HP iPAQ rw6828

The BlackBerry for non-corporate users who require extensive multimedia capabilities, in addition to push e-mail.


9.0
CNET Rating
8.5
User Rating

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HP has jumped headfirst into the O2 Xda Atom's territory, having just released its new iPAQ rw6828 smart phone. Its petite, chic design is very similar to that of the Atom, but dig deeper and you'll find that this device has much more to offer than just good looks.

Design
Part of the company's "Designed in Asia for Asia" (DIAFA) initiative, HP describes the rw6828 as a "designer" device that's been built from the ground up to "reflect the young Asian consumer's chic, minimalist style today". While we're not sure of the exact criteria that HP uses to distinguish Asian consumers -- and by Asia they're referring to the entire Asia Pacific region -- from the rest of the world, we can confirm that the rw6828 is indeed an attractive handheld.

It comes in both white and metallic silver colour schemes, and features a changeable screen protector. The screen protector is somewhat garish, but it's a necessary evil for safeguarding against scratches.

The handheld is small and lightweight, measuring 102mm by 58mm by 19.5mm and weighing in at 140 grams. Its size means that, unlike with most smart phones, you can comfortably hold the rw6828 up to your ear to make calls, without worrying about muscle fatigue or simply looking dorky.

The unit's design is minimalist -- there's no keyboard and few function buttons to clutter the face. The lack of a keyboard means that the rw6828 isn't ideal for heavy data-entry, but on the positive side it has allowed HP to integrate a large 240x320, 18-bit screen. The above-average screen size is great for watching video content or GPS maps, though you'll need to fork out extra for a GPS receiver as one isn't included.

In place of a keyboard, all data is entered using the stylus and touch screen. Handwriting recognition is pleasing and usually accurate, but it's still a lot slower than bashing out e-mails on a hardware keyboard.

As an aside, those that require a keyboard and an integrated GPS receiver but aren't fazed too much by multimedia features may want to take a look at the iPAQ hw6965 instead.

Features
We were extremely excited to receive the rw6828 for evaluation, as it's the first Windows Mobile 5 device we've tested that supports push-e-mail. For the unaware, this feature "pushes" new e-mail messages straight to the phone just like a regular SMS text message, without forcing the user to continually hit send/receive. It's extremely handy for business users that spend much of their work day on the road, and it's also useful for staying on top of your personal e-mail.

In addition to mobile messaging, the rw6828 offers virtually every connectivity option under the sun, including tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 1.2, Infrared and 802.11b Wi-Fi. All of these features can be turned off, which not only conserves battery power but also enables users to operate the device like a regular PDA during air travel.

Naturally, the phone/push-e-mail combination puts the device in direct competition with the BlackBerry. However, one qualm that we've always had with the BlackBerry is that its lack of multimedia features alienates non-corporate users and even corporate customers that use their device for non-work purposes. Although RIM promises that a "prosumer" BlackBerry is in the works, HP has beaten it to the punch with the rw6828, which offers a slew of multimedia functions.

Audio playback is catered for by an integrated FM radio and PocketMusic MP3 playback software. These can be tapped into using either a regular set of headphones or the integrated dual stereo speakers, and both options offer up impressive sound quality. You'll want to buy an expansion card to stick into the device's mini-SD slot, however, as it only comes with 128MB of flash ROM. These audio features are certainly attractive, but make no mistake, it won't replace the intuitive interface and long battery life of your current MP3 player. But that's OK, since HP reps said it themselves at the launch event in Hong Kong -- "we're not targeting iPod."

In addition to audio, the rw6828 also supports video playback using any Windows Mobile 5 media player software such as VLC. Again, picture quality is pleasing and playback is smooth.

Rounding out the device's excellent multimedia feature-set is an integrated HP 2.0-megapixel camera with a flash and self-portrait mirror. This is similar to the O2 Atom's camera offering, and while shots are suitable for e-mailing around to your mates, the quality is distinctly underwhelming and you certainly won't be making prints of any photographs.

Since the device runs on Windows Mobile 5 Phone Edition, it also comes with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Outlook 2002 pre-installed. These are handy for those that need to stay productive whilst on the move, and offer more features than many of the third-party software offerings available for the BlackBerry. However, keep in mind that the mobile version of PowerPoint only allows you to view, not edit, presentations, so don't bank on making last-minute modifications before entering the board room.

Performance
One of the things we love about the rw6828 is how easy it is to get up and running. Minimal software configuration is required, and configuring the push-e-mail feature is painless. Simply enter your e-mail address, and the device will attempt to pull all other details (such as server addresses) directly from the Internet. We used Google's Gmail, and it found these settings without issue.

Only the headers of e-mails are pushed to the phone, and after seeing the subject and sender you can choose whether or not you'd like to download the full text and attachments. This is thoughtful of HP, as it helps to avoid unnecessary data usage, in turn minimising your phone bill.

