HP has announced two new handhelds to complement its current line-up. Eschewing number-based nomenclature for the first time, the two devices are simply called the iPAQ Data Messenger and the iPAQ Voice Messenger.
Both devices will initially be exclusive to Vodafone UK customers and are expected to be available in November. Subsequently they will also be sold SIM-free, without an operator contract.
Details of Vodafone's pricing are yet to be announced. Without an operator contract, the Voice Messenger will cost £333 (inc. VAT) while the Data Messenger will set you back £399 (inc. VAT).
Both the iPAQ Voice Messenger and the iPAQ Data Messenger feature an innovative new optical navigation key. This can be swept with a finger or thumb for cursor movement giving what HP calls a 'gliding' sensation when scrolling through menus.
Both devices also incorporate a ringer silencer on the top edge of the casing. This makes it easy to send the iPAQ into silent mode and then revive its audible alerts.
Although both devices support HSDPA for data connections, neither has a front-facing camera for two-way video calling. However, at the back they both have a 3.1-megapixel camera with autofocus. GPS, with Assisted GPS implemented, is also integrated on both iPAQs.
iPAQ Voice Messenger
The iPAQ Voice Messenger runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and has a 20-key keypad. Many of the keys sport two QWERTY characters, while a predictive text input system helps with date entry.
As its name suggests, the iPAQ Voice Messenger is best suited to voice communications and text messaging.
iPAQ Data Messenger
The iPAQ Data Messenger runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It has a sliding keyboard and 2.81in. screen. It features the same predictive text entry software as the Voice Messenger.
Thanks to its keyboard and bigger screen, the iPAQ Data Messenger is best suited to data-centric tasks and the mobile web.
Expect full reviews of both of these new iPAQs in due course.