HTC TyTN II Review
TyTN II User Interface
HTC Kaiser TYTN II is Windows Mobile 6 Professional device and as a whole, its software and possibilities are almost entirely identical to the other phones using the same operating system. If you know it, then the possibilities offered by the phone including phone book, organizer, messages, media player, etc. won’t surprise you and will be familiar to you. Therefore you should bear in mind that certain problems and positive features of theirs are valid not only for the phone or make’s models, but for the models using this operating system (WM6 Professional), too.
The interface and user-experience are personalized with the TouchFlo technology, which was announced together with the HTC Touch, being the first phone to offer it. The TouchFlo allows scrolling over the screen by drawing a finger over the screen in a diagonal line. It also brings personalized home screen with large icons shortcuts to dedicated menus for faster access to some information or applications. The upper part of the Home Screen houses 5 tabs (in the Touch they were 3) housing information on: 1) Big Clock with new events, 2) Favorite People (9 icons), 3) Weather App, 4) Launcher (9 shotcuts) and 5) Profile Shortcuts.
The other half houses more standard WM6 Interface, with the information shown there being customizable. The Touch opened another dedicated menu when you scroll the finger from the bottom to the top, but is not so with the TyTN. HTC has left this attracting attention feature to the fun-targeted Touch to compete with iPhone and haven’t put it in the TYTN which is supposed to do work.
The phone book of WM6 is not much different from the phone book of WM5. It has no restriction on the amount of contact that can be added, depends only on the memory available. When you open the phonebook all contacts are displayed as a list; each field consists of the name and the number of the contact, while a letter placed beside them indicates what the type of the number is (w – work; m – mobile, etc.). Pictures are not displayed even if there is one attached to the contact.
The line displayed at the top of the screen is a search field, which starts searching through the names and numbers on entering a symbol – the more symbols you type, the more accurate the match is – it’s quite useful! This one searches all names entered for the contact, but if you want to find by other field like “company” for example, you have to use the “Search” application. There are tabs with different letters (divided in groups of three) just below it. This way you can arrange the contacts so that only the ones beginning with a given letter are displayed. These two search features are quite handy and they make finding a particular contact in the phonebook very quick.
adding a new name to the phonebook; the device offers way too many capabilities, including multiple work and home numbers, but there’s only one for mobile –something quite inconvenient as that’s exactly where we wanted to add multiple numbers to. The numerous address, e-mail and other address fields confuse you even further – it would have been a lot easier if the most frequently used fields are highlighted in some way. We would choose this to be done with the Name, Picture, Mobile number and e-mail fields and thus finding them would have been easy, eliminating the need to go through the long list.
Personal photos and ringtones can be assigned to each contact; there’s no restriction on the size of the pictures but they are visualized in very small size even on an incoming call – we think they are useless. You can also add a note to each contact.
The problem of WM5 because of which you couldn’t add an unknown number from the call history to an existing contact, is eliminated here.
You can dial a number not included in your contacts by inputting its numbers. If you don’t open the slider, the phone doesn’t have numeric keyboard and a virtual one is visualized when the Answer button is pressed. Here you can input the desired number. Information on the last dialed number will be displayed and you can call it by pressing the green receiver again.
Pressing the buttons you will start imputing the digits of a possible number, but at the same time you will search the phone book as if imputing a text by a predictive text input system. So, to call John you can press 5-6-4-6 and the matching contacts will be visualized in the list.
Alarms can be directly accessed through the home screen, by tapping on the clock. They are three, and they all can be configured to be active for certain days of the week, and you can also assign names and different sounds to each of them. All alarms can be active simultaneously, and overall they are easy to use and do what they are supposed to. We are rather disappointed that their number is limited to three, as it was in the previous version of the OS.
The next tab in this menu is the clock; there is a field called Visiting next to it which can be used as a World Clock – select another location and the phone starts using its local time. The clock has an option to be displayed on the title bar of all the menus, which is handy.
In the Programs menu you can find your electronic calendar where you can save your appointments. They have fields for subject, starting/ending time/all day event, location, notes. You can use options like: reminder (PRIOR NOTICE 1/5/10/15/30/45 minutes, 1/2/3/4/5/6 hour/day/week), recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-and-month) for every year, sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). You can also add attendees (required or optional) from your contacts where e-mail addresses have been added and where meeting requests will be sent.
Examining the calendar can be done by day/week/month and you can choose starting day for the week and the week duration (5-6-7-day week). The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time limits, so you can see your free time at a glance. This is one of the new things of WM6 compared to WM5.
