Recently I got myself a HTC TyTN aka HTC Hermes aka XDA trion, as a replacement for my cell-phone and for the fun of having more computer in the pocket now than on the desk ten years ago.
Although I already started to praise the TyTN’s mighty feature list, I won’t go into that here. Let’s just say, it has a LOT of good features, including UMTS/HSDPA, Bluetooth (inkl. support for stereo headsets), 802.11b/g (including WPA/TKIP), a usable QWERTY keyboard (QWERTZ in Germany), the usual QVGA touchscreen and runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition.
Since I’m having some trouble with the device, I thought it would be best to dump my comments on those here, for later reference.
- A USIM card is needed to use UMTS. I didn’t know that and my provider didn’t tell (but sold the data plan anyway).
- Initially, the stylus won’t release easily. After a few days, a little piece of soft, transparent plastic falls out of the stylus compartment and then the stylus goes in and out more easily.
- The showstopper(well, for me at least): Some devices may have trouble detecting the SIM card, when booting up or also when running. The device then locks up and drains the battery. Not good for a mobile phone when you want to be available or make an emergent call or use the alarms to remind you of important appointments.
- The out-of-the-box ringtones and sounds are awful.
- Caller-specific or caller-group-specific ringtones are not supported.
- There’s no good key-lock. Either you turn it off using on/off, which shut’s of Windows Media Player or you use "Lock device", which blocks the headset’s attention button.
- There is no right-shift key on the keyboard.
- The German translation of Windows Mobile is acceptable, the phone software’s translation is borderline. Probably so due to the original being Chinese.
- The device comes with a stereo-headset, that uses a proprietary mini-USB connector to connect to the TyTN. But it isn’t a USB-headset. It’s analog and has it’s connections on the "other" side of the connector. So you cannot use it when charging or sync-ing with the PC via USB. Also, in the supplied leather-case, the connector stands out and is the breaking part when things get rough and might even take the device’s connector with it.
- The leather-case has two strong magnets that keep it shut. These may damage ATM and credit-cards and they already have.
- The display size is 2.8" (46mm x 60mm) and it’s hard to get reasonably priced quality screen protectors (Non-adhesive to be preferred; otherwise, hard to get on without bubbles).
- It’s not fast. Everything takes time, e.g. loading an MIDI-ringtone on an incoming call takes roughly 3 seconds.
- For WiFi, WPA2 (AES instead of TKIP) is not supported. And I didn’t get LEAP authentication to work against a Cisco-AP, although it’s just a dialect of PEAP and there’s even an (undocumented) configuration screen for LEAP credentials.
- ActiveSync does not support backup/restore for Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.
- The support chain is impossible and roadblocks are all over the way. No downloads from Microsoft, no downloads from HTC and the service provider is just a phone company. They don’t even know what freaking words like burning and flash update mean (Who does, anyway?).
- Bluetooth on HP notebooks is a royal pain but I readily admit that’s not the TyTN’s fault.
The TyTN is a great device and I love it (say, as much as a naughty child). But I can’t wait to get it replaced by something that’s actually useable.