Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Octa-Core 1.4GHz Smartphone Review @ ModSynergy.com
By: Michael Phrakaysone

 

Posh Mobile is a new up and coming American mobile phone brand founded in 2014 and owned by PCS Wireless that's focus is offering elegant and stylish GSM mobile devices such as smartphones, phablets and tablets at an affordable price.  The Posh lineup is meant to display the unique fusion of New York urban chic product design and for consumers to have that luxurious feel and quality while providing great value.  Posh Mobile products are CE certified meaning they meet an international standard of quality.  Posh Mobile projects shipping more than two million devices in 2015. 

ModSynergy has been reviewing a few Chinese smartphones of late, our hope being to share with you different avenues when looking for a new smartphone, because there's not much else to evaluate other than the usual top smartphone brands that flood the market.  Chances are to get a half decent phone, you end up paying upwards of $350.  Want a flagship?  Expect to pay at least $600.  Not everyone has that kind of money to spend, but no one wants a cheap phone.

So far the Chinese smartphones that have been reviewed, while offering some value, there hasn't been a definitive smartphone that warrants a purchase.  One of the unfortunate things I've experienced reviewing Chinese smartphones is that they like to promote one thing, but fail to deliver it in the end.  They end up lying to the customer.  For example, they'll say our phone has a Sony camera sensor, but under later investigation, there's no Sony camera sensor in the smartphone.  And most folks buying these inexpensive phones won't even know the difference between a Sony camera sensor and something inferior and not Sony.  They'll just live with the idea that their Chinese phone has a Sony camera sensor because they don't know any better.

Maybe we're looking in the wrong place for a smartphone that offers quality along with great value.  Does such a thing even exist?  Maybe it could be as simple as looking towards a brand new up and coming American mobile phone brand looking to prove itself in a very competitive market.

Posh Mobile thinks it has the answer with its new Titan HD E500 smartphone.  The Titan HD E500 comes with a large 5" 720p HD IPS display, 1.4GHz Octa-Core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, dual SIM slots supporting 4G HSDPA+, USB OTG support, and runs the mature Android 4.4 KitKat mobile operating system. 

The most interesting part is the affordable price.  Right now the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 can be purchased through Amazon USA for $161.56.  Read on to see whether or not the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 can be a surprise in today's mobile marketplace.  Can there be quality and performance for an affordable price?

About PCS Wireless

PCS Wireless specializes in the responsible and profitable redistribution of new and pre-owned phones, tablets, accessories, and other wireless equipment. We began operations in 2001 and now have a local presence in every major market and a global network of more than 2,500 distributors. Our expertise in reverse logistics and asset recovery has fueled our rapid growth, and our commitment to operational excellence has inspired us to earn ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 and R2:2013 certifications.

Posh Mobile

About Posh Mobile

The unique fusion of New York urban chic and next generation smartphone technology has resulted in the creation of Posh Mobile.  The constantly evolving portfolio at Posh Mobile is carefully designed to meet the increasing demands of the highest trending consumer segments in today’s mobile marketplace.

Posh Mobile's uniquely branded devices provide consumers a superior out of box experience by blending the elements of elegant product design and integrated seamless technology to deliver unmatched consumer value.
Posh Mobile offers one of a kind unlocked mobile phones with an elegant design at an affordable price. Our phones are available to retailers, dealer agents and MVNOs throughout the world.

At Posh Mobile we take pride in everything we produce and we maintain the very highest standards of quality, value and customer service.

Our mission is to provide “Elegance for All” by offering fashionable and sophisticated phones at prices everyone can afford.

Every Posh Mobile device is backed by a one year manufacturer’s warranty.


Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Product Overview

Experience live media like never before. The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 fuses a true High Definition 5 inch display with an Octa-core 1.4ghz processor, resulting in unparalleled, supercharged mobile performance. Powered by Android Kit Kat 4.4, the high velocity experience of the E500 is further enhanced with a full 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage space. The 13 mega pixel HD main and 5 mega pixel front cameras and are seamlessly integrated into the Titan’s ultra slim 8.0 mm design, which is available in 7 colors.

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Product Features

Octa Core CPU

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Product Specifications

Physical Specs

  • Form Factor: Touch
  • Dimensions: 141.5 x 70.8 x 8.0 mm
  • Colors: White, Pink, Blue, Black, Yellow

LCD

  • LCD Display: 5.0" Capacitive IPS
  • LCD Resolution: 720 x 1280

Network

  • GSM: 850/1700/1900MHz
  • SIM Card Slot: Dual SIM Micro (1&2)
  • 4G HSDPA+: 850/1700/1900MHz
  • Edge: Yes

Camera

  • Primary Camera: 13.0 MP
  • Front Camera: 5.0 MP
  • Face Recognition: Supported
  • Focus & Zoom: Yes
  • LED Flash: Yes

Mechanics

  • Speaker: Yes
  • Battery: 2200mAh
  • Vibrator: Yes
  • Side key: Yes
  • Sensors: Yes

Hardware

  • CPU: MT 6592
  • Platform: Mediatek
  • Processor: Octa Core
  • Speed: 1.4 GHz
  • OS: Android 4.4 Kit Kat
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Tethering: Yes
  • MP3: Supported
  • MPEG4: Supported
  • FM Radio: Yes
  • Built-in Antenna: Yes
  • Earphone: 3.5mm with mic
  • Bluetooth: Yes

Memory

  • ROM: 8GB
  • RAM: 1GB
  • External: Supported micro SD card up to 32GB

Interface

  • SIM card slot: Micro SIM
  • Earphone: 3.5mm with mic
  • Charger: Micro USB
  • USB: Micro USB
  • Data download: Micro USB

Data Connection

  • Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML
  • WAP: Yes
  • MMS: Yes
  • GPRS: Yes
  • GPS: Supported
  • Video Call: Supported

