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printed November 1, 2014
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Review: HTC Titan II for AT&T

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

The Titan II isn't all that much different from the Titan, though it definitely has its own character. The basics are the same: it's big, heavy, and one serious-looking smartphone. Where the original Titan stuck with the design themes used by HTC throughout 2010 and 2011, the Titan II changes up the appearance just enough so that it blends in better with HTC's newer "One" series of devices.

It uses gray, metallic-colored materials with black glass and a few silver accents thrown in for good measure. The result is a straight-laced, conservative appearance that would be at home in the boardroom. Returning a bit to HTC tradition, the Titan II (T2) has a very slight chin at the bottom. It's not as pronounced as the HTC One V's chin, but it's there all the same.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Given the size of the T2, it's a tough phone to wrap your hand fully around. There's a large bulge on the back surface, encompassing the top one-third of the phone. This is where the camera module and speaker for the speakerphone are located. It adds girth to an already-big device. The materials have a decent feel to them, and a soft-touch finish of sorts. The finish gives the T2 a bit of grip, but not enough that you can't easily slide the T2 into your pocket.

The T2's display is surrounded by a lot more bezel than I care to see on any device. The earpiece is a thin slit that it squished between the bezel and the top edge of the phone. The three Windows Phone control buttons are capacitive and built into the display's glass panel. Oddly, pressing directly on the arrow of the back key didn't send the T2 back a screen. Instead, the sensitive spot was a few millimeters above the arrow. Perhaps the arrow wasn't painted in the right spot?

The microUSB port is on the left edge of the T2. There's no hatch or cover for it, so it’s always easy to get to. The volume toggle and dedicated camera button are both on the right edge. The volume toggle is a thin sliver, but thanks to its texture and shape it stands out nicely and is easy to find. I wish travel and feedback were better. For whatever reason, HTC has trouble designing a great volume toggle. The dedicated camera button has the same texture and design idea behind it, so it, too, is a cinch to find with your thumb. It’s a two-stage button, and has excellent travel and feedback.

I wish I could say the same for the lock button, but I cannot. The design isn't unique, and it's too flush with the top edge of the T2. It's hard to find, and the travel and feedback is rather poor. The 3.5mm headset jack is also on top.

The T2 does not have a removeable battery. It does, however, have an odd removable hatch on the back. Removing this piece of plastic exposes the SIM card. The SIM card can be removed, but there's no access to the battery, nor any sort of memory card slot.

The T2 isn't the sexiest smartphone ever, but it's sharp enough that it doesn't offend. I wish some of the buttons worked better, but overall, the T2 is a fine piece of hardware.

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