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  1.    #1  
    Seems like everyone is saying what they think on this thing. Here is something from the Circuits email from the NY Times.


    1. From the Desk of David Pogue: Handspring's Gorgeous New
    Phone
    ==========================================================

    The twisted history of Palm Computing just keeps getting
    more twisted. The latest news is that Palm and Handspring
    have agreed to merge. PalmPilot creator Jeff Hawkins -- who
    left Palm three years ago in a fit of corporate frustration,
    and founded rival Handspring -- will return to Palm as chief
    technical officer. The only detail left is naming the
    combined company. (And no, it won't be called PalmSprings.)

    No doubt about it: Hard times make for strange bedfellows.

    Handspring no longer sells the Visor palmtops that put it on
    the map. It has focused all of its energy on a combination
    cellphone and palmtop called the Treo.

    All of the Treo models so far -- wide, fat flip phones --
    have illustrated a clarity of thinking, and a respect for
    customers' time, that's rare in cellphones. A Treo
    represents exactly the kind of simplicity I've described in
    the last few editions of this newsletter. There's a simple
    'Off' switch for the ringer, for example, and you can
    pinpoint a name in the phone book just by typing its
    initials.

    Last week, I had a look at a prototype of Handspring's
    gorgeous new phone, the Treo 600, which won't be available
    until the fall. It's very unusual for a company to take the
    wraps off of a flagship product so far in advance, so I took
    the opportunity to take some notes and send you some first
    impressions.

    The biggest news is that unlike its predecessors, this Treo
    is not a wide, fat flip phone at all. It's relatively
    slender slab design, about a half-inch narrower than the old
    Treos. Handspring admits that holding one of the earlier
    Treos could lead to self-consciousness. "What IS that
    thing?" people ask. But the 600 looks exactly like a regular
    cellphone, at least when it's pressed to your ear.

    The company acknowledges that some people will prefer the
    flip-phone design of the earlier Treo. ("There's two kinds
    of people in the world," said product manager Joe Sipher,
    "flip folks and stick folks.") After all, the earlier Treo's
    see-through lid window protects the screen and keyboard; the
    new Treo's screen is exposed to the elements of your purse
    or pocket. On the other hand, Handspring points out that the
    older Treo has three surfaces to wipe clean of face grease
    and makeup -- both surfaces of the lid window, plus the screen
    inside -- instead of just one.

    The color screen is one of the smallest Palm screens yet (it
    shows the same number of pixels, just squeezed tighter
    together), but it's also the brightest. According to
    Handspring, it gives off 135 nits of light compared with 35
    on the famous Compaq iPaq.

    Feature-wise, this phone is loaded. It has a camera that
    snaps 640 x 480-pixel photos; a five-way navigation knob;
    and a slot for an SD expansion card. Unlike most cellphones
    (and earlier Treos), it has separate speakers for your ear
    and for the speakerphone. That second speaker can play MP3
    music files, too, so your phone can be your radio as you
    paint or lie on the beach.

    Handspring has also addressed two complaints about the
    original Treo. First -- hallelujah -- there's now a separate
    Applications button that summons your list of Palm programs.
    Second, the new Treo's battery is as strong as the earlier
    battery was weak. Handspring estimates that in the final
    design, you'll get about six hours of talk time per charge.

    This phone can send SMS (short messaging service) text
    messages to other phones -- no surprise there. But think about
    it: Most SMS messages trigger responses, and responses to
    responses. So Handspring's SMS screen looks exactly like an
    instant-messaging chat window, with previous exchanges
    scrolling up like a screenplay. It's an ingenious, clutter-
    saving stroke.

    In addition to phone numbers, you can program the buttons on
    the speed-dial screen to open specified programs, call up
    designated Web sites, or fire off SMS messages to certain
    people (but not, oddly enough, send e-mail to someone).

    As on previous Treos, there's an alphabet keyboard for
    entering text with your thumbs, especially e-mail messages.
    This keyboard, alas, may be a deal-breaker for some people:
    it's positively microscopic. It's about 15 percent narrower
    than even the previous Treo keyboard.

    True, the keys are dome-shaped, making it easier to feel
    your way. And if you do strike two simultaneously, the
    software attempts to filter out mistakes by analyzing the
    sequence of key presses and key releases.

    It's possible to get good at typing on it. I saw a public-
    relations man wail away at nearly full-size keyboard speed.
    But at least at first, it's like typing on Tic Tacs.

