Review: HTC Titan Windows Phone with Mango
The Windows Phone Marketplace has almost 40,000 applications. That may not be the half million of the iPhone App Store or the 300,000 of the Android Market, but you'll find that many of the basics are available.
The Marketplace uses the same Hub layout. The Apps are added to the main menu once downloaded and installed. Games are added to the XBox 360 Hub. The Marketplace shows screenshots, user reviews (including text and stars), related apps, and how much the app costs to download.
Because the Titan is made by HTC, it has access to the HTC Hub. The HTC Hub is sort of like a mini Marketplace for the Titan. There are a number of apps in there that were developed by HTC that work with the Titan (such as a Sound Enhancer, Photo Enhancer, Stocks, etc.).
The Titan supports mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets. I was able to pair with both types, as well as my car, with no problems. Sound quality of phone calls through my car was outstanding. Stereo Bluetooth headphones did admirably when streaming music from the Titan wirelessly, though I found it sounded a bit thin.
It's easy to read the time from the Titan's lock screen. Press the lock key, and the screen pops to life with a nice digital clock. The time also appears sporadically in the status indicator bar at the top of the screen. The HTC Hub offers a typical HTC-like clock and weather widget. However, it can only be seen when in the HTC Hub and not set as the lock screen or the home screen.
The Local Scout app is a bit like Google's Places, but for Windows Phone. Rather than opening the Bing search app, you can open Local Scout to seek out the businesses and points of interest that are closest to your location. I found it pretty easy to use, and it provided reliable results — if the GPS system was able to find the phone. The Titan did not like to be found, and it often was unable to connect with location-based services.
The Titan uses Microsoft's Bing Maps. It is OK, though I prefer Google Maps (at least visually). The feature set is the same as most other free mapping services, and it offers a rich user interface. The one problem was the Titan's GPS radio. The Titan has a hard time connecting to GPS satellites, and that had a profound effect on its ability to serve as a navigation tool. We've contacted HTC regarding this issue are are awaiting a reply.
The Titan includes a new Note-taking application called Notes, which was developed by HTC. The notes are dynamic and rich, and are fun to interact with. They appear as "stickies" on a cork board. Neat! Any Notes created on the device automatically sync up with your Microsoft account, which is helpful.
Of course, the Titan syncs amazingly well with Microsoft-based work and productivity tools. The versions of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint that are in the Office Hub sync perfectly back and forth with the desktop versions. Users can save files to their personal SkyDrive for access later or from PCs. The Office Hub also lets people share documents and files if using the Titan on a corporate network.