HP iPAQ rw6815 Personal Messenger review
HP took its first steps into the smartphone market with the hw6515 Mobile Messenger, but the Personal Messenger series is distinct in two ways: it’s more targeted at consumers and doesn’t include a keyboard.
The rw6815 feels more like a generic smartphone than a sophisticated piece of hand-crafted hardware. In particular, the silver plastic finish veers towards tacky in places, and it’s thick at 19mm. This thickness is partly due to a big battery, with a 1,530mAh removable unit inside. That led to some decent scores in our real-life battery life tests, lasting for around four days between recharges despite some heavy use – HP claims a talk time of five-and-a-half hours and standby of ten days. Another boon is that, unlike previous iPAQs, this one can recharge via the standard mini-USB port.
It’s also fast. A 416MHz processor means Windows Mobile 5 speeds along, and whatever task we were performing we couldn’t complain about the iPAQ’s responsiveness. The screen is similarly impressive, with 240 x 320 pixels and a bright backlight. The flip-up cover is another plus, as it means you can shove the iPAQ into a pocket without worrying about scratches.
All this makes the iPAQ an excellent device for viewing email. The trouble was, once we hooked it up to our company email system (it supports push if you have Exchange 2003 SP2 with the Messaging pack), we started missing the keyboard of Mobile Messengers. Even sending a text becomes a bind when you have to use the mini onscreen keyboard or character recognition.
Fortunately, Bluetooth is available for hooking up the optional HP iPAQ BT Foldable Keyboard (part code FA802AA), headphones or virtually any other peripheral, while Wi-Fi is another excellent inclusion. The lack of 3G is a drawback, but at least EDGE and GPRS are on hand.
There’s a lot to like here – there’s even a decent 2-megapixel camera, which takes great pictures in good lighting – but without an easy way to input information, it falls short of a Recommended award.
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