HTC Titan £480

12th Oct 2011 | 16:50

HTC Titan

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango with a massive screen and 8MP HD camera

TechRadar rating:

3.5 stars

Like:

Great Screen; Battery goes a long way; Clean, streamlined interface; Fluid internet experience; Camera works exceptionally well;

Dislike:

No expandable memory; Multitasking still hit and miss; Facebook chat and Google Mail search still not working 100%; Multiple Calendar issues; HTC Watch needs work;

Overview, design and feel

HTC was the first to roll out Windows Phone 7 devices when they launched in the UK last year. And, true to form, it's in the lead with Windows Phone 7.5 devices too. The HTC Titan is one of its two first Mango-powered handsets - the other being the Radar.

HTC is doing fairly well right now. From the days of making (not so great) Windows Mobile handsets for networks, it's found its identity and is now riding high with a hugely recognisable brand around the world. Android was its saviour (and still is) but Windows hasn't been forgotten.

So, what's in a name? Well, quite a lot actually. The Titans were giant beasts from ancient Greek mythology. So by giving the phone a name like this, HTC's certainly aiming high.

And you see that as soon as you take the HTC Titan out of the box. Let's not dress it up here. This phone is BIG - 131.5mm x 70.7mm to be exact. And at 160g, it's certainly no feather.

But HTC has packed a lot into the chassis and managed to keep this handset fairly flat, with the Titan sporting a respectable 9.9mm waist.

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The irony is, it doesn't actually seem that big to us. We came straight from a Samsung Galaxy S2, so didn't really notice the difference massively. In fact, when we put the two phones on top of each other, they appear to be almost the same size. It does, however, feel like a high-quality device thanks to the premium build quality.

HTC titan review

The screen on the HTC Titan is a lot bigger than previous WP7 devices. At 4.7-inches with a 480 x 800 resolution, not only is it sharp, it takes up most of the front of the device, making it the largest screen on a Windows Phone device.

Naturally, it's capacitive (we shudder to think of the days we'd have to poke our i-Mate Jam with a stylus) and colours are vivid and vibrant. Nothing to get too excited about - this is no Samsung Super AMOLED Plus - but it is definitely at the higher end of the smartphone screen graph thanks to Super LCD technology.

HTC titan review

The actual chassis is one of those unibody jobs that HTC seems to be so obsessed with at the moment. In fact, it took us a good few minutes to figure out just how you take the back off, and had us trying to slide the back rear panel off (a'la Desire HD). In the end, we noticed a tiny button on the very bottom that releases the back, making the phone appear to split in two.

You do feel like you're taking the phone apart here, just like you do on the HTC Sensation.

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Up top, you'll find a standard lock button and headphone jack for 3.5mm cans. The left is pretty unremarkable with nothing but a charging/sync port (micro USB), while the bottom is bare, save for that release button we just mentioned.

HTC titan review

On the right you'll find a volume rocker, and below it a camera shutter button, which is really nice to see since a lot of manufacturers appear to be leaving these off nowadays.

The front holds that massive screen, a 1.3MP self-shooting camera and the obligatory three Windows Phone 7 navigation buttons.

HTC titan review

HTC has followed the seemingly stupid trend of having the camera lens protrude slightly from the case so that it's the first thing that touches a surface when you put the HTC Titan down on its back. We can't help feeling a little concerned that this lens may scratch easily.

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The only thing we couldn't find was the microSD slot. Inside or out? Not a sign. HTC hasn't fitted one in line with the spec from Microsoft - although it seems that might change with the launch of the new Nokia phones.

The HTC Titan comes with 16GB internal memory, but that's reduced to 12.63GB for users, after the operating system takes its share. And that's your lot.

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We wish the phone could have a microSD slot, especially when you look at the competition. Because this is the handset that one imagines HTC wants in its armoury against the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. It's certainly got no competitor in the WP stable just yet or, at least, not until Samsung gets its act together. In fact, we'd pit it right against the Android-toting HTC Sensation (the one with a memory card slot).

To get an HTC Titan for free, you'll need to sign up to a monthly contract of around £31. And at a shade under £500 for a SIM-free model, this isn't a cheap. HTC Titan is not just an adequate name for the form, but also the price.