Features / Options

  • Phone book: 100+
  • SMS Volume: 100+
  • Email: Supported
  • Ringtone: MP3
  • Language: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, Farsi
  • Games: Supported
  • Applications: Supported
  • Call records: 100+
  • Call service: Supported
  • Keypad lock: Supported
  • Alarm clock: Supported
  • Calculator: Supported
  • Incoming firewall: Supported
  • To-do list: Supported
  • Calendar: Supported
  • Voice Record: Supported
  • E-book: Supported
  • Video player: Supported
  • Video record: Supported
  • Pictures: Supported
  • USB disk: Supported

First Impressions

Full disclaimer: There was to be a variety of YouTube videos that were going to showcase the Titan HD E500.  I had already uploaded them and marked them unlisted until this review was released.  Unfortunately, major complications arose with my YouTube account as Google wanted me link and to create a Google+ account and some other things that could not be avoided, all of this eventually locked me out of my own video manager and videos.  I'm lucky that I even have these images to share with you, as I mistakenly deleted all my originals related to this review (not going to make that mistake ever again) as never in a million years did I envision running into this issue.  Google, why do you have to make things so difficult, why do you have to force Google+ on YouTube users?  Sigh... 

Let's continue on with this review.

EDIT: Got access back into my videos that were missing so here's the full set of YouTube videos that were missing before!

 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 comes packaged in a plastic container, similar to the style Apple uses for their products.  The top section is clear and see through, while the rest of the container is white and stores product information.  The container comes from the factory with security sticker seals on the sides to prevent unauthorized tampering.

 

Titan HD E500

Three sides of the container have large Posh Mobile logos and Titan HD name plates.  Words accompanying them describe the Ultra Slim Design, HD Display, and Octa-Core performance of the Titan HD E500.  The other end of the container displays IMEI and product information along with the contents of the package.

The backside of the plastic container houses the rest of the information regarding the phone.  Information on the package is really simplified and not technical in any way, I don't know if it's the lack of space as there are big icons used throughout, or if its Posh knowing their target consumers might not be knowledgeable enough to care about technical information, but I thought this was interesting and mysterious in a way.  I guess everything will be revealed as the review unfolds. 

The backside describes the main key selling features of the Titan HD E500, which include the 8GB ROM, 1GB RAM, octa-core processor, Android 4.4 Kit Kat operating system, dual SIM slots, slim side profile of only 8.0mm, wireless connection, 4G H+ network connection support, HD (720p) IPS display, and autofocus front (5MP) and rear (13MP) cameras.

Posh Mobile

The bottom of the box mentions Designed by Posh in USA.  Assembled in China.  Is it safe to say that this is a Chinese phone being made to an American company's standards, quality, and specifications?  I think there's a big difference if it's just another rebadged Chinese smartphone without meeting any sort of strict requirements.  It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds with our previous experiences with Chinese smartphone makers saying one thing but delivering something entirely different. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 contains the following items in the container...

  • Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 smartphone
  • In-ear canalphones with microphone
  • 2200mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery
  • USB wall charger - 5V 1A
  • Micro USB charge cable
  • Screen protector
  • Protective case
  • Users manual

I have to say Posh Mobile did a great job with their bundle for the Titan HD E500.  Most other smartphone bundles either come with cheap earbuds and not the insulating in-ear canalphone type Posh gives, or don't come with any at all.  What I later found that Posh could have bundled with the package, is a USB OTG cable.  But I didn't initially recognize that the phone supported this feature as the package made no mention of it.

I really like the protective clear case that comes with the Titan HD E500.  You would be surprised how many smartphone makers can't design a good simple protective case.  Posh Mobile paid attention to the details of theirs and gets it correct in every way. 

I like how this protective case wraps around the entire screen and therefore creating a rim of protection.  This rim is enough to provide ground clearance to ensure that the screen doesn't become scratched when placed down on a table.  Similarly, the thickness of the protective case is thick enough that the flush mounted camera lens won't become scratched if you were to place it camera side down on a table.  Posh Mobile also nailed it when they designed the buttons on their protective case to wrap snugly around the buttons that stick out from the body of the Titan HD E500.  Not only does this give protection for the actual buttons on the phone, it also makes them easier to operate.

One of the problems of buying a Chinese built smartphone, or any Chinese made product in general, is that the user's manual is more often than not, hard to understand because of the language barrier.  In the case of the American Posh Mobile, the user's manual is completely free of this issue.  It is clear, concise, and understandable.

Having already extensive experience with Mediatek smartphones, I picked up right away on a single side of the packaging what kind of CPU the Titan HD E500 employs. In small font near the bottom are the words MT6592M.  This is in reference to a Mediatek MT6592M processor.  The M moniker in the MT6592M designation means that this CPU has 8 CPU cores operating at 1.4GHz speed.

Who is MediaTek? Never heard of them?

Chances are you've never heard of MediaTek before since they are virtually unknown inside North America.  Mediatek is a Taiwanese smartphone SOC (system-on-chip) maker that focuses more in China, India, and other emerging markets for usually low to mid-range devices, though that is finally changing.  They have made major strides over the years playing catch-up to Qualcomm, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Broadcom.  It's paying off as MediaTek became the 5th largest smartphone chip maker back in 2012, and in 2013 became the 4th largest fabless IC designer in the world. 

If I knew how to invest in Mediatek stocks in the Asian stock market, I would have done so years ago and made money, as this company continues to grow steadily.  MediaTek has grown up a great deal within the past couple of years that their smartphone chips have now made its way into HTC and Sony smartphone's and boatloads of other Android TV boxes that saturate the market.   MediaTek even has its brand new performance oriented 64-bit LTE SOC meant for use in higher end smartphones.