    Otherwise, this is a terrific phone -- the smallest palmtop-
    phone yet -- and superior in most ways to both older Treos
    and their rivals. In the U.S., Sprint will offer it first,
    with other carriers to follow; the price hasn't yet been
    set. (Handspring will offer an upgrade deal to current Treo
    phone owners.) If you're in the market for a communicator,
    and that Stuart Little keyboard doesn't faze you, the Treo
    600 may well be worth waiting for.
  2. #2  
    From today's Times:
    Handspring's Gorgeous New Phone

    "The twisted history of Palm Computing just keeps getting more twisted. The latest news is that Palm and Handspring have agreed to merge. PalmPilot creator Jeff Hawkins -- who left Palm three years ago in a fit of corporate frustration, and founded rival Handspring -- will return to Palm as chief technical officer. The only detail left is naming the combined company. (And no, it won’t be called PalmSprings.)
    Advertisement

    No doubt about it: Hard times make for strange bedfellows.

    Handspring no longer sells the Visor palmtops that put it on the map. It has focused all of its energy on a combination cellphone and palmtop called the Treo.

    All of the Treo models so far -- wide, fat flip phones -- have illustrated a clarity of thinking, and a respect for customers’ time, that’s rare in cellphones. A Treo represents exactly the kind of simplicity I’ve described in the last few editions of this newsletter. There’s a simple ‘Off’ switch for the ringer, for example, and you can pinpoint a name in the phone book just by typing its initials.

    Last week, I had a look at a prototype of Handspring’s gorgeous new phone, the Treo 600, which won’t be available until the fall. It’s very unusual for a company to take the wraps off of a flagship product so far in advance, so I took the opportunity to take some notes and send you some first impressions.

    The biggest news is that unlike its predecessors, this Treo is not a wide, fat flip phone at all. It’s relatively slender slab design, about a half-inch narrower than the old Treos. Handspring admits that holding one of the earlier Treos could lead to self-consciousness. “What IS that thing?” people ask. But the 600 looks exactly like a regular cellphone, at least when it’s pressed to your ear.

    The company acknowledges that some people will prefer the flip-phone design of the earlier Treo. (“There’s two kinds of people in the world,” said product manager Joe Sipher, “flip folks and stick folks.”) After all, the earlier Treo’s see-through lid window protects the screen and keyboard; the new Treo’s screen is exposed to the elements of your purse or pocket. On the other hand, Handspring points out that the older Treo has three surfaces to wipe clean of face grease and makeup—both surfaces of the lid window, plus the screen inside—instead of just one.

    The color screen is one of the smallest Palm screens yet (it shows the same number of pixels, just squeezed tighter together), but it’s also the brightest. According to Handspring, it gives off 135 nits of light compared with 35 on the famous Compaq iPaq.

    Feature-wise, this phone is loaded. It has a camera that snaps 640 x 480-pixel photos; a five-way navigation knob; and a slot for an SD expansion card. Unlike most cellphones (and earlier Treos), it has separate speakers for your ear and for the speakerphone. That second speaker can play MP3 music files, too, so your phone can be your radio as you paint or lie on the beach.

    Handspring has also addressed two complaints about the original Treo. First—hallelujah -- there’s now a separate Applications button that summons your list of Palm programs. Second, the new Treo’s battery is as strong as the earlier battery was weak. Handspring estimates that in the final design, you’ll get about six hours of talk time per charge.

    This phone can send SMS (short messaging service) text messages to other phones—no surprise there. But think about it: Most SMS messages trigger responses, and responses to responses. So Handspring’s SMS screen looks exactly like an instant-messaging chat window, with previous exchanges scrolling up like a screenplay. It’s an ingenious, clutter-saving stroke.

    In addition to phone numbers, you can program the buttons on the speed-dial screen to open specified programs, call up designated Web sites, or fire off SMS messages to certain people (but not, oddly enough, send e-mail to someone).

    As on previous Treos, there’s an alphabet keyboard for entering text with your thumbs, especially e-mail messages. This keyboard, alas, may be a deal-breaker for some people: it’s positively microscopic. It’s about 15 percent narrower than even the previous Treo keyboard.

    True, the keys are dome-shaped, making it easier to feel your way. And if you do strike two simultaneously, the software attempts to filter out mistakes by analyzing the sequence of key presses and key releases.

    It’s possible to get good at typing on it. I saw a public-relations man wail away at nearly full-size keyboard speed. But at least at first, it’s like typing on Tic Tacs.

    Otherwise, this is a terrific phone -- the smallest palmtop-phone yet -- and superior in most ways to both older Treos and their rivals. In the U.S., Sprint will offer it first, with other carriers to follow; the price hasn’t yet been set. (Handspring will offer an upgrade deal to current Treo phone owners.) If you’re in the market for a communicator, and that Stuart Little keyboard doesn’t faze you, the Treo 600 may well be worth waiting for. "
  3. #3  
    A different view?

