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REVIEW: HP Jornada 928 WDA Part 2 - The Device
Posted by Arne Hess - on Sunday, 18.08.02 - 22:10:00 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 8145x
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The second part of the PPCW.Net HP Jornada 928 WDA (Wireless Digital Assistant) review is about the device and its included software. The question is what HP added beside the typical Phone Edition stuff and if anything special is added anyway?

First of all the WDA is a Pocket PC Phone Edition. This means that it include all known Microsoft Pocket PC applications like Pocket Office, Pocket Outlook, Pocket Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger and all the rest. Beside this, it also includes the Phone Edition which supports voice, CSD and GPRS. As already reported in spring this year, the WDA also includes EZOS' EzWAP 2 WAP browser.

The Device
VOBenchmark Results
The CPU test show the performance of the Central Processing Unit (Main Chip) of the deice
Floating Point




Bitmap tests rate how quickly graphics can be drawn on display. These tests both - hardware and video drivers.
Bitmap: BitBlt


Bitmap: StretchBlt


Filled: Ellipse


Filled: Rectangle


Filled: Rounded Rect


These tests show internal memory usage performance. This is a major factor in application performance.






Tests how fast text can be drawn to the screen by drawing the text in red, green and blue from the upper left to the lower right corner of the display, one pixel at a time.


The Jornada 928 includes 64 MB which is state of the art today for Pocket PCs but unfortunately not for Wireless Pocket PCs. So the WDA is the only Pocket PC Phone Edition which has 64 MB storage space.
Beside this, the 928 includes a Texas Instruments OMAP 710 processor with 133 MHz as the GSM-ARM7/ARM-9 Dual CPU design. The advantage of this should be the low power consumption while it should be as fast as the Intel StrongARM CPU. Also the OMAP 710 is based on the ARM architecture which means all Pocket PC 2002 applications works on the OMAP CPU too (Note: This part is re-edited because I got wrong information from HP here first).
The battery concept is pretty interesting, it includes two main batteries, one embedded and one removable. The Jornada will use the removable first and switch, if the removable is empty, to the embedded. This concept means that you can exchange the removable with a new, charged one without switching off the device or canceling your voice call/data session. This is pretty tricky and useful! It's that kind of concept we saw in the cell phone world with the Motorola StarTeck too, which came at that time with two batteries also.

The battery stand-by time, according to the PPCW.Net Benchmarks isn't satisfied. While the WDA has a overall Offline stand-by of around 3:37h its competitor, the HTC Wallaby runs 5:51h!

As you can also see in the VOBenchmark results on the right table also the WDA isn't so fast. Overall, its around 50 % slower than the XScale powered Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox.

The HP Applications

Like other Jornadas, also the WDA include the HP specific applications like a picture viewer or the Display Profile but also the MicroChai Java engine.

More specific are the following WDA related applications.

In the Settings menu you have "Auto Cover" and "Phone Display" as WDA specific functionalities. While you can define with auto cover, how the cover should - works like switching on/off the display; the phone display application is more fun stuff. Here you can customize the LCD screen on the top of device and rename the network name or upload a bitmap too. That's nice cause it makes the WDA more personal and we already saw the success of operator logos on the cell phone world.

A real killer application is "Fonix Voice Dial". We already know Fonix from some other cool Pocket PC voice applications but with Voice Dial you can control more than the applications only, also you can use it for voice dialing without learning the device the names. Voice Dial builds your contacts list by themselves and you can use it without any additional configuration.

Just tell the WDA what you want to do, calling a stored contact or enter the phone number with your voice. Tell Voice Dial which number you want to call (if the contact has more than one only) and confirm the name, that's it. This works perfect with English names, with foreign names like German, Italian or French names it has some weaknesses.

Another nice and useful add-on is the "HP Dialer" keyboard. This is a complete phone interface which can be used in any application to dial a number or switch to SMS. This is very helpful and I would like to see that kind off application on other Pocket PC Phone Edition devices too. Maybe a 3rd party developer would like to develop something like this also?


Within the connectivity you will not find real surprises. Here you can add for sure your GSM/GPRS data accounts. However, HP also added a small GPRS application where you can check - very basic - how much data sent and received. But you can also configure how the 928 should connects to the GPRS network as well as the GPRS authentication. Also included is a small application for Cell Broadcast messages. This is not widely used in the GSM world but available in some networks, so it's nice to see that HP also supports this services.
Like on other Phone Edition Pocket PCs, SIM Application Toolkit (SAT) is also not supported on the WDA which is a little bit annoying cause SAT still offers some real good services.

Final Conclusion Part 2

The Jornada 928 WDA is a complete package that pleases. Even if the stand-by time is a little bit short you can enhance this with additional batteries since one of the two main batteries is removable. That's a big advantage. That the WDA has weaknesses in the VOBenchmark doesn't bother in real life use, you don't see or feel that it is "to" slow, this values are more a theoretical.
A great deal is the additional software. Beside the typical settings for the LCD screen and the flip-cover, I really like the voice recognition possibilities of the WDA. Unfortunately it supports only English which makes it more useless for foreigners, the idea is the right one.

The additional phone keyboard is something I really like, it lets you enter phone numbers right out of applications without switching between the Phone Edition interface and the application. That's great and pretty useful and also the whole data integration with the GPRS monitor and Cell Broadcast application is useful. For GPRS I reached speeds up to 35,6 kbps which is a pretty good value for a Wireless Pocket PCs and even faster than anything I've seen on the o2 xda!

