Elsewhere, it’s less of a disaster, but still not enough to elevate the 614c from smartphone mediocrity. The phone has a pretty decent three megapixel camera on the rear with a light and portrait mirror. It’s quad-band and can be used pretty much anywhere you can get a signal, though that’s nothing special these days. The screen is pretty bog standard – a 2.8in transflective touchscreen effort at 240 x 340 pixels. Battery life is unremarkable too: despite the seemingly high capacity of 1,590mAh I managed to extract just a couple of days of fairly low level use – though this does seem to be the sort of standard that we’re stuck with now – at least until phones with more efficient 3G and HSDPA chips are built.
Even HP’s usual thoughtful range of software extras can’t quite make up for its deficiencies. It’s nice to see Remote Desktop preinstalled, a decent PDF viewer is welcome and HP’s Photosmart Mobile application is a nicer application to use than Microsoft’s standard issue Pictures and Video tool. This also has the added bonus of integration with HP’s SnapFish online photo development service.
The 614c is certainly a well-endowed handset. It’s not the first to squeeze so much into a pocket-sized chassis, but there are a few notable features, such as A-GPS, 7.2Mbps HSDPA and a very fast processor. Only the non-VGA screen could possibly be said to be behind the times.
What really puts the mockers on its prospects, however, is the fact that it’s not only a pretty ugly and bulky phone – especially for one without a sliding keyboard – but also one boasting awkward ergonomics. Its innovative touch ring control simply fails to live up to its initial promise and turns out to be more a hindrance than usable addition.
Score in detail