By August 8, 2008

HP iPAQ 914 review

This week I was asked to review the HP iPAQ 914 From Hewlett-Packard, the phone is HP’s latest offerings, trying to fit every possible function in to a device no bigger then the Blackberry Curve.

 The HP iPAQ 914

The HP iPAQ 914


The HP iPAQ 914 is packed with features such as quad band GSM, tri band 3G, a GPS receiver with external aerial connector, 7.2Mbit/sec HSDPA support, a good 3 mega pixel camera with flash and the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, version 6.1.

What’s in the box?

The box itself is a mind of information, as you open the lid, there you will find the Quick setup guide, and guide showing you what all the buttons do. There is also the setup disc which easily lets you set your device up, assigning speed dial, email accounts, preferences etc. Again very helpful, on starting up the device there are loads of hints and tips sections as well as the usual automated network, email set up procedures, it is recommended that the set up CD is used. The one thing that grabbed my attention is a sticker on the device itself that states ‘cracked screens due to improper handling are not covered under warranty. Do not compress, hit, bend or drop your HP iPAQ. Remove your HP iPAQ from pants pockets before sitting down. Always store your HP iPAQ in its protective case’. Alas, however, no free screen saver or protective case that I could find.

Included in the box is a USB type connector and charger, there is a plug socket with adaptors of different regions around the world. There are the usual manuals and also the important start up disc. Mini usb connecting headphones.

HP iPAQ 914 Specifications:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 professional
  • 2.46-inch transmissive TFT 320 x 240 pixel touch panel display
  • Built-in Assisted GPS
  • Integrated Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Tri Band HSPDA
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth V2.0
  • UMTS (3G)/HSDPA Connectivity
  • Marvell PXA270 Processor 416 MHz
  • 128MB SDRAM/ 256MB ROM
  • 3 Megapixel Camera (614c)
  • MicroSD Slot
  • 1940 mAh Lithium Polymer battery
  • 113 x 64 x 16 mm (4.45” x 2.52” x 0.63”)
  • v146g (5.15 oz)


Starting at the front you’ll notice that there’s no forward facing VGA camera that’s common on many other 3G devices at the moment. There’s a 2.46" QVGA touch screen display below which are the standard phone keys, soft keys and d-pad. Then there’s the obvious QWERTY keyboard.

 HP iPAQ 914 front view

HP iPAQ 914 front

On the left hand side you have the Volume up and down, Voice memo key, MicroSD card and USB port which is also used for charging the phone.

HP iPAQ 914 left view

HP iPAQ 914 left side

On the right hand side you have the Camera, OK button and scroll-wheel.

HP iPAQ 914 right view

HP iPAQ 914 right side

on the top of the phone you have the power button, Reset button and an external GPS connection.


HP iPAQ 914 top view

Lastly, the back is home to the 3 mega pixel camera, mobile light and self portrait mirror. There’s also a grille over a reasonably large loudspeaker and the cover over the battery compartment which takes up most of the back.


HP iPAQ 914 back view


I wouldn’t say the HP iPAQ 914 is either small or elegant, encased in plastic that both looks and feels a bit cheap, with the back and battery cover coated in a layer of easy grip tactile rubber. This is very much a business phone with an industrial user in mind. While the construction looks and feels poor, it is actually put together well, and would survive a great deal of rough-handling.

The HP iPAQ 914 weighs in at 146g, and has a full QWERTY keyboard, and the size (64 x 16 x 113mm) which is a tad bigger than RIM’s BlackBerry Curve, which is its closest competitor.

The screen has a QVGA 320 x 240 pixel touch display, this is common on Windows Mobile phones, The result is a rather clumsy user experience, and you will often find yourself frequently switching between the keypad controls and stylus or as I was, using my thumbs to navigate the on screen display, when accessing various functions on the go.

Once I got my head around the on-screen navigation, I turned to the keyboard. Like the Blackberry Curve, the HP iPAQ 914 has a full Qwerty keyboard. Numbers are arranged in numeric keypad format, slightly to the left of centre, making it comfortable to dial numbers with just a thumb (but only if you are right handed).

There is a volume control switch on the left hand side, and a thumb wheel and a second OK button on the right side, this mirrors the old BlackBerry units. This was ok but on the move I found my self using the touch screen with my thumb or on occasion, using the stylus.

The MicroSD card slot and the USB sync/charge socket are both hidden behind rubber covers. This is a good idea to keep dust out of the device (remember the dust problems on other devices?) but they are a bit fiddly to keep opening. The MicroSD card isn’t such an issue as you probably wont be changing that too often but the one over the USB socket you’ll probably want to use at least once per day and unless you have some fingernails you’ll find it hard to flick open.

914_microSD 914_usb

MicroSD card slot and USB Conector (Click to enlarge)

The keyboard is average. The keys, while well-sized are very close together, and the curved key tops did not help when I was on a tram or bus as my thumbs slipped off the keys and I found my self hitting the wrong key.On the Software side you get the basic Windows Mobile setup: Internet Explorer, email and text messaging client, basic Office document handling. HP has included the mobile version of Google Maps which got me lost several times in testing from A to B, thought I think this was a fault with the Google Maps application more than the on board GPS, as I tested this with Tom-Tom and Garmin and worked perfectly.

iPAQ 914 keyboard closeup

The iPAQ 914 keyboard

The onboard GPS picks up satellites and tells you where you are better and faster then the Nokia N95, as I tested this side by side on a flat surface out side on a few days and at different times, and the HP iPAQ 914 always picked up the satellites faster then the Nokia N95.

When I was accessing my Email and surfing the internet the web browser benefited hugely from the HP iPAQ 914’s HSDPA data support, as well as built-in WiFi. The phone supports up to 7.2Mbit/sec, and has more than enough processing power to cope. The HP iPAQ 914 also picked up my WiFi network both at home and at work quickly and I was easily able to download my email and surf the net this way.

As well as being one of the fastest mobile web devices out there, the iPAQ 914 can double as a HSDPA modem, either as a tethered USB modem or as a wireless Bluetooth one.




Battery life on the HP iPAQ 914 is fair, its better then the Nokia N95 which you have to charge every night if you’re a heavy user, I was able to get 3 days out of the phone on a single charge, using Wifi/Bluetooth and navigating with the onboard GPS. All in all the HP iPAQ 914 is one of the best phones I have reviewed this year, though I will be reviewing the Nokia E71 soon, so will keep you posted.


Review by: Phillip

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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