The MediaTek 6592M is the SOC being reviewed today in the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500. This processor has shown to be faster than Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 and more than competitive with their Snapdragon 600 series.  Note that in this Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, the MT6592M is used, the M moniker designates that it's the slower version of the normal MT6592 variant.  MT6592M is clocked at 1.4GHz, while the normal MT6592 is offered at a higher clock speed of either 1.7GHz or 2.0GHz.

The MT6592M integrates a high level of features including ClearMotion (a smartphone equivalent of 120Hz mode on HDTVs), MiraCast screen sharing, full HD HEVC H.265/VP9/Ultra HD 4K H.264 video decoding codec's, 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, FM tuner, and support for up to 16MP cameras.  The MediaTek 6592 SOC is a comprehensive chip.

One of the key features in the MediaTek 6592M processor is a video playback feature called ClearMotion. The best way I can depict this feature would be that of 120Hz modes on HDTVs.  ClearMotion converts 24/30fps video automatically to 60fps in real-time to (in theory) eliminate motion blur in fast moving scenes. 

In my HDTV reviews, it was clear that I did not like 120Hz technology, it looked not natural and presented clipping and artifacts.  On this Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 having a smaller screen, the motion feature works well enough that I simply leave it on.

Will this smartphone work in North America? What kind of frequency bands does it support?

Posh Mobile is an American mobile phone company, so yes indeed this phone works in North America. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 comes SIM Unlocked for worldwide use, supports 2G Edge, 3G, and 4G HSDPA+ frequencies. 

Titan HD E500 supports more frequencies than listed on the Posh Mobile website. 

  • GSM frequencies supported are 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • 3G/4G frequencies supported are 800/850/1700/1900MHz 
  • It should be noted that 1700MHz frequency is AWS

So the phone will work with several carriers in the United States of America and Canada.

In Canada this phone works in either 2G and 3G/4G HSDPA+ modes using the Rogers network. Depending on the cell towers where you live, Rogers has a variety of them that operate on combination of 850/1900/2100/2600MHz frequencies. So in this case, the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 will work on Rogers 3G/4G HSDPA+ using 850 and 1900MHz, and again 850 and 1900MHz in 2G mode.

4G HSDPA+4G HSDPA+

Other Canadian cell carriers the Posh Titan HD E500 will work with is Bell (850/1900) and Telus (1900).  And since the Titan HD E500 supports AWS 1700MHz frequency, it should technically work on even the smaller carrier in Canada called Wind Mobile, which uses AWS frequencies of 1700/2100.  There's not much selection of phones for Wind Mobile, so this is a nice alternative to have.  Judging by all of the support material I found on Wind Mobile's website, I believe the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 will work on the Wind Mobile network in Canada.

There's a great Canadian Cellular Towers Map here: http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/cancellsites.html

I'm not familiar with USA network coverage, but I believe that the Titan HD E500 will work on 4G mode with AT&T as they use 1700MHz AWS and 3G mode with AT&T as they use 850 and 1900MHz bands.

It should also work with T-Mobile under 4G HSDPA+ as they use 1700MHz and Metro PCS under 4G HSDPA+ 1700/1900MHz.  It would be best to call your network carrier and ask them which frequency they operate on or research online.

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 has dual micro SIM slots.  This makes it convenient when you travel to different countries, for example USA and Canada.  Or its possible you can run two SIM cards, one as a personal line, and the other as a business work related line.

Visual Overview

Titan HD E500

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is constructed out of purely hard plastic to keep costs down. No pricey materials are used on this device such as aluminum, sapphire, metal, glass. Plastic isn't bad if done right, just look at Samsung using plastic for quite some time and they are priced significantly higher.  A good thing about plastic is that it keeps device weight down. 

According to my digital scale, a naked Titan HD E500 weighs 128 grams or 0.283 lbs, with the battery inside.  This is slighter lighter than my mother's HTC 8X Windows Phone and brother's Samsung Galaxy S4!  When you slip on the provided protective case the weight increases another 16 grams to 144 grams.  With that said, the Titan HD E500 is still very lightweight when I consider my old Newman NM890 (same screen size) weighs 175 grams. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 feels sturdy enough (especially with the protective case on) to withstand the rigors of normal usage, though I'm not sure how it fair in a drop.   It feels strong and solid in the hand and there's no creaking noise or annoyances with the body. 

Two tone

The Titan HD E500 I'm reviewing today comes with a two tone black and white paint scheme.  You can choose from white, pink, blue, black, and yellow.  Topside of the phone is glossy while the rest of the phone is of matte finish.  The screen bezel could be a bit thinner, but despite this, the whole phone looks stylish with its two tone color scheme.  The phone is relatively slim at only 8mm and with the way it's designed not having a circular side but a flat one, this means taking photos is easy and comfortable.  I find phones with circular curvy sides uncomfortable to hold while taking photos.

Design wise the Titan HD E500 looks straightforward yet elegant.  The phone curves around at the edges of the phone. Looking at the front of the phone, you see the two tone paint scheme  present with the top section being black and bottom section being white, where the illuminated capacitive touch buttons are located.  The illuminated capacitive touch menu, home, and back buttons have a perforated design pattern to them and their backlit LEDs have good brightness in the dark.

Coming to the rear of the phone, I like how Posh Mobile incorporated the 13MP rear camera lens flat and leveled with the back plate cover of the phone.  Some phones on the market come with their camera lens protruding outward sticking out like a sore thumb.

Speaking about the rear camera lens, I was right away aware that it had a strong purple hue/tinge being reflected back while moving the phone against the sunlight.  My gosh!  This is the first time on a Mediatek based smartphone that I've noticed this. This purple hue is Anti-Reflective coating on the camera lens!  So at least we know for this part that Posh spent money pairing the rear camera image sensor with a high quality lens combination.  This is an exciting revelation.

AR COATING

No phone that I've seen has this, but I want an integrated eyelet for a wrist strap somewhere on the body of the phone, it would look funny, but would be the most secure way in preventing any possible drops of the phone.

