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HTC TyTN II smartphone

TyTN II: sounds like an ICBM

As it did with the consumer-oriented Touch smartphone - reviewed here, HTC has layered its own Home screen on top of the Windows Mobile UI. This gives users an at-a-glance readout of email, calendar, text messages, missed calls, dynamic weather updates and so on.

This was sadly absent on our Orange-braned TyTN II, which was set up with the standard Orange home screen. The Start menu is user-configurable, though, so you can bring your most-used features easily to hand. Handily you can check from the home page which application are open and close unwanted ones quickly.

HTC TyTN II smartphone
Who needs an iPod now?

The TyTN II is billed by HTC as the “ultimate mobile companion”, and it is undoubtedly a well-connected business device. Email options are extensive, with support for POP3 and IMAP 4 mail accounts, BlackBerry Connect - software is supplied on an application disc - and Microsoft Exchange Direct Push Email.

With the Windows Mobile Office application suite preloaded, users can view, edit and create Word and Excel documents, and view PowerPoint files. An Adobe Reader PDF viewer application is included too.

That 'at desk when out' experience is enhanced by comprehensive organiser tools for contacts, appointments, task lists and notes, plus a voice memo application. These can can be easily synced with your desktop with the supplied software and USB lead.

The TyTN II comes with Windows Media Player mobile software, and PacketVideo's pvplayer to show over-the-air content. The music player supports MP3, AAC, WMA, AMR and MIDI file formats, and you can synchronise tracks with your PC using Windows Media Player 11.

Music performance was adequate through the speaker, though not particularly loud and so-so in quality. The average-grade packaged stereo earphones worked reasonably well. They plug in via the USB connector, so you can’t substitute better headphones. But you can use Bluetooth cans as the TyTN II supports the A2DP stereo streaming profile.

HTC may have improved the camera on the TyTN II, but there's no Flash on this model and the useful macro mode lever from the original TyTN has been ditched. Still, the TyTN II has an autofocus facility plus a selection of camera controls, exposure and white balance options, shooting modes and effects. At the maximum 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution, in decent lighting conditions picture detail is excellent. Fine detail is captured with good colour rendition. Indoors shots are detailed too, but less than outdoors. It deals reasonably well with contrasting lighting conditions for a cameraphone.

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