At 112 x 59mm and 19mm deep, the TyTN II is no shrinking violet. There's no denying the weighty TyTN II handset lives up to its name with its somewhat "titanic" proportions, but this is offset to a degree by the muted colour scheme and rounded corners that together make the TyTN II quite a stylish device. Much to the relief of CNET.com.au's resident A/V specialist Ty Pendlebury, only the upper half of the TyTN II's slider form is finished in the he loathes so much. The underside of the handset and the QWERTY keyboard are made from a much more finger-friendly matte-black soft-touch plastic.
Although, it's not the piano black finish where fingerprints are going to drive you crazy. The TyTN II sports a large 2.8-inch QVGA (320x240) touchscreen display, which is adequate but not excellent, and smears like crazy. Perhaps we've been spoiled recently, but after using the i-mate Ultimate series VGA (640x 480) resolution displays, we think Windows Mobile devices, more than others mobile phones, require the higher resolution graphics to help navigate the complex user interface. In comparison to the i-mates, the HTC display appears slightly duller and, obviously, less sharp.
One area where the TyTN II excels over the equally hefty i-mate Ultimate series handsets is the inclusion of a full QWERTY keyboard under the slide. Unlike a lot of QWERTY keypads we see on mobile devices, the TyTN II features one that is very easy to use. The soft-touch keys are slightly raised off the surface of the pad providing important definition between the keys and making "two-thumb" typing a breeze. With the slider open the screen can also tilt forward to roughly a 45 degrees angle, turning the TyTN II into a tiny laptop. While this is a nifty touch, we actually found this made the top line of keys harder to access and preferred using the keyboard without tilting the screen.
It seems Windows Mobile PDA-phones are becoming uniformly complete devices. When exploring these smartphones lately we've found ourselves scanning the devices, not to discover what features are available, but to locate which features were missing. The TyTN II runs Windows Mobile 6 and has HSDPA and Wi-Fi for data transfers. It also supports all mobile network frequencies, all popular e-mail protocols, as well as AD2P stereo Bluetooth, and has a built-in 3-megapixel camera. In addition, the TyTN II has an onboard GPS chipset and is apparently bundled with CoPilot 7 navigation software, although our test unit was lacking the software and we had to resort to Google Maps to test some of the GPS functionality.