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Published on September 12th, 2007 | by James Smythe

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HTC TyTN II – Vodafone V1615 – MDA Vario III – Features and Review

Well the HTC HTC TyTN II has finally landed on our shores and is available to buy from several online stores. Hopefully within the next few months Vodafone will release their branded version of it, the V1615 and also T Mobile as the MDA Vario III.
Cnet have recently done a review of it, and we have a summary of the general thoughts of this phone.

  1. The phone has built in GPS, and picks up the satellite relatively quickly.
  2. Slightly different key layout than the TyTN, Mda Vario II etc
  3. It is slightly smaller than the TyTn however it is heavier than its predecessor, 190g compared to 176g. The dimensions are 112 mm (L) X 59 mm (W) X 19 mm (T) compared to the TyTn at 112.5 mm (L) X 58 mm (W) X 21.95 mm (T)
  4. The large colour touch screen now tilts up allowing it to be used as a mini laptop (though I cannot see why anyone would use it like that, the old TyTn has far too smaller keyboard to use in a laptop style.
  5. The Sim card slot is not situated behind the screen for easy access, which is handy if you have 2 sims, 1 for work 1 for personal use
  6. The slide-out keypad is one of the best Qwerty keypads Cnet has used. Which I would expect as the TyTn had an excellent keypad ( though the keypad on the phone I use now seems to be playing up grrr)
  7. The three way scroll wheel remains from the original TyTn, again I would of expected this as it was a big hit with the TyTn.
  8. The camera has had the pixels increased from 2 to 3 Maga pixels. Unfortunately there is not a proper flash as with the original. The camera does perform well in light areas though.
  9. TyTN II runs Windows Mobile 6 and has 128MB of ram, meaning that everything will run faster, and WM6 appears less buggy than WM5 in my opinion.
  10. Windows Mobile 6 comes preinstalled with a variety of applications that let you view and edit Microsoft Office documents, chat to friends on Messenger, listen to music and receive emails instantly over push email, among other things.
  11. As with the original TyTn it has a vast array of connections (something the iPhone could learn from) including HSDPA (3.5G allowing broadband speeds over your phone), GSM/GPRS/EDGE: Quad Band.
  12. The battery lasted around 2 days if the feature (GPS/WiFi) were not used heavily.

Overall the conclusion was this is a fantastic phone and only the N95 can match it in terms of connectivity and functionality.
Our opinion is that this is obviously a phone aimed at the business market but with consumer appeal, and therefore it does not have the looks of things like the iPhone, however if you value functionality over form this is possibly the phone for you.

The only thing that could possibly let this phone down is WM6, I have had my MDA Vario II (TyTn) for over a year now, and WM5 was defiantly glitchy, with the phone frequently locking up and many other annoying idiosyncrasies. I have upgraded my TyTn (and voided the warranty) to WM6 and have found it much better, though I do still have the occasional problem with it, though this could be partly due to the fact I have dropped the phone dozens of times and generally not looked after it very well.

The MDA Vario III is available from T-Mobile with CoPilot

or the MDA Vario IV is now available

HTC Tytn II (2)

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About the Author

I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over 5 years now running Mighty Gadget, its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web.



12 Responses to HTC TyTN II – Vodafone V1615 – MDA Vario III – Features and Review

  1. Pingback: Nokia N810 due for Christmas - Pictures and Thoughts | Mighty Gadget Technology Blog

  2. Johnny says:

    I’ve had this phone for over a month with vodafone but I keep having to change it every week. There is a serious fault with this handset- during conversations the people I speak with say that my voice becomes very quiet all of a sudden then goes back to normal.

    As I said, I’ve gone through 5 of these and the fault is the same on them all. Vodafone isn’t doing anything about it.

    Although it is a great phone, you might be better off getting it on orange or T-mobile where their customer service is better

  3. James says:

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah I have started realise I don’t want to upgrade to this phone, I do think the TyTn is a great phone but the bloody MS software is crap. HTC have committed to release 3 phones based on the Android OS (google) next year so hopefully that will resolve a lot of the problems.

  4. Chris says:

    I have had this phone for a trial from Vodafone for a week now, and I’m not really getting on with it.

    I had (have) a Nokia 6310i, which I know is a different beast and is very outdated, but it does what I want and I am looking for something that does similar things. The only reason I want to change it really is for SHDPA. GPS would also be quite useful. Oh, and wireless internet, and emails. Okay yes, I need a new phone! :-)

    I think the fundamental thing that puts me off the V1615 is that it is a PDA that is occasionally a phone, rather than vice-versa. Simply making a phone call is actually quite a phaff, which is after all the number 1 job for a phone.

    The touch screen is a bit small really – I have an Ipaq (5550 – again quite old), and the screen is just that bit bigger, meaning that you don’t have to mess about with the stylus… you can choose options with your fingers. But with the V1615 it’s really hard to select the option that you want. Especially whilst driving ;-)

    The Nokia had a few other features too that I liked.. and not even the N95 does this… When you plugged it into a charger, it could automatically change profile to “night” (which only rings for family). Also, the alarm would sound even when the phone was in silent mode (which the V1615 doesn’t do!).

