By April 1, 2009

HP Voice Messenger Review

This is HP’s flagship Windows Smartphone. It sits alongside the HP Data Messenger, its Windows Mobile brother. It’s a fantastic looking phone but, in my opinion, and like its keyboarded brother, it’s not ready for general use. However for the record here is my 2 cents worth.

The HP iPAQ Voice Messenge

The HP iPAQ Voice Messenger


What’s in the box?

The phone supplied with Windows Mobile® 6.1 Standard aka Windows Smartphone, Mains charger with USB output socket, Micro USB data / charging cable. Ear phones with Call Answer/End button, manuals.

Check out Matt’s HP iPAQ Voice Messenger un-boxing video for more information:


HP iPAQ Voice Messenger specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • Qualcomm 7201A 528MHz CPU
  • 128 MB SDRAM
  • 256 MB flash ROM
  • 2.4” transmissive TFT, 64K colours, 320 x 240 pixel non-touch screen display with LED backlight
  • 20-key keyboard with alphanumeric/QWERTY layout
  • 5-way optical navigation key
  • Integrated WLAN 802.11b/g with WPA2 security
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • Micro-USB connector for synchronisation and charging
  • Micro SDHC card slot – supports up to 8GB
  • Tri-band UMTS (900/1900/2100 MHz), HSDPA Category 8 (up to 7.2Mbps downlink) and HSUPA
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Integrated GPS navigation (Assisted GPS)
  • 3.1 Megapixel autofocus camera, 5X digital zoom
  • LED flash
  • Removable/rechargeable 1260 mAh Lithium-Polymer Battery (user changeable)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) – 5.0 x 1.36 x 11.4 cm
  • Weight – 107g



A solid and conventional ‘candy-bar’ phone but with a great combination of gloss black and deeply chromed trim and back panel make this phone stand out from the crowd. The screen is 320×240 pixels, 2.4” non touch, with LED backlight for high contrast and low power usage.

On the front there is a 20 Key phone pad. Call Answer and End keys with integrated LEDs. Two Soft Keys. Home and Return Keys. 5 way optical mouse with push to select button. LED status indicator.

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger front view

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger front view


On the top a physical switch to select ring or vibrate.


HP iPAQ Voice Messenger top view


On the left, Key Lock, volume up/down, voice command select.

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger left side

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger left side


On the right, 2.5mm headphone jack, Micro USB charge/data port, camera button.

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger right side

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger right side


Underneath the back cover are the battery, Sim and hot swappable MicroSD slot. There is no separate reset button; soft reset is accomplished by removing the battery.

On the back the 3.2Mp camera and LED flash.

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger back view

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger back view



  • Style
  • LED Backlit screen


  • Raw Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Issues with optical mouse and touch sensitive buttons



The phones layout is mostly fine; the keypad has a healthy response to it. The Optical mouse is a nice idea but not quite precise enough for me to use. I found it either too sensitive; jumping several menu options at a time or not responsive enough i.e. not moving when one intended it to. The end result was very frustrating. It was however way better than the optical mouse on the Data Messenger I reviewed last month, and possibly one could get used to it.

In a similar way the 2 touch sensitive buttons each side of the optical mouse were a disappointment. They seem to have great potential but partly the layout and partly the combination of real buttons and touch buttons just didn’t really work for me.


I feel for a active business phone, which seems where these phones are pitched, physical push buttons are still the best option as they reduce the vagueness around ‘did I select it, or didn’t I?’. Especially useful when your phone is having one of those “I will keep you waiting because I sense you are in a rush” moments. In case you wonder why new phones have these slow downs, it’s because they are basically small, but powerful computers. And like computers they too have personalities, the sort found in 4 year old children who have had too much chocolate and coke on a long hot car journey. (J)
The touch buttons on the Voice Messenger were actually so sensitive that they sometimes activated just by bringing your finger near them. Not ideal on a cramped keyboard.

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger keypad view

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger keypad view


The biggest problem with this phone is that it runs an unmodified version of Windows Mobile Smartphone Edition. Many manufacturers now provide highly modified ‘frontends’ for their phones making the user experience so much better. It’s not that there is anything particularly ‘wrong’ with Windows Mobile it’s just that it is lumpy and has remained virtually the same for several years now. Version 6.5 of WM is due soon and it promises improved usability. These phones may be unreadable to that, but we haven’t had confirmation yet, so check first if it’s important for you. That said this is the Smartphone version of Windows Mobile i.e. doesn’t have a touch screen and because its designed for button and phone pad use, it’s actually less of a problem than the touch screen version.




Very nice looking phone, some features are questionable. But overall there are much better options from other vendors to consider.


Review by: Daniel des Baux

[ Post Tags: HP iPAQ Voice Messenger, Windows Mobile, HP iPAQ, Smartphone, ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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