Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Verizon Coughs up my Treo 650!!!! and a sorry excuse for a review!!!!

Verizon-Treo 650

Well, at long long long last, Verizon Wireless has gotten off it's arse and released the PalmOne Treo 650. I was one of the lucky 5 in my area to get one via a retail outfit yesterday. Nothing like good launch planning guys!! Oh, and the reason the Verizon Wireless sales guy gave me for the delay- "There were uhh, Bugs in the 650." Riggghhhht No mention that Sprint and Cingular have had this model out for the better part of 6 months.

I digress. Quick review-

The Verizon branded Treo 650 is pretty damn cool. It's fairly small for it's functions. Despite reports of it being very unstable, mine has been solid for all of 48ish hours. The Verizon Wireless sync email and PIM push application works flawlessly, after installing it on my desktop at work 6 times (it has an interesting and convoluted setup process.) Granted, once it started working, no problem! Like the Blackberry Desktop Redirector, it sends email out via the cellular network. I get and send email very quickly without any real fuss. However!!!! You must subscribe to Verizon's data plan or you will get screwed! And I am not talking the 5mb for $25 plan here. I have pulled over 8mb in 1 day so far! Go for the unlimited data plan for 44.95. Ass rape for that price? Yes! But, if your a busy mobile professional who likes to use their cool electronic toys to hit on hot women on airplanes, the Treo 650 cannot be beat! Hey, my Ipod was a hit for the first couple weeks, so the Treo has to be the shizzle for geek chick bait....

Again, I digress.

In short-

Size- Suprisingly nicely sized. See Photo below. To the left is my Wife's Audiovox CDM-8900, which is on the small side of flip phones.

Audiovox Treo size comparison

Phone- Works great a phone. One handed dialing. Easy redial, speed dial, dial from your Palm Contacts etc. One glaring omission is the lack of a voice dial program. You have to purchase a 3rd party app... WTF?!?! My $99 LG VX6600 had freaking voice dialing. Sound quality is very good. The speaker phone is nice and loud. I was able to carry on phone calls with 1 bar showing. All in all, it works well in it's phone mode.

Memory- Memory on the Treo 650 sucks spacewise, but at least it is NVram. For more details on PalmOne's "interesting" memory implementation, just google the Treo 650. A SD memory card is a must on this phone.

Bluetooth- Check, kinda. Palmone's bluetooth implementation is terrible. More on that in my BT headset review.

Email- I know people say the Blackberry is the true king of the mobile email world, but the Treo 650 can answer this claim. With the Verizon Wireless sync push, you get the same features as a Blackberry. In addition, I setup Versamail (the Treo 650's standard email program) with my personal email via POP3. while Versamail is kind of limited, it grabs my email just fine.

PIM- Calendar, contact, task list, memos. Verizon Wireless Sync flawelessly syncs between outlook and PDA.

Camera- The Camera is suprisingly good on this unit. The VGA pictures are suprisingly sharp and its great in low light. It has a camcorder function too, which seems to work ok. I need to futz around with it more to form a real opinion.

MP3 support- The Realplayer bundled with the Treo 650 SUCKS! It only supports MP3s, has no real play list capability, and just plain annoyed the crap out of me. There are other 3rd party players out there which I will try out and report on. Oh, again, you need a SD card to play MP3s. Sound is suprisingly good on the phone speaker. To hear it in stereo, you need to buy an adapter. MP3s do NOT play through the Bluetooth Headset.

3rd Pary Applications- Hey, it's PalmOS, the most (or second most if you count Symbian) popular PDA/phone OS. Many thousands and thousands of 3rd party applications out there to stuff into your PDA. Keep in mind though- 3rd party apps can make your PDA unstable. When your PDA is also your phone.... Simply put- If you do not need the application, don't install it!

Battery Life- So far... not bad. Using it as just a phone, with hourly email updates, and it seems to last all day. If you surf the web alot or anally check your email every 10 minutes, expect that battery to drain drain drain!

Keypad/Interface- It's PalmOS, only better! Seriously, you don't need to do graffiti to enter text on this thing. The keypad is small and somewhat cramped, but I am already able to bang out messages/emails pretty quickly. One rarely needs the stylus to interact with the Treo. I only needed when using the web browser, or setting up some of the configurations. Normally, your thumbnail works great on the touchscreen.

Web- The Browser on the Treo650 is... ok. Nothing special. Seems to load webpages slowly. I will be hunting for a new browser.

Games- LOL. None. Zip, Zilch, Nada.

Verdict- The coolest smartphone I have used to date. I like the Treo 650 far more than the Blackberry or Windows Smartphones I have tried out. It has some serious flaws, but all in all, its an incredible little machine. I recommend it.


At Wednesday, June 08, 2005 12:27:00 AM, Blogger EB said...

So that's where my phone went. Tell me I can plug it into a fullsize keyboard and take notes in my Egyptology classes and I'm in business baby!


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