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TreoCentral on the Treo Pro

A couple of interesting stories about the Treo Pro over at our sister site, TreoCentral. I had a chance to speak with Palm about the design decisions that went into creating the Treo Pro, including hardware changes (hellooooo 3.5mm headset jack!) and software changes (goodbye Palm Custom Threaded SMS). Check that out here.

Also, Jennifer noticed a bit from that New York Times story we mentioned earlier: apparently John Rubenstein, tasked with getting Palm out of its doldrums, “cancelled several Treos in development.” No idea what they were, but it'd be great to find out, eh? Check her article out here.

Comments on either of the above? This would be the place.

WC Staff
WC Staff
22 Comments
  • Another cool thing about the 3.5mm headset jack isn't just the size, but the apparent fact that its internal connections will be consistent with most other devices. No longer (we hope) will a Treo owner* buy a pair of stereo earbuds with a built-in mic just to find that it fits in the headset jack, but the connections don't match.
    I don't know how many of you experienced this but there were multiple headsets/earbuds (with microphones) that apparently worked with every phone EXCEPT Treo's.
    It'd be great if the arrival of the Treo Pro makes that a thing of the past.
    * - like me, years ago, on my 650
  • Great article Dieter! :) Very interesting to hear what Palm had to say on some of those design decisions!
  • In Vista, with my q9c at least, after you have the Mobile Device Center (aka Activesync) installed, both the memory card and the built in memory are visible on the "Computer" screen and can be accessed the same as mass storage.
  • If Palm were really "thoughtful", you'd think that they would have included all this design into the product that they released only a very short time ago, the 800w.
    Instead, Sprint users ended up with something that looks notably inferior to this and is missing all the features discussed in the article.
  • Zoompooky -
    yeah, I should have been more "The Treo Pro is thoughtful" than "Palm is thoughtful"
  • Dieter,
    Thank you for an excellent review. The Treo Pro will be the reason I return to WM from iPhone. Although I like the iPhone, it's still not quite ready for prime time for the international business traveler. That is my opinion, certainly, and others will almost certainly disagree.
    I think I'll be able to travel without having to have my trusty Palm TX along for emails. I can use an external, folding keyboard with the TX. Yes, iPhone can do emails nicely but I've never mastered thumb typing on it, due to a tremor I've had since age 10. My thumbs shake too much to allow me to make good use of the iPhone's virtual keyboard. I can live with a bar type phone and carry a DVD player or iPod Touch for in-flight entertainment.
    Thank you, Palm for truely a "thoughtful" design. I will certainly be an early adopter.
    Bill
  • The Treo Pro looks like it will be replacing my first generation iPhone. Woo hoo! Palm has won me back with productivity [COLOR="Red">features[/COLOR] and cool new look.
    PS. eugarps... I totally agree with your take on the iPhone.
    PSS. dieter... Love the review.
  • Finally a real update to a wm gsm treo. I've been pretty much deceived by almost every smartphone since I quit my 750v. But it's form factor was no more bearable. The i600 was great but wm smartphone limitations were irritating (no calendar view when choosing a day). I kept the iPhone for 10 days last year. No pushmail was dull and the lack of a keyboard was not acceptable. Now I'm waiting for the Pro. I hate the optical mouse on the i780. It never works outside in full daylight. Samsung was so close to a BB killer. Now the Pro seems to be it. Similar form factor and battery charge with a simple and efficient d-pad :-) At least I hope so.
    So I guess the Pro is not very impressive in that it just catch up with Samsung and it was about time.
    I really like the light on the central button. I think it's cool.
  • I, too, tried the iPhone 3G but found it to be lacking for my needs. My description of the iPhone 3G is...good telephone with great Internet and iPod experience. The rest is candy with many gaps in between bites. For starters, the basic operational system is what limits power use. If you wanted to make four errands in your car, you wouldn't want to go home to make each errand. It is a waste of time and effort. But that is how the iPhone works.
    This new Treo Pro will be my first WM Treo (previously had 650, 680, Centro) and I am actually stoked about it!
  • Any word confirming that the Palm BT Keyboard will work with Treo Pro?
  • I have yet to be impressed with a WM device to date. WM devices tended to feel like computers which btw also worked as a phone, whereas the Palm OS units felt like phones which btw also happened to be a computer.
