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  1. Wchapman's Avatar
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       #1  
    I've had a Treo 300 AND a Sieman's SX 56 PPC for the last month, testing them both for which one works the best (for me).

    The Treo won out and I took the SX56 back today...... for several reasons (most of which are probably temporary):

    1. THE KEYBOARD (thumboard??)....I can operate the Treo with one hand mostly and I can find my contacts and dial them while driving.

    The PPC device required two hands...one for the device....one for the stylus ......and many of the most oflten used on screen buttons were so small and so close to the extreme edges/corners of the screen that my fat fingers couldn't work them...only the thin stylus tip or specially contoured long fingernails could work them)

    (The new Hitachi 1000 PPC phone offers a keyboard......but??? Will the new device be too top heavy to work it with one hand?? We'll see... and what about those tiny on screen buttons that are native to PPC software??)

    2. THE COST (probably the biggest reason).....Seemed to me like the next generation was about to arrive .......and I got the Treo on the Best Buy $250 special. It seemed the cheapest way to have an integrated phone/PDA ....for now .....until the next generation comes along.....in next few months. The Siemans was still $550 after rebates. (No cost yet for the new Hitachi) Will Handspring even have a next generation Treo??????

    3. SIZE AND WEIGHT.....smaller, lighter is always better. The Treo is more compact and lighter...but its weight advantage is helped with the liberal use of (cheapy feeling) plastic.

    CONCLUSION

    So the Treo won....but I consider it only a temporary win......based on one-handed use and a good price ..I'm a long way from satisfied.....here's why.

    SOFTWARE ?????? SORRY! I know I won't win any friends here but I'm not a big fan of Treo software.

    With all due respect to the fact that there are so many applications available for Palm OS..... you have to pay extra for a lot of them to equal what comes with every PPC...... and a lot of them crash my Treo....... and the basic ones that come with the Treo only work OK.....not really well ...or elegantly.....IMHO.

    I know you're all tired of my "always returns to speed dial" rant. But with daily intensive use....a seemingly small problem like this gets more and more annoying.....and keeps me looking for a fix..... or something better. This kind of poor software design (with no fix in several Treo generations) combined with hardware that keeps missing the mark(et) is why Palm and Handspring are loosing market share in leaps and bounds to PPC.

    We love to hate WINDOZE .....but PPC software (although it requires a stylus) is always consistant with its simplest operating paramaters, i.e. opening, closing windows and basic editing within the application . .....AND you can ALWAYs get back to the last application you were working in (and more importantly.... the last screen within that app) by simply closing the top application window. Apllications "stack up" as you open them. Close one and you get to the one just underneath. Logical... !! Easy to live with.

    With my various Palm apps,.... half the time... I can't even figure how to close an app. or to tell it I'm finished....Each app has it's own interface and methodolgy....creative... but confusing from one app to the next......often, the only way to close one app is to open another. ....and oops..... IF THE PHONE RINGS OR YOU NEED TO MAKE A CALL WHILE WORKING WITH AN APP.....hang up and guess where you go........to SPPEEEEEED DIAL page, not back to the app you were just working in....You must then navigate all the way back to where you were working before. CLUNKY! and ANNOYING!

    DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY The Treo works... but God is it homely..... both looks and feels "plasticy" cheap. The SX56 looks and feels like a quality piece of gear......but perhaps its a little to sleek....its slippery in my hands....should have rubber on the edges instead of smooth aluminum. Still if I were paying the same retail price for both units......I would feel short changed (in quality) by the Treo.

    BATTERY LIFE: I charge my Treo usually every night and it still poops out before the end of my work day. I'm on the phone a lot though. Is PPC worse than this...maybe if you listen MP3s a lot.

    CRASHES: My Palm crashed today. Seems that the Treo and PPC were about the same in this unfortunate trait.

    FLIP UP LID: Hate 'em... Hated it on my Motorola phone....Hate it on the Treo too....just extra work to answer and finish a call.....and the swing up lid really feels fragile....many here have experienced hinge failures so guess its fragility is more than subjective.

    NARROW DIRECTION EARPIECE: Unless the speaker is placed JUST SO over your ear, you can't hear the speaker at all. I've often wondered if I could just disassemble the lid and drill a bigger hole over the speaker.???

