The HP iPaq Glisten keeps it fairly straightforward in the features department, remaining focused on the most essential tools for business users. As we noted earlier, the smartphone is running Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional Edition, so you get some of the new benefits of the updated OS, such as Microsoft's My Phone backup service, Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and an improved Internet Explorer Mobile.
E-mail capabilities remain pretty much the same as Windows Mobile 6.1 with real-time synchronization with your Outlook e-mail, calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. Once Exchange 2010 is released, Windows Mobile 6.5 will support conversation view for e-mails, unified messaging, free/busy calendar lookup, and more. The iPaq Glisten also supports POP3 and IMAP accounts, text, multimedia, and instant messaging. A Facebook app came installed on our review unit but you can download more social networking apps as well as numerous other titles from the Windows Marketplace.
Other apps shipping on the iPaq Glisten include the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, Adobe Reader LE, Sprite Backup, MSN Weather, MSN Money, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Music, AT&T Video, and Yellow Pages Mobile.
The standard personal information management tools are also there. The HP iPaq Glisten's address book is only limited by the available memory and offers space for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, company information, and the like. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a photo, a group ID, or a custom ringtone. Phone features include quad-band world roaming, a speakerphone, speed dialing, voice dialing, conference calling, and noise cancellation technology for better audio quality. Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, Wi-Fi, and support for AT&T's 3G network are also all available on the Glisten.
The smartphone is pretty bare-bones in the multimedia department. The preloaded Windows Media Player gives you a basic player for checking out MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, and MIDI music files, and MPEG4, WMV, H.263, H.264 videos. AT&T's entertainment services provide another avenue for discovering new music and video. The iPaq Glisten offers 256MB SDRAM/512MB Flash but is expandable up to 32GB via the microSD slot.
The iPaq Glisten is also equipped with a 3.1-megapixel, fixed-focus camera with 5x digital zoom and video-recording capabilities. HP also includes its PhotoSmart Mobile app so you can edit photos right on your device. Picture quality could be better. There's quite a bit of shutter lag, so even though we tried not to move the camera after pressing the capture button, we still ended up with blurry images. Colors were also slightly washed out.
We tested the HP iPaq Glisten in New York using AT&T service and call quality was decent. On our end, there was plenty of volume and audio was clear enough that we didn't have any problems hearing the conversation. However, there was a slight background hiss that persisted during our review period. Friends also reported hearing a similar static during lulls in the conversation but said sound quality was good otherwise. Speakerphone quality wasn't all that great. Audio sounded tinny and garbled, so it was difficult to hear the conversation at times. Volume was also low in noisy environments, so it was nearly impossible to have a conversation.
We paired the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth Headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones without any problems. We also plugged our On-Ear Bose Headphones into the smartphone's 3.5mm jack to listen to some tunes and music playback was satisfactory. Video, however, also suffered because of the QVGA resolution. The picture simply wasn't very sharp and playback was often choppy.
Using AT&T's 3G network, CNET's full site loaded in 1 minute and 6 seconds, while CNN and ESPN's mobile sites came up in 10 seconds and 7 seconds, respectively. Not to beat a dead horse, but the smartphone's smaller screen size definitely hurt the Web-browsing experience, and even though Windows Mobile 6.5 has made improvements to Internet Explorer Mobile, navigating the browser is still cumbersome.
The iPaq Glisten is equipped with a 528MHz Qualcomm 7200A processor but can occasionally be sluggish, taking several seconds to launch apps or even open e-mails. However, it was able to handle most tasks without a problem and we didn't experience any system crashes during our testing period.
The HP iPaq Glisten features a 1590mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5 hours and up to 15 days of standby time. We are still conducting our battery drain tests but will update this section as soon as we have final results. According to FCC radiation tests, the iPaq Glisten has a digital SAR rating of 1.25 watts per kilogram.