iPaq 5455 is a barely passable unit, not great for the money
good color screen, nice idea
disappointing build quality and reliablity issues, high price
The Bottom Line:
I would not recommend purchasing this unit due to high-cost and disappointing performance/reliability.
To begin, let me say that this is my second PDA (both have been iPaq's). My first was the premier PocketPC unit from Compaq, before they merged with HP. I liked the first unit much more than this one and also thought that it was much more reliable. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?
To begin, let me mention the strengths of the unit. It has a nice color screen and is relatively easy to use (but this should be the case with any of the PocketPC/Windows Mobile units).
I must admit I was lured by the incredible, cutting edge features of this unit (biometrics, bluetooth, and WLAN) but for the price paid, I have been extremely disappointed.
Here are my gripes. Battery life is slightly better than it was on my previous unit but still not great. Further, when the battery runs out, of course you loose all your data and any apps you installed. Some may say that this is to be expected but I really do not know the reason for that silly two-minute backup battery. I have on a couple of occasions, I had to get iPaq out of a non-charging loop that the company's technical support is aware of and has a workaround for but no fix, to my knowledge. When this happens, the unit thinks that the battery is fully charged when in fact it is nearly depleted. Consequently, it will not charge and you risk losing data. The workaround is extremely clunky and monotonous. It requires some sort of elaborate procedure that had my head spinning. I also find that the hard reset on this unit is much more of a pain than on my original unit. It requires holding down several buttons while resetting with the stylus on the bottom of the unit. It almost requires more than two hands, which makes it extremely inconvenient. The old unit simply had a hidden switch on a little door on the bottom. I guess HP thought this was a better solution; I would disagree! The built-in speaker on this unit is much less powerful than on my original iPAQ. I use it with an expansion pack GPS system so having barely useful sound in quiet environments makes the voice prompts useless in a moving car. Speaking of this add-on GPS system, it does not work as well with this unit as it did with the original iPAQ. For some reason, I constantly get conflicts with the WLAN adapter, even when it supposedly is turned off. Prompts popup indicating that I cannot connect to the network. This causes the GPS application to become unresponsive for an extensive period of time, if I am lucky. If I am not lucky, it will stop working until I soft-reset the iPAQ. OK, my last concern is that this unit is much of a cheaper build than the predecessor. It has an attractive metallic coating on plastic. This meant that unfortunately it fell out of my hand one day and got all dinged up as it fell onto pavement. My old unit had such a fall and had some barely visible scratches as a result. But, that was when the case was made of actual metal.
As for the features it does have, they are a nice idea. Unfortunately, I must say that I was attracted more to the marketing lure than the practicality of it. The screen is still too small for serious Internet use. The biometrics is cool and works well but do I need it? The answer is definitely NO. The other features I seem to work as well as with my previous iPAQ or as with any other PDA.
Bottom line is that this unit is not worth the money, has disappointing build quality and reliability issues.