Interface

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Of course, the big story here is what's under the HTC Titan's hood. It's been 12 months now since the long awaited Windows Phone 7 landed following the virtual, drawn out mobile car crash that had been Windows Mobile.

But although it brought several new offerings to the table, it also left so many out. Hence why, within months of buying it, owners were clawing at the walls to get their hands on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango: the first major update, which took the best part of a year to arrive.

The good news is that Microsoft has opened up 500 APIs to developers. The bad news is that there's still a lot that needs doing here.

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Remember, the key word when trying to comprehend Windows Phone 7 (if you've not used it yet) is "integration." Stick to that and you'll be fine. It really is a unique operating system in that you have to throw out all previous experience of using apps such as Facebook on, say, an iPhone, and start again.

The various elements of that service and others are interwoven with the Windows Phone 7 interface. It all becomes one. And after you get used to it, you realise just how slick and pleasant that feels.

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The big thing about the HTC Titan's interface is tiles. The 'today screen' mantra is gone and replaced with a series of easy-to-press large rectangular tiles that display various bits of information. You can reorder them however you see fit, or remove or replace them. The beauty is that they're live so, in theory, continuously update with relevant information as it comes in.

We're big fans of the tile system - don't get us wrong. It's unique and it is different to anything we've seen before. And we know that we're going to be slaughtered by some for saying it, but we have to admit we're a little bored of it now.

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Customisation goes as far as changing background colour from black to white or the tile colour to one of about a dozen options and adding your own tiles. But there is no way of changing the entire look like there is on Android.

To be fair, iOS and BlackBerry are the same in their restrictions, but having gone away and used Android for a while, we have to admit we ended up with itchy fingers. But that's just us.

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The problem for HTC (who, as we all know, loves to skin its phone to within an inch of its life) is that it just can't do that on Windows Phone 7.5. HTC Sense (or TouchFLO before it) may work well on Android or the old Windows Mobile, but home decorations are locked out on Windows Phone 7.5.

It's restricted to including its own flagship wallpaper for the lock screen and an HTC Hub (basically an app), which includes things such as weather, stocks, news and favourites. These are things Windows manages itself elsewhere in the operating system.

However, like Android, you can now shortcut directly to system functions via a tile (for example turning Wi-Fi on or off without going through the whole menu), which we like.

Apps are all located in a vertical start menu, which is brought up when you click a little arrow on the screen. They're displayed in alphabetical order, and although there's a search function if you have gazillions, there's no way of creating folders, which is a bit of a pain.

Multitasking is now present, having been lacking on the original Windows Phone 7 handsets, but it's flaky to say the least. You long-press the Back button and it gives you something akin to the cards system from WebOS. But it seems to have a mind of its own.

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We fired up a few different apps and toggled between them. When we went back to Angry Birds, it showed on the card where we were up to before we toggled away, but then launched the app from the start again when we selected it.

We started writing a tweet and managed to successfully toggle back in and out of it as we left it, but then at other times it restarted the entire app. It appears to freeze apps in state like iOS, rather than keeping them continuously running in the background, but while this may benefit battery, don't be too surprised if it throws a wobbler.

It could be that individual apps do need fixing to use multitasking, so we may have to wait and see here.

Contacts and calling

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Contacts on the HTC Titan are where Windows has thrown the rulebook out and taken its own approach. It's now a People section and incorporates two sub-sections called What's New? and All.

What's New? is where all of your social feeds are aggregated and fed directly into the phone's operating system. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more are accounted for, and you scroll through what's happening here.

Swipe across to All and the address book appears to enable you to contact your friends through the traditional mobile phone channels or your social network of choice. It's nice, it's intuitive and a lot of thought has obviously gone into it. We're big fans. We love the fact that we can choose to display messages from all networks or just one in particular.

Oh, and you get a nice big picture of yourself with your latest status update, which will keep the vain among us happy.

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You can now also create not just new contacts but also groups. This works brilliantly if you want to only follow what's happening with a smaller group of friends or colleagues, because it not only aggregates all of their news, photos and feeds in one place, but also enables you to send a group message to them.

As with most aspects, you can also create a shortcut tile on the home screen to the group. It's an almost perfect implementation that other smartphone manufacturers could learn lessons from.

