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.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
  • HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
  • HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
  • HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5


  • 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

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

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.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?