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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)

Tim Jones

Wednesday 28th of January 2009

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.

Jo Taylor

Wednesday 10th of December 2008

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.


Monday 20th of October 2008

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.

Danny Trueman

Tuesday 24th of June 2008

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.

H Sheth

Monday 18th of February 2008

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.