Pros Functionality, Convienence, Resolution, Internet capabilities,Brightness, Palm, Just plain cool
Cons NO WiFi!!!, External antenna, Verizon data service charge, Can be quirky, Internal memory
Summary I, like many of you out there, was immediately drawn to this product when I laid my eyes on the spec sheet. The 600 was not to my liking so I never went ahead with it. My first step was to check here and see what the reviews said. I left here even more undecided than when I came. Since then I have cruised the Treo forums and went ahead and purchased it from my local Verizon store. I'm doing this for all of you who are unsure about whether or not the treo is for you.
This is my opinion... The wow factor is definately there. This is one cool&smart phone(Get it "Smart...Phone"). It may be a little bigger than a lot of people hope for, but this not a phone for someone that does not plan to use the palm aspect of it daily. For those of us that have been burdened by carrying two devices all this time, this new device is great. I've been using Palm for years between my Palm Vx, Clie PEG-N760C, and most recently my Clie TH-55, the Treo wins in the "What I want in a PDA catagory." Don't get me wrong my TH-55 is great. My Verizon Moto V60 still one of the best phones out there. However to me, mating these two products is what I really needed. I found myself leaving my PDA at home certain times because I didn't want to carry both and later in the day going to reach for it and realizing that I left it at home. Enough about me, on to the main event.
The Treo 650 is an upgraded version from PalmOne which didn't do it for a lot of folks. Also, anyone considering this product will be happy to know that a lot of the known issues such as, low ear piece volume, constant soft resetting, constant dropped calls(also depending on your location), a few touch screen problems, and loss of datebook alarms are primarily due to software and hardware of other carriers i.e. cingular, sprint. Thanks to Verizon waiting on this, a lot of problems were resolved. Even still, I have experienced a few minor issues since I purchased mine. Initial software set up was ok and fairly simple. Syncing, for me, was no problem. I've only had uninstall and reinstall one app and that might have been due to a situation with the Wireless Sync software. After about 10 syncs Wireless sync refused to sync. In my frustration while it was switching from the app to the connection screen I pushed a few buttons then it kicked me out and would not connect to the wireless sync site. I uninstalled and reinstalled wireless sync and it works just fine now. Another issue I had was while testing to see if it was true that I could not send video through MMS, I attempted to initiate it a couple different ways and then BAM! I saw the palm screen and waited while it performed a soft reset. I will also tell you that Reception is not the greatest, probably due to the number of different things this device can due and ammount of info constantly flowing. It isn't bad reception either. Verizon, in my experience has the best reception I've ever had compared to the carriers I have had. The second day I had it I dropped 2 calls in succession while talking to my boss. Not good. When I called him back I told him that my counter was still going so I was still connected. He said he was driving and he had looked at his phone and there was no counter and it seemed like he was just disconnected. I'm not 100% sure whose fault it was but since then no problems with dropped calls. This minor issue of high connectivity will have a more pronounced effect if you are surfing the web or trying to download something since the ammount of data flowing depends on level of reception. I've been lucky in the 3rd party software catagory in that I haven't had any compatibility issues....yet. Battery life has been great. I was cruising the web last night for about an hour and when I was done my battery was down to 56%. I had checked it just before I started cruising and it was at 75%. Not too shabby for an hour worth of web time.
Now, about Verizon's data service. I wish I had a clear cut explanation for what it is and how it works but I have gotten over 11 different explanations of what is available. The only thing I know for sure is that they charge a whopping $45 a month for unlimited use. The way my rep justified it to me was "if some of these companies at airports and Starbucks are charging $8/hour or $19.95 per month only at their locations the $45 is money well spent." Well, not when it's 45 of my hard earned dollars. If you set up it with your company and they foot the bill then go for it. If not, verizon supposedly has a couple options, but what they are, who is eligible, and how you get them has remained unclear.
On internal memory...the Treo 650 comes with 22.4 megs of space. Doesn't sound too bad right? Wrong! PalmOne has has changed the memory type to non-volatile or volatile whatever they call it. What that means to you is that if your battery dies or you have to take it out you won't lose your info. Great idea right? Wrong again! It would have been a great idea if palm upgraded the memory to 128 or even 64!!! I say this because with they new memory type the size of the file increases by about 33%. With only 22.4M this is a signifcant increase. I don't want this to sound like I'm bashing them for making this a more stable system but 22.4M is not enough. My first accessory was a 1gig sd card a little pricey at $99 but well worth it. I suggest you store all your games, mp3s, and videos here. Some self sustaining programs as well such as Docs to go and adobe reader can live on your sd because they are fairly large.