    I had a 700w & it drove me crazy that I couldn't turn on the device & land at a dial pad:mad: Sold that unit & got a 700P which was more in line with how I would use a smartphone. Unfortunately the erratic BT support with my Jawbone marred an otherwise good experience. These were work units, my personal T680 has been very well behaved and our recent switch to a Centro has been the best to date.
    I was not a iPhone convert & the 3G unit has some fundamental "holes" that is making me wait for version 3 before jumping on that bandwagon.
    The Treo Pro is going to make me re-evaluate using a WM device. If they have the ability to set the dial pad as the default screen, I'd be tempted to carry one of these as my day to day unit.
  • Any word confirming that the Palm BT Keyboard will work with Treo Pro?
    A bluetooth keyboard is a bluetooth keyboard, pretty much.
    (Yeah, there's two ways of connecting them, SPP, or HID, but only old Blackberries used the SPP profile for wireless keyboards, so pretty much any modern bluetooth keyboard uses HID.)
  • I wanted to take a moment and address something I see happening. The community seems to suddenly feel as if Palm slighted us somehow with the Treo Pro so soon after the Treo 800w, like the 800w is an inferior product in some way.
    This is blatently not true. I am a very satisfied Treo 800w user who loves this phone. That being said, lots of what I will mention is pure opinion and subject to individual users tastes so no offense or slight is meant just my opinions.
    I applaud Palm for both of these fine devices. Not having seen the Pro I can only address what I have read but I use my 800w every day so I can address it.
    The new Pro has a flush screen. This is nice but it is purely an asthetic. I actually prefer my slightly recessed screen, it provides protection and it is much harder to accidentally trigger something while in the case.
    The Pro has dropped the two hardware (soft) buttons. I really dislike that. I use these buttons a great deal and I love my hardware buttons. I was previously a Touch user and it had very few real buttons and I hated the soft (soft) buttons. (Man could that get confusing or what :) )
    The Pro has a dedicated Power button. Very nice and I wish the 800w had this.
    The Pro has the center button light for notification. Don't care. I have my phone in my case and it vibrates when I get email. The light would not do anything for me based upon my user habits.
    The Pro has a 3.5mm headset jack. Again, nice but not a necessity for me. I use a bluetooth headset when I need to use my phone handsfree and I don't generally use it for music.
    The Pro has a 1500 mAH battery. Very nice. I would love more battery life but I get through a day or two with no charging just fine.
    The Pro dropped the Palm SMS threaded messenging. While I completely understand the rationale for doing this I really like the Palm threaded app. That being said, the standard WinMo 6.1 works just fine.
    Finally the packaging, it appears very nice and presents a professional, cool, slick package. I (personally) take it home, go oh ah, pretty and tear into it and throw the package away. I don't pay $549 for a box, I pay for the contents of the box, while the package contributes to the image overall let's remember what we are buying, the phone, not the box.
    Now, my Treo 800w is a great piece of hardware. It is fast, responsive, very professionally finished. It has a great build with no creaking, looseness or ill fitting parts. It has the best keyboard ever applied to a handheld device of this type in my opinion. I have used the Centro and the Pro has the same keyboard roughly as the Centro. It is nice but not nearly as nice as the 800w. The soft finish application makes the 800w feel comfortable and does not hold fingerprints at all while providing a firm grip that never feels as though I am going to drop the phone. The high gloss finish of the Pro is pretty to behold but a fingerprint magnet I would bet. It looks like the new iPhone and that holds major fingerprints. I am completely satisfied with the size and weight of the Treo 800w. It feels good and well made without feeling cheap at all.
    Remember again that most of this is opinion but I just felt compelled to say something. If you are not an 800w user don't feel that we got gipped at all. It is a great device and will be with me for a while I think.
  • i like the Palm SMS threaded messaging though!! bum!!!!
  • i like the Palm SMS threaded messaging though!! bum!!!!
    Yeah, and on the 800w it's super easy to switch back and forth between the Palm SMS and the WM version. Looks like Pro users will have to install a hack to get it back.
  • Zoompooky -
    yeah, I should have been more "The Treo Pro is thoughtful" than "Palm is thoughtful"
    Or "HTC is more thoughtful as an ODM than is Palm"
  • Yeah, and on the 800w it's super easy to switch back and forth between the Palm SMS and the WM version. Looks like Pro users will have to install a hack to get it back.
