Archive for September 18th, 2006

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HTC TyTN Review

EDIT: If you are looking for the HTC TyTN II/ Kaiser review you can find it HERE.

I know there have been a few HTC TyTN reviews over the past few weeks and many of you will have already seen my Orange SPV M3100 reviews. Obviously there are a great number of similarities between the HTC TyTN and the M3100 so I’ll focus upon a comparison.

Just before I get going I should point out that I’ve used quite a lot of images throughout the review so load times could be relatively high. Click on any of the images for a larger version. The larger version uses low compression to keep the quality high so again load times may be higher than normal.

HTC TyTN Review

Box contents for the TyTN are much the same as with the M3100. You don’t get any different toys with one that you don’t get with the other.

There is an immediate difference between the TyTN and the M3100, the colour. To begin with I wasn’t so keen on the silver finish of the TyTN preferring the black chassis of the Orange version. However, over the weeks I’ve become used to the silver TyTN and now like that better also the silver doesn’t show the finger marks as much.

HTC TyTN vs M3100

The other main difference is with the joypad and surrounding keys. The M3100, which is the HERM100 version of the HTC Hermes, has much rounder buttons that are raised and fairly close together. On the other hand the TyTN, which is the HERM200 version of the HTC Hermes has much squarer buttons that are flush with the front of the case. The buttons on the TyTN are spaced out much more which some people will find much more user friendly.

HTC TyTN Joypad

The case design of the TyTN is more angular than the rounded edges of the M3100 but they both feel the same in your hand.

HTC TyTN beside  Orange M3100

Button locations and keyboard layout are exactly the same on both devices as is the USB connector that we have all come to loathe!

There has been a large number of people reporting issues with ‘lazy’ keys on the keyboard. My own M3100 has problems with the ‘Y’ key, it requires a bit more pressure to make it work than any of the other keys which results in the ‘Y’ often being missed out from some words! I have been told that these ‘lazy’ keys do get better the more you use them. Fortunately the TyTN I have was not affected by the problem.

HTC TyTN Keyboard Open

As I mentioned in the review of the Orange SPV M3100 my previous device was an HTC Wizard variant. I really liked the Wizard but as time went on the common screen alignment issue became worse and worse. The first TyTN’s released were said to have this problem, in fact HTC have a returns policy in place for those affected. I can’t comment on the alignment issue first hand as the TyTN I have doesn’t seem to suffer.

I’m also pleased that the HTC Hermes devices continue to have the Email and Internet Explorer buttons above the screen. This is something that I find to be very useful.

HTC TyTN top buttons

On to using the TyTN. The first thing about starting up the TyTN is that is doesn’t have any annoying operator customisation like the Orange M3100 does. The first thing most people do when they get their M3100 is take off all the Orange customisation. No need to do anything like that with the TyTN.

The TyTN has the usual HTC green colour scheme that we have come to expect from HTC devices. It makes a nice change from the standard Windows blue colour.

HTC TyTN Screenshot

The other thing that the TyTN beats the M3100 on is that it comes with MSN Messenger installed. Many people were quite upset to find Orange had chosen to remove it from their build of the M3100.

In terms of the rest of the software installed on the TyTN by default there really isn’t anything much different to any other WM5 device.

There has also been a lot of talk about the stability of the M3100. Indeed my own M3100 seems to suffer from the same issue that many other owners have – it crashes and requires a soft reset once or twice per day. I haven’t been able to decide what it is causing the problem, sometimes it crashes in-call and others for no apparent reason.

I am pleased to report that the HTC TyTN does not seem to suffer the same fate. I have been using it heavily as my main device for several weeks. Despite having exactly the same software installed on the TyTN as I have on the M3100 the TyTN hasn’t crashed once!

One niggle that I have with the TyTN is the scroll wheel. In every day use I found it to be really jumpy and unpredictable. It would scroll through menus line by line then suddenly jump several places in one go. Unusable really.

I don’t know if this is a common issue with the Hermes scroll wheel, I’ve not seen any other reports, my Orange M3100 isn’t perfect but is better than the TyTN in this respect. Anyone else having this problem?

HTC TyTN Scroll wheel

The 2.0 mega pixel camera on the TyTN is naturally the same at the M3100. I must say that I have been quite impressed with the pictures from the camera, definitely the best that I have seen from a phone camera.

HTC TyTN Camera

No review would be complete without mentioning that USB connector on the bottom. Now I can understand the reason why HTC chose to add a proprietary connector, making one socket perform more than one function does save space. However, I do find it really annoying. I’m never going to use the headset that comes with the device, it’s just not good enough for music and if I want hand’s free I’ll use bluetooth. Time to hack another headset I think!

HTC TyTN Bottom

I must say that I have been very impressed with the HTC TyTN. Overall I like it much more than the Orange M3100. Sure the M3100 is the better looking of the two but the stability problems that I have been experiencing with the M3100 have finally got the better of me. I’ll be very sorry to give the HTC TyTN up, so much so that I certainly will be looking to purchase one!

HTC TyTN review end


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