HP iPaq 514 in-depth review -

Look and Feel

The HP IPAQ 514 is a smart black, solidly built smartphone, with a functional rather than fashionable design, that looks and feels good in the hand.

Features

A Windows-powered smartphone with a selection of business-focused features, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Excel, Word and PowerPoint and it works over GSM/EDGE networks, supports push-email and can also be used as a VoIP phone

Ease of Use

If you use Windows on your PC, you'll be up to speed with this smartphone swiftly.

Performance

No major quirks to report, although the lack of 3G means that data download speeds are a little slower than we'd expect from a top smartphone.

Battery Life

Juice on the HP iPAQ 514 is perfectly reasonable, until you really start to use the Wi-fi.

 HP iPaq 514 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:49:20 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Sleek design and packed with features including Wi-Fi, VoIP and push-email.

Cons:

No 3G and no touch-screen.

Hewlett-Packard is a company we tend to associate more with PDAs and PCs than mobile phones, but when Windows Mobile first launched in 2000, it could be seen in all its glory on the iPAQ Pocket PC devices. Now, seven years later, the latest version of Windows Mobile 6 appears on HP's iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger - the manufacturer's first smartphone device.

Business features

This quad-band phone offers a fine selection of business-focused smartphone features, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a Microsoft OS (including Excel, Word, PowerPoint), and it works over GSM/EDGE networks, supports push-email and can also be used as a VoIP phone.
The 176x220-pixel screen size is standard and this worked well with some leading software applications tested on the device. Unfortunately, the device doesn't feature a touch-screen, which many PDA users - and a growing number of mobile users - are now very familiar with.

Windows Mobile smartphone

With Windows Mobile Smartphone, the ability to add third-party software is a great advantage and really enhances how well you can fine tune the phone to work better for you. There is 64MB of SDRAM built in and 128MB of ROM and by adding a slot for a 2GB microSD card, there is a lot of scope for music and more software. The 1.3-megapixel camera is useful, but you would expect a more powerful camera on a cutting-edge device.

Voice commander feature

The phone is a good size and is easy to use. The battery life is excellent (over six hours of talktime, 7.8 days on standby), but it's with a new feature called Voice Commander that HP claims it has really taken the smartphone forward. This feature recognises your own voice command for a variety of functions like making a call, launching music tracks and even having your emails and text messages read aloud to you. With Voice Commander didn't always recognise commands, but it did work the majority of tasks. 

Multiple options

The shortcut options via the keypad are also useful, especially if you add multiple applications to the phone and the task manager on the homescreen shows your last 10 activities. This will be a pleasant surprise for HP aficionados who will experience a new Windows Mobile 6 phone, but with no touch-screen and no QWERTY keyboard, you are reliant on the 12-pad keyboard and easy-to-use Home and Phone buttons to navigate around the phone.

The phone is available offline for around £185, which is very reasonable, and BT has already announced that the iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger will form part of its BT Fusion offerings.

Voice Reply

Where the iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger really comes up trumps is the clever feature which lets you respond to emails using your voice.
Simply speak into the phone and your words are recorded and then attached to an email and sent off to the recipient. In short, 30 seconds of talk comes out at a file about 60KB in size.

Poor camera and no 3G

With Wi-Fi built-in as well as Bluetooth, you can use the iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger for Voice over IP (VoIP) and HP is also pushing the smartphone for offices that have IP-based phone systems. Handy, as you don't need to be at your desk to take a call.
Now, you won't be happy with the iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger if you're a 3G fan, or if you need a powerful camera with your device, as the one here is just 1.3 megapixels.
However, the iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger is a good value for money smartphone and one of the first to run Windows Mobile 6.