I'm quite a fan of HTC handheld devices. Personally I feel that HTC has done more to promote the smartphone than any other company, producing some truly excellent products along the way. Despite not being won over by the consumer focussed HTC Touch, I did feel that the TyTN was one of the all time greats. In fact when I reviewed the TyTN, in its Orange SPV M3100 guise I gave it an award and proceeded to use it as my personal data device for quite some time.
Recently HTC launched the P4550 Kaiser handset, now known as the TyTN II, which took everything that was good about the TyTN and just made it better. But now I have the first operator branded HTC TyTN II, in the form of the T-Mobile MDA III, and I have a feeling that this could well be the best smartphone option out there.
The great thing about the Vario III is that the changes are subtle, but at the same time significant. Basically, nothing has been done to spoil the recipe of the previous model, but a great deal has been done to improve it. First up, it's ever so slightly slimmer than the TyTN, or the Vario II - not enough to make a massive difference in your pocket, but it is noticeable when the two devices are placed next to each other. Actual measurements are 110 x 58 x 18mm (LxWxD). That said, the Vario III is heavier than the older version, weighing in at 191g compared to 178g.
The whole front fascia of the Vario III is finished in brushed silver, while the back matches this. The central portion of the device is black, creating a sleek and stylish contrast to the design. The 2.8in 240 x 320 is no different from the old model, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, a higher resolution would make browsing standard web pages more convenient, but that's far from the main duty of a smartphone. What you have got is a clear, bright and vivid screen, making it very easy to navigate through the Windows Mobile 6 menus.
Below the screen there's a plethora of buttons to play with. There are the obligatory two soft buttons, along with the Call and End buttons. There's also a Windows button, OK button, a shortcut messaging services and a Web ‘n' Walk shortcut, for T-Mobile's mobile data service.