Palm Treo 650 (CDMA)
Treo650 is Solid.
SprintPCS Treo650 CDMA
Fargo, ND 58103
I pruchased my Treo650 in february05. Best purchase to date. people who do reviews after having a phone for 14 days think they know it all but take it from me. they've missed key experiences and handling time to make a good review. remember though, i love this phone so this is biased but i'll try be objective.
Pros Hardware: Excellent design, slightly bigger than a deck of card with an added antenna(think, tip of your thumb). QWERTY keyboard with backlit keys. sometimes hard to push only one key if you have fat fingers. memory card slot(SD/SDIO/MMC) for expandability and device add ons(remote, GPS, barcode scanner, etc). IR port for beaming info to devices. programmable side keys to open your fav apps at the push of a button. bluetooth has file transfer capabilities.
Pros Software: PalmOS 5.4. ROMupdater available from 1.08 to version 1.12 with multiple bug fixes. The phone comes with a cd that includes many usefull/necesarry apps for the phone/pc. DocumentsToGo lets you put Windows office documents onto your Treo and view/edit whenever. helpful for the office. Many many many sites are available online to download freeware/shareware/purchase software to improve this device. there are huge developer communities dedicated to improving the treo's software useability.
Pros Coverage: in my area, fargo, ND i get OUTSTANDING reception and clarity during phone usage. wireless internet is flawless but limits to only 2mb downloads. text messaging is on point also. keyboard makes it easy.
Cons Hardware: Camera is ancient with .33 megapixels. BUT somehow still returns satisfactory pictures/video. phone large in pants pocket. RAM is only 24mb usable which forces the need for mem card for docs and mp3s
Cons software: Dialing phone application sometimes stalls with ROM1.08, delay fixed in version ROM1.12. newbie developer software can cause crash. just delete bad programs.
No cons for coverage here.
Bluetooth but no voice activated dialing??????????
I liked the phone to replace my Kyocera 7135...but.
What use is blue tooth if you have to look down pick a key, dial and activate the blue tooth ear piece?
I sent the phone back and kept my Kyo.
I did love the bright screen and speed of processor but I need the voice dialing.
big mistake leaving that feature out!!
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Switched out three of these Treo 650 phones before switching back to my Kyocera 7135.
Connectivity is poor even with Verizon, dropped calls renders the phone unreliable.
Lots of cool features some needed purchased like voice dialing and scrip text.
Used the Treo 650 for one month on Sprint PCS.
-Palm Operating system is much more reliable then MS. In one month phone rarely froze.
-Flexible and reliable to sync with outlook however, you must buy additional software such as Pocket Mirror. Pocket Mirror does allow you to sync Outlook public folder like calendar and private folder for contacts.
-SMS format is very convenient. Works like a chat session.
-Battery will not last entire day of heavy use.
-You will spend at least another 100.00 on software to make the phone do what would justify its price and carrying it around.
-keys are small and often push wrong number but better than Treo 600.
-reception is not as strong on this phone as others. I often found myself dropping calls and signal strength will go in and out while you hold the phone. Sprint said the phone was working properly.
-bluetooth is limited and as others stated you must hit button on headset after each call. It does not automatically connect.
-email works but very limited. I bought snapper mail which is more reliable however, even then not true push email. Simply goes out and checks your POP or IMAP server every half hour. You can set it to check more frequently but really eats up the battery time.
-difficult to carry because of its size but all pda phones are.
-camera is a joke.
Overall, i don't think this phone accomplishes enough or is reliable enough to warrant the inconvenience of carrying such a large phone.
Palm Treo 650 - Good PDA, poor phone
I've had Palm PDA's (Palm IIIc, Tungsten T) and AirTouch/Verizon cell phones (Qualcomm/Kyocera, Nokia), but this is my first PDA-Phone. I got one for me and one for my wife.
1) Excellent PDA. Data imported fine. Excellent screen, nice to have an actual keyboard, and nice integration of the contacts list into the phone functionality.
2) Nice value compared to buying a phone + PDA.
3) Sharp looking, and not much bigger than my previous Palm which is a big net savings in size since I don't have to carry a separate phone.
1) Most importantly this is a poor phone from a sound standpoint! The normal speaker is very poor and the signal seems to cut in and out (Verizon, San Diego). Much worse than the Nokia 3589i we are replacing, and much worse than the LG VX5200's I got for my kids. Since we got two Treo's I can't attribute it to a bad unit either. I suspect that Palm is just not as good as Nokia (or LG, or whomever) at making phones, although they make nice PDA's.
2) Additionally, although the integration of PDA and phone is nice, holding the thing up to my ear isn't as nice as a normal phone, and I was disappointed while watching a soccer game to realize that I got sweat and sunscreen on my PDA screen! This is a minor gripe compared to the sound quality problem, but a negative.
3) Another negative (that I should have been able to anticipate) is that it is bigger than a normal phone. While riding my road bike, I wouldn't want to take it. With a normal phone, I don't have to take my PDA on the ride.
4) Lastly, one of the two units had a defect. Often, when I turned it on, then hit the center button to unlock, it would turn itself off! I had to return it for a replacement which Verizon was quick to do.
Nice concept. Highly recommended by friends and relatives, but at the end of the day what good is a phone where you can't hear clearly! Today we returned the Treo 650's for a LG VX8100 and LG VX5200. Wish us luck!
A Mixed Bag
I purchased my Treo about four months ago from Verizon (long-time subscriber), having been a Palm user for several years.
