The first information on the HTC Wizard leaked, shaking the world of (Windows Mobile-powered) smartphones. The revolutionary HTC offered large for that time display (2.8 inches QVGA) and small enough body, but still big QWERTY keyboard thanks to the fact it was sliding from the side, instead of vertically as a normal slider. This form-factor became popular quickly and many other manufacturers started using it, now being a common thing. We’ve seen it in various WM phones (ETEN, Toshiba, Asus) and in other devices like the Helio Ocean and the Samsung F700. It proved to be a success; it is not a key feature anymore.
What we have here is the HTC TyTN II, or the Kaiser as it was known before the official announcement. This is the successor of the TyTN (which replaces the Wizard) bringing resemblance in the design, but moving the form-factor to the next level. After the upper part slides and the keyboard is revealed, the Display tweaks at an angle and gives a laptop-like view, which makes it more comfortable to use.
As functionality, the TyTN II is very similar to the first TyTN with all the bells and whistles of the WM6 Professional OS, but it adds GPS chip for Navigation – the only thing that the predecessor lacked. The TYTN II is the first phone to offer TouchFlo, after the original HTC Touch. This shows that the software will be offered in more than one model in the HTC family of devices.
As design, the TyTN II resembles the first TyTN but also brings a whole bunch of changes. It is normally sized WM Professional phone, neither small nor ultra-slim. As our unit was not with retail box it didn’t have case with it, but when it hits the market, the phone will be offered with leather one for attaching to the belt where it is comfortably worn (we used another case).
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.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the TyTN II comes with 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.
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