HTC Titan II Review: Initial Impressions (Hands-On Photos)

The Titan II is yet another success for the hardware team over at HTC. It feels excellent in the hand, even if it’s huge, has a nice balanced weight to it, and the little chin at the bottom gives it some extra pizazz when lined up against other designs on store shelves. It calls to me.

But there are a few issues, as is the case with most any phone. The first, and most important one, is the screen size vs. resolution. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Microsoft, please push out Apollo so that your hardware partners aren’t stuck slapping a 480×800 WP build onto a massive display.

The Titan II has a 4.7-inch screen. It’s too big for my taste, but somehow the hardware and the design — namely the barely-there bezel around the screen — leaves the phone feeling comfortable in the hand. This is a first for me in terms of feeling comfortable with a phone sporting a display larger than 4.3-inches.

Unfortunately, Windows Phone 7.5 requires a 480×800 resolution, leaving the Titan II with just a 199ppi. This simply isn’t good enough. Anyone who’s used a phone released within the last year will instantly notice the pixelation, especially considering that the white-on-black text of Windows Phone only makes the low resolution more obvious.

On the other hand, the Titan II is ushering us into the world of double-digit MP camera phones, with a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera. I’m already a fan of the Windows Phone camera app, and adding a “better” sensor to the mix only helps. Of course, megapixels don’t mean much at a certain point, but in terms of basic use I think this thing takes rather beautiful images, and that’s all you can ask for anyways.

Again, I love the hardware. The back panel has a nice soft-touch finish that doesn’t soak up prints like most phones, and the front of the phone is all screen, just like it should be.

I’d like to see some expandable memory here as well as the option to remove the battery, but unfortunately HTC left that optionality out. I’ve only had a day or so with the phone but Windows Phone is just as snappy as usual on this guy, and of course connectivity to AT&T’s 4G LTE network only scoots that along.

I’ll hit you guys with a head-to-head soon, followed shortly thereafter with a full review.