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(Pocket-lint) - The HTC TyTN II is the company's answer attempt to give you a powerful smartphone in a relativity small form factor, but does it work? We get mobile working with the device to find out.

While on the surface the HTC TyTN II might look like a small brick, on closer inspection is really is. There is no denying it, it is big, it is heavy and it is not very stylish in its looks.

The reason for its weight is that the TyTN II packs in so much. Powered by Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6, it sports HSPDA connectivity, built-in GPS, a 3 megapixel camera on the back and another on the front, MicroSD card slot, Wi-Fi connectivity and of course a slide out QWERTY keyboard.

It's like a miniature computer in your pocket. But like a PC it's just not very exciting.

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From a business point of view we can see that mobile workers will love it, fully Microsoft'ed up, the unit hasn't had too much customisation from Orange, although the mobile operator has chosen to ditch HTC's Home homescreen that offers easy access to photo dialing, text messages, calendar entries, emails and contacts, as well as one touch access to live weather conditions plus 4-day forecasts.

However on the Mobile 6 front you get push email, full support for Microsoft Office and the chance to add thousands of applications at the download and transfer of a button.

The 2.8-inch touchscreen still frustratingly insists on you using a stylus to get around rather than your finger and it's not a touch on Apple's iPhone or Samsung's F700 smartphone interfaces.

That said the screen slides out and then back up at a 45 degree angle (see pictures) making this idea for reading emails and typing notes with your index fingers as if you were on a miniature keyboard fit for the people of Lilliput.

On the connectivity front the TyTN II offers tri-band UMTS and quad-band EDGE, it boasts high speed HSDPA connectivity as well as 802.11b/g Wi-Fi to help ensure users can enjoy high-speed surfing, uploading and downloading while roaming anywhere in the world and testing it on the Orange network (it's currently an Orange exclusive) it worked very well.

On the software front you get TomTom 6 so you can take advantage of the GPS chip on board as well as A-GPS (the A stands for Assisted) from Orange that uses the mobile network to help locate you quicker. It's a feature that isn't being turned on until early next year, but when it does work should stop you having to wait ages before getting a location fix from just the GPS chip.


The HTC TyTN II is a brick of a mobile phone that is as about as exciting as watching paint dry. However, with so much packed into the device you can't help think that for the geeky mobile worker open to the idea of anything that is Microsoft powered this will be a wet dream come true.

So if you want oohs and arhhs when you pull this out of your pocket, look else where, if you want a Windows device that's got more functionality than the your average laptop, this might be one for you.

For us however, thanks but no thanks.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 5 November 2007.