Camera, Music, Battery, Conclusion
The Titan's 8 megapixel camera features a BSI, or 'backside illumination', sensor and an F2.2 lens to allow for better low-light photography, as well as dual LED flash for even darker scenes. Overall, the Titan's camera took pretty decent pictures for a phone - certainly better than many of HTC's previous efforts, but I found the highlights to be blown out in many of my photos.
As you'd expect, there are a handful of adjustable settings, such as ISO, white balance, and exposure, plus things like panorama, burst mode, and face detection. I couldn't see any self timer or geo-tagging options, but at least it's possible to save your settings, rather than having to reset the camera each time you use it, as was the case previously.
The Titan's camera records 720p HD video at 30fps, and generally does a decent job at it. Stereo audio is recorded with the video and while I didn't notice any significant wind noise during testing, sounds from moving the phone around in my hand were very evident during playback. You can adjust things like white balance and brightness for video recording as well, add effects and use the flash as a video light if required. The Titan offers the option to enable continuous focusing, which worked well aside from the odd hiccup now and then.
Once you've finished snapping photos, you can share them via email, Facebook, Twitter, or MMS, or upload them to Microsoft's SkyDrive website to be viewed online. You can also set them as the lock screen wallpaper, 'auto fix' them, or send them to the 'Photo Enhancer' app for further tweaking.
The HTC Titan features the standard WP7 music player, which like the whole UI is pretty basic, but tends to cover all the essentials. You get album art support, playlist support including the option to create new playlists, and the ability to shuffle and repeat songs. It's also worth noting that you're limited to the ~12.6GB internal storage for your music, and this has to be shared with other apps like the camera.
Playback can be controlled by flicking back and forth across the display to jump backwards and forwards through your songs, or via the controls that appear on the lock screen after you sleep the display. Music can be browsed by artist, album, song, playlist, and genre, plus there is a 'Smart DJ mix' feature that decided not to work during our testing, but would presumably assemble a playlist based on certain song criteria.
Music can be synced with Microsoft's Zune software via USB, or via Wi-Fi when your phone is charging and connected to your home network, which is pretty neat. Mac users can sync their phone with iTunes using Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 connector software, which is available from the Mac app store and requires a USB connection. The Titan is great for video playback thanks to its large display.
A pair of HTC's standard earbuds came packaged with our handset, and feature an in-line control/microphone for controlling music playback and making hands-free calls. However, they don't offer the best sound, so you might be better off using your own pair. With a set of Sennheiser earbuds I was happy with the Titan's audio quality, although I found that the SRS sound enhancement (enabled by default) muddied the sound a little too much for my liking.
The HTC Titan's 1600mAh battery manages to keep the handset powered-up for around a day or so on a single charge, even while testing the browser, camera, and music player, plus making a few calls and sending some emails and SMS messages. HTC claims the device can last for up to 6.8 hours of 3G talk time and 19.2 days of 3G standby time.
The HTC Titan is one of the most exciting Windows Phone 7 handsets yet, raising the bar for the platform once more. With its 1.5GHz processor, 4.7 inch display, and fancy new camera, the Titan shows off HTC's prowess as one of the leading smartphone manufacturers.
It's not a perfect handset, though, and that great sounding specification sheet isn't without its flaws. The processor is only single core, the display has a low pixel resolution for its vast size, and the camera is unable to record full 1080p HD video. However, the Titan is still an impressive handset and it's build quality and slim form are certainly to be admired.
That said, it's not the phone I'd choose right now if I was looking for a high-end smartphone. There are competitors that do have dual core processors, higher resolution displays, and 1080p video recording, plus the added bonus of a more established smartphone OS. This handset then, is more of a gift for the Windows Phone faithfuls and I think it will nicely fill that niche.
Pros: Huge screen, thin form factor, snappy processor.
Cons: Screen resolution lower than we'd like, large overall size, no expandable storage
Russell Jefferies is a contributing editor at MobileBurn.com.MobileBurn focuses on cell phones, smartphones, tablets, and related hardware. Republished with permission.