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  1. ls3mach's Avatar
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       #1  
    I know there have been quite a few of these reviews, but I always enjoying reading them from different peopls perspectives when I am interested in buying a new device. I have been using a Treo 600 and a Treo 650 for almost 2 years. I got my 650 in November of last year before the release like many other Treocentral readers. It served me well and I would probably still be using it, had I not dropped it (wont connect to the network now ). I went in to look at a PPC-6700 thinking if I liked how it felt I would buy one on ebay. I left with it in my hands thinking if I loved it I would keep it at $650 or if I just liked it I would take it back and buy one used. I like the phone alot and have been trying to find a used one for a decent price. This seems to be rare as this phone is fairly nice.

    This review is mostly going to be a comparison review so I will go over the most obvious things (to me).

    Screen.
    The Treo 650s screen is a higher resolution. It definety is brighter than the PPC-6700's. I took a picture of my beautiful girlfriend with the camera on my Treo 650 and have used that as my background for quite some time. When I put that picture on my 6700 it looked grainy. While I still think she is beautiful, she was much better looking on my Treo 650. The 650s screen is just clearer and brighter. That is not to say the 6700s screen is crap, just that I really prefer the 650's. Neither phone is excellent in daylight. To me it is like aftermarket radios you buy for your car. The fancy displays are sometimes hard to see and washed out in bright or direct light, whereas stock (ie cheap nokias) have excellent visability. To me this isnt a major issues, you can see and use both in daylight, it just isnt an ideal condition for these types of screens.

    Keyboard.
    I love the keyboard on the PPC-6700. It is very roomy and I can bang out some text on it. It is not perfect though. 1st to get all the room you have to have the slider. The slide feels sturdy and I am not concerned about it breaking aslong as I take care of it, but I dont care to slide it out. When you do slide it out, there is a slight delay in changing of the landscape. It isnt unbearable, but I could do without the delay. Also 1 handed texting isnt really that feasable (not an issue for me as I always typed 2 handed on my 650). The main problem I have with the keyboard though is that I have to slide it out, if I want to use it to dial a number. I never used the touch screen on my 650 to dial a number, then number keys were so convient I always used them. I especially liked how the 5 had a nub on it so you could dial one handed without looking at the phone. ABSOLUTELY not possible with the 6700. Dialing using the touchscreen isnt horrible or anything, I just prefered the hard keys. The main problem I have with the keyboard is the lack of number row, that would be super convient, and the fact that when you push caps or the O button to use the alt keys, the software doesnt tell you. For example if you push the O button on the treo to use the alternative button choices you see an O in the bottom corner of the scree. This is nowhere to be found on this phone and it is terribly annoying. I also wish the keyboard lit up as you opened it, as it is now the first button press is on a dark keyboard and is sometimes just hit to get the lights on. The default windows settings dont allow you to set the keyboard backlight for more that 15 seconds, but you can easily edit this to allow for however long you need. I used 60 seconds and it is very nice. Another thing I dont care for is that it is sometimes hard to read what the alternative key press is in the dark. It is as though the light cant shine through the engravings. The Treo 650s keyboard is much brighter and I prefer how the entire key is lit up and not just a hole where the charecters light shines through.

    Reception and clearity.
    To me the 6700 gets much better reception. My 650 cant connect to the network, so I cannot give an RSSI value comparison, but I have had 0 dropped calls and noone has complained of my voice quality. I had many people complaining about not being able to understand me on my Treo 650. Signal strength seems to be good or better than my Treo and the callers are very clear on my end. Headset volume is good. Speaker phone is not something I use a lot, so I cant really speak on this. It seemed ok, but I cannot compare it to my 650 I just never use it. I hold both phones to my head to talk and I personally like the thickness of the 6700, makes it easy to rest it between your ear and shoulder and do other things.

