Palm Treo Pro Review
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by Franz Bicar
The Palm Pre has taken all the buzz and focus away from other phones in the Palm lineup. As a competitor to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, it literally took all the attention away from phones such as the Palm Treo Pro. The Palm Treo Pro is designed for business and offers a lot of functionality for those young, up and coming business men. Its features include Internet Explorer 6, EV-DO Rev, and GPS. It’s one of the sleekest devices to offer a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. But as always, everything is not perfect. Problems with its display and keyboard setup hinders the Treo Pro to be the number one business smartphone in the market.
The Treo Pro has a sophisticated look even with its touch screen and full QWERTY combination. However, the Pro’s QWERTY keyboard doesn’t match its intended audience. It is difficult to use and the buttons are small and cramped together. Well, as always, these reviews are relative to the person actually doing the review, so those with small hands might find this shortcoming negligible.
As a business handset, the Treo Pro comes in with a slew of features, but nothing we haven’t seen before in a smartphone. It offers the standard speakerphone, speed dial, smart dialing, conference calling, and threaded text and multimedia messaging. The contact book is limited only by the available memory, and there’s room in each entry for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, instant-messaging handles, and birthdays. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a picture, a group ID, or a custom ring tone. There’s also an option to get directions or map an address direct from someone’s contact page.
A more advanced feature on the phone is the integrated GPS for real-time tracking and navigation. Bluetooth 2.0 is also onboard for use with mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, hands-free kits, object exchange, and dial-up networking.
The Palm Treo Pro is a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition device, and as such, comes with Internet Explorer Mobile 6 as its default web browser. This is the first Palm to offer Internet Explorer Mobile 6. Internet Explorer Mobile 6 comes in with its bundle of enhancements, such as the ability to switch between mobile and desktop versions of a site, pan support, multiple zoom levels, Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 for Adobe Flash content, and more.
In addition to Internet Explorer, you get the full Microsoft Office Mobile Suite for viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, OneNote Mobile, and Windows Live integration, in addition to the standard personal information management (PIM) tools, such as calendar, contacts, and a task list.
There is a wide variety of third-party applications available for the Windows Mobile operating system, so you can always download more to the smartphone, whether you’re looking for business apps, games, or other PIM utilities.
For emails, the Palm Treo Pro supports Microsoft’s Direct Push Technology, which brings real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. It can also be configured to access POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts. That means you can send and read your Gmail accounts or any other accounts that supports POP3 and IMAP on this phone.
The Treo Pro is not just for business. You can also have it as a multimedia device. It supports playback of music and video files through its Windows Media Player. Currently, it supports format such as AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, and WMV files. In addition, you can listen to live streaming music and talk radio from Sirius, VH1 Mobile, and MTV Mobile.
The Treo Pro also has a 2-megapixel camera with 8x zoom and video recording capabilities. You can shoot still images in one of five resolutions and one of four quality settings. There’s no flash, but you do get effects and white balance and brightness controls. A self-timer and time stamp are also available. In video mode, options are a bit more limited. You have your choice of four resolutions and can adjust the picture via white balance, brightness settings, and effects. There’s no limit to recording length.
Picture quality isn’t that great on this phone. Images tend to look gray and dull. Video clips are decent. After you’ve shot your photos and videos, you can save them to a contact, as your background image, share them with friends and family via e-mail or multimedia message, or simply enjoy them in a slide show.
The Treo Pro features a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7501A processor and a 1,500mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5 hours.