Vodafone Australia is officially supporting Hewlett-Packard's launch of the HP iPAQ hw6515 by offering customers two months of unlimited data usage, based on the AU$49.95 Vodafone data bundle, when they purchase the HP iPAQhw6515 device in specially marked packs through participating Vodafone IT resellers and connect to Vodafone before 30 October 2005.
The "unlimited data usage" is actually limited to a fair usage policy of 500MB of data traffic.
The recommended retail price for the new HP iPAQ hw6515 is AU$1199 and Vodafone will bill AU$99.92 per month over a 12 month contract. Vodafone is also supporting distribution of a prepay offer through Australian retailer Harvey Norman.
The iPAQ Mobile Messenger hw6515 integrates Bluetooth, EDGE and GPS features as expected. The device is based on Windows Mobile Second Edition Pocket PC OS, and brings a different form factor to the Pocket PC world. The most striking feature is the square LCD screen (3.0" transflective TFT, 64K colours, LED backlight), a departure from the standard rectangular QVGA and VGA screens currently available on Pocket PC devices.
Also new is the built-in keyboard, with keys that look like the ones used on the h6315. But this time the keiyboard is part of the design, instead of being a detachable accessory. The device measures 71 x 21 x 118 mm and weighs 165g, even with built-in keyboard.
An Intel PXA270 CPU running at 312 MHz powers the device, but users will have to invest in some external memory cards: the device comes with only 64 MB SDRAM of which only up to 56 MB user available memory, and 64 MB ROM including 12 MB iPAQ File Store, a permanent storage area in available to user data and programs but not mapped as main memory.
EDGE is not support by Vodafone in Australia or New Zealand. It is an enhanced overlay over GPRS networks that offer increased data speeds. Both Vodafone Australia and New Zealand decided to operate their own 3G networks based on WCDMA, with fallback to GPRS. This means that customers buying the new HP iPAQ hw6515 will not fully utilise its potential.