Stardate: Unknown. The PalmOne Treo 600 makes an appearance at the office, the news reaches me eventually and I make my stand-hand it over or suffer the consequences.
I own a Palm Zire 71; I have tried numerous Pocket PC devices, and let me tell you that they do not hold a candle to the Palm OS in terms of usability. A Pocket PC has its positives but ease of use isn't one of them.
For the moment, I activated MMS and GPRS on my brother's SIM and called it a night.
The phone is a lot smaller than images do it justice, and is very easy to hold and operate.
Though it's made of plastic, the Treo feels solid, but my gut tells me the silver paint will peel off with use and sweat. The layout of the QWERTY board is cramped, but its domed keys are easy to hit; after initial fumbles, I typed a small newspaper story to within a memo. An SMS spree is called for!
Had to take the phone to an Orange outlet to activate GPRS, something about it being too advanced for an over-the-air activation… hmm...
This isn't a PDA. Its low-resolution screen rejected most of my favourite games, neither was it suited for a bit of reading. Its backlight frequently switches off to save battery, and the LCD is not as sharp or clear as the one on my Zire 71. Low in-built memory will certainly force an SD card investment. This is no PDA.
A friend called me, asking me to stop spamming her with SMSes of newspaper clips and stupid emoticons… whatever did she mean?
This is a superb phone! Before heading into a meeting, I can throw a switch on the Treo to take it into silent mode, no more hassles with "profiles." The external antenna allows for surprisingly good conversations even when signal strength is low; the speakerphone is easy to use and very clear. The QWERTY pad is heaven-sent for jotting down notes or sending off e-mails on-the-go. SMSes are automatically saved as conversation threads much like in an instant messenger, complete with emoticons.
A demonstration: I started the Treo's Web browser, copied text from a site, and launched the e-mail client, which, in turn, auto-filled the name and number of my contact, typed in the subject line, pasted the copied text into the body of the e-mail, inserted some emoticons, attached a picture taken via the Treo's camera and sent off the e-mail-all this, using one hand and without employing the stylus!
Soon we shall depart! You have been a pleasure, 600, but I am not a cell phone owner yet. The Treo 650 was just announced: with Bluetooth, a replaceable battery, a 320 x 320 hi-res LCD, better camera... it calls to me…
... The PalmOne Treo 600
I am probably the only person in the office who does not own one. I can live with the annoyance of ringtones and ignore the fact that a cell ensures you are always available, at your inconvenience! While these are easily surmountable hurdles, what has left me cold is their abysmal design, uninspired usability and pathetic services (wherein you are either deleting spam SMSes or struggling to be heard over a bad connection). But there have been temptations: the Treo 600 has more than once lured me to the Dark Side-"see my QWERTY thumbboard, check out my Palm OS, ogle at my SDIO slot… join me and we shall erase the memory of the T9 dictionary…"