    I haven't read it yet, but from the title David has issues. BTW, David, when interviewing VIsto mentioned he has a T300.
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
    Life is what happens between Firmware releases.
  4. #4  
    he had issues, but they seemed relatively nit-picky. he faulted them on the non-replaceable battery, which has come up before, but that's like the editors at car and driver always saying that the car they drove could use a few more horsepower, which they say about virtually everything. he would also like to see an 'esc' key.

    let's face it, there will always be nits to pick, and no device will be perfect for everybody.
    Change is a challenge to the adventurous, an opportunity to the alert, a threat to the insecure.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by aarons12
    he had issues, but they seemed relatively nit-picky. he faulted them on the non-replaceable battery, which has come up before, but that's like the editors at car and driver always saying that the car they drove could use a few more horsepower, which they say about virtually everything. he would also like to see an 'esc' key.

    let's face it, there will always be nits to pick, and no device will be perfect for everybody.
    It's still a generally positive review, IMO. He talks about the need for replacable batteries because data use uses a lot of battery power in the Treo 300. I own a 270 and GPRS data use hardly makes a dent in battery life compared to talking on the phone. Is this very different with the 300? Does this have to do with the battery drain "bug" I read about in the 300 ROM upgrade article on TreoCentral's front page?

    I think a 6-hour talk time battery would last me at least 10 days with my use of my 270. I think people will be very happy with this battery once they use it, if it indeed lives up to its specs.
  6.    #6  
    How come when I post the same story many hours before no one responds.
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/tc...threadid=34432
  7. #7  
    There's planned to be a clip on battery that's going to be available anyway for anyone who feels the need. So I wouldn't nitpick on that.

    I am concerned about the keyboard size though. I also want to know what the size comparison is between the current Treo's actual screen and the 600's. Anyone know?
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    How come when I post the same story many hours before no one responds.
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/tc...threadid=34432
    I only responded to the responses I noticed that this was the same story you posted when I first looked at it.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    How come when I post the same story many hours before no one responds.
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/tc...threadid=34432


    It's that freakin' two headed turtle. He's hypnotic.

    Cluemeister
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by Bob-C
    There's planned to be a clip on battery that's going to be available anyway for anyone who feels the need. So I wouldn't nitpick on that.

    I am concerned about the keyboard size though. I also want to know what the size comparison is between the current Treo's actual screen and the 600's. Anyone know?
    Comparison picture between the T-300 and T-600 is here.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  11. #11  
    Quite frankly I don't understand why people get so upset over reviews that are largely positive but get nitpicky over several details. You certainly won't want to read the article I just posted on my web site, as it may upset you. What do you want him to do? Look at the phone, see things he likes and dislikes, decide he likes it overall so he won't bother mentioning in his article the things he doesn't like?

    If we don't harp on the nitpicky things, they won't get fixed. 'Nuff said.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    Quite frankly I don't understand why people get so upset over reviews that are largely positive but get nitpicky over several details. You certainly won't want to read the article I just posted on my web site, as it may upset you. What do you want him to do? Look at the phone, see things he likes and dislikes, decide he likes it overall so he won't bother mentioning in his article the things he doesn't like?

    If we don't harp on the nitpicky things, they won't get fixed. 'Nuff said.

    Scott
    My issue isn't over the fact that reviewers were "nitpicky" about certain things. I think the annoying thing is an author writing a review when he/she hasn't actually used the product or even seen it first-hand.

    I, personally, don't have any problem with informative journalism, but some of the "reviews" I've read pick apart the product with a pessimistic tone. My feeling is that if a product has flaws, they should be pointed out by someone that has actually held and used the product. Anyone else's opinion of how good or bad the product is doesn't mean much to me.

    Unfortunately, many readers that aren't familiar with the product line might see such a "negative" review and never give the product a look. And they would pass up the product based on nothing more than some power-user reviewer's disappointment that the product didn't meet their higher-than-average expectations. I'm not saying that the product should be "sold" by the reviewer, but it shouldn't be "condemned" either if the reviewer hasn't even actually used the product.

    An introductory review (such as all those on the Treo 600, thus far) should reserve judgement until an in-depth (hands-on) review can be done. Then a real comparison to the previous versions of the product can be made (assuming that the reviewer has used BOTH products).
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget
    I think the annoying thing is an author writing a review when he/she hasn't actually used the product or even seen it first-hand.
    You can't imagine how much I agree with this.

