HP iPAQ Glisten Review
Everyone is personalizing Windows Mobile in some way or another, but the bare bones interface on the Glisten is boring. What else can we say about it? You’ll be greeted to the standard Windows Mobile 6.5 interface with the same Start Menu look. The Glisten will run smoothly until you begin to overload it with multiple applications running simultaneously. Having a small screen is tough enough, but the lack of finger friendly on-screen buttons will result in having to rely on the stylus.
Thanks to its responsive QWERTY keyboard, composing a text message to someone will be accomplished with relative ease. Sure it does have a touchscreen to offer alternative options for input, but HP omitted anything new and decided to stick with the traditional ones that all Windows Mobile phones have.
Any business user will happily indulge on all the benefits the Windows Mobile platform has to offer – especially with Microsoft Exchange support. Setting up email is simple enough with the setup wizard – you’ll be asked for specific server addresses if it can’t automatically lookup the settings for your specific provider.
If instant messaging is your preference of choice when it comes to communication, you should bear in mind there’s nothing available out of the box – there isn’t even one for Windows Live Messenger. Thankfully with Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we were able to download an IM client and start chatting away with friends.
third party application support. There’s very few from the get go with apps like AT&T Navigator, Mobile Banking, Facebook, Mobi4Biz, Sprite Backup, and ArcSoft Streaming Player. As for the rest, you’ll get the full arsenal of Microsoft’s Office Mobile suite to keep you hard at work when you’re away from the office.
Nothing really worth bragging about with its 3-megapixel camera, images captured looked average at best. Outdoor shots with plenty of sun produced the best images with good detail, but colors looked washed out. Indoor shots also replicated the identical dull colors with fuzzy detail. One thing that’s sure to be a hassle is the lack of a dedicated camera button on the phone – you have to go through the menus and open the camera app. Once loaded, we were impressed with the interface on the Glisten that allows even some manual settings like brightness, saturation, sharpness, and contrast to be adjusted.
Video capture on the HP iPAQ Glisten isn’t one of its highlights – it’s even more so when the maximum resolution is 320 x 240. Videos were extremely pixilated which made it difficult distinguishing any fine detail. There’s also a prominent choppy look whenever you’re recording a video and moving in between areas of “good” and “bad” lighting. Colors also had the same washed out tones that supplemented the poor video recording results we had on the Glisten. Fortunately, there was one bright spot with it – audio sounded nearly dead-on with perfect tones.
Like we said earlier, HP didn’t attempt to personalize the Windows Mobile experience – so the music player is the same old one we’ve been accustomed to seeing. The biggest thing to pain us about it is the fact that you’ll need to use the stylus to press the tiny on-screen buttons. Sound from the speakerphone did seem loud enough to hear, but lacked any bass to truly make listening to music a joyful experience. Pumping it up to the loudest volume setting, the speakerphone did not crackle at any point.
Windows Media Player was able to play two different movie trailers coded in MPEG-4 at 320 x 240 and H.264 at 320 x 136 with no problems. Videos played without any noticeable slowdown that would really diminish the overall experience. However, there’s one thing that really confused us: when we tried playing something in H.263 at 320 x 144, the playback stuttered really badly – making it skip plenty of scenes throughout the trailer. Aside from the bluish tint, the AMOLED screen does an okay job when it comes to watching videos, so we find the experience to be good enough – black levels are near perfect.
The HP iPAQ Glisten offers enough memory out of the box to install programs and save media on the handset. There’s roughly 226MB of storage memory available with 142MB reserved for applications. If you require more space, you can always supplement it with microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity. Regrettably, the inconvenient location of the slot will require you to pull the battery.
Taking the handset to other countries for voice calls won't be an issue with it's quad-band GSM capability (850/900/18000/1900 Mhz). For data use, the tri-band UMTS support (850/1900/2100 Mhz) will allow you to access 3G speeds in almost any part of the world.
Stock is the name of the game with the HP iPAQ Glisten because you’ll only have Internet Explorer to surf the web. It’s the same experience we get out of other phones using the same browser. There are plenty of other browsers out there like Opera Mobile or Skyfire that can be installed to really engage the user experience.