The 720p HD 5.0" IPS display is one of the stars of this phone. It has enough pixel density to disguise individual pixels under normal viewing distance.  You don't notice individual pixels on the screen unless you really squint with the phone right at your face or take photo of the screen with your camera.  It's truly wonderful, easily up there with the best 720p IPS displays I've experienced on a smartphone, and rivals that of the excellent screen used in the Ulefone Be One smartphone I recently reviewed. 

This screen offers sharp and almost vivid like colors, the blacks are displayed as truly black, and the white balance of the screen is almost neutral and generally satisfying.  I cannot emphasize enough how bright the display on the Titan HD can get!  It's so bright that it hurts your eyes at night, even at the lowest brightness setting.  It's considerably more brighter than the display on the Ulefone Be One.  You need to download a screen filter app to lessen the brightness of the screen for night use.  Viewing angles are simply excellent.

Display Brightness LUX Test

I have obtained a Digital Light Meter that will allow me to test and provide scientific data on how bright a smartphone display really is, instead of just describing it unscientifically in words.

From this point forward in my smartphone reviews, I'll provide the LUX reading from a few different smartphones I've already tested, along with the smartphone currently under review.

Displays are turned up manually to full brightness and made sure dynamic brightness control is disabled, if such an option exists on the smartphone.

  • Posh Mobile Titan HD E500: 434 LUX
  • Ulefone Be One: 354 LUX

Android Operating System - 4.4.2 KitKat

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500

Titan HD E500 features the already mature Android 4.4.2 KitKat mobile operating system. I remember Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone reviews and this is not that much different, the transition is very easy to KitKat. KitKat improves further on an already mature ecosystem. 

I did not have any weird issues such as crashes or restarts with the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, it's been very stable and reliable.  I've no phantom touch problems with the touch screen as well, touch screen performance is great, though admittedly it's not the most sensitive I've ever experienced.  You can use the screen with gloves on.  On past Mediatek phones, I've had troubles with phantom touches and a wonky touch screen, thankfully none of that is exhibited with the Titan HD E500.  Build quality looks to be high.

It should be noted that with the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system is very slim and not bloated with many useless app's.  Posh Mobile does bundle their own app, but it's small.  The operating system is a typical stock experience, without any customizations or skins many other companies like to place on their phones, such as TouchWiz for Samsung, Sense for HTC, or Xperia UI for Sony. I love it this way, slim and without bloat.
Therefore, performance was snappy and quick.  I didn't notice any major lag navigating through the OS, maybe just a tiny bit sliding through the widgets, but only for a split second. 

I like that the Titan HD E500 has a feature called 'Scheduled power on & off' in the Settings menu, very straightforward and great for saving extra battery power when you're sleeping. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 supports operating system updates when you head into Settings --> About Phone --> Wireless update.  4.4 KitKat updates and patches are released when necessary and or when they are released by Google. 

If you're interested whether or not the Titan HD E500 will get an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, there are plans, however, it's unclear at this point if it will be possible as it comes down to hardware compatibility and if testing phases are successful.  This problem isn't isolated to Posh, as many other big name smartphones are having trouble with Lollipop.  The newest Android 5.0 Lollipop is a significant change.

This may not be a big deal for some as Android 4.4 KitKat is mature and without issues.  There's always problems for first generation products and software, and Android 5 is no different.  Google themselves are experiencing issues with their Nexus 5 with the latest 5.1 release.  I'd rather stick with what is proven to be stable and mature.  No one likes downtime due to bugs.

Check the gallery below for OS screen shots and benchmark screen shots displaying the performance of the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500.

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 - Any good?

Firmware version of phone under review: E500A_POSH_V17_20150129

Admittedly my reviews are sometimes too long and some folks don't like that.  Some want a quick read and my detailed reviews don't help them one bit.  Well let me help some of you by stating that after using the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 for 28 days, I believe that the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is the phone I've been seeking for, for quite some time.  It has definitely blown me away.

For an affordable price of $161.56 USD through Amazon USA, the level of performance and quality components you end up receiving, some of these components you end up finding out on your own as it wasn't even advertised (such as the dual microphones, dual speakers, and fantastic cameras), considering it's beautifully bright IPS display, dual SIM slots, the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is excellent both in terms of performance and value.  This is frankly a must buy product if there were any!  There's little compromise with the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500.

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500

The best part of the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 was that I was uncovering things that weren't even advertised, but clearly should have been.  It was like peeling off the layers of an onion and finding more goodies.  I have no clue why they didn't advertise certain things when these things make a difference.  The specifications for this phone are presented too much in layman's terms almost to its disadvantage. 

  • First, most phones have only a single microphone.  The Titan HD E500 has dual microphones, one at the bottom of the phone, and one below the rear camera and single LED flash.  No mention in specifications.
  • Second, most phones, especially at this price range, have only a single loudspeaker.  The Titan HD E500 has dual speakers making it extremely loud!  No mention in specifications.
  • Third, when you remove the back cover, just beside the micro SD card slot is what appears to be that of an exposed WiFi antenna.  Most times the WiFi module and their antenna are closed off and not seen.  I noticed that the Titan HD E500 gets better WiFi signal and link speed than any other Mediatek (Chinese) based smartphones I've previously tested.
  • Forth, Posh Titan HD E500 supports USB OTG feature.  No mention in specifications.  This means you can plug in a USB flash drive, digital camera via USB, USB keyboard, USB mouse to the smartphone.  I plugged in my 32GB USB flash drive successfully to the Titan HD, it was mounted as an 'external USB storage'.  I also plugged in an USB mouse to the phone, just for the fun of it.  
  • Fifth, the Posh Titan HD E500 supports HotKnot.  Think of this as basically the Mediatek equivalent of NFC technology.  But make note that it is NOT compatible with NFC.  HotKnot only works with other HotKnot devices.  HotKnot allows the transmission of data through the phones capacitive touch panel, so you would touch two phones supporting HotKnot display to display so they could communicate and transfer data between each other.  HotKnot is being implemented in many upcoming Mediatek smartphones and this feature is usually found on the pricier models.
  • Sixth and finally, the specifications mention 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera.  Want to guess which kind?  I took one photo with the rear camera and noticed the immediate difference in shutter speed compared to the Ulefone Be One camera.  Remember how Ulefone lied and said it had a Sony IMX214 rear camera image sensor when it had a cheap OmniVision unit instead?

