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 HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*

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BlackZarak
The Architect
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PostSubject: HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*   Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:11 am

At last, after years of wanting this phone, it now is mine, at last!

The TyTN is one of the first HSPA smartphones, launched in 2007, I think. For it's time, it was a very advanced phone. Having HSPA is awesome, because even revision 1 HSPA is fast, faster than iDEN by a long shot and more than EvDO as well, but just barely.

On the physical front, the phone sports a sliding full QWERTY keyboard. A very nice addition, as this keyboard is a dream come true for me, large keys, very good tactile feedback, typing on the TyTN is faster is downright awesome. Seriously, out of the entire collection, NOT ONE SINGLE PHONE even dreams of rivalizing with the TyTN's AWESOME keyboard. BTW, when sliding the keyboard in and out, it requires a little extra effort to click into place, but when clicked, it feels solid.

But, be warned that being one of the first HSPA smartphones, and with a physical keyboard as well... this means the phone is a tad on the thicker and heavier side. But, this by no means is a bad thing, because the build quality is very damn good. HTC, to me, has so far been a mixed bag, the Sierra Wireless was great (another great keyboard, though), the Snap sucked.

The phone has softkeys, and physical shortcuts for messaging and Internet Explorer, a Windows key, an OK key, and call/end call buttons. On the side, interesting things happen -- a very BlackBerry-esque scrollwheel! There are three ways to operate the phone -- touchscreen, scrollwheel or with the keyboard, and that is wicked sweet!

About the touch screen, the TyTN has a resistive touchscreen, which of course means a stylus. But, to it's credit, the touch works well and I don't even need to use the said stylus. I can do everything with my finger, but I admit I have a fondness for the scrollwheel, it feels natural to me having been a longtime user of BlackBerry phones who had a scrollwheel.

The screen is 240*320, a 65,535 colors/16 bit. It pales compared to the screen on my i1, but 65,535 colors is just fine. The screen is very readable, bright and easy to see, what more to want?

The phone runs WM 2003SE, same as my Voq. I am unsure about "upgrading" to 6.0, 5.0 works just fine. Still, to unlock the phone I had to hard update my SPL, which in turn means I can use any custom rom, and I know just the best place to get some.

The phone also has WiFi and Bluetooth, Stereo Bluetooth to boot, which means I can use my Bluetooth earphones. I have not yet tested out WiFi.

Oh yeah, the TyTN accepts microSD cards as well. Did not work with my 8GB microSD HC, but that was expected.

I hooked up the TyTN to the Rogers (a Canadian provider) 3G network, and performance was consistent. I haven't seen the TyTN fall back on GSM yet. The TyTN performed well as a phone, but the earpiece could have been louder, but that's a common complaint of mine.

Overall, with a DREAM keyboard and HSPA, I have a very capable and performant WinMo phone. With strong rumors of the MiKE network being shutdown eventually, I a NOT going to renew, and even better, I can take this phone anywhere I want, as ALL providers in Canada have HSPA!

Bottom line: Older, but rock-solid phone with THE best keyboard I have seen.

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SKELETONS RIDING OSTRICHES


Last edited by Skorpinok on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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BlackZarak
The Architect
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PostSubject: Re: HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*   Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:46 am

Update...

I installed a custom WinMo 6 rom, and it definitively was worth upgrading! Closing background programs is piss easy -- no more needing a task manager, there is a menu in the top right corner, with a very nifty "Close all" button. You can also close specific apps as well, of course.

I expected a little slowdown, but 6.0 runs pretty much just as smooth as 2003SE did. Installing the rom was piss easy as well -- connect the phone, let ActiveSync connect, run the rom install, and poof.

WiFi works well. Pages are speedy and load quickly. I have not tested data over HSPA, as I have not yet reprogrammed the GPRS settings. I won't either, my test SIM is prepaid, and the airtime balance would quickly be sucked to nothingness because of (enormous) data costs. I have, however, used another phone with HSPA data and pages loaded pretty fast, so I imagine this will be the case with the TyTN as well.

