March 11, 2008

Smartphone Nostalgia: HP iPaq 6315

As I was typing a story yesterday, I briefly mentioned a classic Windows Mobile-powered smartphone HP iPaq 6315 which stirred my emotions for a bit. I had given this device serious consideration when I was in the market for my first smartphone. Due to financial reasons and the sales guy's negative feedback around the iPaq for its repeated bugginess, I decided to go for BlackBerry's first consumer-friendly phone: 7100t.

Still, thinking back, I was very attracted to this phone's well-rounded capabilities. While this phone is phsyically larger than it's competitors, it was a market leader in terms of power and functionality. The iPaq was a quad-band worldphone sold exclusively from T-Mobile USA and is powered by Windows Mobile 2003. Featuring GPRS-data and 802.11b, this smartphone was a communication/internet powerhouse. It even includes VGA camera, bluetooth and SDIO support. Giving the Treo 600, a very popular smartphone in the U.S. at the time, a run for its money. In fact, the only phone capable of competing with this phone did not exist in the US.

The key attraction goes back to its large 3.5" LCD and 802.11b giving this device great flexibility, productivity and an alternative to internet access without the need for a data plan. As mentioned in my previous post(s), 802.11b was often missing from most of the smartphones up until beginning of 2008 (considering this phone was on the market as of 2003). It's amazing that Amazon is still carrying this phone for $500 and eBay listing has it going for $200-300 range. Obviously, this phone holds its value. Thinking back, I wonder if this phone was a unicorn that got away, just like the other unicorn that got away from me (but I'll save that story for another time)

So, why in the world did I pass up this gem if I liked it so much. One word: reliability! The sales guy I was talking to was adamant about how buggy his iPaq 6315 was. He said at minimum, he has to reboot his phone twice a day. I guess it would be a pest not knowing if you are missing calls because your phone is frozen. Considering it was my first smartphone and I had to live with it through a brand new contract, I couldn't take that chance. Perhaps HP pushed the envelope in design, trying to cram every bit of hardware/technology into this marvelous concept; maybe the chip sets just weren't ready for this kind of application or maybe its Windows Mobile 2003 not capable of handling its mobile applications. Regardless, I still loved the concept of this smartphone and applaud HP's attempt in bringing a product to the market that was years ahead.

HP iPaq 6315 Specs (full spec here):

* 200MHz TI OMAP 1510 Processor
* 16-bit 3.5" Transflective Color Display
* Onboard Secure Digital Slot (SDIO)
* 64MB RAM (55MB Free)/64MB ROM
* Onboard 802.11b Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
* 1800mAh Lithium Ion Battery
* Weight 6.7oz; 4.7" x 3.0" x .7"
* GSM/GPRS 800-1900MHz

Some Reviews:
Review | Mobile Tech | PDA Street


Anonymous said...

I owned the 6315 and it was without a doubt the worst phone / PDA / Windows Mobile device I ever owned (and I've had many).

This device was so buggy that it essentially soured me on the whole Windows Mobile platform.

Consider yourself lucky for not owning one!

Anonymous said...

i own at least 6 smart phones, from the 7105 to the iphone 3g. I own the 6315. I actually popped my sim card in it and am using it this week. I think this phone got a bad rep, I unlike the guy who posted above me never really encountered that much buggyness, It has bluetooth, wifi and gprs, so I keep gmail on and when i open explorer up it just displays neatly all of my 3100+ messages. I have documents and spreadsheets on my sd card which I need for class and can email them to my self and open them up on pocket ms office. Overall I think this phone is a powerhouse for me at least it hasnt really slowed down much... but as always there are people who hate things you may find quite useful...

Albert said...

I have used this device for years and sometimes it drives me crazy (low sound, restart etc.), but is still one of the best phones on the market considering for its price. You can connect to wi-fi networks or use GPRS, use it as text writer / laptop (with external keyboard, has also SD memory ... and most of pay plan needed!