First Tri-Radio Device: HP iPAQ h6315 (Updated)

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Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2004, 07:24
Category: Archive

HP iPAQ h6315I’ve got to give credit where it’s due. The new HP iPAQ h6315 is a Windows Mobile 2003-based PDA/smartphone that is totally unique – it is the first mobile phone with WiFi available in the U.S. It is also the first mobile device with three radios built in: GSM/GPRS, WiFi and Bluetooth. Read More…


HP iPAQ h6315I’ve got to give credit where it’s due. The new HP iPAQ h6315 is a Windows Mobile 2003-based PDA/smartphone that is totally unique – it is the first mobile phone with WiFi available in the U.S. It is also the first mobile device with three radios built in: GSM/GPRS, WiFi and Bluetooth.
Think of the Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) possibilities that become available with, for example, Vonage SoftPhone running on the iPaq. You could be on your WiFi phone via VOIP in a coffee shop in Japan talking to your friends back at home in the U.S. and it would be a local call.
According to Brighthand the iPAQ h6315 “will automatically connect to the fastest available wireless network, and automatically switch to another type of wireless network if the first stops being available.” Image talking on your phone over traditional GSM, then the phone senses a WiFi hotspot and automatically switches to (much cheaper) VOIP mode until the hotsopt disappears then it switches back to GSM.
I know that Windows Mobile (a.k.a. PocketPC, Windows CE) devices get panned for their lack of Mac support, but Mark’s Space’s Missing Sync (US$40) fills in the gap quite nicely. In fact Missing Sync for PocketPC has more features than iSync, for example: WiFi sync and the ability to sync other files like iTunes, iPhoto and AvantGo.
The HP iPAQ h6315 will sell for US$599 from HP.com and for US$499 (with a contract) from T-Mobile. According to HP and T-Mo the iPAQ h6315 will be available August 26, 2004.
(30 July 04) Updated information on the h6315:
– It supports third party VoIP software like Skype and XTen
– It includes a built-in speakerphone?
– US$80/month T-Mobile plan includes WiFi hotspot access
– US$90/month T-Mobile plan includes forwarding your corporate email
(30 July 04) Updated with some interesting opinions on HP’s iPAQ h6315 from around the Web:
Cell Phones Co-opt Wi-Fi – MIT’s Technology Review:

What’s thrown me into a quandary are two product announcements made last week. First, Hewlett-Packard introduced a new PDA phone (the iPaq h6315) that also features Wi-Fi capability through a partnership with T-Mobile. Then Motorola announced its own Wi-Fi-enabled cell phone: the CN620. Why would these cell phone companies start partnering to offer data through Wi-Fi, which typically employs an all-you-can-eat model, when they’re seeing success now with their metered data services over their networks? For T-Mobile, the operator of the nation’s largest fee-based Wi-Fi hotspot network, it’s a way to play both sides of the revenue fence. But industry watchers predict that the other major cellular providers will soon partner with Wi-Fi enabled phones. Won’t they be cannibalizing one of the rare successes for generating profits other than voice services? Read more at TechnologyReview.com.

Phone-PDA Combo That Works On Wi-Fi Is Bulky but a Winner – Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal Online (sub. req’d):

As a combination cellphone and PDA, the 6315’s design is inferior to that of PalmOne’s hot Treo 600, which has better phone functionality and is smaller and lighter. The 6315 is best thought of as a wireless data device that also has voice capability. Read more at WSJ.com

A Palmtop as Wireless Omnivore – David Pogue, New York Times (free reg. req’d):

For distances up to 30 inches, the iPaq can beam information, like your electronic business card, to another palmtop using an infrared transmitter. For distances up to 30 feet, it has built-in Bluetooth circuitry (more on this in a moment). For distances up to 150 feet, it has a Wi-Fi antenna. And for transmissions around the entire planet, the iPaq has one other trick up its sleeve: it’s also a cellphone.
If your office can’t reach you on this, then you must be on the International Space Station. Read more at NYTimes.com

Wifi/GSM/GPRS/Bluetooth HP delivers a monster of a phone – Dave Ciccone, Dave’s iPAQ:

The iPAQ h6300 is probably one of the most advanced Pocket PC phones available in the market today. Since I have been using this iPAQ for some time I was able to put it through the paces and really get a feel of the unit. In our review we will go over four different elements of this phone such as design, wireless definitions, software included, and functionality. Read more at Dave’s iPAQ.

So what are your thoughts on this groundbreaking phone? Chime in using the (open) comments below.

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