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IFA 2011. New HTC Models on Windows Phone 7
New models shown by HTC during IFA 2011 in Berlin were unveiled prior to the event, but I had no time to test them then. Now I make up for it and would like to share my impressions from new WP7 phones from HTC – Titan and Radar. We will start from the more expensive solution.
Let's look at the characteristics before reviewing the phone itself:
The new smartphone resembles HTC HD2, which was a legendary WM handset with a huge screen and excellent characteristics for its time. Titan is on par with HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II. Only screen resolution and a single core processor are inferior. The first point is not that relevant because the Spartan interface of WP7 looks similarly on any screen resolution. As to the platforms with a single core processor it seems that WP7 is not so demanding to hardware. The OS is as fast on a single core processor as Android on dual core ones. So we have parity here.
In terms of features Titan looks impressive, but its design is standard for WP7. Due to Microsoft all phones on its OS look the same.
The build is excellent if to judge by exhibition samples. The screen offers impressive quality and we get a hardware camera button present in all WP7 smartphones.
The device is fast as lightning. I could not judge about the camera and sound together with operation time and other parameters. At the same time HTC Titan is a high quality Windows Phone 7 smartphone with good features.
Nonetheless I have some doubts. HTC was always famous for its quality and user experience. When everybody (E-Ten, Toshiba, etc.) offered models with high specs, which were full of bugs, HTC manufactured reliable models requiring no reboots or firmware updates. Then came HTC Touch and TouchFLO interface, which merged into TouchFLO 3D and Sense to become the unique selling point of the company. At the moment HTC Sense for Android is a useful, nice and simple shell, which attracts users to HTC products. The company achieved its original goal to be associated not with overcomplicated gadgets, but with simple and beautiful interfaces.
When we look at austere, powerful and fast HTC Titan we see an excellent solution with the bulky body compensated by thinness and large screen. Appropriate pricing can make it popular, but the company needs another USP for Titan and Radar to attract as much attention as HTC Android solutions do. I cannot say that the WP7 interface is not convenient or difficult to understand. The main issue is that users see no difference between Windows Phone 7 smartphones from HTC, Acer, Samsung and LG. It is good news for Microsoft, but HTC as a manufacturer will suffer.
Users are likely to benefit from this situation. When the Windows Phone 7 segment is filled with similar models from different companies the main battleground will be the pricing.
It is a more accessible model (particular prices are not known yet) based on WP7. As to features HTC Radar is slightly inferior to Mozart, which will hit the shelves soon at the price of $440. Logically thinking Radar must come with the price tag of $340-$-$410. What do we get for this money?
Here we see a mid-level solution with the high resolution screen, fast platform and 8 GB of memory on board. The camera has only 5 MP, there is no memory card slot, but overall the model is pretty decent. Especially, if it costs below Mozart. It is the threshold for those who decide to enter the Windows phone 7 club. It will be quite affordable.
No matter what, but HTC Radar will be accessible and can be popular even though Windows phone 7 is still not widely known. It is not easy to find such a feature rich device with metal body and classical design for the money.
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Published 05 September 2011
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