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BlackZarak
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PostSubject: Re: HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*   Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:47 am

Update #2...

The custom WinMo rom I had was good, but I wanted to see if the TyTN could handle WinMo 6.5, and I found a rom that has the engine of 6.5, but the interface of 6/6.1. To my surprise, the TyTN handles 6.5 VERY smoothly with this rom!

WMP is LEAGUES ahead of the version in my WinMo 6.1-using HTC Snap. My Bluetooth headphones broke, forcing me to go back to wired headphones. However... listening to music on the TyTN is F'N AWESOME! Volume is LOUD AS FUCK, seriously, for some songs, I can keep the volume at 70% and it's just fine!

The update to 6.5 means the TyTN also supports my 8GB microSDHD card!

I even got a MegaDrive/Sega Genesis emulator running on it! Now I can play WoTES while on the freaking bus, on my lunch break, everywhere I want!

While I hate to say this... the WinMo platform has actually grown on me. My TyTN is fine-tuned, runs smooth and slick, has an awesome keyboard, is an EXTREMELY competent music player, and a great phone to boot.

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BlackZarak
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PostSubject: Re: HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*   Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:53 am

Update #3...

Powerful and fine-tuned is my TyTN, but DAMN, WinMo 6.5 is HARD on the battery! I honestly CANNOT skip a day of charging or the phone drops dead.

I partially charged the phone this afternoon, and it showed 82%. Fine with me. I listen to music on the way to work, it dropped to 67%. Then, later, I check it, 52%. I listened to some more music, then it dropped to 38%. I played some WoTES on the way back from home and listened to music, and after like 10 minutes of playing WoTES, I get the first "Low Battery" warning. 25%. Fine, I save, then go back to WMP and listen to some tracks, and I was like ten minutes away from home when it dropped to 5%. At this point I just turned the phone off completely.

Dark Visions runs very smooth. But unfortunately, it is just too damn heavy for my TyTN to handle. The TyTN II does run 6.5 decently and with better battery life thanks to better hardware, but give me a break, the TyTN costed $39, shipping included.

At any rate... it looks like I will be forced to revert to the factory HTC 6.1 rom. Unless that bigass community of rom cookers over there has something for me.

Now, I know that a battery manufactured in 2006 and used for several years just doesn't quite pack as much of a punch, and probably should just be replaced. I do plan on hunting down a new battery, maybe an extended one, I don't care about the extra bulk. Then I will revisit Dark Visions. In the meanwhile, as a MP3 player/Genesis emulator, the TyTN is superb. Oh yeah, I also have Word Mobile, so I can make Word documents and write stuff on the go, like random bursts of inspiration for the HoU, or something.

I stand by my first verdict on the TyTN -- I love it.

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BlackZarak
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PostSubject: Re: HTC TyTN review *UPDATED!*   Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:12 am

Update #4

I did get an extended battery for the phone. 2400mAH for the extended battery versus a puny 1200mAH for the original battery.

Dark Visions was enormously hard on the battery... but, the original battery was worn, so worn it's pretty much worthless. I made one single phone call and after that, BATTERY CRITICALLY LOW. Running the Genesis emulator for like 10 minutes killed it, too.

But now, with a fresh battery with twice as much juice as the original, battery life has been ridiculously good. Powered on 24/7, I charged it like three days ago, and it was at 55% tonight. I used WiFi, Bluetooth and connected to the network 24/7 as well.

The downside of this gargantuesque supply of juice is extra bulk on the back of the phone. But it's absolutely worth it.

There is one odd quirk -- I now use the phone on Telus HSPA, and it shows that I am roaming, which is absolutely not the case. But, that's to be expected, the Telus HSPA network is fairly new, and the phone is not.

At any rate, the purchase of the battery breathed new life in the Hermes. It has it's quirks, but it is a damned good phone. Having a text editor on the go is superb when inspiration strikes and I want to write something down.

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