For the better part of a year now I have been searching for a new phone. While my Nokia 6230 has served me very well over the years, it was time to upgrade to something with support for Exchange. I've had PDAs and PDA phones in the past, but have always found them too big and awkward to use as a phone. The stylus is annoying, and they have a habit of getting lost.
Earlier in the year, I finally found a phone that would do what I wanted. The HP iPAQ 510 looked very promising. It was to be their first smart phone. Alas, after a few months of waiting, our HP distributors informed me that there would be no iPAQ 510 for the Australian market. I was crushed.
A couple of months ago, I found out that a revision of the 510 - the 512 would be available here, but not until the first half of 2008 *groans*. Being the impatient person that I am, I wasn't prepared to wait until then, so after a few bidding wars on eBay, I secured a new 512 from overseas.
I have to say... this phone ROCKS. The feature set is amazing, and with Windows Mobile 6, Microsoft has finally got the whole phone interface sorted out. I always found WM 2003 and WM5 to be a less-than-average phone OS. Some new features of WM6 include;
- Built in Windows Update
- VoIP Support
- Windows Live Messenger
- HTML Email
- OOF Support
- Follow up flags for emails (FINALLY)
- Better navigation and shortcuts
- New versions of Office Mobile
The iPAQ has a built in SIP client, so it integrates perfectly with my ExchangeUM/Asterisk setup. As soon as it connects to a wireless network, the SIP client fires up and logs onto the Asterisk server, ready to receive calls. Additionally, Microsoft recently released Office Communicator Mobile 2007 so whenever I have a wireless connection, I am also connected to my OCS server.
The phone comes with HP Voice Commander software that you can use to give instructions to the phone. You can say things like
- "Call Ryan at Home"
- "Start File Manager"
- "Read Email"
- "What time is it?"
- "Play <Song Name>"
A feature that I really like is the "Automatic" profile that automatically switches the phone to vibrate mode during an appointment marked as "Busy" in your calendar. I'm not sure if its been available in previous versions, but its the first time I have noticed it.