    Really? What OOB Palm feature will let me do that?
  • from what i've read and seen on the net about the pro....
    i like the flushed screen, makes the device looks slick. :cool:
    removing the physical softkeys: i don't know if this is a good move. couldn't they have made it flush to the case also like the start/ok calendar/mail buttons? I hope they are not touch sensitive but real buttons. personal preference: i like buttons that feel like they are pressed when they are.
    removing palm threaded sms/mms. thinks it's ok since wm6.1 supports this natively [i've been using it on my tytn2 and s730]
    glowing dpad. since i don't use voicemail i hope this can be customized for other alerts.
    file storage auto activesync install. i hope they have wmdc for vista users. it would've been nice if palm gave the file storage app/feature to it's users even after 1st install. I also hope it is intuitive enough to know if the user already has AS or WMDC installed.
    love the wifi button, 3.5mm jack and ringer switch.
    This treo is a step in the right direction design wise. I hope though that palm steps away from square screen soon. I think it will be better for application compatibility and multimedia.
    question:
    is microUSB the same as miniUSB?
  • Really? What OOB Palm feature will let me do that?
    Did I say it was an OOB Palm feature? It's just some registry changes. Nothing to install. I have a script that makes the changes here.http://discussion.treocentral.com/showthread.php?t=168468
  • In Vista, with my q9c at least, after you have the Mobile Device Center (aka Activesync) installed, both the memory card and the built in memory are visible on the "Computer" screen and can be accessed the same as mass storage.if you use wmdc/activesync to access the memory card then it is not mass storage.
    mass storage is like plugging a usb stick to your pc no additional software needed to browse the stick.
    mass storage function may be useful because not all computers will have AS/WMDC installed.
  • if you use wmdc/activesync to access the memory card then it is not mass storage.
    mass storage is like plugging a usb stick to your pc no additional software needed to browse the stick.
    mass storage function may be useful because not all computers will have AS/WMDC installed.
    Yes but the article specifically says that it acts as mass storage when AS/WMDC is not installed. Dieter mentions that that no longer works when AS/WMDC is installed. After that point, its no longer mass storage, but it gives the same effect.
  • Great initial discussion on the Treo Pro.
    I've used a Treo since the 300 first came out, 600, 650, Centro - it's all about productivity, simplicity and ease of use for me. I had the 800w for a few weeks, but returned it, mainly due to battery life but also due to usability. Many of these are personal preferences, but maybe someone else has similar preferences and can benefit from this post instead of spending the time I did.
    800w - I couldn't get through half a day on one charge, and yes I did everything recommended to maximize battery life. I'm on the phone a lot, and use a wired earpiece to avoid having to charge a bluetooth device - one more potential point of failure. With the 800w you can't connect the usb/power plug at the same time as the earpiece without the extra dual microusb adapter. I don't want to have to manage the dual microusb adapter, and the usb/power plug and the earpiece altogether. I would lose the dual microusb adapter. But alas, the small battery requires me to have it plugged in at my desk or in the car when I'm on the phone with my earpiece. Not easy. Not simple. For my use anyway.
    The Pro appears to solve both of my 800w issues - 50% bigger battery, and a separate earpiece plug from the microusb.
    Many of the other things I didn't like about the 800w and other Palm phones appear to be better on the Pro:
    Flush screen - I do everything one-handed and reaching the sides is hard on the recessed screen.
    Power button - I was OK with WM, except for the red on/off button. I know there are hacks, but it just wasn't easy.
    Speaker - on the side, hopefully you can hear it when you lay it down for others to listen...unlike other Treos/Centro trying to stand it up or holding it up.
    Standard 3.5mm plug - opens up many more headset options, with better quality available.
    Keyboard - I prefer the Centro's (and now Pro's) keyboard style/feel to the 800w's.
    I look forward to the full Pro review. I don't knock the 800w - it's a nice improvement over prior models, works for many people and there was a lot I loved about it. It just had a few issues that I couldn't overcome. I can hope other things have been improved over the 800w on the Pro, like:
    Real standalone GPS
    Better speakers (800w was hard to hear and crackled at max volume, Centro is better)
    Everyone says the 800w is faster than other WM phones but it didn't compare to the Centro/POS responsiveness and productivity. The 800w slowed my productivity, with other added WM flexibility and configurability to make up for the slowness. Can the Pro be faster than the 800w?