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Welcome to our review of the Palm Treo PRO. The Treo Pro is the update for the Palm 750 and the Treo 500 although the previous models can still be bought new if you’re lucky. The Treo PRO being the latest version has the latest hardware and software. The most significant inclusions are Wi-FI and GPS.
We can understand why manufacturers have different case designs but Palms recent efforts apart from the Tero Pro has been – lets say extremely basic. It’s quite a drop from the leading edge Palm devices in the past.
Windows Mobile phones in general are prone to having a lot of issues with stability even without additional software installed. However the latest version Mobile 6.1 has solved much of the stability issues. But the quality of some 3rd party software is not very good and chew through battery and cause other issues if left running even when not actually doing anything.
The Treo Pro is a fast and usually stable phone for both personal and business use. It plays music takes pictures and do some Excel spreadsheets and write up your life story on the MS Word. You can even sync with your desktop MS Outlook for calendar and notes. It’s email features in particular Exchange enabled push email function works. The ability to cut and paste also makes life easier. The multi-tasking aspect is still a bit of joke and causes most of the stability problems but it works most of the time. The Internet browser is very poor – cheaper Nokia’s and Motorola’s have better browsers.
The main problem with Windows Mobile phones in the user interface. Palm hasn’t added or changed much which is good and bad. Many companies have tried to cover up the primitive WM icons and added interactivity to the idle screens and so forth but it doesn’t cover up the underlying old hardware and apparent programming flaws inherent in WM. Simplicity works in the Treo Pro and we have only suffered one reset required issue so far.
The construction is modern but uses the latest shiney plastic trend so finger prints and scratches are easy to come by. It is resistant to both but still it happens for so than the prior rubberized coating on the Palm 750. Holding and using it is a more sastisfying experience because it just looks good. The buttons feel nice to press and the touch screen is responsive.
The picture quality from the camera is poor likewise the video quality but at least it has them.
The keypad back light is very bright, the white number keys an excellent idea! If you don’t like the keypad you can always use the touch screen. The ability to dual input makes the phone cool to use.
The screen is mid size and the resolution is an up to date 320×320 so the graphics look clear. I didn’t mind not having a large screen as per iPhone because when using the iPhone keypad reduces the viewing size to less than the Tero Pro anyway.
Functionality is WM6 OS standard and there aren’t any noticeable Palm specific apps like the more popular HTC models. However the the usual applications like Word, Excel and Powerpoint are available. Since WM phone can only sync with MS Outlook also limits its broad use especially with many having Apple computers.
In terms of operating speed – the phone is fast compared to the latest 2009 mobiles with similar CPUs. Not as fast as the benchmark E71 or the Blackberry Bold but it is very good for WM phone.
Standard battery life was good for a Windows Mobile based phone lasting 3 days with full 3G and Exchange running all the time but no calls. With the phone functions switch off it lasted 5-6 days. It was no different to the Palm 750 overall. Overall 1 da better than the Apple iPhone on average.
The speaker sound quality is excellent but its ability to get the best signal could probably be improved. It is 1000 times better than the iPhone 3G – but then which phone isn’t in terms of keeping a signal? The Nokia E61i 3G transciever is the benchmark here and has nearly full reception where as the Palm only had half.
The Treo Pro has a A-GPS receiver built in but it doesn’t have any standard software to make use of it. So you’ll need to buy an application or use the free Google Maps for Windows mobile.
Wi-Fi is fantastic too but because the web browser is so bad it doesn’t add an real benefits. Again you’ll need to download the Opera web browser to make use of Wi-Fi properly. However Opera does charge for program.
Conclusion: The hardware of the Treo Pro is up to date and a significant improvement on the prior Treo 750 – all in a neat new case. However like all Windows mobile based phones it lacks a features that you’d expect for the price. The only standout feature is integrated MS Exchange support. We do like to use the phone, solely for business related purposes, it is missing entertainment apps like a proper web browser and JAVA the ability to play FLV files and view Youtube that are standard functionality in other phones in the high end price range in particular the cheaper Nokia E71, our new benchmark QWERTY phone.
* Palm Treo Pro
Tri-band 3G HSDPA 3.6 / 850 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
Quad-band GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 /1900 MHz
Mini QWERTY keyboard
L114 x W60 x D13.5 mm
Weight 133 grams
Single TFT 320 x 320 pixels
2MP main video/camera
256MB available to user
100MB available to user
Up to 32Gig MicroSDHC
* Ring tones
MP3, MIDI, WAV, Vibration etc..
SMS, MMS, WAP, EMAIL
Internet Explorer (mobile)
Speaker Phone/Hands free
Calender and organizer
250Hrs Standby, 5 Hrs Talk Time
* Price history
Between $700-900 AUS 2009