Treo 650 first impressions, Part I

Filed under: — 3:54 pm

Treo 650 Recently I replaced my Palm Tungsten T3 and my cheap cellphone with a Treo 650 with SprintPCS service. My wife and I both switched from T-Mobile back to Sprint, because we had terrible signal quality from T-Mobile at our house, and our cell phones are our only phones. The signal was great everywhere else, but not being able to make and receive calls at home was a wee bit inconvenient.

I’ve been very happy with the Treo 650 so far. It’s the first combined PDA/phone that doesn’t feel like a compromise. I’ll write a detailed review later, but here are some impressions after using the Treo for a month:

  • As a phone: The Treo has a nice substantial feel when talking, unlike the tiny cellphone it replaced. Voice quality is good. There are a couple of minor annoyances: a delay when dialing (sometimes as long as a second or two) and you have to dial with on-screen buttons or with the tiny keyboard buttons. But it’s quite usable as a phone, and having access to my PDA contact list makes up for any deficiencies.
  • As a Palm PDA: The Treo seems a bit faster than the T3, probably because it uses a newer version of PalmOS. It’s a bit short on memory (32MB), and worse yet, due to the way the flash memory is organized into blocks, it holds less than any other 32MB Palm device. Fortunately, Palm just released a software update that seems to fix that problem, and they sent me a free 128 MB SD card for my trouble, so I’m not complaining.
  • The Screen: The screen is only 320 x 320, and I do miss the large screen on the T3, but it’s otherwise very nice. The screen is small, making the pixels tiny and the fonts beautiful. It also has the brightest backlight I’ve ever seen on a Palm device. I can easily use it in sunlight.
  • The keyboard: I didn’t even consider a Treo for a long time because the keyboard has such tiny keys, and I have large fingers. I played with one at the SprintPCS store and was surprised to find that I could type with reasonable accuracy despite this. It turns out that the Treo’s software is designed to watch for and correct multiple keypresses, compensating for my clumsiness nearly 100%. I can already get data into this device about twice as fast as I could with the Fitaly keyboard on my old Palm, and don’t even ask me about Graffiti. I’ve found that I almost never use the stylus—between the keyboard and the five-way navigator, I can do just about everything without it.
  • Battery Life: As with any smartphone, the battery life isn’t as good as that of a PDA-only device. Nevertheless, I can usually go a few days without charging, unless I spend a few hours talking on the phone. Unlike other Palm devices, it has a removable rechargable battery, so if battery life is ever an issue I can buy a spare one.

All in all, I’m very happy with the Treo 650, and with Sprint’s service. This turned out to be a long post, so I’ll save my comments about the Treo’s camera and Internet features for Part II.

Update: see Part II for more of my notes about the Treo 650.

3 responses to “Treo 650 first impressions, Part I”

  1. Phones says:

    Treo 650 First Impressions A good Treo 650 review:…

  2. Treo 650 first impressions, Part I [Source: – Michael Moncur’s weblog] quoted: I played with one at the SprintPCS store and was surprised to find that I could type with reasonable accuracy despite this. It turns out that the Treo’s software is designed to watch for and …

  3. […] Today there is good news—thanks to a $30 software download, my Treo 650 can play subscription music from Yahoo, Napster, and the rest. Version 3.1 of Pocket Tunes Deluxe, released today, supports Microsoft’s Janus/PlaysForSure DRM and I’m pleased to report that it plays Yahoo subscription music just fine. […]

(c) 2001-2007 Michael Moncur. All rights reserved, but feel free to quote me.
Powered by WordPress