Being a Microsoft phone, the HTC Titan naturally hooks up to Exchange without issue, and you can therefore browse contacts easily - plus the same trick can be repeated with Windows Live and Google too, among others.

Individual contacts show their status updates and various bits of information from their phone number (obviously) to their birthdays and other ways to contact them. The amount of information really is limitless, and it's presented with a nice big profile picture pulled in, again, from the social networks.

We set up our contacts within seconds. You sign in with your various credentials and create a Live ID if you don't have one (it's not compulsory but it does help) and after that, the HTC Titan just seems to trawl through whatever it needs and brings everything together.

Our Google address book appeared magically, and we were able to also link up various similar accounts in the same way we can on HTC Android devices. Sweet.

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Making and receiving calls was easy as pie. The speakerphone isn't brilliant even at maximum level and when you dial numbers manually, it seems to struggle to cope with a little distortion, which is evident as you press keys. It's not a big issue, but it's noticeable.

Call quality was good but nothing remarkable (especially in windy conditions or by the roadside), and the HTC Titan performed as well as other similar phones we've used in that it held onto a signal where others do and lost it where others do too. It works.

The size of the phone is the only issue for us, as it means it can be a little harder to position next to the ear without getting lost in swathes of phone-ness.

Messaging

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You're spoilt for choice when it comes to how you want to keep in touch on the HTC Titan. You can do it in so many ways. There's the People section that we mentioned on the Contacts and calling page of this review or the dedicated messaging section that, by default (by which we mean we couldn't change it either), is separate from the actual email bit of the HTC Titan.

Within messaging, you have Online and Threads. Online is what you expect - the ability to chat to your friends who happen to be online at the same time.

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Unfortunately, we were unable to get this to work, so despite being invited to set up Facebook chat and teased with people standing by to talk to us, we got no further than a screen telling us the HTC Titan was unable to log us in.

Hopefully this was just a glitch, although we tried it a couple of times on different days, on different Wi-Fi routers and in varying 3G signal areas.

That said, once you swipe across, you're in threads that are exactly what you expect. SMS and MMS messages are all together and all stitched seamlessly as conversations.

Email is accessed through a separate tile, and we had no qualms with using our Gmail account here. Messages are listed through conversations, with a nice touch being that replies are indented so you can see which the most recent message is.

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Tabs include unread, flagged and urgent, which give you more scope for organising your life. Messages are displayed in HTML, but you have to unblock each one so that you can view pictures sent in the body of a message, which slows down the process somewhat.

We were extremely disappointed with the search function on Gmail. As you'd expect, when you search through Gmail on an Android handset, your entire inbox of thousands of emails is trawled through and information brought back to you.

We had high hopes for a similar experience on the HTC Titan, but all we got when we tried to do a remote search was a message telling us it couldn't connect and to check our connection (which, incidentally, was full 3G and full Wi-Fi).

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This would be annoying anyway, but made us really mad because it was a bug that presented itself when we reviewed the Mango update back in July. Then, we put it down to various bits of the operating system not being fully ready, but here, there really is no excuse, since this is a final version release of both the handset and Windows Phone 7.5. It should not happen.

Searches did seem to work better through an Exchange account, which is hardly surprising considering that it's a Microsoft phone. As you'd expect, Exchange is a cinch to set up and works as well as it ever has.

As mentioned, the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all absorbed here. Remember that key word: integration.

Luckily, the HTC Titan redeems itself when it comes to the typing experience. There's no haptic feedback, but the QWERTY keyboard is up there with the best we've used.

If we had one criticism, we'd say that the screen is almost a little too big. It makes typing harder than other handsets we've used running Windows Phone 7.5, because you have to find a way to hold the phone properly. But we're really nit-picking here.

It's still easy to tap away on and looks nice in its all-black or all-white (theme-dependent) colour. It's just as well really, because if you use the HTC Titan the way Microsoft intends, you'll be typing away on social networks to your heart's content.

Internet

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If there's one thing we love more than Christmas or Mum's home made chicken pie, it's a big screen for browsing the internet on. Chances are that if you go for the HTC Titan, web browsing will be one of your big habits, and that screen lends itself to showing pages beautifully.

