I’ve used quite a few Windows Mobile phones over the past 6+ years. I recently received an unlocked GSM Palm Treo Pro and have been playing around with it now for the last four days. I thought I would share my experience and thoughts with this new phone.
I decided to read the quick instructions so I could remove the back cover and insert my SIM card. The instructions tell me to hold the phone so the back is facing up; then use my right thumb to push on the lower right corner of the phone to remove the cover. Either I’m a weakling or the directions are totally incorrect. After a few minutes of failure and a sore right thumb, I decide to take the phone in both hands and using both thumbs, push the back cover upwards (toward top of phone). SUCCESS!!! I took a closer look at the cover plate and realize there is no stinking way the cover will come off by pushing on the lower right corner with only my right thumb. Luckily, I don’t need to remove the cover on a regular basis so I’m not going to count this against Palm.
After inserting the SIM card, replacing the battery and the cover, I turn on the phone so I can really start playing with it. I pull out the stylus so I can complete the initial configuration and am not happy with the size of the stylus. Even though my hands are fairly small (I’m short), the small stylus is difficult to hold and is very uncomfortable. I like the stylus that came with my Palm Treo 650 much better. I am very happy with the screen though and really like the resolution. Like my old Treo, there is a nice volume on / off switch. There is also a nice on / off switch for turning off the screen that I really missed with the 650 when I switched from my HTC Wizard. The call end button still works, but there were many instances where I was turning off the screen on the 650 only to hang up on a call that happened to ring in at that exact time. Now with the Treo Pro, I can just use the on / off button again!!!! When I turned off the screen the first time, I thought something was wrong with the phone since the screen didn’t totally turn off. Instead, it displayed the time and date in a light muted font – kinda like a screen saver since the text moves from area to area on the screen. Now, I can see what time it is without having to turn on the screen – I like that.
I explored through all the applications that came with the phone. Some I like, some I won’t use such as Google Maps. Instead, I downloaded Windows Live and installed that as my GPS program since the phone has a built in GPS receiver. I really like this application as it did a very nice job of finding restaurants, gas stations, and other points of interest. It then provided me pretty decent driving directions. I’m also able to get the nice aerial view so that I can get an idea of what the actual building looks like as I’m trying to find a place I’ve never been to.
From a connectivity perspective, everything works fine. Since T-Mobile doesn’t offer 3G, I’m still stuck with Edge and it is what it is. I like the WiFi capability on this phone and the applet for connecting to different access points works very well. The only thing I haven’t tested yet is connectivity to WPA2 access points, but that will happen eventually. Internet Sharing works well and is easy to configure (phone dongling).
Audio quality of phone calls is good including speaker phone. It is easy to mute and unmute as well as turn on and off the speaker phone. From a dialing perspective, I did get used to the way the 650 handled the caller list, but I’m sure I will eventually get used to the way it works on the Pro.
I really wish cell phone manufacturers would stick with a universal standard for charging connectors. It would be nice if they all used the mini USB connector or something universal. Most of the HTC phones that I own uses the mini USB connector (Wizard, Tornado, Touch Pro and StarTrek (non Mini USB)). With my Palm Treo 650, I have a couple of AC chargers (one to leave at home and one to take on the road when I travel) and a car charger. With the Treo Pro, it is a different connector so if I want the same configuration as before, I’ll have to spend about $80 to purchase a second AC charger and a car charger – that’s frustrating. I will say that the battery has lasted about 2 days on average with regular usage.
I also like that the phone can accept a mini SD card for extra storage. The thing I don’t like is that I have to remove the back cover to access the mini SD slot. The Treo 650 had a small access plate that flipped open for quick access to the SD slot.
I’m sure there is not a phone on the market that I will be 100% satisfied with so I have to look at the key features of the phone that I do like and determine if the annoyances are acceptable. When I look at the Treo Pro, I am very happy with the key features that I use and am willing to live with the annoyances. Overall, I am very happy with this phone and give it a score of 8 out of 10. I would recommend this phone to all my friends, family and customers.