Nokia Lumia 900 vs HTC Titan II

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Windows Phones have been tearing it up over on AT&T’s lineup, as both the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II came storming onto the scene simultaneously. AT&T is the premier carrier of choice when it comes to Windows Phones in general, but surely enough, we’re betting that a few of you are still holding out to find out which one you should invest your hard earned money into. Well folks, you won’t have to wait a single moment longer because we’re pitting these two top shelf Windows Phones to find out exactly which one can claim the throne to itself.

Design:

Despite being a typical quality HTC made smartphone, the Titan II just simply lacks the freshness associated with the Nokia Lumia 900’s unique looking design. Indeed, both are fashioned from premium materials and are solid with their constructions, but ultimately it’s the Lumia 900 that has the polarizing attraction to reel in our eyes right from the onset. Don’t get us the wrong, the HTC Titan II is still a beauty in its own right, but after feasting our eyes on the unibody design of the Lumia 900, it’s undeniable that we adore the approach taken by Nokia.


Honestly, we’re not fond of the dedicated power button, shutter keys, and volume controls with both smartphones – mainly because they’re a bit too flat and don’t offer enough tactility when pressed. On the other hand, we didn’t have any issues in regards to accidental presses with their capacitive Windows buttons below. Lastly, the two boast commonalities such as 3.5mm headset jacks, microUSB ports, and dual-mics.


In terms of cameras, the HTC Titan II shouts loudly with its beefy 16-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and an F2.6 lens, while the Nokia Lumia 900 carries a respectable 8-megapixel one with dual-LED flash and an F2.2 aperture lens. Meanwhile, above their displays, the two share the same 1.3-megapixel front-facing cameras that are ready for the occasional Tango video chatting session.



Display:

Let’s be honest here people! There’s plenty to like about their respective displays, even more when they’re the better looking ones amongst the current generation Windows Phone crop. Overall, the Nokia Lumia 900’s 4.3” WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED display has the wow factor thanks to its saturated color tones, better visibility outdoors, and its ability to produce the deeper black color. In contrast, the 4.7” WVGA S-LCD display of the Titan II is remarkable primarily for its size, but aside from that, there’s nothing much else to be thrilled about.



Nokia Lumia 900 360-degrees View:



HTC Titan II 360-degrees View:





Interface and Functionality:

Running the most up-to-date version of Windows Phone, version 7.5 (aka Mango), there’s nothing dramatically different in terms of the experience – well, you know, Microsoft likes to keep it that way. Therefore, whether you’re checking out the People Hub for you social networking fix, or using the calendar to keep up with your schedule, you won’t find anything different between them.


However, we have to point out that HTC Titan II offers the HTC Hub, which is none other than a slimmed down version of HTC’s Sense UI over on Android. Conversely, the unique thing about the Nokia Lumia 900 is that it has the benefit of being able to download Nokia’s specific apps – like Nokia Drive and Maps. Initially, some might be enticed by the voice guided turn-by-turn navigations available with Nokia Drive, but you can’t forget that the HTC Titan II has access to HTC Locations, which is its comparable GPS navigation app. So what can we say about it all? Don’t hinge on the core experience to make a decision on what to side with.



Likewise, we can say the same when it comes to typing messages with each device, as neither one is able to distinguish itself as the superior one – that’s because of their spacious layouts and responsiveness in keeping up with our rate. Throw in one phenomenal auto-correct feature found with the Windows Phone keyboard, we find both to deliver a great messaging experience.

Processor and Memory:

Becoming a consistent theme amongst Windows Phones in general, we’re not all that concerned about raw specs with them, mainly because they seemingly all run flawlessly and without any distracting issues. Nevertheless, the Nokia Lumia 900 is powered by a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8055 processor, whereas the HTC Titan II relies on a single-core core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 CPU. When it comes to pure performance, it’s hardly determinable to say which has the edge over the other, as they perform equally with all tasks.

