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.