Review: HP IPAQ 910
Several weeks ago, I purchased the Hewlett-Packard IPAQ 910 phone.

This phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and got great reviews from PC Magazine. In fact it was their Editor’s Choice.

The IPAQ is a business grade phone with full internet capability. As I found out, not all web browsing experiences are the same. It is much slower than my home DSL but faster than dial-up. Pages with fancy plug-ins or scripts don’t do well. I tried Opera’s mobile browser and it choked on the same websites. Hopefully the upgrades that Microsoft has in the pipeline for release will improve things. A new Internet Explorer should be out before Christmas and a major OS upgrade is planned for next year.

The Windows Media Player will play all my favorite songs on the 2 GB mini SD card.

The one thing I miss is my ability to listen to the radio. Many radio stations have websites and listen live buttons; however, these don’t work. Only the Salem Radio Network has an option to listen via Windows Media Player.  After many searches and frustration I found a solution. There is a site that plays AM and FM stations from a variety of markets. Even though my local stations have dropped Laura Ingraham, I can hear her live on several stations. I can listen to Rush Limbaugh or just about any other syndicated talk show. The website is http://radiotime.com/mobile/index.aspx Simply enter a zip code to see programming in that area. (You can enter any zip code in the US not just where you live.)I use this site more than any other one on my phone.

Interestingly, you can exit the media player application and it will continue to play until you restart it and hit the STOP button. It will pause if you get a phone call and resume playing when the call is completed.

The GPS feature works well in areas with faster internet speeds; however, it takes several minutes to acquire your location. The GPS feature must be able to access Windows Live or Google Maps in order to display your location. There is a program available at extra charge that will make the IPAQ an honest to goodness GPS device.

The Internet usage is a big drain on battery life. The phone needs almost daily charging or a phone charger in your car to keep it going. You don’t need to buy the $30 HP charger. You can get a Motorola compatible car adapter that fits the mini USB plug on the phone. I got mine for about ten dollars at Fry’s.

The camera is billed as 3MP. There is a big delay from the time you press the camera button and the time it takes to capture an image. Almost a second passes between pressing the button and the image being captured. Still photos can be done. Photos of moving things are difficult to capture. This seems to be the weakest feature on the phone.

Lastly, buy a case for this phone. The molded plastic body is soft and scratches easily should you drop it from your lap onto a hard floor.

Programs for the phone seem limited compared to others but look for Microsoft to beef-up both the Operating System and variety of software over the next year. With both Apple and Google in the smart phone market they have to get into gear. (The IPAQ is technically a Pocket PC not a Smartphone.)

The phone has no contract and requires a data plan with your carrier. Check HP or PGMag.com for more info on the phone.