I'm mostly happy with it, though there are some shortcomings:
- limited & fussy Bluetooth implementation
- inferior reception to other phones on VzW
- frequent freezes/hangs (1+ per week)
- not a fully developed product (see below)
Great things about the Treo 650:
- bright, crisp display
- good keyboard given the size
- ring/silent switch on top
- battery life
- flash main memory
- does almost everything imaginable in one device
- syncs with Windows and Mac
The Treo 650 seems underdeveloped to me. Granted, it's an improvement on the 600, but still falls short in these areas:
- case surface is completely smooth, making it easy to drop if it's not in a case (I use egrips instead, since I don't like cases)
- additional software needed to increase phone volume enough for normal use
- additional software needed to work around annoying limitations that should have built-in preferences, such as turning off keyboard backlight, setting auto-off timeout, having phone turn on after a soft reset, etc.
- additional software needed to provide adequate data security if the unit is lost or stolen (think about all the personal info on these things!)
Some of the Treo's faults can be solved after-market, but it means more hassle and more money.
I recently updated my Treo software to v1.04, and that seems to have helped the phone reception (surprisingly), and improved how the main memory is allocated (not critical to me).
It's also worth noting that the phone interface is a Palm application. So the overall user interface is very Palm-centric, rather than phone-centric. As an experienced Palm user, that's no problem, but friends who pick it up tend to have difficulty using it as a phone.
The Best Smart Phone On the Market
The Treo 650 is for people who really use their smartphones rather than people who like to quote the specs on their latest gadget. Here's why:
--It gets excellent reception. (People who report less than excellent reception must be located in weak Verizon coverage areas.)
--It is the easiest to use of any smartphone thanks to the Palm OS. Syncs to Outlook faster than Windows Mobile devices.
--It is the easiest to use of any Smartphone for another reason: design. It is designed to be operated with one hand using the thumb to operate the 5-way controller for most functions. The thumbboard is very good, and for traditional Palm programs the touchscreen is fine.
--It has NON-VOLATILE memory. This means if your phone runs down you don't lose your data. Same with a reset.
--Software runs seamlessly from any fast SD card.
--It has fantastic battery life.
--It has the smallest form-factor of any full-featured smartphone.
--Bluetooth works great with the Palm bluetooth headset and Motorola headsets. Haven't tried others.
--Push e-mail (just like Blackberry)
--The web browser does an excellent job of minimizing pages to allow effective web surfing. Having Google in your pocket is an amazing thing.
--Bright, sharp, 320x320 screen. Blackberries cannot begin to compare.
--No built-in voice dialing. 2 aftermarket solutions exist. This is a glaring oversight, IMO. Even entry level phones have good voice-dialing these days.
--The Verizon version doesn't get Verizon's high-speed connection (although, if you're in a good reception area, it hardly matters as the native Blazer zips along at 50-75 kb, which on a 320x320 screen with graphics minimized is pretty fast). The Cingular version runs on Cingular's high-speed network.
--Verizon attempted to disable the ability to use the Treo as a laptop modem, but there's an effective aftermarket solution for < $35.
Overall: the best smartphone available.
Nevermind the poor quality of this extremely over priced phone. [...]
Ed. note: Removed rant about carrier
Kyocera 6035, Samsung i500, Treo 650...
I bought the Treo 650 specifically to get a phone that will work via Bluetooth in my Toyota Prius. Works great there.
This is my third type of PalmOS PDA phone, and each "upgrade" has brought new items, while losing others. Here's a quick rundown of where the Treo sits compared to the Kyocera 6035 and Samsung i500.
1. Fastest of them all, with SD mem expansion. This is a good thing.
2. Bluetooth for headsets and wireless sync. Syncing to my Powerbook via BT is amazing. Now I sync every day since I don't need to dig out the cable.
3. FINALLY, txt messaging on a Sprint phone. Other two could only receive, or send using third party PalmOS apps that sorta-kinda worked. Sorta.
4. Camera/videos are fun.
5. A switch for muting sounds. 6035 had an easy toggle, i500 had an impossible toggle.
6. MIDI ringtones. 6035 could play WAVs, and i500 only played canned tunes.
7. REAL browser - though much slower pulling down "full" huge pages rather than proxy/converted pages like the old Blazer, it's nice to see CSS colors, styles, and jscript work.
1. No graffiti, and I hate the keypad. AFter a month I'm still faster at writing than typing on the stupid keypad that requires shift keys for everything. The Motorola PageWriter was an awesome keypad, but I guess it was too big for a phone form factor.
2. No escalating rings (like the 6035 had). 6035 had the best ring contro, i500 the worst.
Overall, it's a nice phone, but a color, more-memory, external storage, bluetooth/camera version of the 6035 would have been a better unit. (From everything I've seen, a bug-free Kyocera 7135 would have been much better than the Samsung i500).
I think, other than the HUGE form factor (I like flips) and the keypad, it's a great phone.
Some Good, but Serious Drawbacks
Most reviewers are very happy with this phone and it's features, which I admit, are good, fun, and mostly work well. However, there are some serious drawbacks, particularly as a phone. First, the earpiece volume is pretty bad. If you're in a quiet room, no problem. If you're in a car, outside, around any other noise source, you'll be pressing this phone into your ear in desperation. If you can't hear it - what good is it? Secondly, the reception is less good than other phones...in my house, I'm frequently at no bars on Verizon. Admittedly, it's an historic neighborhood with few cell towers, but my friend's Cingular phone comes in just fine. I think it's 1/2 the phone's problem, and 1/2 Verizon's. Lastly, the instant messaging has a serious flaw - the message visual alert has full text that appears on the screen...and there is no way to hide it, mask it, stop it - no security features deal with it. Just hope no one sends you a private message - the whole world will be able to read it plain as day. As a working professional who negotiates sensitive contracts, that's a huge problem. That said, I do enjoy the phone's features, but I write this because few people are discussing these issues that I feel are troubling. My brother has the same phone, lives in a different state, and has friend with the same phone. They are all saying the same thing, so my experiences seem to be common. Be advised.