Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II couldn't be more different as far as the manufacturer goals and ambitions are concerned. The Nokia Lumia 900 for instance, carries the burden of turning the fortunes for the Finnish giant. The HTC Titan II is on the other side does not need to sell in large numbers - the Taiwanese company has the One Series up to this task. Such lack of pressure is sometimes the key to a great product.
The two Windows Phone handsets also hit the AT&T shelves in the same day. All in all, great news in case you are a fan of Windows Phone devices, shopping around for the latest hardware.
Speaking of hardware, you have probably guessed by now, that the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 have quite a few things in common, thanks to Microsoft's strict hardware policy for the mobile platform. Displays and camera units aside, the two smartphone can almost pass for identical twins hardware-wise.
Here's a quick look at what Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II have to offer:
HTC Titan II over Nokia Lumia 900
- A slightly faster CPU, clocked at 1.5GHz
- Lighter by 13 grams, despite being larger in measures
- Larger 4.7" S-LCD screen
- 16MP camera sensor with various shooting modes
- Video recording has a better continuous auto focus
- A number of handy, exclusive HTC apps
- Equalizer/sound enhancer preinstalled
Nokia Lumia 900 over HTC Titan II
- Arguably better design, and more distinctive looks
- Polycarbonate unibody and Gorilla Glass covered display will handle abuse better
- 4.3" AMOLED screen is a better match for Windows Phone OS; has better pixel density too
- 8MP camera sensor has excellent dynamic range
- Costs half as much with a contract
- Better battery life performance
- Nokia Drive free lifetime navigation out of the box
If looks are main factor, then the Nokia Lumia 900 is likely the favorite here. Its polycarbonate unibody, coupled with a display, sporting infinite contrast levels and punchier colors, looks like nothing else on the U.S. smartphone market. Free navigation from Nokia Drive is a sweet proposition on the software side of things. In a nutshell, there is plenty to like about the newcomer.
The HTC Titan II on the other hand, sports a faster CPU, and weighs less, despite it being larger overall. Its 16MP camera sensor is the biggest you can find on a smartphone in the United States. HTC's exclusive apps add a much needed dash of Sense-d eye candy to an otherwise generic Windows Phone OS look.
The Lumia 900 measures are 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm, while the handset's weight tips the scale at a rather hefty 160 grams.
The HTC Titan II however, is just as solidly put together, if not even better. While lacking unibody construction, the metal-clad Titan II feels just as well built as its rival. This is hardly a surprise given the manufacturer's reputation for quality - even the pickiest user will have a hard time finding something to complain about on this instance.
In terms of hardware, the most obvious difference between the two smartphones is their displays. The Nokia Lumia 900 does with a 4.3" ClearBlack AMOLED screen, while the HTC Titan II packs a 4.7" S-LCD unit. Thankfully, both displays are non-PenTile - a welcome fact, given their Microsoft enforced WVGA resolution.
The Nokia Lumia 900 has a serious advantage over the HTC Titan II in the display department. Along with a better pixel density of 217ppi (the Titan II has 199ppi), the Lumia 900's screen offers better contrast and viewing angles than the HTC offering. It is also easier on the battery. As far as sunlight legibility goes, the two units are on par - good news for the Titan II.
Speaking of LTE radios, the battery performance is easily one of the most important features for both devices. On this occasion, it is the Nokia Lumia 900 which has the upper hand. With a smaller ClearBlack AMOLED screen, and a bigger, 1830mAh battery, the smartphone achieved an endurance rating of 29 in our test.
Things did not go so well for the HTC Titan II. Sadly, Titan II will last less than 24 hours if you use it for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback. Where as Nokia Lumia will last for around 30 hours
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 900 seems to have a slight edge over the HTC Titan II in the design and hardware section. It looks (arguably) better, feels almost as solid as the HTC, and offers better battery performance, albeit marginally. The extra clock speed of HTC's CPU might actually be doing it a bad favor as far as battery life is concerned.
With Windows Phone 7.5 Mango being the same across handsets from every range, it is up to the exclusive, proprietary software add-ons tip the scale in favor of the Lumia 900 or the Titan II. Both manufacturers have put a significant effort in adding their own apps, which aim to provide additional appeal to potential users.
Their survival as a leading smartphone manufacturer at stake, Nokia have understandably put extra effort to make their WP7 line stand out in the crowd. With any Lumia phone you get Nokia Drive - a complete SatNav solution with downloadable maps free of charge.
The other household names are Nokia Maps, App Highlights and Nokia Music, but some of them are, or will be available across the platform soon enough. App Highlights offers a selection of apps to get you started, while Nokia Music works as a general music player but with a location-aware twist. You also get access to the Nokia Music store, which is an alternative to the Zune Marketplace.
The Titan II has a pretty good alternative to Nokia Drive, called HTC Locations. The HTC exclusive app is also free, can download maps for use when offline, and is (arguably) better.
Furthermore, the Taiwanese alternative to the Nokia Lumia 900 offers you several other exclusive apps, which are taken straight from the HTC Sense UI for Android. We particularly liked the weather app, as it adds a serious touch of eye candy to an otherwise plain looking Windows Phone homescreen.
The camera comparison is a rather curious tie between the two devices. The Lumia 900 takes better still photos. The HTC Titan II on the other hand, captures much better 720p videos, where the constant autofocus is not that big of a nuisance like in the case of the Nokia.
The HTC Titan II also comes with a sound enhancer and a few equalizer settings preloaded. We found them to provide a significantly better audio experience than what the Lumia 900 had to offer. If multimedia playback is important for you, the Titan II looks like the better alternative.
The End result:
Despite quite a few similarities, the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II have developed some quite different characters.
The Lumia 900 wins the design contest. It is far more likely to turn heads than the generic looking Titan II. Build quality is top notch too, and so is the ClearBlack AMOLED display. The latter is possibly the best way to enjoy the Windows Phone OS. Our only grievance here is the slightly cheap and flimsy feel of the Lumia's hardware buttons. The Nokia will also last longer on a single charge than the HTC.
The HTC Titan II on the other hand, is lighter, while being just as solidly built. Its bigger screen is likely to find some followers, despite its lower pixel density. It is also better equipped in the software department out of the box.
With the Nokia Lumia 900 enjoying massive coverage, and costing half as much as the HTC Titan II, it is easy to guess that it will outsell its rival by quite a margin.