    The V1615 doesn’t have any ability to have a different ring tone for a group of people (you have to set it individually – there is no concept of “groups” or “profiles” anywhere). The front page seems to have a setting for “automatic” ring (with a symbol of a clock on it), but I can’t find anywhere to set that up.

    All in all, I don’t like the phone, as I want something that is primarily a phone rather than a PDA I think… but for what it is, I can’t fault it.

    I can’t fault its build quality, etc – and the keyboard really is very good. It hasn’t crashed or turned itself off, and it’s a reasonable size. If it had a numeric keypad on its face and an easier way to search contacts, I’d love it.

  5. I have 2 major problems with the 1phone.
    1 The people I call cannot hear me when ion speaker phone option.
    2 The phone light keeps going off, real diffuclty when having to deal with other functions when using the phone.
    I have exchanged the phone once and still have the problem, therefore have concluded that it is an inherent fault with this type of device.

  6. Musa says:

    I have had the V1615 for 2 months now. The GPS and the PDA works great, although I had to buy a UK map from Tomtom. I have a few issues with the phone functions in its ease of use as this is supposed to be a phone in the first place. Also, although the camera is 3MP, it is of poor quality much poorer than a 1.3MP camera on my previous Qtek. I dont understand this! even in a daylight, it fails to produce a crisp clear photo. Otherwise, it is a nice PDA and

  7. James says:

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah I found the camera on the original tytn to be a bit crap. I have had to resort to using the new viewty as I am sick of the tytn playing up all the time. I should be getting a new phone in january and there just doesnt seem to be the options at the moment. I think the 3 I am going to chose from is the N95 8 Gig, the Nokia E90 or the Samsung f700v. All appear to be good phones but none of them meet my requirements exactly. I think if/when HTC start releasing android based phones I will try them out again.

  8. H Sheth says:

    I have had the tytn 2 from vodafone since 2 weeks. It feels like the biggest mistake ever. I have had to exchange it twice and the operating system crashes 5-7 times a day. variable voice quality during conversations. The tomtom is a rip off since only one city’s map is allowed to be downloaded. The phone’s backlight switches off when it wants to. Vodafone would not exchange it since it is outside their so called 14 days trial period. Unfortunately the phone has never worked for 14 days straight. My V1605 works well and wouldnot bother to upgrade.

  9. Danny Trueman says:

    I am finding that the V1615 seems to drain the battery power at an alrming rate. I only use the GPRS/3G facility and don’t use it as a phone, has anybody else experienced this problem.

  10. Ross says:

    Try using the 3000 Mah battery from Mugen Power Batteries for the HTC Tytn 11. Very good performance. May look a little more bulky. But they also send you a good looking custom made cover for the same. So no issues on that.

  11. Jo Taylor says:

    I have had this phone for a few months now. Mostly I’d say I really like it, although am having to work around the issues that everyone seems to find as frustrating as me – namely the screen dimming within seconds of making a call (completely impractical when phoning a computerised system and having to press further keys), slowness of screen response time, and lack of numbers makes dialling a number a bit tedious. All things I’m willing to live with though, as the benefits by far outway the annoyances.

    The IE software that comes with it is not able to access many websites. I downloaded Opera for Pocket PC browser and it makes it suddenly usable on the internet. Highly recommend this!

    The battery life is not fantastic, but about what I expected – if I charge it up nightly it lasts ok, providing I’m not on the internet all day. The Software has crashed a few times, but power cycling has fixed this every time.

    However I also have a fault where during a call the person I’m speaking to say I’ve gone really quiet, then suddenly all is restored again. It appears if you “wiggle” the keyboard slightly it fixes it. However on a 45 minute call this happened around 10 times – it was ridiculous!

    Will be attempting to get this fixed, although could take a while with Vodafone, as they are likely to send it off to reflash the software and not fix or replace the faulty hardware until it’s been in 3 times.

  12. Tim Jones says:

    I’ve had the Tytn 2 on the Three network for three days now. I’d agree with the above, battery life is good enough for a whole work (long) day when connected wirelessly to my company Exchange server. Set up of the Exchange mail on the mobile Outlook was painless and it works completely seamlessly. Call quality and the speakerphone appears to be good.

    I’m a little disappointed with the main camera – I’ve only managed to test it in indoor lighting in the evening and it is ghosty on the viewfinder and doesn’t quite seem to be able to get a proper autofucus lock. This may just be low light conditions and I’m itching to see if it performs any better out in the daytime outdoors.

    Thanks for the tip about the Opera browser Jo! The IE browers seems a bit slow and clunky displaying my favourite web pages and Opera really helped.

    Downloading Google Maps was a revelation – really very good, I shall be using that when hiking. The inbuilt GPS works extremely well and totally out performs my dedicated TomTom One XL in getting a very quick and stable satellite lock.

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