Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:53:03 PM
Crammed with features and an easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard.
Slightly large for the hand and pocket, and the battery life could be better.
The iPAQ 914c bears a close resemblance to the BlackBerry Curve. Its miniature qwerty keyboard even has a slight curved design, with the outer keys a little higher up than the inner keys.
The black, shiny plastic casing sports a silver trim and the blue and white combination on the qwerty keys stands out. One negative about the design is that it is a little on the chunky side. But that’s the price you pay for a decent and easy-to-use qwerty keypad.
The 914c is a touch-screen device, but there is also a navigation wheel on the right-hand side, so you can scroll through incoming emails at ease.
The iPAQ 914c supports 3G, but that’s not all. It actually supports speeds of up to 7.2Mbps – the fastest possible in the UK at present. Although, this is dependent on whether your operator supports the speed of connection.
With both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, you’ve the full gamut of connectivity options, but it is a pity there is no front-facing camera for two-way video calling.
Still, for the travellers among you, the built-in GPS antenna will come in handy, and HP has also included Google Maps. For the full sat nav experience, however, you’ll have to add some third-party software.
Hewlett Packard has not gone overboard with software to boost the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system. One thing we do like, though, which now seems to be a standard application bundled on all of HP’s devices, is HP Voice Reply. If you need to reply to an email and can’t be bothered to tap out text, you can record a spoken response and attach it to an email. It’s fast, easy, and recordings are relatively small in size so it shouldn’t cost a fortune to send them.
There is a three-megapixel camera with auto-focuson board the 914c, complete with flash and self-portraitmirror.
There are no fancy masks to the Windows Mobile Today screen and, while this means the device looks a bit old hat, you know precisely where you stand, and don’t suddenly fall out of neat-looking graphics into Windows Mobile itself. We like the approach, even if it feels a bit lacklustre.
Considering all the elements that are thrown into this smartphone, its SIM-free price is attractive. It isn’t tiny, but the keyboard is easy to use, and it can double as a sat nav device which should save on bag space.