Microsoft's Windows Phone platform hasn't exactly been well received in Australia. Nokia is seemingly the only manufacturer promoting its devices, let alone releasing new models. That may be about to change with the release of the HTC Titan 4G, the first 4G-capable Windows Phone to launch Down Under.
The Windows Phone platform has experienced a rough ride in Australia, which is why the HTC Titan 4G could be an important step in the right direction. It's just the third 4G-capable smartphone Telstra will sell, alongside the already released HTC Velocity 4G and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.
In fact, the Titan 4G will be just the fourth Windows Phone HTC has sold in Australia since the platform launched back in 2010. The company brought to market the 7 Mozart (Telstra) and the 7 Trophy (Vodafone) way back in October 2010, while the HD 7 (Telstra) landed in March 2011. That's certainly a long time between drinks and just goes to show how Microsoft's mobile operating system has been neglected by the major manufacturers.
The HTC Titan 4G (previously thought to be called the Titan II 4G) is a successor the the original Titan, a phone that wasn't released in Australia. Its key feature, aside from working on Telstra's 4G network, appears to be a whopping 16-megapixel camera which snaps photos at a resolution of 4640x3480 pixels. The camera has a 28mm lens, a backside-illuminated sensor and a dual LED flash. Those photos you snap with the Titan 4G's camera are displayed on a huge 4.7in SLCD touchscreen.
There are a few issues which are likely to detract from the overall appeal of the Titan 4G. Firstly, the large screen has resulted in a phone that's chunky and thick. The Titan 4G is 13mm thick and 132mm long making it one of the largest phones on the market — sans the half-smartphone, half-tablet Galaxy Note. Secondly, the Windows Phone platform only allows a maximum screen resolution of 480x800. This means the Titan 4G's 4.7in screen only has a ppi of 199, well behind the market leaders. Finally, there is only 16GB of internal memory with no memory card slot for expansion, while the battery is non-removable due to the aluminium design.
The HTC Titan 4G is powered by a 1.5GHz single-core processor and 1GB of RAM. While that may sound low compared to Android phones like the HTC One X, which has a quad-core processor, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform is far more efficient than Android and doesn't need the latest cutting edge specifications to run smoothly. You can read our full review of the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system here.
The HTC Titan 4G will be sold through Telstra stores and online from Tuesday 29 May. It will be available for $0 upfront on Telstra's $79 Freedom Connect Plan which includes $800 worth of calls and MMS messages, unlimited SMS messages and 2GB of data per month. The Titan 4G is also available on a range of Telstra business plans and will sell for $888 outright.