HTC Titan II impressions: A good Windows Phone with LTE and a 16MP camera

HTC Titan II Windows Phone

Though there weren’t dozens of new Windows Phones shown at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Microsoft may have had a more impressive showing than Android. Nokia finally debuted its first 4G LTE Windows Phone 7.5 device, the Lumia 900, and HTC quietly announced a sequel to its newly released 4.7-inch Titan phone. Oddly, the manufacturer didn’t have a presence on the show floor, but Microsoft let me play around with one during our Windows Phone meeting. My impressions are below.

A more stylish design

From a design perspective, the Titan II is quiet similar to its predecessor, but HTC has improved the look of the shell with a few lines and curves. The new design looks very similar to the HTC Sensation, an Android phone that hit shelves in the middle of last year, and a lot of HTC’s lineup since.

If you’ve held a Titan, then you know how the Titan II feels. Both phones have a huge 4.7-inch screen (about the same size as a Galaxy Nexus, though ever so slightly larger) and a camera that protrudes from the back just a bit. We’re not a huge fan of a stick-out camera, but I’ll address that in a bit. The Titan II is slightly thicker than the original, as you can see below. Much like the Galaxy Nexus, these phones are usable, but we wouldn’t want a device much bigger than this. Already, I have to stretch my thumb quite a ways to do anything on the upper or lower left side of the screen. If you hold phones in your left hand, reverse that problem.

HTC Titan II vs HTC Titan - back

HTC Titan II vs HTC Titan - back

HTC Titan II vs HTC Titan - screens

4G LTE, finally

The Titan II isn’t dual-core, unfortunately. Windows Phones still haven’t breached that barrier, though we expect Microsoft to begin allowing more powerful processors in the coming months. But the Titan (along with the Lumia 900) does operate on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, which may is enough to tide us over for now. No Verizon release date has been announced, but it would be great love it if Verizon got on board the WP7 train a bit.

A 16-megapixel camera

I thought the 12-megapixel camera on some of the Fujitsu phones was impressive until I took a look at the Titan II. I didn’t get a chance to give the camera a proper test, but I did snap a few pictures and it appears to be at least on par with other recent HTC devices, which have had some of the best cameras on the market outside of the iPhone 4S. Like the Amaze 4G and myTouch 4G Slide on T-Mobile, the Titan II also comes with a wide-angle lens, a number of advanced filters, a “Burst Mode” for taking a bunch of pictures in a row, a panorama mode, and others. However, it still retains the same simple look and design that all Windows Phone camera apps have. Like all WP7 devices, the Titan II also has a full camera button, which can be activated without unlocking the phone—a useful feature. An upcoming Sony Xperia phone has mimicked this feature, but Windows Phones still seem to do it best.

HTC Titan II camera

A good phone

It may be too big for some, but with a fast 4G LTE connection and an impressive 16MP camera, the Titan II is looking like a great choice if you’re on AT&T. It will be even better if and when Microsoft updates Windows Phone to allow more flexibility in homescreen modification. With such a large screen, it would be nice to be able to fit more information on it than Windows Phone 7.5 currently allows. Still, it’s hard to complain, as it’s still a step up from Android and iOS in a number of ways. The HTC Titan II will be released on AT&T in the coming months for a price we expect to be between $200 and $300 with a two-year contract. 

Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Looking for flexible and inexpensive phone service? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Fi.
Mobile

Apple iPad Pro 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4: Which top-tier tablet reigns supreme?

If you're in the market for a new tablet and you want something that can double up as a laptop in a pinch, then you owe it to yourself to check out the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. We compare the two here.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.