Well my mind was blown when viewed back the first and only photo I had taken with the Titan HD E500 on my computer screen.  WOW is what I could only muster, the photo had incredible detail. The photo properties revealed that the lens is a f/2.2 aperture unit. 

I thought to myself this is how the Ulefone Be One's camera was supposed to perform if they hadn't lied.  The photos (rear and front cameras) coming from the Titan HD E500 makes the photos on the Ulefone Be One (and Be Pro since it has same OV sensor) look extremely bad in comparison.  The funny thing is that the Posh Titan HD E500 cost only $20 more than what the Ulefone Be One was selling for.

Turns out that Posh Mobile withholds a crucial nugget of information regarding their rear and front camera sensors on the Titan HD E500, because under further investigation in the /proc/devices directory, it is revealed that the Posh Titan HD E500 contains a Sony IMX135 rear camera sensor!  I find it simply amazing that Posh Mobile would not advertise and market this.  Wow.

For your information, the Sony IMX135 image sensor is also used in such first tier smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Moto X, LG G2 and LG G3.  All of these mentioned smartphones are substantially more costly than the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500.

The Sony IMX135 image sensor is the world's first Stacked CMOS Image Sensor.  It adopts a unique ‘stacked structure.’ This structure layers the pixel section, containing formations of back-illuminated pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, in place of conventional supporting substrates used for back-illuminated CMOS image sensors.  Sony IMX135 is a 1/3.06" model with 13.13 effective megapixels.   

More information about the Sony IMX135 sensor can be found here: http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201208/12-107E/

In terms of the front 5-megapixel camera sensor on the Titan HD E500, the /proc/devices file does list two entries of IMX135, usually this indicates the rear and front camera sensors in order.  Initially I was under the impression that the Posh Titan HD could have two of the exact same Sony IMX135 sensors (that would have been amazing), but after thinking about it, it wouldn't make sense to down sample a 13MP image down to 5MP and admittedly the front camera photo quality does look much different to that of the rear camera.  The front camera is still fairly good featuring faster f/2.2 lens and more importantly a wide FOV making it better suited for a selfie camera.   

The front 5MP camera has a nice wide angle lens that allows you to easily fit at least 4 faces in a selfie photo.  Obviously if you had longer arms, you can achieve a better number on screen.  Performance from the front camera is satisfying and to be honest, beats out the rear cameras on all of the Mediatek smartphones I've tested so far.

For my needs, the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is more than enough and a serious jump in performance from my old Mediatek phone.  I'm more than happy with my Posh Mobile experience so far, despite not having any prior experience with them. This new American mobile company is impressing me greatly! 
 
Truth be told, the Titan HD E500 is powerful for most users out there.  The Titan HD E500 is faster (in Synthetic Benchmarks) than other budget smartphone's out there like the Moto G (1st/2nd Gen), Moto E,  Nexus 4, Asus Zenfone 5, Galaxy S3, HTC Desire 816, just to name a few. 

Can it touch the likes of the high-end iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, LG G3, Galaxy Note 4, Xperia Z3, Nokia Lumia 1020, Moto X?  Heck no, it cannot touch those, but it's also significantly cheaper.

Performance out of the box is great and leaves a satisfying experience. I was never under the impression that I was using a budget phone, I thought I was using something more costlier. 

It's true that compared to the Ulefone Be One that I recently reviewed, the Posh is a tiny bit slower since its using the M variant (slower) of the Mediatek MT6592 SOC.  It's down about 300MHz, but what does that mean when launching comparable apps like the browser, YouTube, phone dialer, settings menu, calendar, facebook, camera app?  Honestly, there were times that the Posh Titan HD E500 opened up apps one second quicker than the faster Ulefone Be One, times when they both opened the app at the same time, and other times when the Posh Titan HD E500 was slower by up to 3 seconds at the most.  Aside from synthetic benchmarks and really intensive 3D games, chances are you do not notice these differences of 300MHz. Performance is still fast, snappy, and smooth navigating across menus, app's, widgets, general smartphone use. I can still 3D games such as Bus Simulator 2015, Sky Force, Minion Rush,

The only other scenario that allows you to notice a significant difference in speed is if you're the type of user that downloads and then unzips large ZIP files to your phones internal NAND storage.  For example, a 1.6GB ZIP file takes 1 minute, 57 seconds to unzip on the (300MHz more powerful) Ulefone Be One smartphone.  The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 on the other hand takes 2 minutes and 49 seconds to unzip the same file, or 52 seconds longer.  I will point out though that most phone users don't do this and will not notice the difference under normal usage.

Titan HD E500 takes about 32 seconds to load to the lock screen from a power off state. Power down takes about 6 seconds until the phone shuts off.  Waking up from standby and sleeping takes 1 second. 

Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 has and supports Bluetooth functionality, however, for some reason it is called WHT in the settings menu.  I've never seen this acronym used for Bluetooth before, very strange.  I can imagine some owners might end up thinking the phone doesn't have Bluetooth, but it does and is called WHT in this particular phone.

The single LED flash on the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is the brightest of any Mediatek phone I've experienced.  It is extremely bright and makes it useful as a flashlight around the home, car repair in the dark, general use.  Unfortunately, this particular LED is not best suited for photo taking.  Why? The LED isn't 100% white, there is a semi purplish bluish hue to its color and unfortunately this hue ends up transferring onto poor lighting photos when the LED flash is used.  You have to post process the photos to attempt to fix the hue (never 100% accurate), but in my opinion, with a steady hand it's actually better not to use the LED flash at all when taking photos in poor lighting, you can actually obtain a better shot.