    When I try to relate my experiences about a technology, I use a real-life scenario where it actually solved a problem for me or worked so remarkably well that I have to tell others about it. I don't believe in the UCAN school of tech journalism (you can do this, you can do that, but in reality I've never been within two feet of the thing, and even if I had been, I'd barely use it.)

    The reason why my icon shows ME thumb-typing on the 300's keyboard, is that I'm tired of reading articles that say this can't be done easily, so get a blackberry or a hiptop. I usually email the author, and it ALWAYS turns out that this person never gave it a trial of more than a few seconds. But, this is the general buzz about the keyboard, and people like to swap buzz.

    I've held the 600, did some navigation, did some typing and my immediate response was that this package is a vast improvement, albeit based mostly on the form factor. (Which will probably influence sales more than anything else.) TYPING ON THE NEW KEYBOARD IS A NON-ISSUE. In fact, I found it to be faster, in that you can cradle the unit easier for thumb typing (it's heavier and narrower) and you don't have to move your thumbs that much in either direction to hit different keys. The keys look small but you're only using tips of your thumbs to apply pressure. And, I'm no Stuart Little (6'3", 230 lbs).

    What I'm mostly interested in is the capabilities of the new browser, especially without the proxy server. This I didn't test and can't comment on.

    I'm calling Sprint Executive Services next week to tell them that they should enthusiastically support this device and give it the press it deserves, not like what happened with the 300.

    Now, that that's done, I will continue to work with and support the 300, and the doctors who continue to email me to tell me how they're using it. http://radio.weblogs.com/0120454/

    Bill K. - "Quit whining and just get the work done."
    Last edited by wireless-doc; 06/21/2003 at 12:03 AM.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget
    I, personally, don't have any problem with informative journalism, but some of the "reviews" I've read pick apart the product with a pessimistic tone. My feeling is that if a product has flaws, they should be pointed out by someone that has actually held and used the product.
    I think it's good to have a large variety of "first looks" (I don't think it's appropriate to call it a review even if you have held one since the production models won't be out till October). Some will be positive, some negative, some in between. Let the reader decide whether it might be something they'll be interested in. All some of us can go on is what we see in pics, technical specs, and existing experience with the current Treo. Some of you have had the additional privelege of getting to try out a pre-production model Treo 600.

    In my write-up, I definitely nit-picked over several things. I don't think you can debate the fact that it has a touch-screen and they haven't given it any built-in screen protection. I don't need to hold a Treo 600 in order to criticize that. As far as the thumbboard is concerned, I made reference to current Treo users who had tried the new thumbboard and thought it was fine. I didn't get the impression that it was necessarily "better" than the current thumbboard overall, though, and so I still remain a bit concerned simply because I am less than impressed with the current thumbboard.

    As far as the camera and MP3 playback is concerned, without getting to try a release model, they're worthy of mention but can't be touted as huge benefits either. What if picture and sound quality are awful?

    I also don't like the rumored price. Hopefully rebates will be generous come Xmas, but if it debuts at $400 after rebates, I probably won't jump on it right away. On the one hand, I don't blame a company for pricing something too high right away because it can get them a little more profit from early adopters and also work as a sort of pilot program to catch any release bugs without it affecting a huge population (of course early adopters are the most vocal population). However, pricing it too high from the start also will kill buzz and could set them (and their shareholders) up for disappointment when it doesn't sell hand over foot. Is it worth $400? You can't really answer that question in a vacuum. If it was the only smartphone going, sure. But it's not. There's a lot of competition out there. Heck, for many users, the current Treo 300 could be "good enough" for many people and at $150 or less those people will be wondering whether the changes in the Treo 600 are worth paying more than twice as much for.

    I ended my write-up with a hopeful outlook, less because I thought the Treo 600 was a slam dunk and improvement on the Treo 300 in all areas (which, in many cases, I don't believe it is), but because I already think the Treo 300 is the best option out there currently and the 600 makes several usability improvements (the D-Pad being a huge one) as well as some potentially neat extras. I'll still nit-pick because I, personally, would rather the device be a bit bigger than the current Treo 300 and offer a roomier thumbboard and larger higher-res screen.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  15.    #15  
    Originally posted by Cluemeister




    It's that freakin' two headed turtle. He's hypnotic.

    Cluemeister
    Imagine being a two-headed turtle. Now that's freaky.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    Imagine being a two-headed turtle. Now that's freaky.
    Wow, I just realized it was a two-headed turtle. All this time I thought they were two big sad-looking eyes.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.

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