HTC TyTN II review: Kaiser of PocketPCs

GSMArena team, 5 November 2007.

Nice camera in a PocketPC at last

PocketPC are probably bottom of the ladder when it comes to camera performance. It's not about the megapixel count. It's just that their photos are really nothing to speak of. HTC were obviously addressing that and among the first results is the 3 megapixel camera with auto focus integrated into the HTC TyTN II.

As you probably imagine, the 2.8" TFT display is a really nice camera viewfinder to have. The TyTN II camera can be operated as a regular digital camera - a half press on the shutter key locks the auto focus and exposure, while pressing the key all the way down takes the actual snapshot.

HTC TyTN II
The ample camera viewfinder

The camera menu is easy to operate with your fingers only. White balance can be either automatic or custom set to daylight, night, incandescent or fluorescent. You can apply several color effects (Grayscale, Sepia, Cool, Negative) and use the special camera modes such as Panorama, Sports and Burst. In Burst mode the camera takes a total of 32 snapshots really fast for you to choose from but they are in VGA resolution only. In Sports mode it takes a series of up to 10 photos. In Panorama mode the camera takes three slightly overlapping images and stitches them automatically to create a panoramic shot. However, each individual shot is taken again at VGA resolution only. There is also self-timer and exposure compensation. The camera can also apply Date stamps on your photos. Should you choose, you can use the front video-call camera to take pictures and video.

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Quick camera menu white balance settings capture mode

As you will notice, the image quality is not really on par with 3 megapixel cameraphones such as the Sony Ericsson K800, for example. The images suffer in terms of dynamic range. The colors usually are spot on, sometimes slightly washed out and very rarely far off (look at the red flower, which is actually dark orange). The macros come out just fine thanks to the auto focus. We did get a strange pattern in the top right angle in all photos. It's clearly visible when you shoot some uniform colored surface such as the sky. As our unit is a retail one, and similar complaints were reported elsewhere in the mobile community, we tend to think that this is an inherent fault with the TyTN II camera setup.

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Taking pictures outdoors is ok

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The colors are spot on and pleasant to the eye

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Macros turn out really great thanks to the auto focus

An intriguing feature is that with some registry tweaking you can make the device store GPS information in the EXIF of your snapshots. It comes handy, as you can later upload them to a GPS-enabled photo sharing portal and it will accurately report the geographical location where the pictures were taken.

The HTC TyTN II camera captures MPEG4 or video in CIF resolution (352x288 pixels) at 20fps , which is agreeable. Alongside white balance and color effects, you can also set the Flicker adjustment, contrast, saturation, hue and sharpness.

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Video viewfinder is the same, so are most settings adjusting some additional parameters

You can have a look at our first sample video in QCIF resolution and our second sample video in QVGA resolution.
PocketPC are probably bottom of the ladder when it comes to camera performance. It's not about the megapixel count. It's just that their photos are really nothing to speak of. HTC were obviously addressing that and among the first results is the 3 megapixel camera with auto focus integrated into the HTC TyTN II. <#AdRectangle#>

Data transfers are of the essence

Connectivity is what matters most when it comes to PocketPCs - both wired and wireless. The HTC TyTN II has enough to show in that department. Direct USB connectivity allows seamless synchronization with MS Outlook. However you can also use Bluetooth 2.0 for that purpose. Speaking of wireless communication, we should mention there is no Infrared port (no big deal really!), but you have Wi-Fi at your disposal. You can also relay on the tri-band UMTS support plus HSUPA 3.6 Mbps. There are also GPRS and EDGE, so you always have data connectivity options available.

HTC TyTN II
With the HTC TyTN II you have a nice list of network combinations

The TyTN II comes with the Internet Explorer Mobile web browser. It falls behind most of the third-party browsers out there and a few PocketPC manufacturers even ship their devices with an alternative web browser preinstalled (take Toshiba G900 and Opera Mini for example).

The Internet Explorer has several interesting view options. You can have it fit the text to the screen, show everything in one column or show the website as it is. Landscape mode and fullscreen mode are also available.

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Browsing GSMArena.com: fit-to-screen, desktop and fullscreen mode

The HTC TyTN II is equipped with a GPS receiver and also supports Assisted GPS. It uses the QuickGPS application that comes preinstalled to download initial positioning data, which the GPS receiver can later use to quickly lock to satellites. The integrated Qualcomm gpsOne chipset is not as snappy as the SIRFStar III-based receivers we've used, but it's still good to have the thing integrated in your handset. The HTC TyTN II bundles the TomTom navigation software but you can only download one map for free. Charges apply for downloading extra maps. Navigation software is getting more affordable now, so you can easily find several alternatives by just googling around before you choose which one to buy. The good news is that you can use any navigation software you like as the integrated receiver is available through to every program that might need it. We successfully used iGo and Ozzy Explorer navigation software. When in GPS mode, the battery of the HTC TyTN II lasted about 4 hours of continuous use.