Don't panic when we tell you that it runs Internet Explorer, because it's a specially optimised Windows Phone 7 version that seems devoid of bugs and awful toolbars full of ads.

The first thing you'll notice is that the address bar is at the bottom of the screen, which feels really weird at first but we got used to it after a little while. And it's not just for typing addresses into but search terms as well. We were pleasantly surprised with the results.

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We tried to type in "TechRadar" (naturally!) but somehow ended up typing "Tesco". We expected to just be taken to a search results page, but what we got was so much more. We got a three-tabbed experience with Web (Bing search results), Local and Images.

It's where you see how Bing has been built into the phone from scratch, and it looks beautiful because the results are not displayed as a Bing web page but as part of the HTC Titan's interface.

The local results threw us a bit, because we assumed we'd get a list of nearby Tesco stores. Instead, the HTC Titan seemed to think we were in Texas and gave us things such as Gas Technology Corp, which is handy to someone, but not exactly what we were looking for.

Speaking of Bing, you can get to it from anywhere in the HTC Titan's system by just tapping the search soft key below the screen. In operating systems gone by, this would have searched within an application you were running at the time, but now it mostly defaults to Bing, which streamlines the Windows Phone 7.5 experience even more.

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Microsoft tells us that Internet Explorer on Mango is "not just similar to the PC version - it has exactly the same platform and script engine." And to be fair to it, it did load pages as they appear on a computer. Except for Flash. Which is missing. Yet again.

We knew this was the case for Mango when we reviewed it before but must admit that we were hoping HTC would have found a way of getting it onto the HTC Titan, like they've successfully managed to do on various Android handsets.

Sadly, this seems to be a limitation of Windows Phone 7.5 that Microsoft prevents HTC from getting past. It's annoying. Cut the bull, Mr Ballmer, and just explain to us why other handsets can have this but you can't. You're not Apple.

Bookmarks are accessed through a menu within the browser and work as you'd expect. HTC gives you several pre-loaded favourites, which included our friends over at T3 but not TechRadar, which is probably the most unforgivable aspect of this entire smartphone!

You're not able to change the search engine from Bing either, so don't get the HTC Titan if you don't like Microsoft's offering. Not that there is really much in it these days, as Bing is far superior to its predecessor, but it would have been nice to specify other search engines had we so wished.

There is a Voice Search facility provided by Microsoft TellMe, which we tried with mixed results. We'd say it's 90% rubbish and 10% OK.

It's obviously given it a go, but Microsoft and others really have their work cut out here. And they need to sort it out pronto now that Siri on the iPhone 4S has brought voice searching to the forefront and consumers will expect all offerings to match Apple's.

We like the fact that when you search, you don't just do it by text or voice but there are also options present on the screen to scan QR Tags/barcodes or listen to music like on Shazam. Nice touch, folks and it works well too - better than the voice integration.

Camera

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HTC does make good cameras when it puts its mind to it. We'll give it that. In fact, this is probably the bit of the HTC Titan that it has the most control over (aside from physical design) and we have to say we were really pleased with what we were given.

8MP is no slouch but, as readers are often quick to point out, it's not all about the megapixel count but the quality of the processor, the lens, the software and so on. Luckily for the HTC Titan, it's all spot-on here with a 28mm lens with f/2.2 aperture and BSI sensor for helping when light isn't so good.

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Firstly, having a camera button helps. You don't have to fiddle around with getting your grip on the phone a certain way or digging through menus that may be hard to see on a bright day. Wherever in the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system you may be, a long press on the camera button will take you into the camera screen.

It's fairly basic on the surface, with buttons to just switch to front-facing mode or video, but when you get into the menu, budding Mario Testinos will be like kids in sweet shops.

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You're given a plethora of scene modes, providing Auto is not to your taste although, for the majority of people, it will be enough. Plus a panoramic mode, options to control ISO levels, face detection and (our favourite), the option to switch to burst photography to take five pictures quickly in succession are all present.

Ideally, this would be at hand on the main screen because you may want to take a few bunches of pap-style pictures in one go without having to delve into the menu, but as it is, you can't do it that way.