No Wi-Fi...this surprised me. Once I thought about it, it made perfect sense. This is a cellular phone. Sustained by a cellular company that offers a $45/month data plan. AH HA!!! It must have been the phone companies idea!!! Anyway most people can live without it. There is talk about Palm making a driver for the tungsten WiFi card that is now available but not useable on the Treo.
All things considered I'm happy with my Treo and I believe that I made the right decision. The phone has endless possiblities and the only neccessary upgrade is the SD card and a screen protector that it comes with. I was skeptical at first due to all the bad reviews but after using it and only having very minor issues it is the best gadget I've had yet.
P.S. The camera is good enough for what you would use it for it doesn't need a 1 MP camera
P.P.S. You may also wanna consider the upcoming Samsung i730. Kinda cool looking, slide away keyboard and it's always nice to have an altrnative. It runs on PocketPC though. BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!Updated
Well I see that quite a few people found my review helpful, so I've decided to give you all an update. An update which I probably should have done sooner. I've had this phone since may, and I do love the idea, use, and convienence of this phone. Most of my review holds up over time, but a few issues must be discussed.
As far as the soft resetting issue goes, I must own the softest Treo ever made. My phone doesn't reset while on call, although I'm sure that since I've now written that....it will. It resets at the strangest times. Ocasionally when I go to bring it back from sleep mode I push the one of the 4 power buttons and for a few seconds nothing happens. At this point I know the only image I will see on my phone will be the palm logo. I HATE THAT LOGO!!!!!!! Only because I see it so often.
As for reception, it's still good. Very few dropped calls and pretty much always has decent signal strength.
My favorite issue is the ear piece volume. It can be fixed by purchasing a $7 -$10 program called Volume care. You can find it on gotreosoftware.com It's my favorite because many of us spent quite a few sheckles to buy this phone and now we get to spend even more money. WOO HOO!!!!!(said in a very, almost overly, sarcastic tone) It's not that big of a deal but its the principle.
On to E-Mail. It's works quite well. Only a few minor issues, such as the incessant need for the treo to always ask me to connect to the internet. WHEN I SAY NO.......I MEAN NO!! You have the option to have it always be connected, which I might add will cause you some trouble if you cannot afford to miss calls. When receiving data your calls will go straight to voicemail. When it is always connected you'd be amazed how many times your status light will turn to orange. Letting you know that you will not receive any calls until its done.
I love the internet access that this phone provides me. Also, the palm organizer aspect of the phone but I am at the point where I am seriously considering reverting back to my old set up because buying a new phone from verizon would cost me quite a few dollars.
My point here is....If you "NEED" it, buy it. If you don't, then don't.
Pros Great Phone
Cons May be hard at first for people that do not know computers
Summary I am having a hard time believing that PalmOne would sell to Verizon if they truly new what Verizon was going to charge people to use it.
I also have a hard time believing that Verizon believes that they can sell the TREO 650 and charge $45 on top of everyones basic plan.
Yes you read it right, $45 Extra to use a TREO 650 on the internet through Verizon.
You Have been WARNED!!
Verizon has blocked the Treo 650 from accessing the internet the way 1,000,000s of people do with web enabled cell phones.
It was Much cheaper for me to lower my Verizon plan to the minimum cost and Go to CINGULAR! $15 for unlimited text gets you unlimited internet through Cingular!
Be careful , read all the fine print. If you do and Need a TREO 650 Do Not Use Verizon Wireless.
Not having to carry my laptop on flights is a wonderful thing!
Bill MacGregor K.I.S.S. CO. LLC
Note to the editor,
C NET will make a big mistake if a Complete story is not written about this.
Pros Lightweight, excellent pda, nice upgrade from treo 600.
Cons As a phone it gets lousy reception or frequent dropped calls.
Summary The day the TREO was released with Verizon I purchased the phone. Immediately I noticed poor reception, usually 1 or 2 bars where I had full signal with my LG6100. The first call I made was dropped, and about 1/2 of all calls thereafter dropped. Again, almost half of all calls were dropped!
The reception is not strong, or will go from 4 bars to no service randomly. On one 2 hour call where there has always been full signal, the call was dropped 9 times with the client. Having no landline to switch to I had to keep calling back. Very bad for business, thankfully they were very patient.
As a phone, it is extremely unreliable.