    PIM.
    The PIM is a tossup. I am not too fond of it for some reasons and it could be lack of experience, but in the same respect, I love some of its features. I like how many fields and options each contact has. It makes it as though each person has an online profile. You click there name and you see: A picture of them, their home phone number, adrress, work address, work number, birthdate, aniversary, email address and any other contact numbers they have. This is truley a great thing. I love how they are setup like profiles. My favorite part of this is, you can easily set a ringtone from this screen. Thats right straight out of the box you can set individual ringtones. OMG PALM can you imagine that? When you view this persons "profile" you see all this useful information and even what ringtone they have set for them. The downfall about the PIM is that you cannot easily look people up, since the keyboard is hidden. I also dont care for how before you view their profile it only shows one number, whereas the Treo showed all their phone numbers, it does kind of cut out the clutter and I think I will end the end prefer this. Last thing is I am unsure how to add a buisness only thing. I had this problem with my Treo aswell so it could be my lack of knowledge. I want when someone calls from a business IE my work for it to show up as the business name and not whoever the hell works there. I took a call thinking it was a friend because it showed up his name when it was really my work (he works there too).

    OS
    I like both OSes. Palm was much simpler to use and with the WM5, I have no effin clue how to properly close an application and I end up with too many things running and have to go into the memory manager and shut them down. If someone could clear this up for me I would be much obliged. Overall I think I prefer the WM5 over POS. Neither is sluggish or anything, I just think that WM5 has more of a future. It allows for you to surf the device when you connect it via USB, which took 3rd party apps on the Treo. Both have bugs and flaws, I think I prefer WM5, I dont have any real reasons for this though. I do like how WM5 has a real file system, whereas POS doesnt.

    Bluetooth.
    PPC-6700 kills it. BT 1.2 and hopefully soon to have the A2DP profile. Range on both is fine and pairing on both is easy. The PPC-6700 supports a lot more things out of the box though. The main thing being DUN. This took me about 2 seconds to connect via my laptop. Whereas the Treo 650 was always a pain in the ***. Between unlocking the option and turning off the vision before you connected and disconnected, it was just much more of a hassle. With the PPC-6700 you can connect to the phone easily without fiddling with things to make it work.

    Battery life.
    Treo 650 wins, but this could be do to me "playing" with the PPC-6700 more frequently. One thing that is AWESOME about the PPC is that it uses USB to charge. I can almost always find some USB to connect to and get some more juice. I know if you have USB you have a plug in, but to me the USB plug is just so easy and convient. It is a standard and if you dont have your charger or or any cable, there is a lot of times a good chance wherever you are may have a 4pin USB cable. Whereas only with Nokia phones have I ever had someone have a compatible charger. Another thing I like is that it has a fairly decent spell checker built into anything you are typing. The spellchecker has predictive text so occasionally you it will hit the word you are looking for and you can hit the arrow down and finish the word. I dont recall my Treo having this feature, but it may have.

    SMS
    This is the PPC-6700s biggest downfall. The SMS are handled via Outlook. There is no threading. This is a major step back from the Treos SMS program. The good news is though, you can really bang out some text on that keyboard and sending to multiple reciepents is a breeze. Add that with copy and paste from pretty much any program and you have a good situation. Another thing that I LOVE is if the text goes over 160 characters, it automatically splits the messages. That's right, no sending then retyping more hoping to be done before the recieve the text and respond, it splits them up. I have had one go up to almost 480/3 so that is pretty steller. No threading is a big .

    I am sure I missed a couple points that I had orinally wanted to put in here, but I started typing this a couple days ago and went to work and have just now got back to it. I will post this and add to it later if anyone has any interest in the rest of what I have to say. Let me know if there is a specific or something that needs clarification. Sorry it is so long. I just really like to hear someones thoughts on a product before I drop $650 on one.

    Lonzo
  2. ls3mach's Avatar
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       #2  
    The breakdown.