There are three LED light modes - on, off and automatic. Normally we wouldn't mention these, because they're so obvious, but we noticed in testing that even when we put our HTC Titan on 'Always on' mode for the light, it completely ignored us.

Like a petulant child, the light refused to come on and insisted on doing it its way where it would only give us illumination when it thought it was best to do so. Annoying.

When you do get your snaps on the computer, they're really sharp and clear. We were really pleased with results taken in both full daylight and darkness where the light managed to illuminate it all for us.

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HIGHLIGHTS:Flash bathes subjects in good light - maybe too much light sometimes

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BLUR:Taking photos in pitch black, it's hard to get a focus

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FLASH: But when you do, it is amazing. Almost as good as a proper flash

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DULL:Pictures taken in good light come out well, although the white balance can be a bit off

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CLEAR:The white balance isn't always off though

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LIGHT:Taken in pitch black with the light doing a good job

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PANORAMA: Panorama mode is a bit hit and miss. And we thought we had steady hands!

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Video

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The HTC Titan boasts of being able to shoot video in 720HD, and it does the job really well. Luckily, the light does bother to come on when it's told to in video mode - maybe, like Linda Evangelista, it refuses to get out of bed for less than HD.

There's a lot to play with in the menu - from video resolution, effects and stereo recording options to continuous focus, metering mode and even flicker adjustment.

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But there is one quirk we found here that will quickly annoy regular shooters. By default, the HTC Titan is set up out of the box to take advantage of the bare minimum of settings (shoot in VGA, turn off stereo recording and so on).

You can, of course, change all of this so that you shoot in the best possible mode, but as soon as you exit the camera app it reverts back to the original poorer settings and you have to go in and change it all each time you use it.

We're aware that HTC has probably done this so that you're always set up to shoot MMS-shareable videos by default, but we really wish that we were given the option to save our most recent settings as most smartphones do.

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One other gripe is the complete inability of the HTC Titan to resize HD video for MMS. So many smartphones these days are incapable of this most basic task, and it's really starting to peeve - plus it was a strong function of Windows Mobile back in the day.

Yes, we know there is a VGA mode for shooting video to share over MMS, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to capture a special event or moment in HD and then just click 'Send by MMS' to have the HTC Titan reduce the frame rate and quality and squeeze it into an MMS-friendly size?

It's not impossible (Apple manages it) but other manufacturers seem to have this mental block.

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It means that you're always forced to trade off having a copy to send or a high-quality copy to keep, but never both.

As it is, you can only send your files by email, Facebook or Microsoft's own Skydrive. There isn't even an option to directly upload to YouTube (despite there being two YouTube apps, which we'll discuss on the Media page).

Luckily the HTC Titan redeems itself by actually being able to shoot HD video well. Footage comes out clear and looks great even when transferred to a computer. Coping with going from darkness to light is something we noticed it handles particularly well, as you can see from our video samples

Media

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Aside from our gripe about there only being 12.63GB (out of 16GB) of storage available with no option to expand, we're really happy with media handling on the HTC Titan. It's all packaged with a Zune approach, so there's familiarity for Microsoft users.

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One of the new additions to come from the Mango operating system update is Smart DJ, which creates playlists from whatever songs it finds on your Windows Phone 7 Mango handset, and even searches through the Zune catalogue (if you have a pass). Think Genius in iTunes repackaged with a Microsoft flavour.

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Music playback was fine and we had no complaints. There was nothing in there that's particularly memorable for us. It just worked and coped with pretty much all of the obvious formats. We like how you can buy that Zune music pass and go wild. Spotify may need to worry here - although not being able to keep the tracks in the UK (you can in the US) is a gripe.

The HTC Titan is one of those great breeds that supports an FM radio, which we're always pleased to see. You can also find apps with a media twist in the Media section like setting up DLNA and programmes such as YouTube, for which there are two apps available in the Marketplace.

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One is Microsoft's own, which, although it claims to be an app, is actually only a link to m.youtube.com (lazy!). The other is HTC's YouTube app, which has thankfully had a bit of work go into it, and looks nice.

One other addition to the Titan is HTC's own Watch service, first seen on the Sensation handset. HTC has obviously realised the benefits of offering its own downloads service. However, it's not all there yet.

