"Very nice to have myriad 'extras' but sometimes I just need it to be a good phone...."on by hksmith
Pros Ability to use all of my existing Palm OS apps
Cons Doesn't perform as a phone as well as my prior Nokia phone
Summary I truly enjoy being 'down' to just one device, but I have to confess, my lowered expectations, have been met. I'm not unhappy, but neither am I 'over the moon' as I'd hoped to be with my 650.
I'm a long time Palm user going all the way to US Robotics PalmPilot. Along the way, I've also owned Palm OS devices from Handera, Handspring and Sony. I even owned and used for a short while the VisorPhone plug-in. When the 600 came out, I initially raced to go and hold one to see if I really could get down to one device. I was able to hold off because a) I wanted BT and b) the form factor, while nice, is a ultimately a 'net loss' for me. I'm a big guy with big hands. The prospect of trying to thumb dial on the Palm keyboard held no allure. Besides that, I was/am extremely proficient with Graffiti 1. I wasn't looking forward to losing that data entry capability.
When the 650 came out, I still held out waiting to see the critical reviews from press and early adopters. Reading about the memory issue, I felt vindicated by waiting. Ultimately I purchased and got down to business.
One of the first things I noticed was the the fact that the sound volume for the headset is simply too low. It's ridiculous that I have to adjust to maximum for each and every call, particularly when a) I have perfect hearing - or at least that's what the doctor says - and b) I never had to do this on any of my previous portable 'phones' I eagerly installed the recent patch on the hopes that, as advertised, it would fix/address. Didn't happen. I tried third party app that supposedly fixes, but no joy - at least in my experience. Moreover, why should I have to pay for an extra app to help the phone do what it's supposed to do?
Secondly, the Bluetooth implementation is neither as elegant or robust as it should be. After the initial pairing of a device, it should just work / be 'there' for all subsequent interactions. In my experience, sometimes this happens with the BT Headset...sometimes it doesn't. I've taken to either dialing my voicemail 'first' to make sure headset is 'recognized' and working or waving the phone around my ear on the hopes that BT Headset will recognize and connect. Interestly, I saw a special on some sports agent on ESPN yesterday. I immediately recognized he was wearing a Palm BT headset and likely using a 650. I had to chuckle when I saw him do the same 'ear wave' that I have to do to get the BT Headset to be recognized by the phone.
Thirdly, I can't ever recall throwing any of my previous phones in disgust. I've done that more times than I care to admit with the Treo. On several occasions, I've navigated to a contact, hit the green send key to dial a number, held phone to my ear waiting for connection only to realize that dialing did not initiate nor complete and phone is in some previous state. To be fair, I don't know if it's the carrier (TMobile), some bad interaction between the extra apps I've installed and the built-in phone app, or the device itself. Again, when I pushed 'send' on previous, phone-only device, it 'just worked.'
Finally, I followed the instructions to install the latest flash upgrade only to discover that I'd lost hundreds of contacts. Not sure why. Should I have backed up using a third party app. Probably. But again, tell me why I need to buy extra 'stuff' to do what the manufacturer says it's already covered with it's procedures? Fortunately, I'd backed up separately onto my wife's computer and I can 'selectively' reinstall the contact info I want via Outlook. Nothing like a periodic purge of your address book...g
Yes it's the best smartphone out there, and, no I won't go 'back' to a phone only solution. I guess for me, the NY Times review that suggested it was an 'awkard teenage' felt most right to me. It's long past it's 'baby steps' but it's far from being a mature, solution for the masses. In my view, in order for the device to really have a mass appeal, it needs to 'just work' The average user does not want to spend time understanding the arcane intricacies of the Palm, Symbian, MS or any other OS. When the manufacturers figure that out, we'll all be better for it.
Pros All in one, Nice Screen, Palm OS
Cons No Harmony Buggy software
Summary I'd been using a SONY hires CLIE and a NOKIA phone for years. I love Palm OS. Simplicity at its best. When Treo 600 came out I thought I'd be my dream device. It didn't. The low res screen simply put me back and kept using the SONY.
And when Treo 650 came out. The wait was over and it was seemingly everything I wanted in a converged device. I took the plunge.
As a PDA Treo is at its best but as a phone Treo 650 is far from perfect and honestly "sucks". The marriage between a PDA and a phone doesn't seem go in harmony or blend together.
