In (partial) praise of IPaq 6315

For the longest time I have often wondered when someone will get the whole handheld game right. I mean so far most of the personal digital assistants either had WiFi, Bluetooth or cellular connections but not all of them together. With the release of IPaq 6315, I think HP is finally onto something. The new device which will be available only to T-Mobile customers has all the requsite wireless technologies – bluetooth, wi-fi, gprs, and gsm networks – to provide you always on connections wherever, whenever. Wall Street Journal has a nice big report on this device, which is likely to sell for $499. This is a device which is part of the big pocket pc monday. HP has unleased iPaq hx4700; the iPaq rx3000, a digital camera-multimedia Pocket PC which is amazing for between $350 to $500; and the iPaq rz1700for $279.

Okay I got to use the iPaq 6315 for about a week and have some impressions. I think if you are a PC user, and have a user-friendly tech-support department, then this is a good device for you to carry on day trips. I got to configure and use it with my T-Mobile service within minutes, since most of the settings come preloaded into the device. The software collection that is bundled with this device will meet most of your needs. The new device is a quad-band global communicator, and can roam seamlessly from one corner of the world to the other. It is also quite easy to connect with the T-Mobile hotspots. I tried to connect with a bluetooth headset from Plantronics, with success in less than ten minutes. The thumb board provided with the device is good enough for answering emails and sending quick SMS messages. I installed the XTen softphone on the device, and boom I was making VoIP calls using my Vonage account.

So what is that i don’t like about this device. It is difficult to use as a phone because it is too broad, and feels quite heavy in your shirt pocket, though you don’t feel the weight in your jacket pocket. It is not going to win any design points from us. The stubby antenna is not exactly most appealing. Like all Pocket PC devices, the 6315 drains the batteries. If I had an option, I would go for the XDA II, which is available in Europe and Asia, since that device is more appealing and is easier to use as a phone. Oh.

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