Hands on with the HTC TyTN II
First off, lets get one thing straight - I'm a fan of Windows Mobile handsets. A big fan. And they don't come more feature packed than this. But after all that, I can't help feeling somewhat… disappointed. The first thing that hit me upon starting it up is how slow the menus are. Until they're cached, after a soft reset, you could be waiting around 20 seconds for the next tab to appear. It's a seriously long time - enough for you to press it, think you missed, press it again, wait, conclude that the phone has crashed, and then get the menu. This is a fault, and while it may be exclusive to this ROM (the one I played with was Orange), how on earth did it get released in this state?! Then we have the keyboard. Personal gripe this one, but the tactile response (as in, it's quite a giving, rubbery surface) just doesn't do it for me - I'd rather have a firm click, rather than having to push that little bit more than you think you have to to hear the 'click'. I guess it's the kind of thing you could potentially get used to. One thing that will probably increase in annoyance however, is the placement of the softkeys aove the keyboard. They're really cramped in there.
With regard to video playback, I didn't have a micro SD handy, so I couldn't test. Smooth video playback is important to me though, so I checked out http://www.mobile-review.com/pda/review/htc-tytn2-en.shtml#14 and their more in depth analysis. So it seems that the TyTN II lacks power compared to it's older brother (commonly known as the Orange SPV M3100), but if properly encoded, videos will play smoothly enough. Ok, so that's about acceptable - just.
So now you've heard me nag about it, what's good? Well, lots. It comes with roughly 100mb of ROM free to install all your favourite applications, and that's a welcome increase from the (quite frankly not-good-enough-any-more) usual 64mb. It looks pretty good too, and while it's slightly on the heavy side of "my this feels like a quality item" instead of something light and tacky, the cold smooth metal faceplate is worth it. The other thing that not only looks cool, but is very cool, is the tilt-screen. And if you check below it, that's where the SIM goes. Marvelous. The layout of the buttons is a tad overwhelming, especially when (alert: iPhone reference) when compared to the single face-button of the iPhone. I'm not sure why they feel the need to include dedicated buttons for internet explorer, messages etc. One easy way to get around this would be to simply include functionality to change the default softkey function without hacking the registry.
Topped off, there's all the stats, which I won't list extensively here. It's pretty much the TyTN but better, which I imagine is exactly what they intended. Shame about the software though.