Tasks menu, where you can add to-do items. For a given Task you can set subject, priority (normal, low, high), start/due date, reminder (to be notified if it’s due), category (business, holiday, personal, seasonal) and note. The Task can have recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year and sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). Examining the tasks in a list you can easily see which of them are finished and which are not. The tasks options can be: sort by (status, priority, subject, start date, due date) or filter (all, recent, no categories, active, completed).
The Calculator is simple but its buttons are relatively big and can easily be pressed with your fingers. Features like scientific calculator and unit converter are still missing.
Notes’ are simple notes in which you can input text by the keyboard or by hand as an image. They can be synchronized with outlook.
Search is an application searching in all files in the phone. You can specify certain types of files (calendar/contacts/excel/messaging/notes/etc), but the best option is All Data which will rummage everything in your phone.
File Explorer is the mobile alternative of Explorer in Windows environment with computers. We use it to view the phone memory, including the system folders of the device which feels like working on a PC.
The voice recorder can record without limitations of duration but the microphone is not good enough for the purpose and even if you hold the phone next to your head you will not hear clearly. It is not of any particular use.
Like the Touch, the TyTN II doesn’t have a good voice commands system but only a possibility for voice dialing of contacts which you have to input in advance. This is quite an inconvenient, clumsy and old system and it’s a pity that the manufacturer has not used something better. The Eten and Nokia smartphones for instance, have a speaker-independent voice commands/dialing system.
1. David (unregistered)
I'm excited about this phone. I travel quite a bit and the GPS functionality will be a big plus. I might have preferred a keypad without having to slide like the samsung i760, but the better camera and the GPS are great features. VZW still seems to have a better network although AT&T is hopefully catching up to them. I'm slightly concerned about the average reception as I live in a valley with below average reception already. Hopefully it won't be an issue. I wish they would post a firm release date already... the anticipation is killing me...
2. dre (unregistered)
what carrier is gonna have this awesome looking phone, cause as soon as vzw gets the vx6800 i'm going to get it. If this phone comes out in the next few months, for vzw i'm gonna get it, and take it to H.N.L
this is a GSM/UMTS and won't work for Verizon, so you'd have to get the XV6800
4. Gadget Man (unregistered)
I have been waiting for the right phone to come along to re-up for another 2 years with a carrier. This is the phone I have been waiting for... HSDPA, WiFI, GPS, Windows Mobile Professional - all on the AT&T network. Sign me up!
5. floyd (unregistered)
while this phone have full internet
6. OneArmJack (unregistered)
Thanks for a good review. One question - is the external speaker sufficiently loud for voice navigation at motorway speeds in a car?
7. Nanko Rusev (unregistered)
Of course it depends on the car (how much noise in it) but we didn't have any problems with closed windows even at not-maximum volume.
8. cybiryan (unregistered)
Even the lower model Artemis has sufficient speaker volume to direct you on its GPS functionality. HTC won't be the worldwide leader in PDA-phone manufacturing if they've missed this one.
This sounds pretty good. Lots of memory (RAM). I wonder if it is flash memory or needs power?
10. Akin (unregistered)
There seems to be a problem with the Kaiser. After finishing a phone call on the Kaiser the backlight goes off and stays off and I cannot access the Start menu. I can access all other functions but backlight stays off and one still cant get into the Start menu from anywhere on the screen. I have to press the power off button quickly once and then wait a second, press it again to be able to access the start button or the light to come on. This is definitely a bug in the tytn II and I hope HTC is doing something about this.
11. Jason (unregistered)
Forgive me if this is a stupid question. I've seen mention of AT&T in reference to this smart phone, however upon going to my local AT&T retail location they had no information about it nor any reason to believe it was coming, can you clarify if AT&T or any other US provider is adding this smart phone and if so an est eta. Thanks and GREAT website, just found it and will come back often.
Jason, the question is not stupid. The phone WILL come to AT&T as the 8925 Tilt, but is still not OFFICIALLY announced by the carrier. Expect it ! :)
13. Paul (unregistered)
Did ATT decide not to include it?
