The HTC TyTN is now in its second version and as before it comes in various flavours and various names, but underneath it all it is still and HTC device.
The first version, the TyTN was shipped with Windows Mobile 5 and whilst it was an exceptionally good MDA it did have some flaws in the software which caused - amongst other issues - bluetooth connection problems. It was also quite bulky which caused some people to shun it in favour of SmartPhone slimness.
At the end of 2007, the HTC TyTN II was launched which made one or two subtle changes to its earlier brother. Gone was the infrared port and it was slimmed down. It also boasted a new 'tiltable' screen as well as Windows Mobile 6 which was far more stable. Gone also were the Bluetooth problems that dogged the first version.
Now for many people, the built in software is rarely used to its greatest potential and fewer actually buy software for these devices. Software from various sources such as PocketGear or Handango will add to the experience considerably and buying a MicroSD card gives greater storage space for music, video and files.
Don't be fooled into thinking these are SmartPhones. These are MUCH better and offer far more flexibility than a SmartPhone ever can or will - hence the price difference. Be careful when you see Windows Mobile 5 or 6 touted. There are two versions of WM5 and WM6 which are dependent on the hardware. A SmartPhone does not have a touchscreen and cannot run advanced applications. It will run WM5 or WM6 but only in cut-down versions. If you want the power and flexibility of mobile computing, then you do NOT want a SmartPhone device and you wil need an MDA.
The HTC device also knock the iPhone into the trash when it comes to functionality. HTC produced the touch-screen system before Apple's over-hyped and overpriced white elephant even came over here, but people will buy the iPhone because of the name and the looks. You can only buy an iPhone on an O2 contract and locked to that network - anything else you see will have been hacked and will not be covered by warranty. On the other hand, you can buy an HTC TyTN or TyTN II under many different names and on different carriers - your choice and completely flexible.
Prices for the TyTN range start at around £100 second hand but make sure that the screens are clean and undamaged. The HTC unbranded versions are a little more expensive and you can update the software from HTC's web site. Re-branded TyTNs can be unlocked and upgraded by simple web searches but beware - you may end up by 'bricking' your handset if you are not careful.
TyTN IIs are more expensive and will set you back between £250 and £450 depending on source and age. Again, make sure that the screen is undamaged and the unit is pristine.
Finally, if you use these devices to store sensitive information, make sure that you buy a suitable security application. There are some very good ones out there that allow you to send an SMS to the handset in the event of theft or loss which will wipe the memory, the SD card and render the handset useless to the thief.