So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- Microsoft fights fake news with NewsGuard integration in its mobile Edge browser
- Far Cry: New Dawn: Riskier mechanics, a less risky story, and a much better experience than Far Cry 5
- Samsung 970 EVO Plus review: Samsung's entry-level NVMe SSD is faster and cheaper
- ALDI to offer 40GBs for $80 with new SpecialBuy mobile plan
- 4 Interview Questions to Ask Part-time Web Developers
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies