HP iPAQ 914c Business Messenger mobile phone

The iPAQ 914 may aimed at business users, but, with its ease of use and media features as well as the office tools that come with Windows Mobile 6.1, it’s perfectly suited to anyone who needs a feature-rich smartphone.

On a basic level, the phone sound quality was crystal clear although the touchscreen is very sensitive so you can sometimes cut off a call without meaning to if you hold the handset too close to your face.

On the business front, you can set up a remote desktop mobile, use the usual Microsoft Office programs, ClearVue PDF, as well as calendar and task recording tools, and of course, the notepad so you can scrawl reminders to yourself.

The touchscreen was far quicker to use for typing than the QWERTY keyboard, but, when scrolling with documents using the track pad on the right, you have to get as close to the edge of the screen as possible otherwise the phone sometimes won’t pick up the movements of the stylus. Alternatively you could use the wheel on the top right hand side of the phone.

Multimedia-wise - first one gripe - the 3-megapixel camera was slow to start-up, so not the best for catching sudden excitement, and it is on the back of the device so video conferencing is out.

If you whacked in a large enough microSD card into slot (to top up the phone’s 128MB RAM), you could load up pics or videos for watching on the go, although, at 2.5 inches, there are plenty of PDAs out there with better screens for viewing.

But, that said, the screen size means that HP has managed to keep this smartphone down in size.

At 146g, it is lighter than the HP iPAQ 214, which we reviewed in April, and both thinner and smaller at 113 x 64 x 16mm than the bulkier older model.

As well as offering portability, the new iPAQ is quick to connect up in Wi-Fi hotspots and offers tri-band UMTS/HSDPA at 7.2Mbps, as well as quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and Bluetooth.

And, the big bonus on this device, is the integrated GPS and HP have also been smart enough to include Google Maps, which most people are used to now.

Also worth a mention are the built-in Cyberon Voice Commander, which tells you what to say to get what you want, and HP Voice Reply features, which enable handsfree emailing and other device commands.

Verdict

A bit slow to start up, but once you get going, this smartphone is easy to use, feature rich and small enough not to ruin the line of your suit.