14. Rafael (unregistered)
The TyTN II is a very powerful machine, but besides those muscle specs, I am impressed about the easiness to maneuver this device. The combination of the multiple buttons and the HTC home page make it a pleasure to have it in your hands. The right and left soft keys are fantastic as every screen give you the right option for your selection, delete a mail, close a program, switch a call, it just guesses your next move, it’s great! Then the HTC home screen lets you do so many things with your fingers, the stylus is hardly needed, but still available. I-phone is not the 7th marvel, this is it!, you touch for e-mails, SMS, weather, open any program , play a game, change settings, open your own downloads, music or GPS, ringer status, connectivity options, and so on… you just put your thumb and you get there. And if this is not enough, the other keys will take you to windows menu, internet explorer, camera or phone. You lean it and it gets really easy. But if this is not enough to do your work, you still have the track-wheel if you were ever used to a blackberry (It works better for left-handed); and then the Qwerty board than springs so easily at any moment when you need to type longer stuff. The way this device adapts to you makes a great difference and this is why TyTN II is so great and probable the best in the market today. Secondly, I am impressed about what this is; people ask me if this is my new phone. It’s hard to respond as this is my PHONE which has voice recognition to just talk a name and get it dialed, it is also my PDA that is fully sync with outlook, it is my mini-laptop where I can review any type of document as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe, it is a WEB BROWSER that connects either you EDGE/3G cellular signal or it gets the Wi-Fi wherever available; it is your E-MAIL device to be connected at all times with pushed technology and ability to have multiple e-mails at the same time; it is a very powerful GPS with Tom-tom to get anywhere with very easy key-in directions; it is an MP3 PLAYER with as good or better sound quality to my I-pod and a CAMERA-VIDEO with 3 MP, enough to take decent pictures as you go. Regarding it technical capabilities, I’m sure everyone has read them everywhere and it no point saying this is the top-notch as of today, however, I believe that the combination of RAM and processor speed make is a very fast device and their connectivity features are very easy to get the best wherever you are. The Micro-SD is a great thing, I have a 6 GB and works great, I have Tom-tom maps for the whole US, hundreds of songs and few videos and still allows me to save space for files and other programs. Any lowlights? Not really, you could always want a better screen (VGA), or audio jack to connect my Bose headphones, or the track-wheel on the other side for right-handed, yes, nobody is perfect.
15. hjs351 (unregistered)
hello everybody. awesome device indeed, with great options. can anyone help me with the following: when receiving a text message, we can only see the sender's number not the person's name (even if this person is on the contact list). is there a way to fix this problem? thx to all
16. MreMan (unregistered)
I just got my new TYTN II this afternoon. Still trying to get it set up. I am upgrading from a WM2003 I-Mate PDA2K. I found the PDA2K to be a great phone. Only replacing it because after 3 years of dropping it (tradesman) it is playing up. I read a lot of reviews where people complained about the size and weight. It is smaller and lighter than the PDA2K, and I had no issue with it's size or weight. In fact I am going to miss the 3.5" screen. If you need to compare, put the stylus across the diagonal of the screen, the PDA2K was equal to the length of the TYTN II stylus. A few things dissapoint me about the TYTN II. There does not seem to be a volume adjustment. Also the contacts can not be sorted by categories. The scroll bar is too thin and close the the edge of the screen, very hard to use with the end of your finger. But it does have touchflow scrolling. Not sure why, but i have a wifi connection, but it won't access the internet from the tytn II. Can't get GPRS to work. GPS not working because I can't access the internet to set it up. Also the software (copilot 7 Aussie) Does not work in New Zealand. Good points Charges via usb port (sync's at the same time) I spend a lot of time in the car and bought a car charger, so battery may not be an issue for me. Screen is clear and bright, better then PDA2K (but quite a bit smaller)
17. Zeptov (unregistered)
Don't get this phone (and avoid HTC at all costs)!!! I've had mine for about 9 months. The first couple of weeks I set it up and modified the settings until the battery lasted about two days. As you'll find in any sort of search, the default WM settings will drain the battery in far less than a full day. A couple months ago, when I made no configuration changes whatsoever, the battery started to drain within a day (as in, about 8 hours or less). I bought a new battery and charged it, and a couple of hours later saw that the new battery was draining faster than I expected (it was down below 80%). I set the phone into airplane mode and put it back in my pocket. The battery was dead in another six hours. This behavior is new - I have previously set the phone into airplane mode and played games and watched movies for the full length of a fifteen hour flight, with enough battery to make a couple of calls at the destination. Now if it's in flight mode and the screen is also on, the battery will drain within two or three hours. Since this is a new battery, it's got to be a phone problem but HTC doesn't really care. I contacted support repeatedly, and they totally ignored me. This was purchased as an unlocked phone, so my only support comes from HTC, not my carrier, and I don't get a new (free) phone just because this one's total crap. I'm not getting anything from HTC again, but of course your mileage may vary.
18. dix (unregistered)
19. dix (unregistered)