HP iPAQ 610 Business Navigator
A competent quad band phone and much more
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
[see reviews of iPAQ 110 210 310 910]
September 5, 2007 -- The new iPAQ 610 Business Navigator represents what HP believes business users need these days. That used to be an iPAQ Pocket PC synched to a desktop, but today it is a combination 3G phone and navigation device with most of the traditional Pocket PC functionality thrown in. Though it looks like one, the iPAQ 610 really isn't just a smartphone, at least not the way Microsoft-style smartphones once were -- i.e. phones with wing-clipped Pocket PC functionality.
Not just another smartphone
Instead, the 610 is larger, with a footprint of 4.53 x 2.37 and 0.7 inches thick, and it weighs just over five ounces. It has a phone-style numeric keypad with a "smart touch" wheel, a thumb wheel, two soft keys, volume control, send /end buttons, reset, voice command, and a portrait/landscape key. The smart touch wheel is reminiscent of an early iPod wheel and raised on top of the keypad keys. It's very responsive, uses a simple circular motion of the thumb to scroll through email, zoom in and out of maps or browse file lists. I can see how users may quickly come to depend on it. The built-in Voice Commander features, such as HP Voice Reply, enable hands-free emailing. Add to that the thumb wheel and you can see that this is a device designed for single-handed use. True, there are quite a few controls and commands to learn, but it can be done.
On the technology side, unlike the 110 and 210 that use Marvell's latest processor family, the 610 stays with the tried-and-true PXA270, the 520MHz version. There is 128MB of RAM and 256MB of FLASH ROM. On the interface side, the 610 has a USB 2.0 client port and a SD Card slot, presumably SDIO. The display measures 2.8 inches diagonally and uses the 240 x 320 pixel format.
This being a modern smartphone, it has an integrated digital camera. HP sprang for an imager that can produce full 3-megapixel pictures, which generally means pictures as large as 2048 x 1536 pixels. No optical zoom, of course, but you get 4X digital magnification. The camera can also record video, albeit, according to the preliminary information sheets, only in 176 x 144 pixel format.
Windows Mobile 6 Professional
The iPAQ 610 runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which includes Office Mobile, Office Outlook Mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile and a variety of utilities. There is also a number of HP excusive applications: HP iPAQ DataConnect, HP VoiceReply, Voice Commander, MMS Composer, Bluetooth Manager, Certificate Enroller, HP Photosmart Mobile, iPAQ Wireless Manager, Pocket Panel Lite, HP Help and Support, HP QuickStart Tour, and HP Enterprise Mobility Agent. GPS navigation software is included "in select countries" and we're not sure what exactly the US version will include. Users can also upload pictures directly to their Snapfish account over-the-air.
HP Enterprise Mobility Suite
The HP iPAQ 610 Business Navigator support HP's mobile device management solution, the HP Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), for easy setup and over-the-air manageability. EMS 4.0 is now shipping and will shortly be fully integrated with HP Enterprise Discovery Software to provide customers with unified asset management of their iPAQ handhelds, desktops, notebooks and server devices.
Communication is the strongest side of the 610. It is an integrated Quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, Tri Band UMTS, HSPDA phone. It has 802.11b/h WiFi. It has integrated Bluetooth v2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). And it has an integrated GPS receiver.
With the world turning smartphone, it makes sense for HP to put its best foot forward in that space. We've liked the prior iPAQ Pocket PC Phone Edition models, the 6315 and the 6925. But things have changed since then, and the 610 is a more appropriate device for the times. A quad-band voice/data phone with WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS is what many need, and HP has it.
-- Conrad H. Blickenstorfer
Not so much:
- Nice combination of Quad-band phone and GPS Pocket PC
- Good combination of numeric keypad and function buttons
- 3-megapixel digital camera
- SDIO slot for expandability
- "Smart touch" wheel for scrolling and zooming
- Voice commands, one-hand operation
- Smallish 2.8-inch screen
- Uninspired design
- Only 176 x 144 pixel movies