Paul's Picks: HTC Titan II and SkyDrive App Beta

Windows 7.5 smartphone handset and Microsoft's PC-based cloud storage

HTC Titan II

PROS: Windows Phone 7.5 OS, LTE, excellent camera

CONS: Bulky, big form factor, expensive

RATING: Three out of five stars

RECOMMENDATION: Had the HTC Titan II shipped as part of the launch wave of Windows Phone 7.5 devices late last year, it most likely would have been the crème de la crème. However, coming now as it does in the wake of the excellent Nokia Lumia 900, the Titan II suffers by comparison, but for one truly redeeming feature: The Titan II features the best camera I’ve ever seen on a Windows Phone handset, and while it falls a bit short of the lofty standard set by Apple’s incomparable iPhone 4S, it’s still a stunner. The camera features 16 megapixels of resolution, about twice that offered by any other smartphone, excellent optics, and, as important on Windows Phone, where such things are left to the device maker, a truly useful set of picture-taking modes and options that includes panorama and intelligent automatic shooting. Beyond this, the Titan II is mostly uninteresting: It has LTE compatibility, a requirement, in my opinion, and a very large body with a huge 4.7-inch screen that some will find unwieldy. Ultimately, the Titan II is a decent Windows Phone handset. But with the Lumia 900 in the market, these days decent isn’t enough.


FULL REVIEW: Windows Phone 7.5: HTC Titan II


SkyDrive App Beta

PROS: Simple access to SkyDrive data; Remote Fetch

CONS: Can’t determine which parts of SkyDrive are synced, can’t sync to multiple locations on a PC, no remote desktop functionality

RATING: Three out of five stars

RECOMMENDATION: Microsoft is killing off its Windows Live brand, and while it hasn’t explicitly said so, all indications are that it will be killing off its Windows Live Mesh service, replacing it with its new SkyDrive app for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, currently in Beta form. SkyDrive maps your cloud-based storage to a folder on your PC that's either synced or not synced; there’s no way to determine which parts of SkyDrive are synced—Microsoft tells me this is coming—so it’s an all or nothing affair. You also can’t sync folders in SkyDrive to different parts of the hard drive. It does provide a unique new feature called Remote Fetch that lets you remotely navigate through another connected PC via a web interface. Even in its current form, it offers what users have been clamoring for: A simple, Explorer-based method of accessing SkyDrive from a Windows-based PC.

CONTACT: Microsoft

FULL REVIEW: Cloudbusting: SkyDrive vs. Live Mesh vs. Google Drive vs. Dropbox
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