HTC TyTN II Review20
The TYTN II feels very well in the hand with its rubber-non-slippery back and rounded edges. Sliding it open is done extremely easily, thanks to the robust spring-assisted mechanism. You can push it from anywhere - even from the display . This is a big improvement over the first TyTN which lacks one and has to be slid-open manually. Unfortunately sometimes when you get the phone in your hand the slider slightly opens but fortunately goes back to its normal position because of the spring. Otherwise, the construction is very solid and well made, giving the feeling of a high-end device.
|Model||Dimension (Inches)||Dimension (mm)||Weight (oz)||Weight (Gramms)|
|HTC TyTN II||4.40" x 2.32" x 0.74"||112 x 59 x 19||6.70||190|
|HTC TyTN||4.42" x 2.28" x 0.86"||112.5 x 58 x 22||6.20||176|
|Eten M700||4.62" x 2.32" x 0.77"||117.5 x 59 x 19.8||5.82||165|
|Nokia E90||5.19" x 2.24" x 0.78"||132 x 57 x 20||7.40||210|
unique form factor, reminding of the HTC Shift (UMPC device). After you slide the display and reveal the keyboard, the upper part can be rotated at an angle of about 120-180 degrees, which means that when put at 120 degrees position the display will face towards you, even with the phone left on a table for example.
The rest of the design is very standard, PocketPC-style, with a few navigation keys and large display on the front. It is 2.8” with QVGA and 65k colors resolution which is typical for HTC WM Professional phones and its performance is also typical, with realistic colors. The big improvement we see here is that it is much brighter than the one of the TyTN, but this isn’t really of use outdoors where even at maximum brightness it easily dims and gets unreadable as other touch-screens. Another drawback in such situation is that it reflects almost as a mirror, additionally decreasing the chance to see what is on it. Honestly, we would have preferred to see a VGA (480x640) display with sensor for controlling of the backlight level. Eten (another Taiwanese manufacturer of WM phones) already announced a few PPCs with VGA displays (X800, X500+) and rumors claim that other are in development. As major manufacturer, HTC shouldn’t be late with announcing of such device.
If you prefer to use the phone with one hand, the navigation keys below the display will come to help. They are very similar in design to the ones of the first TyTN but are rearranged. Like Wizard, TyTN had 2 keys above the display and the TyTN II moves them next to the others below it. This results in smaller buttons and it is harder to distinguish one from the other. In pretty tiny area, HTC has fit total of 8 buttons and a D-pad, which isn’t really wise in our opinion but is a compromise, keeping in mind that the display is the main navigation tool. Other keys that help for the one handed usage are on the left side – a wheel and OK key. Above them is a Voice Commands button which is customizable. The right side has the Power key in its upper part and the camera below. The latter has relief, feels easy and presses so, acting as shortcut to the camera and as a two-stepped shutter button. The power key is totally different: it hides in the side and is impossible to feel it by touch. Even when you know its location, pressing must be done with the tip of a finger, otherwise it will not move. We find it very unpleasant as this is the key which turns on/off the display and is very often used. We don’t remember worse power button on any other WM Professional (ex PocketPC) phone.
The full QWERTY keyboard is almost the same as on the predecessor – big keys (as big as the E90’s), tightly fit next to each other. They are slightly raised in the middle but still the relief is just minor and is not easy to distinguish one from the other; as the button’s movement is also minor, the finger easily touches the surface under the key which results in “hard press” feeling, which is tiring after long usage. The Nokia E90 has longer movement of the keys and compared to the TYTN II it feels as a standard computer keyboard.
The whole keyboard is illuminated in white but the alternative characters are in Blue, to differentiate more easily. This backlight is controlled (on or off) by a sensor, depending on the surround light. We would have liked to see similar solution for the display (controlling the level of the brightness) as it will make it more readable in bright light and will help for increasing the battery life, but it seems that we’d have to wait for future model.
On the bottom is the miniUSB connector which is the only one for the phone used for charging, computer synchronization or the connecting headphones. Next to it are the slot for wrist/neck –string, the reset “button” and the microSD slot above, covered by rubber piece. The reset is pressed by the stylus which is in the bottom-right corner, easily felt thanks to the big and relief end. Untypically, it is not telescopic and is one-piece that doesn’t extend which is a plus. On the back are the 3-megapixel camera lens with the speaker next to it (no flash or mirror) and above is the connector for external GPS antenna, covered by easy-to-remove rubber cap.
SIM card slot is moved to the back of the slider that has the display. A locking mechanism makes sure it will stay securely closed and will open easily when you want to switch the card. We guess it is moved here to reduce the opening of the battery cover to minimum, this way making it way more solid without the typical unpleasant wobbling known from most phones.