We fired it up hoping to be able to rent a movie for the train journey. You can only imagine our disappointment when we saw what was on offer: eight trailers for movies including Burlesque and Eat Pray Love (movies that have been out for ages). And, erm... that was it. No more trailers and certainly no movies on offer.

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We tried to upgrade the player and it told us it was checking our region and then just gave us exactly the same offerings. We've asked HTC why this is, so we'll update you as and when we find out.

Video is less of a decent situation, as while it's a nice experience on the larger screen it still required copious syncing with the Zune PC or Mac app to chuck stuff on there. Even MP4 files that work flawlessly on most other devices required far too long to sync across - what we'd give for some drag and drop functionality.

At least the trailers worked, and we were really impressed with the way the screen holds up when videos are being shown. As we said before they do look good on this screen, and it being larger than most lends itself to a bit of viewing.

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When it comes to looking at your own pictures on the HTC Titan, the gallery app is a pleasure to use. It links other bits of the operating system in here so you can not only use apps that enhance photos but view Facebook albums (yours and others') and of course, view your own pics taken on the HTC Titan itself.

This is one area of Windows Phone 7.5 that other operating system designers could learn from.

Battery life and connectivity

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The HTC Titan ships with a respectable 1600mAh battery that seems fairly up to the task. Remember this isn't a dual-core smartphone, so for a 1.5GHz processor, 1600mAh should see you through a day of use, which is what we managed.

HTC claims you'll get 410 minutes of talk time on WCDMA or 710mins on GSM, and 460 hours of standby on WCDMA or 360 minutes on GSM. But battery life is always dependent on so many factors including where you are, signal strength and so on.

We took the HTC Titan off charge at 7am and spent about an hour browsing Twitter and playing with settings. We then took it with us on a run for almost two hours, while we used the excellent RunKeeper software to monitor our progress.

Throughout the day, we browsed the internet for about an hour, sent about 15 emails and a handful of texts and made two phone calls - each about 10 minutes long. By the time we went to bed at 10pm, it was still going but only had a bit of juice left. The next day, we barely touched it and it lost hardly any power.

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All of the usual suspects are on board connectivity-wise: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (which we seemed to be unable to use to send or receive files, bizarrely - another leaf out of Apple's book) and GPS. DLNA is catered for as it is on most handsets these days, but there is no NFC chip. We'll not rue that too much since NFC hasn't really caught on yet.

3G works well and internet pages loaded quickly with no fuss - we'll put that down to Internet Explorer, since Microsoft claims it is wonderful - and Wi-Fi boosted those speeds even more. GPS was fine and got a lock reasonably quickly. It wasn't so quick that we were bowled over, nor was it so slow that we got grumpy.

Maps and apps

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Out of the box, what would you expect to get from Microsoft for the HTC Titan? Office? Good, cos it's here. Microsoft is obviously cashing in on the brand name that has been a staple of so many lives for years.

And there's a huge push to get you sharing your files on the brand's SkyDrive. It appears Apple and Google are not the only two with their sights set on taking over the clouds. On top of that, there is the option to use Office 365, which lets you remotely share files in a different way.

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Word, Excel and PowerPoint are there, but while you can create docs on the first two, PowerPoint only appears to enable you to view presentations, rather than making your own. We certainly had no problems using Word or Excel.

They're obviously watered down versions of the full PC software, tweaked to give them a Windows Phone look, but they seemed competent enough to us in our limited testing (we're not brilliant on Excel.)

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Continuing the Microsoft heritage is Xbox Live, which you can access via the HTC Titan. You can send messages, create an avatar and hook up with friends. But Microsoft has taken the Xbox branding and extended it to cover anything games-related, and links it in to your Marketplace downloads.

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Games and apps are still fairly pricey, but not as much as they were a few months back when we initially reviewed Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Android users are in for a shock, whereas BlackBerry and iPhone users may just think it's a little bit more than they're used to paying.

That's not HTC's fault though, or even Microsoft's, and falls onto the shoulders of the developers, we would imagine.

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Obviously you'll only have one choice for mapping, and that is Bing maps, since it is Microsoft's own product. It works as well as rival products and gives you a few added extras such as local searches for things including eating, drinking and tourist attractions.

