Exclusive: Sprint Treo Pro Hands On

So we managed to snag one of those hard-to-find-is-it-here-or-not Sprint Treo Pros before they were put under indefinite lock-n-key.

Care to see our full photo gallery and here some of our first thoughts on this soon-to-be Sprint messenger device? Read on…

Basically the Sprint Treo Pro is an exact port of the GSM version, with some minor changes for CDMA. The biggest new thing would be the inclusion of Mobile Internet Explorer 6, which we’ll do a separate review of later, and a bump in storage memory.

The Sprint Treo Pro has that new fangled Palm packaging and boy is it a tiny box compared to other Sprint phones. But what is really sweet is the pre-setup of the phone, meaning that when you open the box, you just pull the phone out and it’s already on (radio is off). So there is no first-boot, touch screen setup, etc. And if the phone was activated at the store, you can literally just make a phone call. This hands off approach is a nice user-friendly change from Palm and Microsoft.

The phone itself feels like an 800w after it has been squished down. Shiny black all around, it feels like a bar of soap in your hand—definitely a finger print magnet. The flush screen has exceptional clarity and the speakers and earpiece are quite loud and clear—in fact this is probably one of the loudest and clearest WM devices we’ve experienced lately. Speaking of volume, that coveted 3.5mm headphone jack is there right next to the microUSB connector.

The 528mhz processor is quite zippy, edging out the 333mhz Treo 800w (see review) slightly on regular programs; on large programs though the 528mhz processor shines. The inclusion of a 1500mah battery for a rated 5hr talk time is also impressive for such a thin device.

Oh did we mention that in addition to the onboard GPS, this device actually supports the Google Maps "My Location" feature aka A-FLT (Advanced Forward Link Trilateration) aka tower triangulation?

Finally, regarding memory, it does only have ~43mb of free RAM (program memory) after a boot but so far this has not been a problem with regular use. The 300+mb of storage memory, in addition to microSD support, is also a welcomed change from the 100mb or so on the GSM version.

Any obvious problems so far? Nope. How is it compared to the Treo 800w (see follow up review)? Physically and ergonomically I actually prefer the 800w, but the internal hardware of the Treo Pro is also very nice. In short, we wish we could combine both into a single device.

Look for a full review, possible 800w head-to-head and our overview of Mobile Internet Explorer 6 in the next few days. Fire off any questions in comments and we’ll try to answer them!

Dieter Bohn