    PPC 6700 pros
    Bluetooth
    Keyboard (key size and spacing)
    Reception
    Wifi
    EvDO
    USB powered and PnP
    Camera

    PPC-6700 cons
    Screen
    SMS (not threaded, majorly sucks)
    Battery life
    Keyboard (I would prefer no sliding, but then I would lose the nice keyboard)
    No hard number keys

    Moot
    PIM
    OS
    Email
    Browser (has pros and cons, I can edit those in if people respond well and seem to want to hear about them.)
  3. #3  
    Thanks for the review. Try 'magic button' to close down programs. Its free and works great.

    I also thought I read that there is a threaded sms program...search for it. I think Phurth mentioned it here at TC.
    Palm III-->Palm IIIxe-->Palm 505-->Samsung i300-->Treo 600-->PPC 6600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700wx-->BB Pearl--> BB Curve

  4. #4  
    Good stuff Lonzo. Thanks!

    I'm glad to hear you are happy with the device overall. I went to a Sprint store yesterday with the same mindset...that I'd try it at the store and if I loved it, I would buy it then and there. Unfortunately, the Sprint store did not have a demo unit in the store. That's the second store I've been to in the past couple of weeks to try to play with it--but no luck. Anyway, I'll try another store later this week and will add my thoughts if/when I pull the trigger...
    Pen+Paper > Treo300 > Treo600 > Treo 700p
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I also thought I read that there is a threaded sms program...search for it. I think Phurth mentioned it here at TC.
    Yep. There are actually three of them:

    - O2 SMS Plus: this is an application that is exclusive to O2 devices (at least for now...)
    - PocketMonkey SMSPro: I've read varying experiences with this, but mostly it seems to be very beta at the moment.
    - JGUI EXSMS: I've not heard good things about this, but just so the record is complete, here's a link.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  6. #6  
    I just read a review at bargainpda.com that was not all that favorable of the 6700. However, I chalk most of it up to the reviewer's pre-conceived opinions and lack of interest to look for answers to default settings and a bug fix or two.

    However, one quote sparked a question. Under the Communication section, he says this:

    I could also be happier with the dialog for finding and connecting to WiFi APs. The 6700 basically leaves this up to the default Windows "zero configuration" system. While this may work for consumer-oriented devices, I'd have expected something a little more serious for connecting to a work network, or for navigating among multiple available hotspots.
    So my question is, does the 6700 not allow you to manually configure the device for custom SSIDs, WEP keys, WPA settings, etc.? Any comments on the WIFI configuration settings that are available to the 6700 would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Mike
    Pen+Paper > Treo300 > Treo600 > Treo 700p
  7. #7  
    Yes - You can custom configure access points, SSID's and keys. The automatic 'finder' application does leave a bit to be desired, but it isn't difficult at all to add your own settings for known access points.
    The whiny minority always out-posts the contented majority.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeP
    So my question is, does the 6700 not allow you to manually configure the device for custom SSIDs, WEP keys, WPA settings, etc.? Any comments on the WIFI configuration settings that are available to the 6700 would be greatly appreciated.
    Here's a review with some screenshots: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=5381

    You can manually configure the WiFi connection with whatever SSID, WEP or WPA info you want. I'm not sure what the reviewer wants to see that isn't there.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  9. #9  
    Nice review & great screenshots! Thanks phurth.
    Pen+Paper > Treo300 > Treo600 > Treo 700p
  10. ls3mach's Avatar
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       #10  
    I didnt find the Wifi locator to be bad. It works quite well. I am in an EvDO area and dont really have a need for wifi, but I accidently left it on and it connected to a network while I was driving in my car. You can manually configure it for any access point if you have the info so it is very useable.
  11. damigs's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Yep. There are actually three of them:

    - O2 SMS Plus: this is an application that is exclusive to O2 devices (at least for now...)
    - PocketMonkey SMSPro: I've read varying experiences with this, but mostly it seems to be very beta at the moment.
    - JGUI EXSMS: I've not heard good things about this, but just so the record is complete, here's a link.
    How is O2 SMS Plus? Have you tried it and does it remedy the WM5 lack of SMS threading?