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For navigation, we were unable to find any of the big hitters such as TomTom or Co-Pilot or even Garmin. Nevertheless, there are some cheaper options that do the trick, albeit with a smaller feature set.

We're really impressed with the fact that you can try apps before you buy them. We wish iOS offered this, but it doesn't. Google does, but you only have a 15 minute window to claim your Android refund, so this is something that Windows Phone 7.5 has over its competitors. Well done, Microsoft!

Calendar

But, hang on - it's all going too well. Surely there must be something wrong? Yep, ladies and gents - we refer you to the Calendar app.

Yes, you can have calendars from multiple sources - Exchange, Windows Live, Google, Facebook and so on - and they'll live side-by-side in harmony. But not, it would appear, multiple calendars from the same source.

We're big users of Google Calendars, as are millions of potential Windows Phone Mango owners, and one of its great benefits is the fact that you can have multiple calendars.

But you can't if you're rocking Windows Phone 7.5, which only accesses your primary calendar. We searched and searched and couldn't find a decent way to add more calendars. In fact, it appears the only way to do it is through a rather crude method, which involves setting up various Google accounts and accessing them all individually.

We can't imagine what Microsoft is thinking here. It's not the kind of thing it would just forget to include and, considering Apple and RIM manage it, there can't be any issue with it being an Android-only perk. Whatever the reason, Microsoft needs to sort it out.

Hands on gallery

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Verdict

HTC titan review

HTC is obviously claiming a mantle with the Titan: "Yes, we're here and we have the first Windows Phone 7.5 phone on sale in the UK," with a knowing nod in Nokia's direction.

But while the marketing spin may make it sound fresh and exciting, remember this is just an update to an operating system that came out last year and only actually includes elements that really should have been there in the first place.

It will really depend on the type of person buying the handset, and we can see the suits going for the HTC Titan more than the younger, socially aware types. It does have a lot missing - but for the more serious among us, it also has a lot going for it too.

Either way, it's Marmite – you'll either love or hate the HTC Titan. There's very little in between.

We liked

The HTC Titan certainly lives up to its name. It's a big beast but also has the ability to make itself feel like it means business without taking over your pocket space. The screen is amazing and (minus Flash), we love the internet experience.

Windows Phone 7.5 has a very glossy look and a lot of attention to detail has gone into getting that right.

We disliked

But that attention to detail hasn't been woven through the entire experience. Just take the lack of support for multiple Google calendars that iOS, Android and BlackBerry phones seem to be able to nail easily enough.

The omission of Flash is a crying shame, and although the tile interface is great, different and intuitive, for those of us who like to tinker with our devices, it's a gripe that we are locked down so much, yet we stress that is a personal point.

Our biggest complaint is the lack of an expandable memory slot on what is meant to be a flagship Windows handset. Here, the HTC Titan lets itself down so badly. And the sad thing is, it needn't have been the case.

Final verdict

The HTC Titan puts us in mind of a young posh boy who arrives at school on the new day of term wearing a suit and brogues. You know his parents have dressed him well, but there's a reason why he's no longer at his fancy school and is mixing with the rest of the kids. And that's because he's just not as bright as he wanted to be.

That sounds harsh but we feel there's so much more that the HTC Titan could have been. Microsoft has been in this game for years and Windows Phone 7.5 is an upgrade to an operating system that really shouldn't have been necessary because the elements introduced should have been in there already.

You get the feeling that Microsoft has taken a similar dictatorial approach to Apple, where it decides how you'll use your handset and you just follow. And that shouldn't be the case. It's tried to make it too simple in places, but instead that's come at the expense of freedom.

That's not to say that this is a bad phone - far from it. In some respects, it's brilliant. But there are just some basic mistakes that needn't have been there. For many users, they won't be deal breakers - but for the ultra geeky ones like us, they just don't sit right.

We have to stress that many of these issues are not of HTC's doing but Microsoft's and HTC has done an amazing job with what it was given.

But it's called this the HTC Titan and it's called it that for a reason. We wonder if it knows what happened to the Titans in ancient Greece: They were destroyed by Zeus and his fellow gods, who got fed up. We can't help feeling there may be some kind of poetic justice here.

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