HTC Titan is a winning Windows Phone

Microsoft's Windows Phone is a distant also-ran to iOS and Android, but BGR's Zach Epstein is a fan of its playful interface.

Ever since Microsoft took the wraps off its next-generation mobile platform, "Windows Phone Series 7," in early 2010, I've been intrigued. Like webOS, Microsoft's operating system offered a fresh take on the smartphone user experience. When handsets finally started shipping ahead of the holidays last year, Windows Phone delivered: It was fresh, unique and a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately for Microsoft and its partners, consumers didn't seem to care.

Windows Phone was quite clearly rushed. I can't really blame Microsoft for racing its new mobile platform out the door, since Windows Mobile had effectively been dead for quite some time. Android and iOS were crushing the market; Microsoft needed something to lure its vendor partners away from Android. And so Windows Phone 7 was born -- but almost immediately dropped off at the orphanage. Vendors didn't bother promoting the devices, carriers didn't bother, and even Microsoft fell oddly silent as its new platform was cast aside.

Enter Windows Phone 7.5, code-named "Mango." This was to be Microsoft's opportunity to regroup. All eyes were on London last week as Nokia unveiled its first two Windows Phones, but HTC's Titan is already upon us, carrying Microsoft's latest mobile OS on what is likely the largest display it will ever see. Here's a look at the best showcase on the market for Windows Phone 7.

Last updated November 02 2011: 11:15 PM ET
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