HP's new flagship business smartphone - the HP iPAQ 914 - is a me-too product in the world of all-singing smartphones.

The HP iPAQ 914 is a solid-feeling and very well finished mobile handset, and the back panel has a matte rubber coating which aids grip. Front and sides, meanwhile, are neatly trimmed in piano black plastic and polished metal.

On the left side lie two ports under rubber flap seals - a small USB connector for data or charging, and a microSD slot to expand the HP iPAQ 914's 128MB onboard memory. A centre-hinged switch at top left allows easy volume adjustment of both earpiece and ringer volume.

Inside the HP iPAQ 914 sits a huge lithium battery, almost the height and width of the handset, yet despite its size battery life is disappointing, at about three days of casual use. Unfortunately, this phone will not charge via USB from a computer so you need to carry the mains adaptor with you.

You can either use the qwerty keypad with the scrollwheel and difficult-to-press buttons on either side of the HP iPAQ 914; or you can use the touch sensitive screen with the supplied stylus. That's the idea anyway. In practice, you'll find yourself using a combination of both, since neither system is up to the job alone.

It gets even more difficult if you should decide to input some numbers, as these characters are printed in uncontrasting blue on a gloss black background.

Other front buttons are hard-wired for common tasks, such as bringing up the Windows Start Menu. The HP iPAQ 914's ok button is in the centre of a four-way rose, while the key marked ok serves as an escape key to take you back a screen at a time.

The HP iPAQ 914's 320x240 touch-sensitive screen is not especially sensitive, and for operations such as scrolling requires a fair degree of pressure from the stylus.

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