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 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Lamborghini claims 4WD will double sales
- Nvidia launches Tegra X1, bringing deep neural learning to self-driving cars
- Audi goes petrol-electric with the A3 e-tron first
- Ford equipping supervisory speed limits on 2015 Mustangs
- Navman adds digital video recording to MiVue Drive
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCNV1 | System admin with SQL server experience for Defence Application SupportACT
- CCFull Stack Developer - Java - Blue Chip CompanyNSW
- CCSenior Analyst, Applications - GDWVIC
- CCSales Development Executive - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCData Management & Reporting Development OfficerSA
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- CCTransition Program ManagerNSW
- CCAWS ArchitectNSW
- CCLead Administrator - Network and SecurityNSW
- FTSolution Delivery Manager ( RTTM)NSW
- FTSecurity Accreditation - IT Security AnalystACT
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (Network & System Mgt.) 160509/ITA/281Asia
- CCSenior Project ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Lead (Guidewire Policy Center)NSW
- CCChange Manager x 2NSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- CCScrum MasterNSW
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- FTSystem EngineerACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCMarketing Communications Specialist - Global IT CompanyNSW