HP iPAQ hw6515 Mobile Messenger review
HP is out to beat BlackBerry at its own game, and succeeds. This PDA/phone slips easily into a pocket yet offers all the features we've come to expect from a powerful Pocket PC.
Review Date: 18 Aug 2005
Reviewed By: Tim Danton
Price when reviewed: (£434 inc VAT) Delivery £9.50 (£11 inc VAT)
The hw6515 is far more than just a potential BlackBerry killer. This miniature marvel isn't merely here to send and receive emails - it can play music, synchronise your calendar with your office from across the country, and it can take photos and record videos. Oh, and it also includes a GPS satellite-navigation receiver.
In fact, the hw6515 is crammed with receivers; it's a truly global device, with quad-band GSM and EDGE support. The only notable omissions are Wi-Fi and 3G. This means GPRS is the most likely way you'll keep in touch with the office when on the move, and part of the power of the hw6515 is that, for some jobs, it can replace a notebook. You can receive an email with a Word file attachment, open it up in Pocket Word, make your changes and send it back.
The keyboard isn't the answer to every prayer, though. The chassis is only 71mm wide and, although HP makes a good stab at squeezing in all the vital keys, we never felt comfortable typing. However, it's far easier than handwriting recognition and we made few mistakes: you could write a detailed email on the device, but not a ten-page report.
Despite the impressive-sounding 1.3-megapixel resolution, we're less convinced by the merits of the integrated camera. See www.pcpro.co.uk for an idea of what to expect, but the trademark characteristics are a lack of focus and, in bright light, a tendency to awful overexposure. The video feature could come in handy though, with a respectable resolution of 352 x 288.
The GPS navigation is more than token too. The software is powered by TomTom, renowned for its accurate maps, turn-by-turn voice directions and intuitive interface. This doesn't even suffer from being squeezed down to the screen's 320 x 320 resolution, as opposed to the 320 x 480 most Pocket PCs use. You get one free region map to download but to make full use you'll need the complete set of Western Europe maps. These normally cost €199 (£138), but you get a 35 per cent discount as standard.
There's one more feature offered by the hw6515: it's also a phone. Sound quality is only average, and we occasionally wanted to boost the volume higher than it could go - we wouldn't recommend this for someone on the phone all the time, every day. And that's quite aside from the fact that you'll look slightly foolish with a PDA clamped to your ear. Fortunately, HP bundles a respectable hands-free stereo headset; if you're listening to music when a call comes through, the music is paused and you press a button on the microphone piece to accept the call.
However, you'll need to buy an SD card or a mini SD card to slip into the two available slots if you want to store more than a couple of different tracks. There's 12MB of flash ROM available, but that's best for backups as it won't lose its data if the battery runs flat. We advise you leave the 64MB of RAM alone to keep the iPAQ responsive.
With a 312MHz processor inside, we weren't expecting spectacular speed anyway, but in fact we found the hw6515 quite nippy - there are occasional pauses, but nothing frustrating. Even when playing video, it managed to cope with barely a stutter. Just note that this is one time you'll miss a 3:2 ratio screen.
Aside from that, the screen is certainly up to scratch. Based on transflective technology, it makes use of ambient light and so remains readable both inside and out, and also manages to tick all the right boxes: vibrant, bright and with good viewing angles. The major benefit it holds over BlackBerry devices (and smartphones) is that it's also a touchscreen, which makes navigation and web browsing so much more pleasant.
- Samsung tempts the selfie market with A5 and A3 smartphones
- Internet tax: what it is and why it failed
- Android co-founder Andy Rubin leaves Google
- Windows 10 trackpad shortcuts: Microsoft takes a leaf out of Apple's book
- Promo: Using IBM BlueMix to create successful business apps
- Why the Microsoft Band could be a game changer
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Microsoft Office 16 set to launch late next year
- HP's vision for the future of PCs: the 3D Sprout
- How Google X plans to detect cancer and heart disease using nano-magnets
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Five smartwatch features we’ll see by 2015
- How to wipe an Android phone or tablet
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office