Video Recording

Now, for about the past 5 or 6 years, I have used Smartphones. I went from a Nokia N-Gage QD (not as bad as people think), to a Samsung Blackjack (Windows Mobile 5 and 6), an HTC Tilt (WM 5 and 6), an HTC Fuze (WM 6), LG Expo (WM6), to an LG Quantum (WP7) to this beast of a phone. This phone is also the first one I've own that doesn't have a keypad or keyboard. Upon opening the smallest AT&T box I have seen for any smartphone the first thing I could think of is "How does this fit in my pocket?"

Needles to say, it fits fine :)
Despite it's massive screen size, the TITAN is pretty thin.
As a Phone:
As a phone, the TITAN doesn't disappoint most of the time. The large touchscreen makes it easy for me to dial with one hand. The screen responds perfectly to my every touch. The built in speaker is INSANELY loud, so speakerphone works great.

There are reports of muffled sounding calls that do not appear when using speakerphone or apps like Tango. I have experienced this issue, but noticed if I use the phone on my left ear, everyone hears me clearly which could just be mic positioning.

Tango takes advantage for the front facing camera, and it works great. Tested it with Tango on my wife's iPhone 4 and the visual was surprising clear.

As a Camera:
Yes, that's a Shockwave, along with some Comic Con swag!

More and more people are using their smartphones as cameras now a days. The 8 MP camera on the TITAN will not replace most digital cameras, but it won't disappoint either. I think HTC has done a great job with the TITAN's camera app.  You can change the scene type (8 options), effects (5 types), resolution, white balance, brightness, contrast, saturation. sharpness, ISO, face detection, metering and flicker adjustment. HTC has also added Burst and Panoramic Modes into the mix.
A quick panoramic shot, and yes, that's MY shadow!
As you can see, the pictures, while not award worthy, are not that bad. The TITAN makes a nice "emergency" camera if I don't have mine, or the batteries died.

The "Smart" part of the phone:
Now to the fun part of the phone. This is my second Windows Phone7 device, but I only had the previous one a couple of months. This phone is the first of (hopefully) many second gen WP7 devices. It comes with the "Mango" update, which allows for things like the front camera, faster processing, Twitter integration, better Facebook integration and more.

If you never used a WP7 device, it's a HUGE jump from the previous Windows Mobile OS'. Gone is the Windows 3.1/95/98 look and feel. Microsoft has overhauled the UI from the ground up. The "Metro" UI is now also on the XBOX 360 as part of this Fall's update, and will be an integral part of the Windows 8 look and feel. It's very simplistic, but easy to use. It's not as open as Android or Windows Mobile 5-6, but that allows for things like faster boot (less than 30 seconds from a powered down state) and an ultra smooth experience.

Microsoft also has a 40,000 app strong market that includes both apps and games. Speaking of games, some are XBOX Live enabled, allowing you to rack up Gamerscore points and view/edit your XBOX Live Avatar. So far with games like Angry Birds, Hydro Thunder Go, Twin Blades, and more, they both look and play great (hint: shut off SRS sound for music in the settings menu if you have stuttering in games).

The Bad:
There does seems to be a few "problems" that can hopefully be fixed via an update. Like I mentioned in the Phone section, people both on the WPCentral and XDA-Dev forums are having sound quality issues. I have had these issues, but no where near as bad as some.

Pros:
Large Clear Screen
Xbox Live
It's Fast
It's Thin
It's Design
It's Size (it's both a pro and con)

Cons:
Reports of muffled sounding calls
It's Size (it's both a pro and con)
WP7 needs more killer apps

Overall:
Is this phone perfect? NO, but I still love it.aside from the call quality issue, the TITAN has run perfectly for me.
4 out of 5 Geegamon!


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