HP iPAQ h6365
- Great connectivity, reasonable battery life, rich bundle of extras
- Old OS, poor camera, sluggish performance
This is a top-notch organiser, but it does leave room for improvement. The software and bundle is solid, but some minor issues keep the device from shining.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
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HP's first attempt at building a smartphone showcases the company's background in PDAs. The iPAQ h6365 looks like a regular Pocket PC with an antenna tacked onto the top left-hand corner, but it's a quad-band smartphone featuring support for GSM/GPRS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The silver and grey device measures a respectable 120 x 75 x 19mm and tips the scales at around 200g. It includes a navigation pad and four programmable buttons, and ships with a detachable keyboard to supplement the stylus. The keyboard feels a little cramped, but makes it easier to enter large blocks of text.
One negative with the iPAQ is its reliance on Windows Mobile 2003. This old OS lacks some features of subsequent releases; for instance, you can't rotate screen orientation for watching video. However, the software is quite elegant. GPRS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections are all accessible from a single wireless control centre, which makes connecting to a multitude of networks quick and easy. It also handles a seamless transition between networks. If you're connected to and downloading data from a GPRS network and you enter the range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, a dialogue box pops up asking if you'd like to connect to the Wi-Fi network instead. This works the other way, too, making it easy to stay connected all the time.
The screen runs at a resolution of 240 x 320 and looks great. A display of this size draws a fair bit of power, so HP has slowed the processor to save some battery life. The h6365 pushed on for just over five hours of battery testing; a reasonable result considering the power-hungry 200MHz OMAP processor and 64MB of RAM and 64MB of ROM tucked away under the shell. SD and MMC support is also provided in case you need to add more storage. Unfortunately this battery life comes at the expense of responsiveness, and we were often forced to wait a little while for the smartphone to perform its functions. This was particularly noticeable when scrolling through pages of contacts in the address book. PowerPoint and PDF viewers are included, helping mark this model as a business tool. A bog-standard 640 x 480-pixel camera is included in the rear panel, but this resolution is too low for it to be really useful.
All up, although HP has produced a pretty solid product in the h6365, it's let down by minor issues. While it's obviously designed for the business user accustomed to relying on a PDA, it's a good early attempt at a sma
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