Feeds
50%

HP iPaq Data Messenger Windows Mobile smartphone

Fugly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Review Windows Mobile smart phones have traditionally been the workhorses of the smartphone world – capable, versatile, but never likely to win any beauty contests. On the face of it, HP's brace of new iPaq handsets - the Voice Messenger, and this, the Data Messenger - would seem to fit all too neatly into that description.

HP iPaq Data Messenger

HP's iPaq Data Messenger: fugly?

Perhaps we've been spoiled by recent models from HTC. It broke the mould and produced handsets which look good and are fun to use, as well as delivering all the practical work stuff. But the basics, especially with a fairly hefty price tag attached, just don't seem to be enough anymore.

The Data Messenger is clearly intended as a business device, so it's excusable that style wouldn't necessarily be the first consideration, though the chrome flashes that break up the glossy black plastic casing have a certain appeal. But practicality is important for work and play alike, and this brick of a device is much more like a charm-free smartphone of old, weighing in at a hefty 160g and measuring a chunky 114 x 57 x 17mm.

Much of its size can be attributed to the slide-out Qwerty keyboard - which distinguishes it from the Voice Messenger - but others have managed to add such a useful component while keeping their handsets pocket-friendly.

Around the sides are volume buttons, camera shutter, messaging shortcut and screen lock buttons, plus a ringer on/off switch and a sturdy telescopic metal stylus. At the back, there's the 3.1Mp camera with an LED flash, all surrounded by a self-portrait mirror.

Beneath the screen are call start and stop buttons, a navpad and two touch-sensitive soft-menu keys, one for the Windows Start menu, the other for OK. The navpad deserves special mention, since it's the first example we've seen of an optical controller. There's a camera inside that measures your thumb's movements over it, like an optical mouse in reverse. It seemed sensitive enough and worked fine in practice.

HP iPaq Data Messenger

A decent-sized touchscreen

The touchscreen is a decently sized, 3in offering with 320 x 240 resolution and 65,000-hue colour palette. Standard fare in other words, but nothing wrong with that. Considering the size of the screen, it's a shame that the virtual numeric keypad is so cramped, due in part to the inclusion of unnecessary buttons. Why do you need a talk button on screen when you've already got a physical one on the front of the phone?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.