Is it a tablet or a phone? With a 4.7-inch S-LCD display, HTC's flagship Windows Phone 7 - Mango edition – just barely skates under the smartphone bar to officially be the biggest, baddest phone about.
We had a play with the Titan at the launch event in London - here's what we thought.
DesignLike HTC's last Windows Phone behemoth, the 4.3-inch HD7, the Titan is crafted from an aluminium unibody just 70.7mm x 131.5 x 9.9mm. No, it's not iPhone 4 thin (8.8mm) or Galaxy S II skinny (8.6mm) but it feels incredibly slim and light for a phone this large - the five-inch Dell Streak for example feels far more slate-like. 0.3 inches might seem a small amount, but the Titan did fit into our (lady) pocket whereas the Streak had to be wedged and coaxed in.
The 4.7-inch front face is glistening glass, the WVGA (480x800) screen stretching to the very edges of the chassis. The classic three Windows Phone 7 touch-sensitive buttons sit at the base - Back, Start (which takes you home) and Universal Search. A 1.3-megapixel front camera allows video calls via the new in-built app, while the back cover houses an eight-megapixel snapper with a 28mm lens and f/2.2 aperture to allow wide angle pictures and, theoretically, better prowess in low light. A dual-LED flash and back-illuminated sensor (again for low light shots) rounds off the power camera features. Under the hoodThe Titan's new Mango version of Windows Phone 7 is powered by a 1.5GHz (single-core) processor with a surprisingly average 512MB of RAM. The phone felt fast in our brief play with it, but performance could slow down as more programs are open. We snapped a few photos, which came out with good colour and clarity (well, accurately reflecting the blue-lit cavern the event was held in). The camera can record 720p video, and all the modern smartphone accoutrements are in play: HSDPA, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, and DLNA for wirelessly streaming files to HDTVs and Windows 7 PCs. Unlike HTC's Android phones however, the video player doesn't support DivX or Xvid, just 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4V, MBR, and WMV. HTC Watch, the HD movie-streaming service, is preloaded. Colour and rendering speed seemed pretty impressive.
Using the phone With the Mango update, Windows Phone 7 looks the same but packs more integration, most notably with Twitter contact sync, and threaded messaging that pulls together all your communication with a particular friend in one timeline, including Facebook and Twitter messages, texts and emails.
A new group feature also lets you designate Family and Work contacts so that you can view all their updates in a single feed, or send messages to that group only. The USP of WP7 has always been its deep weaving of all things social, and the People Hub remains the center of Facebook and Twitter updates, friends' photos and IM chats. Like the last batch of Windows phones, the main homescreen is a series of customisable 'live' tiles with updating info plus app shortcuts, with a second screen for all programs.
Overall The HTC Titan is a giant of a phone but feels very manageable. Our first impressions of the updated Windows Phone 7 OS are good, and its social integration is impressive. The Titan's size could be divisive but web and movies are particularly well displayed on such a big screen. We're looking forward to getting a full review up as soon as we can, so check back for a more indepth look soon.