HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
HP's latest addition to the iPAQ range of handhelds is a competent smartphone that is unfortunately let down by a mediocre control system.
- Design, HSDPA connectivity, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, HP Sliding Panel Media home screen, keypad lock button
- Mediocre optical controller, keypad a little flat, questionable build quality, surface attracts plenty of fingerprints, 2.5mm headphone jack
HP's iPAQ Voice Messenger smartphone wins points for its looks, but it's not all good news. The optical controller is mediocre and the keypad is flat, making an otherwise competent handset frustrating to use.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger is a stylish smartphone that is definitely worth some attention. Unfortunately, HP has let down the iPAQ brand by implementing a frustrating control system and giving the Voice Messenger an uncomfortable keypad.
The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger certainly looks the part. It has been completely redesigned and looks nothing like previous iPAQ mobile phones. It's quite sleek and stylish, and is similar in stature to the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8120 smartphone. It feels solid, though the rear casing does squeak slightly when pressed and the glossy chrome finish on the back of the phone is a fingerprint magnet.
But if HP deserves credit for the design of the iPAQ Voice Messenger, it certainly doesn't for the implementation of the controls. Instead of a regular five-way navigational pad, HP has opted for what it calls a four-way optical controller: a round, sunken key that you glide your finger across to move around the interface. Its lack of responsiveness is an issue — sometimes it registers a finger swipe perfectly but other times it simply won't respond. It makes using the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger a frustrating experience, especially since you are forced to use it because there is no touch screen.
The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger's keyboard is similar to the BlackBerry Pearl's, with two letters on each key. The predictive text method works quite well, but we feel the keys are too flat and a little small, so it does take a while to adjust to. There is a dedicated key lock button and a silent mode slider (located at the top of the handset). Unfortunately, the mode slider requires more force than it should.
Despite not being a touch-screen smartphone, the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger still runs the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. HP has focussed on usability and provided an intuitive HP Sliding Panel Media home screen menu, which consists of a number of panels. You glide your finger across the optical controller to access them. Panels on the home screen include time and date, missed calls, calendar appointments, music, photos and settings. They're designed to prevent you having to delve into the Windows Start menu too often. The iPAQ Voice Messenger's display is crisp, sharp and has good viewing angles, but it is difficult to see in direct sunlight.
The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger includes all the programs and features of Windows Mobile 6.1, including Excel, PowerPoint and Word Mobile applications, Windows Media Player, Google Maps and a range of PIM functions. It's easy to configure for use with Microsoft Exchange, and you can also use standard POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts, including Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. A suite of Windows Live applications includes Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail.
The phone has a built-in GPS receiver, though there is no turn-by-turn navigational software bundled. Google Maps is preinstalled, but this is a location-based search feature and doesn’t offer full navigation. You can improve the performance of the GPS by running the included GPS Connection Utility Software — this downloads a small data file that helps the device find a GPS fix faster.
In addition to 7.2 HSDPA support, the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP. For mobile Internet, the standard Internet Explorer browser isn't the most intuitive to use, but pages loaded fairly speedily. Other features include a 3.1-megapixel camera with autofocus, expandable memory thanks to a microSD card slot, and a 2.5mm headphone jack. Charging the iPAQ Voice Messenger and synchronising the smartphone with a PC is achieved through a micro-USB port.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Samsung is prepping a software update to cap Note7 charging to 60 percent
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- FTRisk and Quality ManagerNSW
- FTDeveloper / Junior Solution DesignerQLD
- CCSenior Devops EngineerVIC
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTIT Service Owner - Supply Chain TechnologiesNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- TPStrategic Business AnalystVIC
- FTHealthcare Application Integration SupportQLD
- TPLevel 2/3 Desktop Support AnalystVIC
- FTTester AnalystACT
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistTAS
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager Office 365 ImplementationVIC
- FTProject Manager - Data MigrationNSW
- TPWeb DeveloperNSW
- TPEducation TechnologistNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI Stack - NewcastleNSW
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTSystem AnalystsACT
- FTContracts ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT HealthcareQLD
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)VIC
- CCPersonal AssistantNSW
- FTEngineer Control Systems SpecialistSA
- FTAsst. Director - Claim Analysis. Work Location - CanberraNSW