It was only a little over a week ago, at MWC 2012, that Pocket-lint confirmed with senior HTC management that the Titan II Windows Phone will be coming DownUnder. Fast forward to March 13 – and Telstra and their retail partners (eg JB Hi-Fi) will be launching the Nokia Lumia 800. This follows on from our exclusive launch with Telstra right here at this site of the Samsung Omnia W Gen2 WP7 device in late January. Based on information WPDownUnder has received in the past 24 hours, it would seem that Telstra are certain to unveil their 3rd new Windows Phone in just 4 months!
Talk about re-gaining the Windows Phone high-ground!
UPDATED: Scroll down to the end of the article for TBC pricing of the Telstra HTC Titan II 4G outright!!!
On the matter of the Nokia Lumia launch at Telstra, WPDownUnder believes the delay in Telstra’s advertised launch (being the 13th March) compared to other carriers – most notably Vodafone who are also selling the same 850band RM-819 Lumia 800 model – may not have just been down to commercial timings in their mobile device release timetable. We have seen reports that Telstra will be launching the Lumia with the latest Nokia Firmware version (12070) - increasing device stability, improving battery life and with tethering (more than likely). This may well have been a decision by Telstra management with Nokia – to deliver the best user experience out-of-the-box.
Vodafone however (pictured right), are selling the Lumia 800 without the soon-to-be released latest firmware update. This is not a major issue, as users will just be able to connect their device and receive the update (assuming Vodafone approve it promptly) when it is released later this month – by our reckoning.
Telstra have likely taken the decision to want to launch the device to its customers with the latest firmware – most likely flowing on to JB Hi-Fi stocks (unconfirmed) for their launch on March 13. Whether Dick Smith stock delays of the 850band network version of the Lumia 800 is down to this reason only…WPDownUnder can only speculate.
Telstra already have one 4G device for sale, the much publicised HTC Velocity 4G, launched in the same week that the Omnia W was announced (same day actually). Public comments by Telstra Management have confirmed their intentions to bring more models to market quickly on their developing 4G network. This new network is also needed in peak congested 3G areas (like Melbourne city) to help spread network loads across more bandwidth. WPDownUnder’s own testing in recent weeks has seen heavy congestion and Data connection issues with NextG in the city centre (Telstra have advised issues they are working on). Lunch-time access to even update Twitter feed proved difficult last week.
Overnight, it would appear that select Telstra staff received confirmation that the HTC Titan II and another unnamed Android 4G device will be launching at Telstra in April. At an event last night, some lucky Telstra staff even won Lumia 800′s as door prizes, prior to the announcements re: forthcoming 4G handsets. The HTC Titan II is a monster of a device, with a huge screen and 4G speeds. Prior to release, we hope to see a review unit for some first-hand feedback at this site.
We expect that the handset will be available on the $79 Freedom Connect plan using the MRO bonus (ie no extra handset payment) – a total of $1896 for 24 months. If the HTC Velocity is anything to go by, then it may also be available on the $59 Freedom Connect plan with a min. $5 extra MRO payment (min. $64 p/m or $1536 total).
This would certainly place Telstra at the head of the pack as far as Windows Phone 7 handset diversity is concerned, with the old HTC HD7 (Gen1) still for sale as well as the new Samsung Omnia W, Nokia Lumia 800 and then HTC Titan II handsets. Reports from Nokia advise that they are still in discussion with carriers over any possible ranging of the Nokia Lumia 900 (also 4G when slated for global release) later in 2012. With an ETA on this unit’s global release being close to mid year, it stands to reason that this next few months may prove very important for Microsoft’s great new mobile OS in Australia.
Exciting times for WP7 indeed!
* * * * UPDATE * * * *
WPDownUnder can exclusively confirm that the HTC TITAN II 4G is reported to be launching on Telstra with what is believed to be a $888 outright RRP price! This places the device at a more expensive price point than the new Glaxy Note (mid $800′s tbc) - and the 4G Galaxy SII est. ~$800 tbc when it launches around the 27th March also.
That certainly is a premium device! Expect it only on the $79 plan (or significant MRO extra over $59 plan).
More news as we get closer to launch. Contact us if you have any more news!
(thanks to the anon. tipster from an unlooked to source for this new info!)
Excerpt from HTC Press release on the HTC Titan II from CES 2012:
The HTC TITAN II comes equipped with a brilliant 4.7-inch super LCD capacitive touchscreen display for an optimized viewing experience when watching movies, playing games or enjoying photos and videos. The HTC TITAN II offers quick and easy access to the latest movies and TV shows via HTC Watch and on-the-go gaming with Xbox LIVE.
Packed with advanced imaging technology, the HTC TITAN II features a 16-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, autofocus, dual LED flash, red eye reduction, image stabilization, a backside-illuminated sensor and a physical camera button, offering a viable replacement for digital point-and-shoot cameras. The HTC TITAN II delivers a number of features that HTC has developed to help consumers capture photos in a variety of conditions; for instance, panoramic shot for sweeping landscapes and burst shot for action photography. The smartphone also enables 720p HD video recording with the rear-facing camera, as well as on-the-go video chat over Wi-Fi with its 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.
Access to AT&T’s speedy 4G LTE network paired with Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz Snapdragon™ S2 processor, enables the HTC TITAN II to deliver fast Web surfing, streaming and downloading. This new powerful smartphone will also feature a 1,730mAh lithium ion battery to support the robust mobile experience on one of the fastest 4G LTE networks.” LINK