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HTC Titan announced for October: 4.7-inch Super-LCD display, Windows Phone Mango, and our hands-on preview

HTC Titan announced for October: 4.7-inch Super-LCD display, Windows Phone Mango, and our hands-on preview

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The HTC Titan is one Windows Phone smartphone that truly lives up to its name, with a massive 4.7-inch display that gives Microsoft's mobile OS its first standout device. And while Dell's already tried to go this big with the 5-inch Android-powered Streak, there's never previously been a device combining the Titan's ample Super LCD screen and minimal physical footprint. Measuring in at 130.6 x 70.6 x 9.9mm, the Titan poses a legitimate threat of actually being able to fit inside a standard-sized pocket.

If there's a fly in the ointment, it'll be found on the resolution front, where HTC's jumbo new smartphone sticks to the old familiar WVGA (800 x 480) -- a limitation likely imposed by Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 chassis specs. You're also only getting a single-core MSM8255 Snapdragon from Qualcomm that is standard issue among Windows Phones, though it is clocked at a brisk 1.5GHz. That's accompanied by 16GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1,600mAh battery, up to 14.4Mbps HSPA+ download speeds, and an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash and an f2.2 lens.

As far as software is concerned, HTC's latest will come preloaded with Windows Phone Mango and all the improvements that brings, along with the HTC Watch service that had heretofore only been available on a limited number of Android devices. HTC's also built out its HTC Hub application with a few new features, although it's nothing like the extensive skinning it's done on Android with Sense.

The Titan will ship out to distributors at the tail end of this month and will be widely available across Europe in October. No carrier exclusives are anticipated and there's sadly no word yet about when and where US buyers might be able to get one. Click past the break for an abundance of hands-on photos and our preview of the HTC Titan.

Update: Hands-on video has now been added as well!

Although tall and wide, the slight 9.9mm thickness enables the Titan to slip easily into the front pocket of even the skinniest jeans. However, its dimensions could overwhelm hands less generously proportioned than our own: although the Windows Phone Metro UI keeps things relatively centered and easy for one-handed usage, it's still not necessarily easy to reach the top of the screen with your thumb when holding the device in one hand, and accessing the power button required a bit of in-hand shuffling in order to climb a finger up to the button located along the top-right edge of the device. People with smaller hands will find the Titan to be a challenge.

Software-wise, the Mango build we saw loaded on the Titan was obviously not final yet, but WP7 was running fast and looked great on the massive screen. HTC's ability to tweak the OS is limited by Microsoft, but there are still enhancements scattered throughout, including a nifty panorama mode for the camera and HTC's slick speakerphone implementation that kicks on the speaker when you place the device face-down on a table. HTC's also pre-loading Tango video-conferencing software to make use of that front-facing camera, although we'd imagine Microsoft has plans to integrate Skype into Windows Phone 7 rather soon as well.

Overall, it appears that the Titan is a worthy WP7 Mango halo device for HTC -- we'll have to see how a device this big handles in reality when we get a review unit and live with it for a while, though. Until then, check out our pictures below.

HTC Titan hands-on photos


Thomas Ricker and Nilay Patel contributed to this report.