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In (partial) praise of IPaq 6315

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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.

9 Responses to “In (partial) praise of IPaq 6315”

  1. H L Goodman

    I realize this is somewhat outdated (note the dates above) but I was recently given this iPaq 6315 and managed to unlock it for use with AT&T but the phone… Is there someway to update the phone software. Can’t hear it ring (in ANY noise), on bluetooth it often does NOT have enough volume, etc. Any out there able to assist me? Please send a note to my email address.

  2. Michael

    I’m sure you all know the problems with this phone by now but jost in case you don’t, here is my two cents.

    This is a phone with “Dream Specs”. Unfortunately, the implementation is no where near the promise. I’m suprised there aren’t a flood of complaints about this thing on the message boards. There are many.

    Make no mistake, as a phone, this thing is absolutely unusable. Never mind the user interface problems, the awkward dialing methods, the poor speaker etc. It simply is not up to par as a phone. You will rarely be able to complete a call withouth getting disconnected. Even when you connect, the signal quality is poor to unintelligible. If you don’t intend to use the cellular functions then it’s a not bad PDA but then you’re better of with a different IPAQ.

    T-Mobile has changed their tune regarding support of this thing. Again, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a class action lawsuit regarding it. Before the infamous ROM upgrade last month, T-Mobile was offering its customers a switch, at no charge, to a Blackberry. They have discontinued that practice. Apparently cost control has taken precedence over customer retention. I have had my 6315 replaced 4 times now. Each time I get a replacement (refurb) that either has the same problems or brand new ones.

    My favorite tech support quote: “sir, the telephone features are not the primary use of this phone”. My favorite tier-2 quote: “we have to depend on HP to resolve the problems with this phone, we’re taking a loss too”.

    Shame on T-Mobile and HP!

  3. Looks pretty interesting. Does it sync well with the Powerbook as well? I have been looking at the Nokia Communicator 9500 as well.. but i guess that’s gonna take a long time to come in.

    Plus I like the idea of using Xten softphone on the iPaq