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Review|Palm Treo Pro

Here is my review of the Palm Treo Pro. palm’s latest GSM Windows Mobile device.

Packaging

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palm has really outdone itself with the packaging it’s nice, classy, and simple. 


Unfortunately my package seems to be lacking the regular flat pins that are common here in the PH. I will try to contact palm about this.

What’s in the box:

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palm Treo Pro

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palm wired stereo headset

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Li-ion 1500mAh Battery

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micro USB sync /charge cable

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AC adapter with interchangeable plugs.

Documentation

palm did not bother including a CD but has instead put a 1st setup option on the device. I did not bother with it as well because my system already has WMDC. It’s a nice touch though. It is disappointing that palm did not include a screen protector, an extra stylus or even a simple case. I like that they’ve made the wall charger smaller it will be easier to carry around or throw in my gadget bag.

Specifications:

Windows Mobile Professional 6.1

Quadband GSM & Tri-band UMTS with HSDPA

Qualcomm® MSM7201 400MHz

128Mb RAM / 256 Mb ROM

3in 320x320 Flush Touch Screen

QWERTY keyboard + D-pad/Beacon + Ringer Toggle + WiFi Toggle + 4 App Keys + Side Button + Volume + Power Button

microSDHC expansion [not hot swappable]

3.5mm jack [finally]

Bluetooth 2.0 EDR

WiFi 802.11b/g

2MP fixed focused camera

GPS [aGPS supported]

IR port

Rear facing mono speaker

Removable, rechargeable 1500mAh lithium-ion battery

Dimensions: 114 x 60 x 13.5 mm

Weight: 133g

The specifications are nothing to rave about really. I mean you see these in most modern devices. This is believe it or not the very first GSM Treo to have WiFi built-in and yes it was released in 2008. I guess it boils down to design and execution. This device is sleek & sexy, it is the thinnest and glossiest Treo to date. I like the thin, the glossy not so much. The finish on this device is a finger print magnet. OCD people you’ve been warned.

Upfront -

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Just above the screen is the earpiece and beside it is a charge indicator, red means charging & yellow is fully charged, AFAIK it only shows charging state. It would’ve been nice if it showed bluetooth status too, I am sure some one will make a mort script for it though.

Screen002

We see a 3in 320x320 display and a flushed screen. It not only makes the device look good but it also in my opinion makes tapping on the screen easier. The 320x320 is one of the youngest resolutions to hit the Windows Mobile platform and most software houses have started to update their applications to support it. There will be titles that may not display properly. The screen is gorgeous and very responsive nonetheless.

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palm did away with the hardware softkeys some might take issue with this but I find that using your thumb to hit the on screen softkey non obtrusive. The 4 way dpad also doubles as a voicemail alert, by default it only works to alert you of voicemail. I don’t use voicemail so I’ve installed a mort-script which controls the beacon and alerts you when you have unread SMS/E-Mail. The dpad is surrounded by 4 buttons Start, Calendar, OK, Messaging these are in turn flanked by the green/send and red/end keys. What’s great is palm extended the use of these buttons. So you get more out of them.

Start = Start Menu

Option + Start = User customizable

Ok = Ok/Close

Option + Ok = Task Manager

Calendar = Calendar

Option + Calendar = Notes

Messaging = Messaging

Option + Messaging = Tasks

Option Green/Send = Internet Explorer

Option + Red/End = Lock Keys & Turns Screen Off*

In addition:

Option + P = Backlight settings*

Option + Shift [left side] = Search*

*these are hard wired and cannot be changed the rest is fair game.

Now those are a lot of buttons & combos which really make using the device much much faster. Now on to the QWERTY keyboard… the front facing QWERTY keyboard is a wider version of the one found in the Centro devices. I feel that palm should’ve used the tried and tested smiling Treo keyboard. Still this one is growing on me.

Left side:

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We see three buttons [yes more buttons] a volume +/- and a side button which activates the camera when you hold it down. I’ve added an action via a registry edit to add an action for a single press [I will post a tip on that].

Right side:

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Here we see the WiFi Toggle which is really a neat addition, it makes turning on WiFi and connecting fast and painless. palm included an IR port which I’m sure some users will appreciate.

Top side:

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We see the power button which cycles the phone radio on/off only – it does not turn the device off completely. Personally I find this odd: I mean you can turn the phone radio on/off via the comm manager so why didn’t they just make it a normal power button. Opposite it is the ringer switch which is a real convenient way to put your phone on vibe when you are stepping into a meeting or going to a place where your phone should not be making noises.

Down bellow:

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We see a micro USB connector for sync/charge, the mic, and last but certainly not the least a 3.5mm stereo jack. Finally no more converters: you can now use your normal size headphones with this device. For someone who uses his device as his music player I highly appreciate this.

Back side:

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We see a fixed focused 2MP camera surrounded by a silver ring. I maintain that all devices should have auto focus cameras & a flash these days. Come on palm! The mono speaker is located almost to the curving part of the rear which will help lessen muffling when your Pro is laying flat on the table, a nice touch.

In the trunk:

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You may be wondering where the expansion slot and soft reset hole went. Well palm decided to put the soft reset hole under the battery door just beside the stylus silo and the microSDHC slot is under the battery door as well. This would’ve been fine if the battery door was not a PITA to take off. I do appreciate that palm has added a lanyard/hand strap loop. The stylus is a bit short for my tastes but I’ve always used a separate stylus/pen anyways.

Under the hood:

The Treo Pro is powered by a Qualcomm 400Mhz Processor which is robust enough for most tasks. It has 128Mb RAM / 256Mb ROM which is normal nowadays. It is Quadband GSM with Tri-band UMTS w/ HSDPA, and will work with any SIM card since it is unlocked. Frequent travelers will be satisfied with this. As I mentioned earlier this is the 1st GSM Treo with WiFi, finally palm get’s it! I just hope it is not too late for them. GPS/aGPS has also been added, turn by turn navigation is made possible by 3rd party apps which sadly was not included [I believe Google Maps is useless outside NA].

Software:

Today screen search plug-in

Sprite Backup

Google Maps

MyTreo [quick setup]

Quick Tour [device intro]

HTC Camera

HTC Task Manager

HTC Comm Manager

Adobe Reader

QuickGPS

Microsoft Voice Command 1.6

Most palm customizations that we saw on the 750 are now gone. It doesn’t bother me that much because Win Mob 6.1 has threaded SMS built in already and you can even search it, honestly I never really used the other palm today plug-ins except the dial look-up plug-in. Not a deal breaker since the platform has thousands of applications available to it. It would’ve been nice to see a GPS app as well but I guess palm is trying to cut costs. It is good to see that palm has decided to include HTC Task Manager

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Conclusion:

The palm Treo Pro is a great addition to the Treo brand. palm has stepped up it’s design, updated the specs, and added tons of shortcuts while making the device thinner and sexier. It makes looking at and using the device a joy. Having Quadband GSM and Tri-band UMTS w/ HSDPA support makes this ideal for the business traveler. Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional gives it almost infinite customizability and a plethora of applications.

Pros:

World phone with all the bells and whistles you’d expect, Fast Data, WiFi, Bluetooth, and even IR.

Generous with buttons / shortcuts.

QWERTY bar

flush, clear. crisp and responsive touch screen

3.5mm jack

Cons: 

320x320 resolution is fairly new some apps may not display well.

Finger print magnet

Poor camera

Soft reset hole / microSDHC slot is under the battery door.

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some comparison shots:

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[side by side with it’s predecessor the palm Treo 750]

 

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[the Treo Pro is thinner yet has a lot more to offer]

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