I’ve been using my Treo 650 for a week and a half now, and I’ll admit it, I am addicted to this thing. It’s not perfect, actually it is rather imperfect, but I can’t see myself parting with it anytime soon.
I mentioned some pros and cons last week, and here are some additional comments and thoughts:
Pros: GSM coverage is great (I had problems in Portland last week, but no problems at all in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Las Vegas), GPRS throughput is decent (although that is as much a provider consideration as it is the device), keyboard is decent once you get used to it, IR works well, integrated apps are decent (although not great), and the built-in web browser works very well (except for pages that use lost of JavaScript).
Cons: device is too big to hold next to your ear so an earpiece is a must, it feels sluggish at times (I can make 2 or 3 clicks with no response, and then the screen rapidly changes and catches up resulting in incorrect selections), no “back” button (I am in an app, phone rings so it switches to the phone screen, no one button way to get back to where you were, this one irks me no end), volume is low (phone, earbud, and even speakerphone), Bluetooth is still not quite there (does not always synch, does not publish all data), voice based dialing via Bluetooth just does not work, buttons (even screen buttons) are too close and easily mis-clicked (I have hung up on lots of calls while trying to answer them), battery life is pathetic, and the screen easily scratched (I already have little styles marks on it).
The device is also hanging on me less, the odd things is that it seems to hang more if I don’t use the Bluetooth headset (which makes no sense). I installed VeriChat and am not sure that that was wise (somehow this feels more intrusive and distracting than IM on the desktop), may have to remove that.
The other annoyance is that with so many buttons and controls so close together it is close together it is close to impossible to use the device without looking at it. Then again, I find it bulky and it if were less so … I know I know. I guess if Bluetooth voice dialing worked that would be less of an issue.
So, the bottom line, I am keeping this one. It’s not the perfect device, but it is as close to it as I have seen yet.

11 thoughts

  1. I’m considering buying a couple TREO 650s or the latest PocketPC phone for me and one of my associates. The Treo 650 sounds quite buggy. I’m questioning why you chose PalmOne Treo versus Windows PocketPC – perhaps size is the issue? Seems PocketPC phones would be more compatible with CF apps (flash player), etc. – and maybe more stable than the Treo?

  2. Just got one, too, Ben. I’ll be migrating from the Sidekick which should be an interesting experience. I’ll blog the results next week.

  3. I currently use a TREO 600. I don’t miss the blue tooth (which my Sony had), and I love lots of things about the phone. However I do find lots of the same bugs that Ben speaks of. I actually purchased a HP iPAQ 6315 before getting the TREO 600. I found the iPAQ to be a much better pda than the TREO. Built in WI-FI, much larger screen, built in Terminal Services, multi tasking, and the integrated apps were much better. However I need the device to be a phone first and the iPAQ was the absolute worst phone I had ever used. I will keep my eye on those iPAQ’s for the future, I simply don’t see how the palm OS will be able to compete in the future.

  4. Chuck,
    Whatever you buy, don’t get the iMate PDA2k (or Qtek 9090, O2 XDA IIs). I got one of these a couple of days back and today I returned it to the store. Idea looks good on paper, it has all the features a pro will need (BT, WiFi, QWERTY keyboard, etc.) and it’s a great PDA, but the phone … let’s just say a $20 works better.
    Ben’s problems with the Treo are nothing, this PPC Phone has no sound if you lock the keyboard, calls are missed for no reason at all, SMS is sometimes delivered and the O2 suplied software only adds new bugs.
    If you need a phone with PDA features (and no keyboard) the i-mate SP3i is great. The only problem is the phone keyboard.

  5. A few things from my treo 600 experience over the years-
    1. Get the service plans as my LCD screen cracked and cost me $180 and 5-8 days without a phone (Sprint PCS).
    2. Get the USB Synch/Charging cable
    3. Buy PalmNet – used in conjunction with the usb charging cable you can dial up to the Internet and charge your phone at the same time. Best of all with Sprint it only uses your minutes or free nights and weekends. This has proved invaluable for dialing in from strange places.
    4. Use screen protectors.

  6. I recently bought the Audiovox vx6600 with windows mobile from verizon. I returned it after a day. As a PDA it’s works great. As a phone it just doesn’t cut it.
    Some of the problems I experienced in 1 day:
    1) Ringer is way too soft. I could hardly hear it at work.
    2) They keyboard lock doesn’t work all the time. I would put the phone in it’s holder and when I went to get it next time, I have about 20 windows open.
    3) Dialing is a pain. DO NOT USE THIS PHONE WHILE DRIVING. I almost got into 2 accidents in day one, just trying to dial a number.
    I’ve always wanted a pda but didn’t want to have to lug that and a phone around with me. I think phone manufacturers have a long way to go before they can integrate the 2.
    As with most things, use the right tool for the job. For making calls, stick to a cell phone, for organizing your life use a pda.
    The phone I did finally get is the Motorola v710. Very nice phone with blue tooth. The blue tooth works like a charm with the Jabra 250 headset. This is by far the best headset I have ever owned. It’s built so that the ear bud goes into your ear. I can be driving with the window down and still clearly hear my call. I give it a 10 all around.

  7. I have been using the Treo 600 for almost 2 years now. I use verichat as well, but I have a love hate realtionship with this app.. Most of the hanging issues I have seem to revolve around verichat trying to open a wireless web connection. I have found that if always on is on that many times my phone will have to be soft-reseted to get out of the hanging. The answer for me has been to only turn verichat on when I need to use it…and try to steer clear of apps that want to control that wireless web connection in any way. I have considered switching over to a different multichat client for the Treo 600…I just havent found one quite as nice as verichat.

  8. Couple of things…
    Have you considered a Blackberry? These things rock but strictly speaking aren’t PDA’s in the true sense.
    To the person trying to dial/use a phone while driving. In the UK it’s illegal to do that and has been shown to be comparable to being drunk at the wheel.
    Pull over or buy a suitable hands-free kit. No call is worth killing somebody over.

  9. Although I love my Treo 650, I would much rather have a good PocketPC phone. Not only do they support all the various Microsoft products, they also support Flash which the Treo does not and apparently will not any time soon. I use Sprint as my carrier and their PocketPC offering is horrible. As for the service, the latest update from Sprint for the Treo650 appears to have fixed many of the unwanted reboots and the hanging that plagued them during the first 6 months. Ben, buy the screen covers (19.99) they are well worth the cost.

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