    SCREEN DISAPPEARS IN DAYLIGHT: Can barely read the screen in bright sunlight and can't read it at all (usually when driving) with my sunglasses (polarized) on. Its the Treo or sunglasses....not both.

    EXPANSION: Won't even go there.

    BLUETOOTH: Not the Treo's fault....its a next generation thing........but everyone will want it .....and most everything will have it.......OR ELSE.

    CONCLUSION: So the Treo wins for now......due to the keyboard and Best Buy price deal.......but both these devices are part of a product generation thats at the end of its cycle...... and the next generation is almost here........Handspring ??? are you there????

    IMHO software refinement and hardware innovation are coming much too slowly to the Palm based camp (Sony excepted) to save Palm based devices from the same fate as Apple Computer.

    will Handspring "spring" to LIFE and Palm learn where the (market) BULLS EYE is....... (give me a break with their "hot" new Tungsten PDA/phone that needs an earpiece....that's going backwards not forward)......

    It seems the ground swell of development and innovation coming from the PPC side will probably overwhelm Palm and Handspring within the next year. Market share is snowballing down hill for Palm devices. If this doesn't stop quickly, the creative applications developers will switch .......and well......you know the rest of the story.

    Will the last Palm OS innovator please turn out the light?


    Warren C.
    ...........looking forwad to trying out the next generation...of these device. Will there be a new Treo among them ????
    Warren C.
  2. #2  
    Get buttons-T from palmgear for free. Then you can set the lid switch not to go to speed dial - let it do nothing. This was too the thing draw me to nuts and I even tried to remove the lid switch physically. Buttons-T fixes it easy and can do much more. Also assign the web browser button to applications so you can switch between applications easily. Don't use Blazer, then you won't see crashes. See my more tips for Treo on my website http://www.fixup.net in the wireless tip page.
    For the short battery life, get the battery extender/charger and the USB hotsync/charging cable from peakcloudy on eBay for less than $10 each. You cannot live without these. No matter how much you've spent on your Treo, you must spend another $20 to get these and you won't regret. I guarrantee you.
    Last edited by Fixup; 03/19/2003 at 04:44 PM.
  3. Wchapman's Avatar
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       #3  
    Fixup,

    Thanks for the tips but I don't think you understand the problem that annoys me.

    I have already disabled (with Treobutton) the function that defualts to speed dial when you open the lid. .... But the software stills goes back to speed dial upon hangin up any and every phone call.

    (I like Treobutton better than Buttons T because it gives you four more choices using the space key + a button.)

    Not sure which cables you are talking about....what's different with these cables than the ones that come with 300 in the box? The Sprint 300 version has a USB hotsync/charging combo cable and also comes with a car charger, ...which I now use every day.

    What is the "battery extender/charger" you spoke of......maybe you could put a link to one on eBay in your reply.

    Warren
    Warren C.
  4. #4  
    Speed dial page is no problem. You simply press the name or a phone number right from there and it'll go automatically to either the phone book or the dialpad. This is one of the things make me feel strongly that the Treo designers are very thoughtful.

    You can also presss the phone button continously to switch to dialpad, phonebook, call history. This feature may be disabled by some software (ex. Today) and you have to set buttons to default in Prefs to bring this function back again.

    The hotsync / charging cable from peakcloudy uses the USB port to charge the Treo, so you no longer have to carry the travel charger. Very neet.

    The battery extenter/charger is a 4-AA battery case that plugs into your Treo. It allows you to use 4 1800mAh rechargeable AA batteries to power or charge your Treo. FYI, Treo's built-in battery is only 850mAh, so this extender should lasts your Treo for couple days.

    Here are the links I found for these two must-have items. Note peakcloudy has a eBay store so you can go right to his store to buy them and other cool accessories. I have no any relationship with him, but found him accidently on eBay when looking for a used cable for my Treo.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=29843

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=29847

    What I'm going to do is to replace the long battery case with a RadioShack one and attach it to Treo's back with Velcro.
  5. #5  
    The battery extender/charger is a little box that holds 4 AA batteries. It has a Treo charger connection on it, and can be used to charge the battery....or you can directly run your Treo off it. You replace or recharge the AA batteries when they are drained.

