Titan II teardown shows replaceable battery, similarities with Lumia 900

Bill Detwiler cracks open the HTC Titan II and finds a unique twin-circuit-board design, replaceable battery, and simple-to-open case.

Cracking Open: HTC Titan II

Nokia wasn't the only company to launch a Windows Phone device this spring, HTC launched a new Titan handset which has a bigger battery, better camera, and 4G LTE support. How does it compare to Nokia's Lumia 900? In this week's episode of Cracking Open, I show you what's inside the HTC Titan II and compare it to Nokia's flagship Windows phone.

The Titan II has a single-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor (QSD8055), 512 MB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, a 7.7" WVGA super LCD (800 x 480 resolution), 802.11 b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth, a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It measures measures 5.2" (H) x 2.70" (W) x 0.4" (D) and weighs 6.1 ounces.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the HTC Titan II

Cracking Open observations

Compared to the original Titan:

  • Similar in size, shape, weight, and overall design: Looking at the Titan II and original Titan, it's difficult to tell them apart. Both are large handsets and nearly identical in height, width, and depth. Tipping the scales at 6.1 ounces, the Titan II is slightly heavier than the original Titan (5.6 ounces), but not by much. Like the original Titan, there's no trick to opening the Titan II, just a lot of screws to remove and several covers to pop off.
  • Similar hardware: Both phones have a replaceable battery, two large circuit boards, a 1.5GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. And like the earlier phone, the Titan II has a 4.7-inch LCD with a resolution of (800 x 480 pixels) and a single-piece display assembly.
  • 4G LTE support: The Titan supported HSPA+/WCDMA 850/1900/2100MHz and Quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge 850/900/1800/1900MHz networks. The Titan II UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+ tri-band (2100/1900/850 MHz), quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), and LTE BC4/BC17.
  • Better camera: The Titan II has a 16-megapixel camera, compared to the original model's 8-megapixel camera.
  • Higher-capacity battery: The original Titan had a 1,650mAh battery. HTC gave the Titan II a higher-capacity, 1,730mAh battery.

Compared to the Nokia Lumia 900:

  • Similar hardware: When comparing the Titan II to Nokia's Lumia 900, there are also several similarities. Both phones have single-core Qualcomm processors, both have 512MB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and the same Qualcomm MDM9200 3G/4G wireless modem.
  • Better camera: The Titan II does have a 16-megapixel camera, compared to the Lumia 900's 8-megapixel camera.
  • Lower pixel density LCD: Both phones' displays have a resolution of 800x480, but thanks to its smaller size, the Lumia's screen has a higher pixel density. The Lumia's AMOLED display also uses Nokia's ClearBlack filter.

Bottom Line

Like the Lumia 900, the Titan II's hardware is partially dictated by its operating system. Windows Phone 7.5 doesn't support dual-core processors, which are found in many Android devices and the iPhone 4S. Likewise, both phones have less RAM than than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and less storage than the top-end iPhone or Galaxy Nexus.

But as I said in my Lumia 900 teardown, better hardware specifications don't always translate into better performance. Windows Phone 7.5 was designed to run well on single-core application processors and 512MB of RAM. And given my experience with the Titan II, it does.

At $199 (with a two year contract) the Titan II is more expensive than the $99 Lumia 900. You'll have to decide if the larger screen and higher-megapixel camera are worth it.

For a real-world review of the Titan II, check out Kent German's review on CNET.

Internal hardware

Our HTC Titan II test unit has the following hardware:

  • 1.5GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor (QSD8055)
  • Samsung K3PE4E400K-XG(1) 4Gb LP DDR2 DRAM (512MB)
  • 16GB Samsung KLMAG4FEJA-A002 moviNAND chip
  • Qualcomm MDM9200 3G/4G wireless modem
  • 4.7" WVGA display (800 x 480)
  • 16MP rear-facing camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3.7V, 1,730 mAh Li-Ion battery (BG86100)
  • Unknown CXD5501GG-01 150E1162 (perhaps a Sony Semiconductor IC)
  • Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/Baseband/Radio with Integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS & FM Transceiver (BCM4330FKUB6)
  • Atmel mXT224 touchscreen controller
  • Qualcomm PM8058 power management IC
  • Micron 11D12 NQ279
  • Avago ACPM-7868 Power Amplifier Module Linear Quad-Band GSM/EDGE
  • Unknown A5017 K1132 EC015
  • AIC 3254 TI IA1 A371
  • Qualcomm PM8028 power management IC
  • Qualcomm QTR8600 RF Transceiver (QTR8615L ACV147.0 H41470A7)

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...