I finally broke down and got myself a Treo 650. I passed on the Treo originally because I am not a big Palm fan, and the device had no Bluetooth support. The more recently released 650 added Bluetooth support, but, as many users discovered, it was an incomplete implementation at best. Well, PalmOne released a Bluetooth update which seems to have solved the handsfree profile woes, making the Treo 650 the only quad-band GSM smartphone with almost-fully functional Bluetooth on the market. (Yes, the only one, I’ve been researching this one to death). And so I gave in and picked one up to day. My biggest complaint is that it is bulky, but I’ll try to get used to that. The other issue is that some of the key sequences feel very unintuitive, but I suspect that I’ll get used to that too. Pairing the Bluetooth was a breeze (after I installed the update, a process that was also a breeze), connecting the POP/SMTP client was just as simple, the speakerphone is loud and clear, the screen is very readable (although my son was horrified to discover that it comes with not a single game, and I am surprised that it comes with no built-in IM clients). I’ll be on the road quite a bit over the next month (in and out of the U.S.) and will thus get the chance to really put it to the test. More to come, I am sure.

13 thoughts

  1. Talking about no IM clients, are you using T-Mobile, they offer AIM service for ~$2-3/mo., but if you want a PocketPC AIM, it’s $20 from AOL! Pure madness, why is it free for PC’s, but $20 for a "Pocket" PC?! Ugh.
    Well, I don’t want to spoil the "new toy" mood, so, my original thought, "Cool!" πŸ™‚

  2. Did you go with Cingular then?
    You should check out Verichat for IM client, it’s pretty nice and is like Trillian (supports multiple simultaneous accounts).
    Marco is right, where’s our Flash Player for PalmOs? πŸ™‚

  3. Take a look at Chatter Email. If you have email on an IMAP-based server, it offers Blackberry-like push email capabilities on the Treo.
    Verichat is a good IM client, although sold on a subscription basis.

  4. Enjoy the phone Ben. On a separate note, where can I find the source code for the CFMX 7 Advanced? I can’t seem to find it on the Peachpit website nor your website.

  5. Congrats. My wife had an older Treo before we changed carriers. She loved it, but her requirements aren’t nearly as deep as yours.

  6. Welcome Ben, I’ve had a Treo 600 for about 18 months now and I have to say I’ve not looked back at Pocket PC or other PDA’s. It’s good to hear that the Bluetooth is well implemented finally too, cos that will be a major reason for me to upgrade. I access all my RSS feeds via it and do casual surfing whilst travelling and I find it invaluable. I hope you will become a PalmOS convert like me.
    Oh and yeah, a Flash player would be incredibly useful.. πŸ™‚

  7. Chris, I am using Cingular.
    Flash player, huh? I’ll pass on the comments. πŸ˜‰
    I’ll look into Verichat.
    And the code is on the book page (now), John.

  8. Ben, the O2 XDA IIs is also quad-band, and it has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, plus it runs Flash Player 6 too:
    http://www.my-xda.com/xda2s.html
    It isn’t much bigger than a Treo, but the screen is larger, and the hidden keyboard is there if you need to use it. I use it with a Sony Ericsson Bluetooth headset with no problem at all.
    Cheers,
    Dave

  9. Ben, what do you mean by handsfree?
    When someone calls, I don’t have to pick up the PDA to answer (just press a button on the Bluetooth headset, or set it to answer by default).
    Voice dialing from the headset is not supported AFAIK, but you can voice dial from the PDA, or use the built-in speaker phone.
    The biggest selling point for me is email and web browser that works either from a WLAN or GPRS (wish it has EDGE or something faster though), and use the PDA as a wireless modem from my laptop.

  10. Dave, Bluetooth supports different profiles, headset profileis the one used by Bluetooth headsets and is usually supported on phones, there are also lots of other profiles one of which is called handsfree which is the profile used by Bluetooth in cars (Acura, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Land Rover, and more). And unfortunatley, most phone vendors have yet to figure out that handsfree profile is needed too. Noka and Sony Ericcson generally support it (except in the Symbian devices), Motorola does officially but it seldom works properly, PalmOne does in the Treo update, but few others.

  11. Actually, my Bluetooth stack includes the following services:
    File Transfer, Information Exchange, Serial Port, Personal Network Server, Dial-up Networking Server, and Hands-Free.
    I know there are Bluetooth car kits that work with the XDA IIs. The last time I checked with Acura, their list of supported phones is very limited. So I think matching a phone with a built-in car phone system is still in its infancy stage.
    By the way, Microsoft released Windows Mobile 5 today: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/5/default.mspx

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