iPaq hx4700 AKU 3.5 Update

A while back, I posted an entry about the Windows Mobile AKU 3.5.2 update for the HP iPaq hx4700. The 4700 must be a popular model. Unfortunately, the non-phone Pocket PC is a dying platform, but the 4700 has a large screen and a decent battery life and was worthy of Russian hackers producing an updated ROM since Hewlet-Packard has no intention of updating this model.

When I bought the original Windows Mobile 5 update last October, I was grossly disappointed. I was happy to have Word Mobile so that the few Microsoft Word documents that I carry with me won’t be reformatted into Pocket Word (previous WM versions), and I looked forward to better stability. I was, as I said, disappointed. File compactions slowed my device down badly and for the most part it wasn’t usable for much. I was ready to format back to WM2003SE (in fact, I had) when I read about the updated ROM.

I’ve been running the update for a while, and here are some brief observations concerning it:

  • Pocket Internet Explorer has High Resolution Mode, which is introduced in Windows Mobile 6.
  • The device doesn’t suffer from file compactions, so in normal usage it performs well.
  • For some reason, I really have to wrestle with my device to get connected wirelessly. Sometimes I have to reboot several times, and try both PIE and Minimo in order to get a page to load.
  • Like Windows Vista, most programs run fine but there are occasional incompatibilities. The biggest one that comes to mind is Delorme Street Atlas 2008 Pocket PC Edition.
  • The HP foldable keyboard that I got with this model only works about half the time, which is better than under the original WM5 in which the assignments of several keys were wrong. I don’t know what changed because I’m using the same driver, but with this release the keys are all assigned correctly, but I never know if it will work or not.

I also discovered that the HP utility cannot restore either the original WM5 or 2003SE ROM after upgrading to this version. I’m sure a ROM Flash utility exists somewhere, but I haven’t come across one yet.

Hopefully the next time my cell contract comes up for renewal, I can finally get a Pocket PC phone.




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