Performance - Benchmark Results

I suggest you take a look through the gallery to see all the results from the Titan HD E500.  Here are some of the scores below from various Benchmark apps.

  • AnTuTu Benchmark v5.6.1: 27875
  • AnTuTu X Benchmark v5.1: 26721
  • 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme (v1.2): 4367
  • Vellamo Mobile Benchmark - Browser: 1730
  • Vellamo Mobile Benchmark - Multicore: 1334
  • Vellamo Mobile Benchmark - Metal: 689
  • Geekbench 3 Single-Core Score: 367
  • Geekbench 3 Multi-Core Score: 2008
  • Quadrant Standard Edition: 12154
  • GPU Bench 3D: 13,302 points (Screen Normalized score 12,260/avg 48.97fps/highest/82.50fps/lowest 17.12fps)
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: System - 2805
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: CPU Test - 21161
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: Disk Test - 7082
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: Memory Test - 1861
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: 2D Graphics Test - 2309
  • PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile: 3D Graphics Test - 878

KitKat

Browsing & Multimedia

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is capable of connecting wirelessly to any 802.11 B/G/N network, however, doesn't have support for the latest AC standard, not really a big deal in my opinion. I did not have issues connecting to wireless networks with or without a password, I've had this trouble on some phones in the past. 
                
The Titan HD's wireless antenna has better strength than any of my Mediatek smartphones.  Side by side on the second floor, and with the wireless router being on the first floor, the WiFi strength of the phones I have on hand read like this...

  • Posh Mobile Titan HD E500: Signal Strength Good/54 Mbps Link Speed
  • Ulefone Be One:  Signal Strength Good/48 Mbps Link Speed
  • Newman NM890: Signal Strength Fair/36 Mbps Link Speed
  • Kingzone: Signal Strength Fair/18 Mbps Link Speed

Using the WiFi Analyzer app, the wireless antenna signal strength is seen as such, with the lower dBm value meaning stronger signal...

  • Posh Mobile Titan HD E500: -69dBm
  • Ulefone Be One:  -74dBm
  • Newman NM890: -78dBm
  • Kingzone: -83dBm

As for the network carrier signal strength, the Posh performed similar to what my family sees with their HTC 8X and Galaxy S4 on the Canadian Rogers network.  There were no major differences in terms of signal strength or call quality compared to an HTC 8X or Galaxy S4.  Indoors where I live is spotty so I get 2 bars, but outside I can get 4 bars easily with excellent call reception.  Call quality is loud and nothing different than usual.  

Call volume using the speakerphone is more than enough as the dual speakers help tremendously in this department.  The loud sounding dual speakers most definitely come in handy while receiving turn by turn GPS navigation driving on the highway in a noisy vehicle.

The built-in Android Browser is compatible with every website and renders them without any issues on the IPS display.  You can read small fine text easily on this screen, like reading small font printed on a laser printer.

Go to YouTube and videos play out of the box without issue, though without ClearMotion. 

Go to Vimeo and videos play without issue. For Vimeo videos, ClearMotion is applied.

In terms of lag within the Android Browser, yes there's some along with some unresponsiveness and choppiness while the webpage is being loaded initially for the first time.  Any attempts to scroll down and up will cause some delay, choppiness, and stuttering until the page fully loads.  After its finished fully loading, scrolling up and down is smooth.  However, this has nothing to do with the smartphone itself, but rather more to do with the Android Browser.  I've seen and had this happen on many (even more powerful) Android smartphones.

Speaking about RAM, for Internet browsing I tend to leave a lot of pages open in tabs and go back and forth between them, just a habit. At times I did feel like having more RAM, at least an extra gigabyte, to prevent the constant reloading of pages.  I notice less of the reloading when using an S4 for example, because it has 2GB of RAM. 

Browsing along website's, you can cut, copy, paste like you can do on your desktop machine. You can save web pages to view offline at a later time as well with the integrated browser, this feature has been on Android Browser for a while now.

Play Store is installed by default on the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, so you can enjoy thousands of app's, games, books, movies, music. Play Store has come a long way and is just as great as the Apple App Store.

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is powerful enough to be used as a standalone movie playing machine. It supports just about any file formats you throw at it no matter the size, resolution (except 4K, why would you?) or how they are encoded.  And because of the 720p IPS display, videos look great!  

I've had no issues with AVI, MKV, MP4, WMV, XVID, H.264, using subtitles, 720p and 1080p resolutions.  Even high bit rate Blu-Ray source files run smoothly with little buffering in-between jumping to different parts of the video.  You can also download other media players such as MX Player if you want more features than the stock video player.

The Posh Titan HD E500 offers dual speakers than the usual single speaker making it easily one of the loudest sounding smartphones you will hear.  The loudness definitely comes in handy in the car when using the speakerphone for calls, or for GPS turn by turn navigation.  It's more than enough for general usage as well. 

Audio Quality - How does it sound?
 
Sound quality when using earphones or headphones with the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is the best way to go.  The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 sounds great overall, though it isn't the best I've heard.  It's not like the HTC 8X with Beats Audio.  Posh Mobile does not advertise what kind of DAC it contains, however, it's still one of the better ones out there, especially in from a Mediatek smartphone. 

My old Mediatek smartphone, the Newman NM890 had the best DAC (not advertised what it was) that I've heard on a Chinese smartphone, it had an awful lot of bass and it pounded hard with my  Sennheiser's Momentum on-ear headphones. However, the sheer power of the low end did spill into the mid-range and highs taking away from the clarity of those frequencies.

