Hardware

Review: HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger

There is always a market for a solid, no-nonsense business phone, and the Hewlett-Packard iPAQ 910 Business Messenger is about as no-nonsense as a phone can get. Mark Kaelin reviews it for the TechRepublic Product Spotlight.

In the era of stylish phones like the Apple iPhone and the Blackberry Storm, the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger may seem a bit old-fashioned. However, this smart phone is a solid performer with a strong set of features implemented in a sturdy, albeit utilitarian, package.

Specifications

  • Integrated wireless: Integrated Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and Tri Band UMTS/HSDPA at up to 3.6/7.2 Mbps; Integrated WiFi 802.11 b/g with WPA2 security; Integrated Bluetooth v2.0 with EDR; Integrated multi-mode GPS navigation with Google Maps
  • Processor: Marvell PXA270 Processor, 416MHz
  • Operating system: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Display: 2.46-inch TFT 65,000 color 320 x 240 pixel touch panel display with LED backlight
  • Built-in camera: 3 Megapixel, autofocus, 4X digital zoom
  • Memory: 128MB SDRAM main memory for running applications, 256MB flash ROM
  • Weight: 5.4 oz
  • Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable
  • Expansion: USB 2.0 client for sync/data/charge, Micro SD card slot
  • Audio: Integrated microphone, receiver, speaker and mini-USB wired stereo headset
  • Price: $499.99
  • Additional information

Who is it for

The HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger is designed for the business professional in need of a smart phone that can readily integrate with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, and that contains features and tools that make answering e-mail, and running other productivity applications the priority.

What problem does it solve

The HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger features just about every conceivable wireless connection a smart phone could want, giving it great flexibility as a phone and as a PDA.

Features

Connectivity: With integrated Quad-band, Tri-band, WiFi, and Bluetooth, the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger can connect to the Internet and the rest of the outside world in just about any way you could imagine. This gives the iPAQ 910 more appeal as a general business use phone with international capabilities. Touch screen: While much smaller than the iPhone or the Blackberry Storm, the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger does have a touch screen interface that makes navigation more intuitive than many similar business phones. This is especially evident when the iPAQ is in the phone mode. Keyboard: One of the most important parts of any device designed with answering e-mail and text messages in mind is the keyboard. The keyboard on the iPAQ 910 is laid out with thumb typing in mind and is of adequate size to make answering e-mail relatively painless for the novice and simple for the well-experienced. Side scroll wheel: The side scroll wheel on the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger makes viewing long documents a one hand task.

What's wrong

Small display: At a resolution of 320 X 240, the touch screen is very small. So, while you can use your fingers on the touch screen, it is more optimal to use the included stylus. Interface: The interface is dependent on Windows Mobile 6.1 which can be a little cumbersome to work with for some applications. Audio connections: There is no standard audio jack on the phone. To use headphones you will need to use the wired mini-USB headset or a headset that uses Bluetooth.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

The HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger smart phone is the consummate business use phone. With numerous wireless connection protocols, touch screen, and integrated keyboard, the iPAQ 910 will serve any business professional very well. It may not win design awards or be much of a conversation starter, but it does its job and it does well.

User rating

Have you encountered or used a HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

3 comments
The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Several problems with this Ipaq. First, as you mention, the headphone jack is mini USB, which is also power jack. This makes it impossible to (without BT) do anything with headphones while charging :( The USB port seems easy to break from the main board connection problems, especially while roaming. However, that may be for our internal users. If the PIN is set, you have to punch in the PIN before you can answer a call. Windows Mobile freezes up for no apparent reason, too often, requiring a reset. Windows Mobile sometimes gets stuck, even after a reset, one needs to punch in the settings again (re-apply what is already in the fields ?:| ) as what the settings should be. about 1 in 7 showed up here non-functional. If the battery drains low, all you get is a screen with a low battery display. However, turning the power off does nothing, it will shine bright. If it drains too low from here, the battery needs replacing because it will stop charging. The battery life with BT and cell service makes it need to be constantly plugged in whenever possible. I can go on and on, while I liked these units when they first showed up, I now dislike them. However, as for style, it is much better than the 69xx series. Too bad we cant get the new models (avail in EU and Asia) which look much more up to date with the times.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

So, how smart does your phone have to be in today's corporate enterprise? Are you dependent on your smart phone for communications?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I don't use my phone as much as others normally, but have used it more recently. I have noticed that the battery drains faster than my Dash. Thanks for sharing the real world experience. The iPAQ 910 seems adequate, but I am getting the distinct impression that is not the best phone available.

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