I know this is completely a software issue. Though PalmOne says "Ace Palm OS" in the ROM, it isn't the case. Treo hardware is jewel in the eyes instead.
To point out, comparing to the CLIE, this get corrupted PIM database in one way or the other. Basic most required phone oriented address book isn't there. Palm Contacts simply sucks for a quick use in a phone. Software titles galore for Palm OS but there isn't any single application which as easy as to use the NOKIA Phonebook and takes the full use of vivid 320X320 screen. This is a shame.
If you use something like PhoneMagic instead, you always get corrupted PIM database and loop of resets.
Volume level is always low and not steady
No mp3 Ringtone without additional software. Anyway asigning ringtone to a name is a nightmare.
So I rate this 7 at my best. But PalmOne and other software makers should gear up to deliver software for the Treo 650's nice piece of ace hardware capabilities.
Pros Great programs, very good battery life.
Cons A bit hard to operate.
Summary I simply love it. Most of people face the same problem, soft reset for no apparent reason. I found the solution for everyone. From the phone dial pad enter ##377 on a CDMA model, and #*377 on GSM phones, then click the dial button. This code displays the last error which caused a soft reset, the program that was running, and line number, which is useful to Treo software developers in troubleshooting the problem. Just disable or uninstall this program and voila ! No more soft reset.
Pros Great Smartphone functionality for Palm lovers
Cons Constant performance glitches
Summary Actually this smartphone has all the makings of the breakthrough product which PalmOne needed to compete against the Blackberry. But, this phone is plagued with constant endless automatic rebooting and automatic shut down of the phone feature. Certainly, these symptoms are not typical of Palm reliability and stability that their users have come to appreciate.
Pros Strong, durable phone. Palm OS has gotta be one of the easiest and most stable OS's out there (you hear that Windows Mobile, I said STABLE). Great battery life, lotta free apps online, keyboard is amazing. Churning out text messages is a breeze.
Cons Stupid antenna stub is quite annoying. Browsing the internet is next to awful. Adding one too many apps will cause the phone to do some crazy things...like crash or the dreaded "loop of death". Kinda on the chubby side.
Summary I have had this phone for the better part of over two years. I have had my share of ups and downs with this phone but in the end, we're meant to be together. I got this phone after my T-Mobile Dash decided to go berserk on me, which wasn't its fault, it's the crappy Windows Mobile software that caused me to get rid of it. I should have learned from my first Windows device the Motorola MPx200, was that a piece of work. Back to the Palm, I recently went back to the Palm after "upgrading" to the T-Mobile G1. I have to say I loved the Android OS, but they awkward keyboard design and the not so hot battery life (with 3G turned off), not to mention that ridiculous data plan, caused me to ditch it on eBay. The 650 does have its moments when it likes to turn off the phone function on its own, which is initially why I got the G1, but for the most part it works fine and does what I want it to do well, which is churn out those text messages. Thanks to this phone I use on average about 2500 texts a month. This was not happening on the G1 with that big bump next to the keyboard and the onscreen keyboard doesn't cut it either. I love that fact that I can still play my videos via TCPMP (The Core Pocket Media Player) listen to my music, check my email, all while getting great battery life. The G1 would have been a keeper if it lasted an extra 2 hours without the extended battery because the call quality was flawless. The 650 isn't quite flawless, but its pretty good. I also love the ability to create my own mp3 ringtones on my PC and transferring them to the phone via MiniTones. I edit the tones to be loud and the Treo makes them even louder. Another thing that people may find petty is that the vibrate can be felt in and out of my pocket. If I had the G1 in my pocket and someone called, I would never know because it was so weak. The vibrate on the Palm alone wakes me up in the morning, its that powerful. I will probably be looking to replace it with another 650 soon as this one's headphone jack seems to short out every headset I plug into it but that is minor. I love my Treo and I hope that they eventually release a GSM version of the Palm Pixi as I think that is a true successor to the Treo instead of all the other phones that they've released with that cruddy Windows Mobile software. Stick to your own new WebOS, Palm, and you'll have no problems. Leave Windows Mobile alone, they will be your downfall. I would have bought the Palm Treo Pro if it weren't for Windows plaguing it. Please bring the Pixi to GSM users!!!