HP iPAQ hw6515 Mobile Messenger

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INTRODUCTION


    The
following review was originally posted at Pocket.co.il,
Israel’s premiere Pocket PC website, and has been translated by
Eli Haboosh for pocketnow.com readers.

    When
the hw6515 was brought to the market, at
first look it seemed as if HP wanted to redeem themselves from
the error they have done with the h63xx. What
did HP intend when making this device? Is it aimed at the Blackberry?
A lot of information is ahead!

WHAT’S HOT

    The hw6515 is a device with
integrated GPS, easy to use thumb keyboard and phone functionality.
With its unique look and square screen, you will, without a doubt,
get some glares on your next business meeting.

PRODUCT FEATURES

    Box
contents include: cradle,
hw6515, belt clip, stereo earbuds, charger, manuals, and navigation
and driver CD. The first thing you notice after opening the package
is the comfort in holding the device and its design. It feels a lot
smaller and comfortable than it looks in pictures.

Specifications:

Processor:
Intel XScale PXA270 312 MHz
Memory: 64MB RAM 64MB ROM
Screen: 240 X 240 64K color

Wireless:

GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, irDA
GPS: Integrated GPS
Expansion: MINI SD and SDIO
OS: Windows Mobile 2003SE

Dimensions:
(L x W x H) 2.8" x .83" x 4.65"

Weight:
5.82oz

    The
hw6515 is slightly larger and has more weight than the Blackberry,
but packs more features. I have a little problem with the fact that
manufactures still make Pocket PCs with only 64MB. Indeed,
you can still work with 64MB, but why not getting the best technology
one can get? Probably, battery and money were factors here. The processor
is a 312MHZ from Texas instruments. The processor didn’t cause
any problem and the device worked flawlessly and fast.

    When
news of the hw6515 emerged with accompanying specs, we were wondering
about this whole square screen idea. The square screen was created
in order to save place for the integrated keyboard. But is it useful?
Do you want to try and see how your device will look like with square
screen? Cover the bottom part of your screen (on a regular VGA/QVGA
device) so a perfect square will remain. Try even arranging your
today screen according to this new square screen and see if you can
get use to that. The graphics are not relatively compressed, but
it stays the same (not like the JAM for example which the graphics
are reduced relative to the small screen). On the hw6515, the icons
will remain at their same size, the font will stay at the same size,
etc. This way, fewer icons will have room in this new screen.

    I
have tried several software programs on the hw6515, and most of the
software was compatible with the square screen. NAVNGO software (navigation
software in Israel) was cut out at the bottom. Destinator software
had some problems with its menus. I couldn’t check every piece
of software, however the popular PocketBreeze and PocketPlus were
fine on the square screen.

    Like
with some other devices, HP added a plastic screen protector which
is also removable. The cover lets us walk with the device without
any leather cover or any other extra case that makes the device
a lot bulkier and clumsy when trying to receive or initiate a call.
The cover leaves the buttons and keyboard exposed, ready to be used.
You can also use the device with the cover closed, holding it next
to your ear without any sweat or grease problem on the screen.



    Combining
a hardware keyboard to a Pocket PC was a good intention in that
it avoids the tiny virtual keyboard.
The former model of HP, the h63xx, came with a detachable thumb
keyboard that was a big failure, as users needed to go with this
detachable keyboard in their pocket. This time, HP has done a very
good job, adding a built-in QWERTY, comfortable keyboard. The keys
are far enough from each other, giving the ability for chubby fingers
users to use this keyboard with no problem. The keyboard has most
of the letters and symbols and using the shift key will give you
more options.

    Writing
long documents will be a bit difficult with this keyboard, but still
I found it very easy to use and comfortable for shorter messages
and such. If you are a SMS freak, this is the device for you. Most
of the users doesn’t really use their integrated keyboard other
than writing short massages, editing small text fields and browsing
the internet. PDA2K users for that matter, use their keyboard a lot
less.