With the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, it does have admittedly less low end bass, but still packs a fair punch.  As a result, the low end doesn't spill over and affect the mid and high range.  I do think the mid range can be toned back a tiny bit more, but the overall sound signature is still more than pleasing and won't make you tired of extended music listening.

Being a Mediatek device, the Titan HD E500 includes a handy built-in FM radio tuner.  So you can listen to FM radio and record from the radio waves as well.  I use this feature from time to time and I can definitely say it is useful and great to have. 

13MP Rear Camera - Surprise! A Sony IMX135 and its wonderful!

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 takes absolutely brilliant 13MP photos.  After my investigations, I found out that it utilizes the potent and popular Sony IMX135 image sensor while paired to a quality f/2.2 lens combination.  The lens chosen for this phone is high quality and has visible anti-reflective coating on it, something you don't see on most other Mediatek smartphones, especially at this price.  The reason comes down to added cost, so it's great to see Posh Mobile cutting no corners.  This Sony IMX135 image sensor is also found on more expensive first-tier smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Moto X, LG G2, and LG G3. 

I've had years of experience with Mediatek smartphones and never have I found an excellent camera such as this one that is on the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500.  Most Chinese smartphones, even budget first tier smartphone brands, have always had either okay or passable cameras, certainly nothing to get excited about.  The surprising thing about this revelation is that Posh Mobile did not and do not market this hidden gem, when it's clear that they should. 

This is what the camera on the Ulefone Be One smartphone that I reviewed not too long ago was supposed to perform like, as they marketed and advertised the fact that the Be One  contained a Sony IMX214 image sensor, however, that ended up being a lie.  This false information allowed them to sell the phone at a higher cost, $140 USD.  They cheated customers and put in an inferior OmniVision image sensor instead.  That camera holds no match for this Sony enabled Titan HD E500. 

Then you look at guys like the American Posh Mobile, a new player in the mobile phone industry looking to make a name for itself, and they don't advertise any of this good stuff when they should...mind boggling!   Then you end up finding hidden gems when you purchase it.  This is what makes the Posh Titan HD E500 special, getting more than what you signed up for, all for an affordable $161.56 USD!

Not marketing and advertising important information such as this (and the other points I shared earlier in the review) hurts Posh Mobile's potential sales of the Titan HD E500.  If you're specifications are presented in too simple of a manner, then you risk having customers pass on your phone for something else that reads and sounds better.  Unless they read this review. 

The 13MP rear Sony IMX135 camera is probably the best aspect of this Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, and that's saying a lot because there's so many great things to love about this phone, it manages to do everything at a high level. 

For a smartphone, the photos being produced are crisp, detailed, beautiful, colorful, good dynamic range, sharp throughout, and highly satisfying.  These are better than some digital cameras I've reviewed in the past.  In my opinion, photos are excellent with good lighting, and good with lower than ideal lighting conditions.  No smartphone can take excellent photos in low lighting, it's just not possible due to sensor size, but the Sony IMX135 does low light better than others. Out of all the phones I borrowed, have in my possession, or from previous reviews to compare with, the Posh Titan HD E500 takes better photos in regular lighting conditions than HTC 8X Windows Phone, iPhone 4, Blackberry Z10, Samsung Galaxy S2, original Galaxy Note, and Galaxy Note 2.  I see no major difference than Galaxy S4. With the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, you don't have to feel that you're taking a back seat to anyone.

I was at the 2015 National Home Show in Toronto (also housing the Canada Blooms Flower and Garden Festival) and I got great shots even in places with less than ideal lighting.  You can also see images of a few skyscrappers and the Air Canada Centre which were taken in a moving vehicle.   The Canada Blooms event location really had poor lighting in certain places, I think they wanted that mood lighting effect.  The whole Direct Energy Centre had poor lighting in my opinion, it was all over the place.  My family brought along the HTC 8X and it struggled big time in these lighting conditions, that they had to ask me with the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 to take a photo.  The Titan HD E500 ended up doing just that, managing to eek out in poor situations and obtaining manageable and clear shots with less grain.  The camera made dark places look brighter than it actually was, there's a shot of mother and grandson sitting on a log, but this location was surrounded by trees that drastically reduced the already poor lighting making it look almost pitch dark, but the camera managed to come through when the HTC 8X just could not, handheld nonetheless. The same poorest of lighting is shown with the three piece water fountain.

Having f/2.2 aperture lens means that more light is absorbed by the image sensor and that photos are shot quicker compared to having a f/2.4, f/2.6, or f/2.8 lens.  And because Posh have obviously chosen a high quality lens combination for the Sony IMX135 image sensor, the end result is a photo that exhibits a very wide FOV (field of view).  The FOV is the widest of any Mediatek smartphone I own or have tested by a substantial margin.  It's got the same FOV as the HTC 8X Windows Phone. 

The single LED flash on the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is the brightest of any Mediatek phone I've experienced.  It is extremely bright and makes it useful as a flashlight around the home, car repair in the dark, general use.  Unfortunately, this particular LED is not best suited for photo taking.  Why? The LED isn't 100% white, there is a semi purplish bluish hue to its color and unfortunately this hue ends up transferring onto poor lighting photos when the LED flash is used. Furthermore, using the LED in poor lighting conditions produces abnormal overexposed photos.  You have to post process the photos to attempt to fix the hue (never 100% accurate), but in my opinion, with a steady hand it's actually better not to use the LED flash at all when taking photos in poor lighting, you can actually obtain a usable and better shot.

The only negative I really have is not with the camera performance itself, but with the stock camera app.  It's too vanilla and needs more photo filter effects (other than the stock ones), other options such as Picture-In-Picture mode.

I'm going to let the camera photos speak for themselves.  All handheld. 

Sony IMX135

5MP Front Camera - Good Selfie camera!

