The 614c looks like an oversized candybar mobile phone, although in the hand it feels like a average-sized Windows Mobile smartphone.
The Smart Touch Wheel is a clever idea, although it lacks a central select button and is not always as responsive as we’d like.
A camera-less version is available, and both are with HSDPA to 7.2Mbps, Wi-Fi and GPS support. Google Maps is built in and there is plenty more.
In general this smartphone zipped along nicely thanks to a solid processor.
Battery life was slightly below par for a Windows Mobile device.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:52:08 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The large screen is a real boon.
You will need a fairly large pocket to carry this smartphone around.
To maximise the space available to accommodate the iPAQ 614c’s large screen, HP has compromised the space normally given to a D-pad or mini joystick and introduced a smart touch-wheel.
Embedded in the number pad – crossing all keys apart from the 5 and 8 – is a raised circle. Run your finger around it and you can scroll around the screen, much just like you would with an iPod.
It works reasonably well, although it isn’t 100% effective all the time, and we found the lack of a central select button a real pain. We had to either touch the screen to select or use the small jog-wheel on the left edge of the device. The latter is quite heavily recessed so making a selection needed the press of a fingertip rather than the flat of a thumb.
Directly beneath the screen are two soft menu buttons and beneath them is the number pad. The soft menu buttons are a little small and difficult to hit at first, although perseverance paid off.
The 614c comes with a three-megapixel camera with auto-focus. Photo quality is reasonably good and indoor snaps are helped with the built-in flash. You can add to the internal memory via a microSD card, although the slot is awkwardly located under the battery cover. There is also a version without a camera, the 614, which is ideal for business users who aren’t allowed to take a camera phone into work.
The 614c is quad-band, has Wi-Fi built-in and supports the fastest HSDPA standard of up to 7.2Mbps, which is currently only available from Vodafone in the UK in selected locations. But for all its high-speed capabilities the 614c doesn’t include a front-facing camera for video calling, which is a big disappointment.
The device may also be referred to as the 614c Business Navigator. To earn this label, HP has built GPS capability into the hardware and Google Maps into the software, although for full point-to-point navigation you’ll have to buy additional software.
The device uses Assisted PS to help it pin-point a ocation quickly and provides for greater signal accuracy in built-up areas.
You get more than you first expect with the 614c. At first glance, you may think it’s just an oversized candybar phone. But a look at the specifications puts this first impression right. The 614c is, in fact, a well-specced Windows Mobile smartphone, and its large screen is among its greatest assets.