HP iPAQ rw6815 review: Small communicator for the pretentious

Jiří Kuruc, 23 January 2007. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Two megapixels

iPaq hw6815 is equipped with a 2 megapixel camera; fixed focus. Hewlett Packard has also forgotten to install a LED for dark environment. The weather was not favorable during the tests, which was a great disadvantage for us as it is exactly the weather and the quantity of light image quality fully depends on. The maximum resolution, in which the communicator makes photos, is 1600 x 1200 pixels, but, of course, lower resolutions are available as well. The camera also features a digital zoom, which only creates crops. In a result, a full zooming-in leads to useless images of mere 160 x 120 pixels.

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Camera interface

The camera interface requires shooting in landscape mode. Both the key on the right side and the control center can be used as a release button. All important options appear on the display and can be controlled by a finger or through the ways of the navigation button. The landscape shooting results into modifications of the zoom-in in vertical direction and into brightness corrections in horizontal direction. Should you need other options, enter the menu, where the use of the stylus becomes inevitable. Inside the menu you will find all common options and a few extra ones: white balance, color effects, three-level compression, resolution and color saturation.

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Camera setup options are quite extensive

The option to assign GPS details to the EXIF info attached to each photo is of a special interest. Since iPaq does not feature an integrated GPS receiver, you need to plug in an external one. The search we did with our GPS receiver worked seamlessly. Geotagged images from all over the world are available on the following web page - www.flicker.com/map.

Sample images:

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Image quality highly depends on light conditions. Unfortunately, during the tests the sun hid itself behind the clouds so we could not manage to get the best of iPaq hw6815’s camera. Nonetheless, the above images are pretty sharp, except for the very margins. Those taken inside are characterized by intensified sensitivity and higher noise levels respectively. A bit of a help comes from two powerful LEDs, whose drawback, however, is that they only work at a distance of about two meters. There is a certain time lag between the press on the release button and the shot so do not lose time trying to capture moving objects.

Software

HP Photosmart Mobile inside the program menu deserves a special attention. It is an application for simple image modification, prints, and audio notes. It is able to show a non-sophisticated histogram, but does not adjust brightness, contrast or image resolution. HP Photosmart Mobile also features a screensaver, which is activated when the communicator is being charged. It also slideshows photos with the help of a simple animation.

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Application for image modifications and automatic setup of data profiles

The communicator also features a few extra applications to the operational system: Today panel Lite shows several icons in the Today menu, Auto Configurator helps set up data services, Wi-Fi Utility and the famous Self Test control the entire device. In the retail package together with iPaq hw6815 you will also get a bonus, with which you can choose your preferred software.

Accessories and durability

Besides the communicators the retail package contains a protecting case with a hole for the connector for a light handsfree set. The case is made of solid textile material; it is closed with the help of a magnetic clip. The charger design is especially elegant: its adapter comes with several different types of terminals to be used with different types of sockets in various world countries. Also available is a synchronizing cable, which gets connected to the adapter through a standard USB connector. A wire less in the bag...

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Accessories: protecting case and a light handsfree set

The communicator works with a Li-Ion battery of the respectable capacity of 1530 mAh. Used in a common way (making a couple of calls, sending a few messages, transferring data occasionally), you may come to charge iPaq hw6815 every second day. If you, however, work with Wi-Fi intensively or play full-length pictures, the battery life will shrink to three to five hours. Charging via USB during synchronization is available as well.

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The battery capacity exceeds standards

A good job with few cons

iPaq rw6815 Personal Messenger should not fear any competitor. There will sure be plenty of candidate owners for its small size, good processor, and highly attractive wireless technologies. And they will not regret the purchase. Nevertheless, iPaq could have come out even better. The problem is not at all in the absence of a built-in GPS receiver, a FM radio or a newer Wi-Fi version. It is about the uncomfortable one-hand control of the entire device – a practical inconvenience, which - as evident in other communicators – could have been successfully overcome.

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