Sorry for the change in sequence. However, an urgent report at our sister site TamsPalm has made this reshuffling necessary
HP’s 514 runs Windows Mobile 6 smartphone edition…that is a Windows Mobile 6 derivate for non-touchscreen phones. Windows Mobile has never been a particularly efficient operating system in terms of taps/screen real estate, but the latest versions for PDA’s have improved significantly. Getting an interface migrated to a touchscreen-less device is an effort of its own, however – how has Microsoft managed it?
HP’s 514 has a ‘list-style’ home screen that informs you about network state, profiles, appointments and also has a list of currently open programs:
Hitting the Start menu shows a list of all programs installed onto the device. I would personally prefer to have more icons on-screen. Hitting the buttons 1 to 9 launches the corresponding app:
The settings application is a negative example of how a program should NOT be done…an endless list that cannot be traversed by scrolling. Instead, the element number 9 must be selected to get to the next page(numeric keys work here, too):
Many of the applets aren’t made particularly well, either – here’s the “power management” one(guessed that it also does the screen brightness?):
The PIM application suite of the 514 consists of a calendar, a contact list, a task list and a voice recorder(no ‘memo’ thingy). Most of the apps are good, although the data entry dialogs are a bit annoying(loads of scrolling):
Office Mobile itself is laughable as no new files can be created on the go – this completely disqualifies the application for serious use. Beaming files over allows for extremely basic editing – no praise from me here:
The device also includes a Photo Viewer, Windows Media Player, a few games and a pathetic little file manager that can’t even send more than one file at a time and generally is a nuisance:
Windows Media Player 10
Last but not least, HP added a ‘Help’ application and a few system tools of its own:
As for camera, voice recording and messaging – these will be covered soon!
Overall, one quickly feels that Windows Mobile for Smartphone wasn’t developed with smartphones in mind, but rather is a ‘touchscreen port’. An operating system like Series 60 definitely feels a bit better…but the 514 is usable, too! The included programs fit the reason-d-etre of the 514 well…when thinking about this machine, one must always keep in mind that this is NOT a mobile workstation!