    The
numbers on the keyboard are located on the right side of the keyboard,
making it hard for right-handed people to use this device. On the
other hand (literally), left handed people will have no problem dialing
with the keyboard. Pressing the numbers when in the Today screen
should open the phone screen and show the numbers pressed, on screen.
I found out that the device has a
mind of its own and decides when to pop the phone screen and
when not after pressing number buttons. Also, sometimes it didn’t
even considered the pressing on the hardware numbers and just did
nothing. Pressing on the shift key along with every press of a number
did the trick.

    Dialing
isn’t ideal. I have a vision that some day when I will press on "E" on
my keyboard when in phone mode, I will get all the contact names
starting with "E" and in every press of a button, the software
will narrow my search. Is it so hard to do? Why not using the already
built-in keyboard?

    There
are two more buttons for programs and two buttons for End and Send.
The buttons are well designed, along with the 5 way D-pad shaped
like a small stick which makes it easy to use.

In
dark conditions, the buttons are backlit blue.

    The
hw6515 integrates with a built-in GPS receiver (AGPS). When trying
to check the GPS feature with my Destinator software, the software
couldn’t find the
GPS receiver of the device. When trying to find the reason why, the
Director of Business Development of Destinator software – Mr.
Saar Avigour, told us that according to an agreement between HP and
TOM TOM, the GPS in the hw6515 is locked for TOM TOM use only, leaving
other navigation software out of the picture. The package comes with
TOM TOM software and a free city map download of your choice. Because
TOM TOM doesn’t have Israel maps, we couldn’t check the
GPS ability of the 6515 with a navigation software.

    On
the right side you can find the SD and Mini SD slots, where the Mini
SD is meant for memory cards as the SD slot is meant for expansions
like WiFi. The slots are located on the right side of the device,
which could be problematic when trying to work with the device when
a SD WiFi card is inserted. Also, as a side note, Mini SD cost more
than SDs.

Also on
the right side is the stylus which is located on the upper right
side. The stylus is the same as most of HPs stylus – simple
and black..

On
the left side you can locate the slider button, the camera button
and IR port.

    On
the top, there are the communication and power LEDs. Also, the power
button is located here. I found that the button is not so easy to
use, as you will need to press hard on it in order for it to work,
and in dark conditions, it’s a struggle to locate.

    On
the backside we have the battery and SIM card, and the camera, flash,
and a self portrait mirror. The flash is actually a small bulb which
lights close objects adequately. The camera is cable of capturing
1.3 megapixels, but I have found that the quality of the images to
be poor compared to point-and-shoot 1.3 megapixel digital cameras
that I’ve worked with. Nevertheless, I cant find a reason for using
a Pocket PC for quality pictures.

    Usually,
phone edition devices comes without any cradle (HTC). I was glad
to find out that HP offered a cradle for this device. The cradle
looks a lot similar to other HP cradles and has two ports, one for
USB connection, and the other for power cord. You can define that
the USB cable will also charge the unit (not a great idea for laptop
owners).

The
hw6515, compared to the i-mate JAM, is larger in all dimensions,
but has a slightly brighter screen.

Continue
On: Video Review / Software / Conclusion . . .




VIDEO
REVIEW

View the video (6.7mb, WMV)

SOFTWARE

    This
is how the Today screen looks like with PocketBreez and Pocket Plus
software’s installed. Notice that I had to minimize the PocketBreez
height in order for it to fit in the screen and that besides those
two software, there is no room for another one.

    The
Bluetooth driver in this device is a WIDDCOMM one, and not an MS
driver like the other HTC devices, which are a lot easy to work with
and has more profiles than the MS ones. I have tried my JABRA 800,
and it worked great.

This is the screen where you can control your connection settings
of the GSM and the Bluetooth.

The device comes with really easy to
use software for backing up data.

HP
had put a great help file, called "How do I?".
This is an actually long and detailed document that explains how
to use the device and gives the user solutions for known problems.
Very important for new users with Phone Edition device.

:

Keyboard settings are basic.

    This is an easy to use software that gives you the ability to determine
what profile to use for some tasks. You can change the volume, the
screen colors, battery parameters, etc., with a click of a button.
It is a very handy software and wished I could see it in other devices.

The about screen displays the usual information.

PURCHASING

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About The Author
LucianUngur