When it comes down to internal storage, they’re both advertised as offering 16GB, but out of the box, but it’s actually 13.61GB of free memory – meaning, you’re still required to manage stored content to maximize their capacities. Sorry folks, there’s no expansion with them!

Internet and Connectivity:

Arriving on the scene at the same exact time, both have the prestigious title of being the first 4G LTE enabled Windows Phones on the market – and the timing couldn’t have been better! Relying on AT&T’s network, they’re both able to load our web site in its entirety in under 30 seconds. As for the rest of the web browsing experience, they once again perform similarly with their fluid kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming.



In our testing, data speeds remained consistent as they both deliver similar results in the same locations. Specifically, we’re able to see them obtaining maximum download and upload HSPA+ speeds of 5Mbit/s and 1Mbit/s respectively. Under 4G LTE connectivity, we’re seeing better results at 10Mbit/s and 3Mbit/s, but they’re nothing stellar when compared to devices running off of Verizon’s LTE network. With other connectivity options, they both feature aGPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.

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Camera:

Finally, we have something concrete that differentiates these two when it comes to performance. As we stare at the exact shots captured by the Nokia Lumia 900’s 8-megapixel camera and HTC Titan II’s 16-megapixel snapper, we have to give the slight advantage to the latter. To tell you the truth, it’s almost indistinguishable to the eye as to which one is the superior with outdoor shots, as they produce the same average details and neutral color tones. However, the HTC Titan II handles low lighting and macro shots better – well, that’s because the Lumia 900’s low lighting shots tend to be noisier looking. Additionally, when you throw in the wealth of shooting modes and options available with the HTC Titan II, it’s undeniably the more photo-centric device.


In a surprising twist, we find the Nokia Lumia 900’s 720p video recording to be a bit more pleasing to the eye than its rival. Despite noticing a distinctive underexposed appearance with the Nokia Lumia 900’s results, we find more distractions with the HTC Titan II, as it exhibits softer details and some light evidence of artifacting when panning.

Nokia Lumia 900 Sample Video:



HTC Titan II Sample Video:



Multimedia:

Hardly a surprise, we’re greeted with the Zune experience when it comes to playing music – so yeah, they boast the same level of presentation. However, the internal speaker of the HTC Titan II is more pleasing to the ear, since the Nokia Lumia 900 sounds rather strained at the loudest volume setting.



Aside from the size disparity, there’s nothing different with the video watching experience. More than able to play the same videos, it’s really a tossup as to which one is the more pleasing to use for watching videos. Certainly, we appreciate the spaciousness of the HTC Titan II, but the Nokia Lumia 900 has the iridescent color production to capture our attention.



Performance:

Calling quality has to go to the Nokia Lumia 900, due to the clear voices it’s able to deliver on both ends of the line. In comparison, the one annoyance with find with the HTC Titan II is the piercing tones that our callers mention hearing on their end  – thus, causing a slight amount of irritation.

Much like most things we’ve experienced thus far in this comparison, battery life remains to be similar as well, as we’re able to get easily a single day of normal usage with each device under HSPA+ connectivity. With light usage, though, we can inch out 1 ½ days on a fully charged battery.

Conclusion:

As we reach the end of our comparison, the last piece to the puzzle that stands in the way of proclaiming a winner is pricing. Admittedly, it’s hard not to like the $99.99 on-contract price attached to the Nokia Lumia 900. In fact, it’s the main reason why it stands out so much, as it consciously coughs up that perfect balance of quality performance and impeccable design. Sure, you can pay the extra money to get the HTC Titan II for $199.99 on-contract, which is still a great smartphone in many ways, but the thing you’ll be gaining is a handset that’s better equipped for shooting photos. If you can somehow live with the results produced by the Nokia Lumia 900’s camera, we’d recommend it any day of the week – plus, you’ll be saving a cool $100 at the same time!

Nokia Lumia 900 vs HTC Titan II:





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