In terms of the front 5-megapixel camera sensor on the Titan HD E500, the /proc/devices file does list two entries of IMX135, usually this indicates the rear and front camera sensors in order.  Initially I was under the impression that the Posh Titan HD could have two of the exact same Sony IMX135 sensors (that would have been amazing), but after thinking about it, it wouldn't make sense to down sample a 13MP image down to 5MP and admittedly the front camera photo quality does look much different to that of the rear camera.  The front camera is still fairly good featuring faster f/2.2 lens and more importantly a wide FOV making it better suited for a selfie camera.   

The front 5MP camera has a nice wide angle lens that allows you to easily fit at least 4 faces in a selfie photo.  Obviously if you had longer arms, you can achieve a better number on screen.  Performance from the front camera is satisfying and to be honest, beats out the rear cameras on all of the Mediatek smartphones I've tested so far.

1080p Video Recording - ???

This was the most puzzling aspect of this phone, because it does everything else extremely well, especially in regards to its still photo camera performance.  The Titan HD E500 unfortunately has subpar 1080p video recording performance, and I don't know why its this way as it contains the great Sony IMX135 image sensor.  The only solace is the video's audio stream is stereo (because of dual microphones) and sounds much better than what the video is showcasing.

The only thing I can think of is related to firmware.  Someone forgot to do their job. Firmware clearly has not been properly optimized and fine tuned for optimal video recording.  It's unacceptable when you have the same exact image sensor as the Samsung Galaxy S4, but can't manage to replicate the success you had at still camera photo performance.  Video recording performance must be improved on the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500, we all know it can do much greater than this.  I urge for a firmware update on this matter.

It's strange as Posh Titan HD E500 beats out HTC 8X quite easily in still camera photo performance, but the HTC 8X returns the favor beating out the Titan HD E500 in 1080p video recording performance, and rather easily.  Night and day difference.  To make matters worst and to demonstrate the level of the problem here, even some of the Chinese smartphones that I either own or reviewed, with clearly inferior camera sensor specs, achieve better 1080p video recording performance.

If you're the type of smartphone user that likes to frequently record 1080p video, you need look elsewhere, at least on this firmware of: E500A_POSH_V17_20150129.

If you're the type of smartphone user that likes to frequently capture still photos instead, like I am, then you will likely not care too much about the video recording aspect of the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500.  It'll be something you can accept, manage, and move on, because you're not the type of user to take much video recordings to begin with.

Battery Life

This is a very important area for most customers, because no one wants to be charging their phones all day long.  The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 has a fairly large 2200mAh battery, though, it could always have been larger.   But I think this is a fair compromise considering the 720p screen and energy efficient MTK 6592M processor. 

  • With moderate usage consisting of movie playback, YouTube, GPS, Music, Internet Browsing, Camera, Video Recording, 3D game playback, I managed to get around 18-19 hours. 
  • If used intensively with 3D game, constant photo/video taking, GPS navigation, full brightness without power off time, I saw around 9-10 hours 
  • If used sparingly, I easily see over 2 days battery life 

GPS

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 comes with working GPS out of the box, this is not the usual case with Mediatek chipsets in past experiences of mine.  I usually have to fiddle around and try to get the GPS to work, not this time!

The first time I started GPS, it locked on to satellites in under 1 minute.  The second and subsequent times after that, GPS lock was obtained in around 7-10 seconds.  The GPS antenna on this Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is very strong!  It consistently gets better GPS signal than all of my other Mediatek smartphones.  The first time it found 11 satellites in view, it promptly locked on to 10 of them.  For comparison, my other Mediatek smartphones were seeing 10 satellites, but could only manage to lock on to 6-8 of them. 

Where Can I Buy One? And for How Much?

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 can be purchased right now through Amazon for $161.56 USD with free shipping!  This is below the normal MSRP cost of $199.99, and makes the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 an even better value!  The phone ships from and is sold by Amazon.com. 

I don't know why, but some of these ad links below end up cheaper once you click and view them on the Amazon website.

Editors Note: It was brought to my attention that the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 is also sold under the name of SHARKK HD.  The SHARKK HD is the same exact phone as the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 and comes with all of the same Posh Mobile logos on the device, battery, and bundle.  The best part?  It's even cheaper on Amazon for only $149 USD! 

Why do I like Amazon?  They are fast, reliable, honest, and return policy is great.  I actually got money refunded back to my account after Amazon overcharged me on duty costs, talk about being an honest company, most others would keep the money and not say anything!

If you are thinking of purchasing the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 Smartphone, or anything else for that matter, please use our Amazon link above, it will help us out greatly.  Thank you.

Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!

Conclusion

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 smartphone is one of the best phones I've ever reviewed up to this point, easily the best Mediatek smartphone I've tested, and gives even first tier smartphone brands a run for their money.  It is truly a hidden gem.  The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 has the total package and does just about everything right.  I've been testing the Titan HD E500 for 28 days and it's been more joyous than not. 

The only thing wrong is the incorrect LED flash color for camera taking purposes and it's puzzling subpar 1080p video recording performance.  I'm not sure what happened to its video recording performance, but I know it can be 100% fixed with a firmware update if Posh Mobile puts in the effort to do so.  I urge Posh Mobile to fix their 1080p video recording because a potent Sony IMX135 image sensor is capable of much greater than what is currently shown. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 has a lot of positives going for it, including an extremely bright and gorgeous 5" IPS display, quick octa-core processor, dual SIM slots with 4G HSDPA+ support, excellent rear and front cameras with AR coated rear lens, loud dual speakers, dual microphones, strong WiFi and GPS, USB OTG support, HotKnot, and great battery life. At only $161.56 ($149 for the SHARKK HD version -- which is the same exact phone), the Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 presents an extreme value that's very hard to ignore. 

The Posh Mobile Titan HD E500 achieves our highest honors, Editor's Choice Award rating!

Kudos Posh Mobile, what a brilliant first showing with your Titan HD E500!  Can't wait to see what else you have in store! 

Editors Choice