HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger full review

The rush of Windows Mobile 6.0 devices has begun and the HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger looks set to be one of the most popular.

HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger combines a sensible-sized 2in screen - on which it's possible to view information without having to squint - with an operating system that's more straightforward and intuitive than ever.

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The sixth iteration of the Windows Mobile operating system dispenses with the distinction between a smartphone-specific iteration and a full-bore version for more traditional PDA users.

See also: HTC S710 Windows Mobile 6.0 smartphone and then read our iPhone preview here.

In essence, this means that smartphone users now get to fiddle about with Excel spreadsheets and Word documents too, although the Standard version of Windows Mobile 6.0 doesn't support touchscreens. With phone screens tending to dominate the front of handsets these days, viewing documents isn't such a daft idea. The HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger's 2in screen, for instance, crams in 176x220 pixels, which is around half that of a ‘traditional' PDA.

HP has kept the iPaq moniker of its PDA (and GPS) line-up (see HP iPaq rx5700 Travel Companion review) and presented the HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger - its first Windows Mobile 6.0 device - in a handset reminiscent of Nokia's Symbian S60 phones. The HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger is not as shiny as handsets such as the N95 and isn't a slider phone, while its slate grey casing marks it out as business tool.

The HP iPaq 514 Voice Messenger is known as a Voice Messenger and to this end offers and both VoiP (Internet Calling, as the onscreen status calls it) and voice-activated dialling and navigation. We weren't too impressed with the Voice Commander. Even with the volume right up, no audible distractions and enunciating slowly, it failed to find any of our phonebook contacts or to recognise the numbers we asked it to dial, although it did work out that we were trying to voice-dial a call and hazard a guess at a couple of digits.