updated 02:55 pm EDT, Thu September 1, 2011
HTC Radar and Titan official
HTC launched itself back into Windows Phone support at its special event Thursday with two new models. Topping the group, the Titan (once codenamed the Eternity) is the biggest Windows Phone ever and has a 4.7-inch (albeit 480x800) touchscreen in a relatively slim 0.39-inch unibody frame. It confirms front camera support in the Mango update to the OS and has both a 1.3-megapixel front camera along with the rear eight-megapixel piece.
A speed upgrade is also in store for the Titan, which has a 1.5GHz single-core Snapdragon and newfound 14.4Mbps HSPA 3G support. It supports the full range of gyroscopic, motion, and compass sensors, and has 16GB of space inside.
The smaller of the two, the Radar (Omega), has a more modest 3.8-inch screen, 1GHz Snapdragon, and 8GB of storage. It has cameras on both sides but drops down to five megapixels at the back and VGA (0.3 megapixels) at the front. The design still supports 14.4Mbps 3G and is unique in the Windows Phone world for coming in white.
Mango is key to the updates and gives the two multitasking, a modern IE9-based web browser with HTML5, deeper third-party app integration, and numerous other additions. Both phones have access to HTC's Watch movie service as well as the HTC Hub for news and photo retouching before images are posted online.
The two phones are officially due to go worldwide in October, starting with Europe and Asia, although at least the Titan will go to North America and Australia: it has the necessary 3G bands to work on both AT&T, Canada's Bell, Rogers, and Telus, and Telstra in Australia.
HTC is the first phone maker to commit to renewing Windows Phone efforts, with only Toshiba-Fujitsu having unveiled a phone running Mango before now. Samsung, Nokia, and others are due to come along in the next several weeks, but the appearance is a contrast with last year, when every initial partner launched at the same time. HTC has a strong incentive to be first as Microsoft's anti-Android licensing terms are widely known to be predicated on HTC making Windows Phone hardware.
Microsoft is currently on dangerous ground as it's continuing to bleed share with more users quitting Windows Mobile than it gets on Windows Phone. Although critically well-received, WP7 has been criticized for still needing to catch up on software features and for phones that don't match the high-end performance of competitors.