Most e-mails came through with proper yet basic formatting, and text is readable. Scrolling through long messages and documents is done using the stylus or the front-mounted buttons, which we found isn't as fast or efficient as the BlackBerry's side-mounted jog wheel.

As detailed above, the device's multimedia features are head and shoulders above those offered by any current BlackBerry device. Video files are played back smoothly and in high detail, and audio quality is equally impressive. The only let-down is the camera, which produces fairly grainy shots that are often out of focus, particularly when indoors.

Being such a converged device, we expected the rw6828's battery life to take a back seat. Thankfully, HP proved us wrong; our Spb Benchmark battery tests produced a battery life score of seven hours and three minutes. The Spb tests attempt to imitate a regular usage environment and produce a fairly accurate result, assuming non-stop usage. Under regular, intermittent usage, we went three to four days without needing to reach for the charger.

The HP iPAQ rw6828 is available now for AU$999 and is exclusive to Optus for the month of June. Optus also offers a two-year contract with an AU$99 upfront fee and monthly payments of AU$75.



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DENNIS posted a comment   

MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS rocky2aa8@yahoo.com.my....pls help me

 

dennis posted a comment   

i 1 2 upgrade my windows software....if anybody gt any cn recoment me...pls send me the download...tq..urgent

 

SN posted a comment   

The Good:I had it for 2.5 yrs

The Bad:Low volume,speaker not good,stylus not good,camera not good,very weak short battery life, weak ear jack etc, Weak speakers

Forgot to add though I managed it for 2.5yrs but some of them didn't even last for 6months ! Nearly all of them started giving all sorts of problems after 6 months, mine had already been repaired once with HP that was after 10 months of use!

 

SN posted a comment   

The Good:I had it for 2.5 yrs

The Bad:Low volume,speaker not good,stylus not good,camera not good,very short battery life, weak ear jack etc

We bought 10pcs 2.5yrs ago for corporate business use. Only 1 is working till to date which is with me and it's about to die.

When call comes it shuts down,hangs alot. If I compare this particular model with Samsung or Palm Treo[considering near specs] then I would say these are much much better then rw6828. I had them running side by side for 2 yrs now rw 6828 failed to compete, may be HP improves on PDA models.
Why this crapy model so expensive ???? I am reluctant to buy or even believe in HP iPAQ 212 or HP iPAQ 912c now.
I strongly believe in buying HP products but this model **** me off with the services provided for this model and the rw6828 as a whole !
NOT RECOMMENDED

teddietobby
6
Rating
 

teddietobby posted a review   

The Good:to hve it, its sound

The Bad:the battery, camera

my dad gave this phone to me 2 months ago..and i was so disappointed with its functions.
i thought that i would be the happiest girl ever in my school to hve a rw6828. what a sad dreamm..

 

User posted a comment   

The Good:Screen view.

The Bad:Many. Not able to get accessories. Poor camera. Poor sound. More cost. No proper user guide.

Waste of Money.

 

Bobo posted a comment   

The Good:yes, good

The Bad:no, not bad at all, but there are buts

to Armu. Yes HP is "one of them" "that can't get it straight" - you need a new baterry? forget it. you need a alcohol slip to clean your scanner? forget it. you need a firmware upgrade forget it. you need support from HP? forget it. otherwise they work long enough to forgive them. Ah, I don't understand why for god's sake their softwares takes 'forever' to install. You can install a Canon multi-function machine in 5 minutes, it will take at least 30 minutes for a HP device.

Well, my 2 cents..

and, errr, well most of this notes are dated 2009, I repeat, I have this HP rw6828 in my "next ex-gadget" list meaning is in my bag but more than often I recharge it after the battery is finished ( so I even don't know) = it is ready to be pawned". anyone wants to buy mine?

 

Bobo posted a comment   

The Good:The good think is that I have one

The Bad:I have it for 4 years now, and it is "my next ex-gadget" - what/how can I

It is excelent! internet is funny, but I guess it's about the 'provider'.
Difficult to setup 'connections' - the wording is very "HP" (e.g. setting-conections-conections - is it clear?? huh?)

 

anujbabu posted a comment   

i need to know where to download softwares for this mobile if any one knows let me know...........my id is anujbabu_rk@yahoo.com

 

mark posted a comment   

If you have to do it, you might as well do it right


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User Reviews / Comments  HP iPAQ rw6828

  • DENNIS

    DENNIS

    "MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS rocky2aa8@yahoo.com.my....pls help me"

  • dennis

    dennis

    "i 1 2 upgrade my windows software....if anybody gt any cn recoment me...pls send me the download...tq..urgent"

  • SN

    SN

    "Forgot to add though I managed it for 2.5yrs but some of them didn't even last for 6months ! Nearly all of them started giving all sorts of problems after 6 months, mine had already been repaired o..."

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