By March 14, 2009

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger review

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger review HP have always been a big name in Windows Mobile Smartphone’s, the first Pocket PC Phone device I owned was an HP 6315 so they have plenty of knowledge in this area. This is the first review of the two new devices released by HP, the Voice Messenger here and soon Gareth will be doing a review of the Data Messenger. Read on for the review of this Windows Mobile Standard device.

As with all our reviews we will start with a look around the device hardware starting with the sides.

The left hand side, the top button is a dedicated key guard lock button, hold it in for a few seconds and the keys lock to avoid dialling numbers accidently. Below that there is the normal earpiece volume up and down buttons then a shortcut button which is pre-programmed to the voice command application.


The right hand side of the phone has a dedicated camera button, a micro USB charging port and a 2.5mm headset jack, again no 3.5mm but this device is quite small so maybe we can forgive HP for this omission.


On the bottom there is nothing to see, the top has a switch like we are used to on Palm Treo devices, slide it along and the phone goes into a silent mode, a great feature for meetings etc.


Taking the cover off we have a SIM card slot, Micro SD card slot and the battery.


Overall the phone feels very snug in your hand and does feel a very high quality device. Especially the back which has a lovely metallic finish of smoked chrome.


The front of the phone looks very flush and text entry is via a Shuretype keyboard, you know the ones where you have two keys per physical key to enter the first letter on a key you tap once and to access the second letter you double tap the same key. Alternatively you can just single tap each key and leave it up to the phone’s predictive text system to work out what word you’re trying to spell out. Not a big fan of this text entry system but people who use them regularly tell me they can type pretty fast with good accuracy.


Above the keypad you’ll find the D-Pad, well I say a D-Pad but it actually is a four-way optical controller, unlike a traditional D-pad it has no movement but you move your finger around to navigate the OS. Now this sounds great in theory but in practice it is far from reliable and drove me mad, the soft keys above work in exactly the same way but were so hit and miss it was very frustrating experience, especially when you consider that the operating system installed on the phone is a non touch OS so you have to use the D-Pad all the time.


The screen on the Voice Messenger is crisp and bright and is a joy to look at, having said that the resolution could be better although no other Windows Mobile Standard device has gone beyond 320 x 240 QVGA resolution, other platforms are well beyond that so it is looking a little dated.

The phone runs the latest version of Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 and as it has no Windows Button we have to assume it will not be inline for an update to Windows Mobile 6.5 but it does already have the nice looking and useful sliding panels, plus you get the mobile Office suite of applications including Word and Excel so you can edit work documents while you’re on the go. HP has also included some extras applications like Jetcet Print and PDF 5 along with Voice Command.

Speed of the phone is actually quite impressive, it jumps through menus very quickly and plays various video formats without missing a beat.

The Qualcomm 528MHz processor and 128MB of RAM should be plenty for this phone to stay happily chugging along even after you have loaded it up with your favourite applications.. You can add to the included storage of 256 MB with a microSD cards of up to 8GB in size.

The camera on the device is 3.1-megapixel resolution and has both autofocus and an LED flash for taking pictures in low light. Pretty good quality for a Windows Mobile device.


HP also included inbuilt GPS which is great to have, unfortunately all you can use with it out of the box is Google Maps as there is no other software included. This is a shame as we could at least expect a trial of TomTom or similar with a city map. Using Google Maps the GPS fixed very quickly  so we would have to say that it would work well as a GPS in car system although the screen size may be an issue.

Calling quality was excellent and clear and the calls I made even through a Bluetooth headset were superb so this is a great Voice Messenger, just as well really as that’s it’s name and proposed purpose.


The HP Voice Messenger is a great small form factor candy bar phone with a solid operating system and snappy processor. The keyboard is rather good but will have a short learning curve to get used to the two keys per physical key situation, once mastered no complaints on text entry. Only negatives that I can come up with are the rather annoying touch sensitive D-Pad and soft keys which were a bit unresponsive at times and finally my usual complaint, no 3.5mm headset jack. HP have made a solid Smartphone and a lovely form factor.


Technical Specification of HP iPAQ Voice Messenger

Operating  System –
Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard

Processor –
Qualcomm 7201A 528MHz

Memory –
256 MB flash ROM

Display –
2.4” transmissive TFT, 64K colours, 320 x 240 pixel non-touch screen display with LED backlight
Input –
20-key keyboard with alphanumeric/QWERTY layout
5-way optical navigation key
2 soft keys, send / end buttons
Camera button
Keyguard button
Ringer / sound switch
Volume control
Voice command
Connectivity –
Integrated WLAN 802.11b/g with WPA2 security
Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
Micro-USB connector for synchronisation and charging

Expansion –
Micro SDHC card slot – supports up to 8GB
Operating Frequency –
3G wireless broadband connectivity for voice and data, Tri-band UMTS (900/1900/2100 MHz), HSDPA Category 8 (up to 7.2Mbps downlink) and HSUPA Category 5 (up to 2Mbps uplink), Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)

Audio –
Integrated microphone, receiver, speaker and wired stereo headset

Integrated GPS navigation (Assisted GPS)
Software Included –
Operating system applications: Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile, Microsoft Office Mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile, Windows Media Player Mobile, Windows Live, Microsoft Internet Sharing

Value add applications:HP Data Connect, HP SIM Manager, HP Power Save Mode, HP Help and Support, HP Keyboard Backlight, HP Light Sensor, HP Asset Viewer, Opera Browser, Sun JVM, Westtek Jetcet PDF Viewer, Westtek Jetcet Print, Google maps mobile and 30 Day Trial for Turn-by-Turn Navigation
Camera –
3.1 Megapixel autofocus camera, 5X digital zoom, 320 x 240 QVGA resolution, 640 x 480 VGA resolution, 1280 x 960 SVG resolution, 1280 x 1024 SXGA resolution, 1600 x 1200 UXGA resolution, 2048 x 1536 QXGA resolution, LED flash

Battery –
Removable/rechargeable 1260 mAh Lithium-Polymer (user changeable)

Dimensions (W x D x H) –
5.0 x 1.36 x 11.4 cm

Weight –

The HP Voice Messenger was supplied for review by Clove who currently have the device for sale here.

The HP Voice Messenger is a review device and will be returned.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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