    You hit on a good point in your original post that I want to repeat. Size. For my taste, even the Treo is a tad on the large size for an everyday phone. I'd like to see it 1/4" narrower and shorter, keeping the same screen size. The PPC phones will always be on the large size due to the QVGA screen (required by MS). Until there is a clamshell PPC, I don't think that there will be a PPC/phone combo small enough that I'm willing to slog around all day.
  6. #6  
    Wchapman, I know what you're talking about, and I agree with just about everything you said. Except one. I don't expect that PPC will do any better down the line. There are rumors of support for landscape in the next version of the PPC OS, though, and that could help if combined with a thumbboard. Otherwise, I'm hopeful that Handspring may have a next-gen Treo out in the next 6 months. The other device to watch, IMO, is the color Danger hiptop which should be out this summer. They've really got the integration figured out pretty well, IMO, though the phone aspect needs improvement.

    Scott
  7. Wchapman's Avatar
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       #7  
    Scott,

    Check this one out....just a prototype.....but ?????

    http://www.infosync.no/news/2002/n/2312,2.html

    Warren
    Warren C.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Fixup
    The hotsync / charging cable from peakcloudy uses the USB port to charge the Treo, so you no longer have to carry the travel charger. Very neet.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=29843
    This cable is much better. I have them both, but this one is both a serial & usb and it charges. Plus the connector is way better, and yes, it does have a hotsync button which the picture doesn't show.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=29849
  9. #9  
    No, I don't want that bulky serial port connector.
  10. #10  
    The main reason to have a serial connection on the Treo is to use the WirelessModem program to get on the 'net with a laptop. This used to be the ONLY method to do this, but now there is another program out that uses the USB port for the modem interface and the serial connection is no longer needed.

    It's nice for the fact that you don't have to lug the the wall wart around...
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by Wchapman
    Scott,

    Check this one out....just a prototype.....but ?????

    http://www.infosync.no/news/2002/n/2312,2.html
    I've seen that device before, and predicted (on a PPC site) at the time that future MS devices would (or at least should) be designed similarly. That being said, I'm concerned that this particular design looks like it would be very top-heavy which would significantly hurt the usability of the thumbboard.

    Scott
  12. #12  
    I agree with you about palm apps and not needing or knowing how close them. I haven't used OS 5 and don't know how they deal with multitasking. Perhaps that limitation is gone now.

    I like the speed dial page, and there are two free software solutions which can get you out of it. And if you have to answer a phone call the Treo has to go to the phone application. Due to the previously mentioned lack of multitasking, I don't think it could be programmed to take you to an application you were at. Hence the really only other place that might make sense in your palm main home. For the high % of the people that didn't download the software to turn off speed dial it would be confusing if it took you home after every phone call (especially if you started in the phone app).

    Look and Feel: I wish I had metal, but I think it is the sleekest looking phone out there. I get stopped everywhere and asked about it. next happens to my friend with the motorola.

    Battery Life: I haven't run into the problem, but then I don't use the phone that much on any given day. You'd have to compare PPC phones and this is what's drawing the power, not the palm itself. Feel free to walk around with it for 2 weeks with the wireless mode shut off. You should have much of a problem. That I haven't seen done with PPC.

    Crashes: I've had two in 5 months and both were testing beta software. I didn't lose any data and because the palm "boots up" in 30 seconds this isn't a big deal.

    Flip up lid: I can't think of another way to go. I've had the nokia phones without a lid, but it's obvious that the touch screen of a palm device wouldn't survive the same as the plastic display on a nokia. It's two different animals.

    If you have any luck with drilling the hole in the earpiece, please post how you did it :-).

    Daylight: Using the contract button, I've gotten as good results as I have with any other color screen that uses it's amount of battery power.

    Expansion: Most phones doesn't have it and before Handspring didn't. I had a Visor for 2 years and bought exactly zero springboard expansions. The only two that interested me was the mp3 player and the CDPD modem. Both were as expensive as the PDA itself (in some cases more). What I'm getting at here, is that while it's good to have the option, I don't know many that did when it was available.

    802.11x: This is something that I wish I had. I know it drains a ton of battery, but it seems like there are a number of places where you can connect to a network now and get a free access (if you know what you are doing). This would be extremely useful.

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