Today the Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC announced two Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) smartphones in many local and international events. I got a chance to see and quickly try both HTC Radar and HTC Titan of which both were interesting and worth considering.
HTC Radar has been built as an aluminium unibody, and it felt robust and sturdy. The 3,8-inch touch screen was nice. The camera is supposedly better than in HTC devices before.
But what really made me interested in WP 7.5 was the Titan model, with an impressive 4,7-inch screen. The device felt and looked nice too, even though it’s not that impressive in pictures. The Metro UI and the first apps I tried ran smoothly. As my Nokia N8 (with Symbian Anna) is starting to feel more and more obsolete, the Titan could well be my next phone.
I assume some people will be disappointed the screen resolution is still the same 480 x 800 pixels, even though the display is physically larger than before. This is fine for me, because I like large fonts and graphics. The device is physically about the same size as HTC Sensation. So it’s big, but it will probably fit in most of my pockets. And fortunately quite thin; only about 9,9 mm in thickness.
Nokia will need to come up with some real competitive advantages against HTC to beat these. I couldn’t test how good a camera HTC has managed to put in these, but the specifications are good; a 28 mm wide-angle lens and f/2.2 aperture size, which is the same as in Nokia N9 (MeeGo device). Nokia has had better cameras than HTC until now at least.
HTC has not packed any turn-by-turn navigation on these new Mango devices, so you have to pay extra for that, for example to Garmin. There are others available on WP Marketplace too. But will Nokia include free navigation on Windows Phones too? That would be a real benefit worth tens of euros a year.
HTC has a new service called HTC Watch that lets you rent and buy movies which you can then stream on your HD television using the wireless DLNA technology. The rentals start at about 4 euros (for 48 hours) and purchases at about 12 euros. The wireless streaming requires a modern TV and/or home theattre equipment, and I’m intrested in seeing how easily it will actually work.
HTC’s managers said Radar and Titan will be available in about a month in October. Estimated retail price for Radar is about 450 euros and for Titan about 700 euros in Finland. HTC expects to start offering Mango updates for their current Windows Phone 7 device by the end of September.
If you want to know more about HTC Radar and Titan, there are many hands-on previews already online, for example on Engadget.