Tech support suggested the phone had a manufacturers defect and recommended I swap it during my 15 day worry free guarantee. The new phone had the exact same problems. I made many more calls and tried all the suggestions from tech support and still had the same issue. I was called back a week later from a Verizon rep and was told that they had run tests in my area and spoken with employees who had been using the phone prior to the release and no one had given the same feedback as I had.
I thought that was odd since I spoke with other individuals who owned the 650 who had expressed the same problems, some of CNET’s customer feedback had the same problems, and a couple Verizon employees I spoke with had the same problem! When I went to return it the 2nd time I was told Verizon together with Palm are aware of the problem and have held the inventory of 650’s and are doing software updates with them before they are sent out for purchase. I was also told to go to palmone.com and get the updates for my phone there. I checked the website out and there are no updates for Verizon customers at this time. I went back to the store again, returned the phone, and have gone back to my LG.
I probably will purchase it again but not until all necessary updates are done…it could be 1, 2, 3 months or more until all the kinks are worked out. In the meantime I need a phone that is reliable and actually works. I recommend any who are interested in purchasing it wait a few months.Updated
http://www.palm.com/us/support/treo/treo650verizon/ has a at least one update for Verizon TREO 650 customers. Hope there are more to come!
Pros Loud speakerphone, virbrate & ring, light indicator show reception, phone answering using touchscreen, ALL DIGITAL (No analog crap),
Cons Miss some of the palm features like "grafiti" and scribbling my memo notes onto the screen. (Have to use keyboard.), Bluetooth needs some rethinking, no voice dail/commands, weaker reception.
Summary The Treo is more PDA than phone. It's better for business execs. Which I'm not.
I was having issues with my last bluetooh phone, and so I ordered this one. Unfortunately I don't use many of the functions of the Palm, I just use the phone. So I can't tell you about e-mailing and synching.
But as a phone it's decent.
Reception is average. Out of 4 bars of reception, I rarely see more than 2.
In my case, my last phone Motorola v710 wouldn't even catch reception. But if I leave this phone in one spot, it'll hold a steady signal. Unless I move it, in which case I lose reception almost instantly. (Keep in mind reception varies from city to city.)
The bluetooth headset feature is so primitive! Everytime you make a call on the phone, you have to press the "connect" button on your headset after you've dailed the number. (It won't connect before the phone number is dialed.) Which is annoying because the other person you're calling could pick up and sit there listening to silence, while you "connect" the bluetooh headset.
Also, it lacks voice dialing. So far I don't know of any programs which I can install to do that. But if you're gonna pay $400 for a phone, I think that feature should be standard.
I also miss "Grafiti". The Treo comes with a stylus, but it's only useful to point to another line of text you want to write on next.
Lastly, I use to write memos in my PALM M515 by just scribbling on the screen. Now you HAVE to type it in. (A little slower in my opinion.)
Hope you found this helpful.
Pros Does most of what I need: Good phone, great Palm organizer, MP3 player, email and SMS device. Great form factor.
Cons Onboard memory needs beefing up, small screen and thumbkeys.
Summary I've been waiting to get a converged device for a couple of years, and the Treo 650 finally does enough of the things I need in one device. I need a good phone, Palm Organizer, Email and SMS device, and it does all of those things extremely well. I sync to Outlook on my laptop, Outlook for work email and earthlink for personal email and that all works exactly as expected. The MP3 player is a nice bonus. Other media stuff? Who cares - I have a much better digital camera and mini-DV video camera, and I can't imagine wanting to use this tiny phone for those things.
Two small caveats: I'm over 40 and the screen and thumbkeys are taking some getting used to - they're pretty small. But the keyboard beats the heck out of graffiti, and a bigger screen would mean a bigger, heavier phone, so I'm generally happy.
I experienced some of the hard reset problems other users noticed, and in my case I'm pretty sure it's because I upgraded from a Palm Tungsten T3 using the "automatic" process. My advice: First delete everything you don't absolutely have to have from your old device (the 650 REALLY needs more memory - save yourself some hassle and just get an expansion card). Then follow the "What to do if your upgrade doesn't work right" instructions to start with. Backup your old device and copy the backup folder somewhere safe. Then delete all of your files from the original backup and start fresh. The automatic process is good at detecting incompatible .prc files, but it doesn't do so well with supporting .pdb and other files. After some crashing, I finally did one hard reset, started fresh and added only the stuff I absolutely had to have, and the device is working just fine.
All that run-around demonstrates one thing: You still need to be a *bit* of a geek to get up and running without too much frustration. This is still really not a turn-key device.
Last note - I dropped it screen down from chest height onto a hard tile floor the first day I had it. No problems so far.