All together the HP Jornada WDA 928 is a pretty "perfect" device in the typical HP Jornada tradition and it's frustrating to know, that not to many of us will hold it in the hands. :'-(

REVIEW: HP Jornada 928 WDA Part 1 - The Hardware

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Leon on 19.08.02 - 00:00:00

Hi Arne,

Thanks for the nice review. What do you mean by that:

"... it's frustrating to know, that not to many of us will hold it in the hands. :'-("

Posted by Arne Hess on 19.08.02 - 00:00:00

@Leon: Because it is released in UK only and as it looks like today it will not released anywhere else in Europe nor in the US... :-(

Posted by Anonymous on 19.08.02 - 00:00:00

Hi Arnie

I liked the review. I am not too knowledgeable with PDA's at present. When we talk of wireless does that me it will also be able to receive radio, or is may age showing.



Posted by Arne Hess on 19.08.02 - 00:00:00

@Anonymous: No, wireless means wireless data only, based on 2/2.5G GSM networks. We are not talking about radio!

Posted by Yudhi on 20.08.02 - 00:00:00

I wonder to know if we can use dual SIM card(dual number) with J928 WDA plus additional CF GSM/GPRS.
Any people already tried this crazy idea ?

Posted by Anonymous on 24.08.02 - 00:00:00

how good does the speakerphone work? any reported problems? are u sure the hp keybord is not fitted with 928?

Posted by Ram on 24.08.02 - 00:00:00

Excellent review
I was told that the volume in the earpiece in not loud enough. How bad is this? Is it so low that you cannot use it in the street or if there is any noise around you? Or is this just exageration?
Thanks for the info

Posted by Nick on 24.08.02 - 00:00:00

I own one of these wonderful devices.   I have loads of gadgets but this was easily the best buy.  It is a smooth operator.  I'm planning on buying bluetooth compact flash and headset over the next week or so.  I'll let you know how I get on.

Posted by Nick on 24.08.02 - 00:00:00

The volume comments are slightly exaggerated.  It could certainly do with being louder and is not ideal but doesn't stop it from being functional.  I walk down the street with the PPC to my head like a normal phone and have no problems.  The earpeace set is much louder but you have to carefully place the microphone or your caller will loose volume.  The full solution though is to use bluetooth.  That way I can continue using the PPC without interruption or leave it in my pocket or desk and only need to put the earpeace on.  From the bluetooth earpeace you can accept the call and control volume independently of the device.

Posted by Anonymous on 25.08.02 - 00:00:00

is it a good, functional or bad, barely adequate speakerphone? can it use with hp camera and keyboard?

Posted by Anonymous on 25.08.02 - 00:00:00

The earpiece works fine for me as well.  It can be louder though but I have no problem talking and listening in a handheld mode unless it is very noisy street.  The speaker phone is loud and clear and the use of hands-free is a very good option if the handheld earpiece mode is too soft.  I've two quibbles though.  Firstly, there is a darkened shape on the top left corner of the Jornada around the top part of the start icon.  I check a few units in the shop here and all exhibit the same imperfection.  Second, this Jornada is very sluggish in playing videos espacially using the integral windows media player format.  I thought its TI Chip is supposed to be multimedia optimized ?  Otherwise, I am very happy with this Jornada

Posted by Wiz on 26.08.02 - 00:00:00

I just received it from, ordered it on thursday, came in on monday, and until now, I must say I don't regret the purchase. I am keeping a J568 + Audiovox GSM/GPRS combo on the side, but already it feels like the J568 is gonna go soon. The footprint and format of the J928 is almost perfect. Compared to a J568 it's virtually the same. The XDA feels a bit more comfortable as a phone, but the J928 packs loads more features!!!!  Although I think I will not dump my regular cellphone yet, the package is terrific. The 133Mhz CPU does not feel sluggish, due to the fact that all phone activities are taken care of by the other CPU. Hence, operation feels a lot smooth than on the XDA. the screen is a lot better than the XDA, and I mean A LOT. All apps are working fine, no compatibility problems until now. Also, as opposed to the reviewer from, my SMS messages went out and came in fine. Even GPRS configuration was a breeze. No need to hassle with settings such as +cgdcont=1 etc ... just click the GPRS icon, fill in the APN and VaVoom ...

The only criticism until now: just enough volume for use in room environments when using as a handset, no VaJa case available yet ;-)

Posted by Ronny Gydar on 29.08.02 - 00:00:00

Does anybody know how to get the WDA to dial a specific phonenumber to connect over GPRS!?  I need to dial *99#, when I connect with my provider (Netcom in Norway).  Does not seem to be possible to specify number to dial.

(I had a IPAQ Wireless Pack before, and with that one I could do this, and therefor got the GPRS to work)

Anybody got a idea if this is possible!?  Either thruu the normal interface, or thru a registry-change!?

Posted by David Fala on 30.08.02 - 00:00:00

Hi Arne,

In your review, you state that the Jornada 928 WDA is "around 50 % slower than the XScale powered Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox". I am currently looking to sell my Jornada 568 to buy a WDA, but I wonder, if the 568 runs at 206 Mhz and the WDA at half that speed, does it mean that the WDA is 50% slower, or that the design of the new OMAP 710 processor allows the WDA to be as fast as the regular Pocket PC's ?

Posted by Jayman on 04.09.02 - 00:00:00

This is my first post - Nick said he was going to test a bluetooth CF card and headset - has anyone else tried this as it will be my swaying factor between buying this or the LOOX?
Especially if the Fonix software works over the bluetooth connection

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