    BTW.. Doesnt seem like this helps out as its only available for O2 devices...
    Last edited by damigs; 01/05/2006 at 08:33 AM.
  12. #12  
    The only thing I don't like is that I have to go to the connections application and change it from Sprint to Wireless, is there a way to do it automatically that I missed, or is this the only way?
  13. #13  
    Great review Very in depth, thanks for the tips
    Jimmie Geddes
  14. ls3mach's Avatar
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       #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by damigs
    How is O2 SMS Plus? Have you tried it and does it remedy the WM5 lack of SMS threading?

    BTW.. Doesnt seem like this helps out as its only available for O2 devices...

    O2 SMS plus is now working for the PPC-6700. I tried it and it is nowhere near the Treo 650's threaded SMS program. I personally didn't find it useful at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by reverland
    The only thing I don't like is that I have to go to the connections application and change it from Sprint to Wireless, is there a way to do it automatically that I missed, or is this the only way?
    Not sure I folllow exactly what you are asking, When I connect to wifi the only thing I have to turn on is the wifi anteanea.
  15. #15  
    I agree with you about the threaded SMS, the Treo is much better.
    Jimmie Geddes
  16. ls3mach's Avatar
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       #16  
    I originally really hated the way the PPC handled SMS, I still would prefer the Treo, but it is ok now. I dont mind it as much as I thought I would. Also keeps the messages FOREVER. I back mine up though and clear them out anyway.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by ls3mach
    The breakdown.

    PPC 6700 pros
    Bluetooth
    Keyboard (key size and spacing)
    Reception
    Wifi
    EvDO
    USB powered and PnP
    Camera

    PPC-6700 cons
    Screen
    SMS (not threaded, majorly sucks)
    Battery life
    Keyboard (I would prefer no sliding, but then I would lose the nice keyboard)
    No hard number keys

    Moot
    PIM
    OS
    Email
    Browser (has pros and cons, I can edit those in if people respond well and seem to want to hear about them.)
    i agree on nearly everything in your review...all the way down to how hard the alt key designations are to see.
    i love this phone, my treo will be on ebay next week. evdo sealed the deal for me.

    for anyone on pdaphonehome...is it just me or is it poorly regulated over there?
  18. #18  
    It seems to go in spurts over there....overmanaged....then hardly see anyone....then overmanaged...etc...

    But the members seem to do an Okay job in managing each other, with the exceptions of those who go over the top with this all the time....you know the type, every board has one or three.

    As a whole the community is pretty good, but I do like the community environment over here more. The mods are also usually always around, don't micromanage, but jump in when needed.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    It seems to go in spurts over there....overmanaged....then hardly see anyone....then overmanaged...etc...

    But the members seem to do an Okay job in managing each other, with the exceptions of those who go over the top with this all the time....you know the type, every board has one or three.

    As a whole the community is pretty good, but I do like the community environment over here more. The mods are also usually always around, don't micromanage, but jump in when needed.
    I agree. I actually am reading a lot more threads on pdaphonehome simply because it has more info for me. I post a lot more over here because of the posters (and the mods )
    Palm III-->Palm IIIxe-->Palm 505-->Samsung i300-->Treo 600-->PPC 6600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700wx-->BB Pearl--> BB Curve

  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by ls3mach
    ... When you do slide it out, there is a slight delay in changing of the landscape. It isnt unbearable, but I could do without the delay.

    Lonzo
    I have read over at pdaphonehome (I think) that there is a registry setting that you can change that will make the switch to landscape (and back) much faster. I apologize for not having a link.

    If my 650 dies on me before the 700 comes out, the vx6700 will be my next device. I appreciate your bare bones review. In my research, it seems that there are hacks and fixes for almost all the downsides you mentioned (except for the slide out keyboard. Nothing you can do about that).
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