TYTN II has arrived
Well, I got a call from Vodafone asking if I wanted to upgrade my phone yesterday. I asked if they had the TYTN II; they said they did (the V1615), and I thought “What the hell”… so it’s just arrived today.
First thoughts on opening it? It’s pretty much the same as the TYTN, although the black finish is certainly nicer.
Looking around the body, there are numerous small changes, many of which I don’t like, probably because I’d grown used to the TYTN.
Let’s start with the battery:
As you can see, the battery pinout and position has changed, so you can’t use your old TYTN battery in here.
Going on to the hardware buttons, we see numerous small changes.
The Camera button’s moved out, and is now slightly shielded, making it a little harder to press. It’s also a two-position button (half-down, full down), to allow autofocus.
On the left side, you see the buttons have moved around a little bit, but are still there. The SD slot has moved from the side, to under a dust cover at the base of the screen, which is nice, as the open slot on the TYTN meant the card was occasionally popped out in my pocket.
However, there is one BIG change. Can you see what it is yet?
Yep! The keyboard’s moved round to the other side!
Well – no-one really seemed to notice this – they were probably more obsessed with the tilt mechanism to notice. It does have an impact though, particularly for me as a right-hander. It means that:
– Rather than using my right thumb to operate the D-pad, I now use my left
– Rather than sliding the stylus into the top-right side of the PDA (when the keyboard’s open), I now slide it into the bottom left.
Now, the first I can re-learn pretty quickly – although I’m right handed (and right-thumbed), I can still do fairly well with my left thumb. There’ll be a tiny learning curve.
The second is more annoying. With the TYTN, If you hold the stylus in your right hand, you can just slide it into the top right when you’ve finished. However, with the TYTN II, it means (if you normally hold the stylus in your right hand), that you have to transfer the stylus to your left hand first.
It also means using your left thumbnail to take the stylus out, rather than a right fingernail – again, a little trickier, since I usually hold the phone in my left hand. Overall, taking or replacing the stylus takes a bit of left-right fumbling each time – annoying.
Finally, taking a look at the front.
As you can see, Buttons 1 and 2 (Email and PIE) have disappeared from the top, to re-appear either side of the D-pad (and swapped left and right).
Again – a little annoying: those big fat buttons at the top of the body, by themselves, were quick and easy to press – especially for my reasonably large hands. These smaller, cantilevered buttons in their new positions are closer to the hand, meaning you have to bend your thumb to reach them, and also harder targets. Again, it’ll take some getting used to, but it’s an unwelcome change.
On the plus side, the Windows and OK buttons on the front are now user-configurable, so you do get a total of 6 hardware buttons to assign as before (plus a “6-plus-long” long-press for the voice button).
One thing I wondered was how the jog-dial would be: the TYTN’s was fine, although the button action was a soft press, rather than a click. Well, the TYTN II is just about the same – it seemed slightly firmer, but that’s probably because it’s new.
Also, if you take another look at the keyboard picture, you’ll see the light sensor has moved from top right to top left – I occasionally cover this with my thumb to trigger the keyboard backlight when I need it – and there’s now a Caps Lock and Fn Lock LED; which are both quite useful, considering how easy it is to get confused when you’re switching them on and off.
Without even getting into the OS, it seems there’s some annoying changes to the TYTN 2:
- Mail and Web buttons smaller and less accessible
- One less hardware button
- Stylus more fiddly to remove/replace
- D-pad under left thumb
Of course, I’ll see if these are still niggles after two weeks!
As for the positives:
- SIM and SD slots are more accessible, and better protected
- CAPS/FN lock LEDs are handy
- Tilt mechanism
One last thing about the Tilt Mechanism. Now, you’re not going to touch type on this thing – the keyboard is too small, and the keys are too firm to allow operation with a light touch. Now – I don’t need to type two-fingered – I can already faster with my thumbs than I could with two fingers (if you can thumb-type on a P910 keyboard, you can type on anything) – but it was good to see that I could just about type, fumbling, with four, sometimes five or six fingers, on the TYTN II.
So – with a little practice, we may even see something resembling touch-typing on this keyboard…