HTC ‘TyTN’ Windows Mobile PDA Phone Review

HTC, manufacturer of Windows Mobile powered PDAs and smartphones launched itself as a brand in the UK around a month ago.

At the time, HTC announced two new handsets, and first under the microscope is the ‘TyTN’ – pronounced ‘Titan’. While this SMS-inspired spelling seemed clever at first, it’s getting to be a bit of a pain.

As a device though, the TyTN itself though is far from a pain. If you read Riyad’s reviews of the T-Mobile MDA Vario and the Orange SPV M5000 you are half way to understanding what the TyTN is all about because it is MDA Vario in size and shape but with the SPV M5000s 3G capability.

Both the MDA Vario and SPV M5000 are made by HTC and the company is continuing its strategy of doing deals with operators so that they can provide subsidised handsets.

So if you would like the TyTN after you’ve read this review you have three possibilities: buy sim free from a vendor like Expansys (very expensive and the reason for the low Value rating), take one of the Expansys options that includes an operator tariff, or keep your eye on your favourite operator for a few months to see if they start to stock it.

The TyTN is slickly designed. My current handset of choice is Orange’s SPV M600 because it sits as neatly in the pocket as most smartphones and yet delivers what you’d expect from a Pocket PC. But for a little more bulk the TyTN adds a keyboard and 3G capabilities, including video calling.

A size and weight comparison show there’s not much to choose between them – 108 x 58 x 18mm and 150g (Orange SPV M600) and 112.5 x 58 x 22 mm and 176g (TyTN).

Much of the extra size is required to cater for the keyboard which slides out from the left long edge of the casing. Windows Mobile 5.0 supports both landscape and portrait format screens and with the keyboard hidden, the 240 x 320 pixel, 2.8in screen defaults to portrait format. Slide the keyboard out and this reorients to landscape, a far better format for dealing with text entered into the built in email software or Word Mobile.

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