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Monday, January 14, 2008

HTC TYTN II

Sales package

  • Communicator
  • Battery (1350 mAh)
  • User Guide
  • Charger
  • Software CD (ActiveSync and Outlook)
  • Software CD 2 (TomTom Navigator, SPB GPRS Monitor)
  • miniUSB data cable
  • Stereo-headset
  • Carrying case

Preface

The Kaiser was one long-awaited phone. It was almost half a year between the moment when first notes and rumors about it spread across the Web and its official announcement. But curiously, during all these months, the company didn’t seem to care much about this device, in contrast to, say, the HTC P5500/Nike, the next touch-phone in HTC’s portfolio.

Initially, the new thumbboard-enabled communicator, just like all other solutions, had both its codename and index – that is, the Internet buzzed about the HTC Kaiser or the HTC P4550, which meant the same thing. For HTC it is a milestone model for several reasons. Firstly, the TyTN II ushers in the era of Qualcomm’s platform for the company, being sort of a proving ground. Secondly, it retains the slide-slider-with-tilting-display form-factor, which is first seen with the HTC TyTN II.

Despite the slew of differences from the original TyTN, the new handset comes in as the TyTN II, which is not a fluke by any means – for some models the company starts employing codenames instead of indexes. It might look more like a mess than a consistent way to name its solutions, since for the most part HTC has been sticking to indexes, and only few models have had codenames. But this is what the company sees as its philosophy, in a way – codenames are granted to unique models, which are second to none in terms of certain aspects. And the TyTN II fits this concept really well.

With the debut of this handset, the company establishes a new series, like the one it did when the HTC Touch Dual was set loose. This way, HTC feature two developed product ranges – the Touch Series and the TyTN Series.

However on the face of it, the big picture looks somewhat odd. While it is a milestone product for the company itself, on the other hand, it is already included into a line-up and employs the name of the original TyTN, popular with many WM-users. The communicator’s price, even before its release, puts it in one league with the most expensive communicators, making it an elite offering, even though it is more like a proving ground for the company, rather than a commercially important product.

Let’s figure out what this new HTC-branded QWERTY-communicator brings to the table.


Design

In this reviewer’s opinion, the developers have made this communicator look pretty decent by striking the right balance between classy shapes and unfussy design. So the end result doesn’t feel boring or prosy, however the TyTN II’s looks isn’t flashy or flamboyant in any way, which indicated what a great job the company and its designers have done.

Remember the original TyTN with its grey casing and minimalist design. Back then HTC was after only one thing – a no-nonsense device that wouldn’t put people off. That’s the reason its design came out quite insipid and overly severe.

To rectify the letdown of its predecessor, the TyTN II enjoys a very fitting solution – it combines differently patterned plastic types and metal. The front plate, the display rim and key frames are all made of metal, while the casing utilizes plastic finished in a way to resemble a chrome-coated surface. The inners of the phone make use of dark-grey plastic, and a glossy plastic strip runs all around the edge of the TyTN II. In fact, the latter proved to be the most disputable design component – half of those who played around with the model loved it, while others deemed it pointless.


Casing, slider action

Given this side-slider’s design traits, the build quality is one of the TyTN’s centerpieces. All details feel very solid, no gaps or loose-fitting parts. The keypad area is nothing to worry about either. The back cover sits in a couple of notches and can be slid open by pulling it forwards. Since the entire underside in fact is the battery cover, it feels very solid, no loose feel to it whatsoever.

Dimensions, controls layout

Now let’s see how big the TyTN II is, and examine its controls layout a tad closer. Actually, this is the place where the communicator packs a couple of pretty odd surprises.

First off, its dimensions are way beyond what we normally mean by “portable”. The TyTN II is huge, compared to other recently debuted device. But on the other hand, it is pretty much in one league with the glofiish M700 or the original TyTN, furthermore, the TyTN II turns out to be slightly more compact than its predecessor.


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