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  1.    #1  
    As a longtime AOL Mobile Communicator (Blackberry) user, I have been searching for a successor device in light of AOL's decision to end the service. I -think- the Treo is the solution, but I have an issue:

    I ordered a Treo 270 from T-Mobile because of their $29.99 unlimited data package (same as I paid for AOL MC service). Seemed like a great deal, good device, and a chance to consolidate with my Palm, which I rely heavily on. I was not really interested in using this device as a phone, since I have other mobile phones that I use for business that I am not changing over.

    The Treo is great, but the T-Mobile coverage in my area is not. Does not work well at my home--I have trouble logging in to check AOL in various places. Verichat works ok, but the signals goes in and out wildly.

    So, still within my 14 day return period, I went to the local Spring PCS store after determining that their wireless access seems to be much better. After talking to them and demonstrating a Treo 300, I left with one of those. $50 a month--more than I wanted to spend, but what seemed to be a way better network, and a good amount of voice minutes I can use if I want to leave without my other phone. Now I have BOTH devices to evaluate.

    The Treo 300/Sprint definitely gets me online better. However, their seems to be a MAJOR difference in battery life. I've been using both devices to see which service suits me best, and the Treo 300's battery life is a joke.

    My question is: Do I have a bum unit? Or, is this a different between the Sprint CDMA network (I think that's what it is) and the T-Mobile GPRS? Is one more battery intensive than another?

    Basically, what I'm doing is leaving Verichat running in the background (my office, colleagues and friends communicate with me via IM throughout the day), periodically using the AOL client to check mail and once in a while browsing, but not much. The 270 seems to last all day. The Treo 300 today was telling me two hours after leaving my house and 4 hours after leaving the charger (but only with 2 or so hours) of being on wireless that the battery was "extremely low."

    Should there be a difference between 270 and 300 battery life? Any other pros and cons between the two I should consider as I decide which--if either--to keep?

    Also, on the 300, Blazer does not seem to be showing me graphics on webpages, whereas it is doing it on the same pages on the 270. I've checked my settings and it seems to indicate that it should be showing graphics.

    Ideas?

    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    ME
  2. #2  
    The graphics issue seems odd since you've checked the settings, could be something with the unit.

    As far as leaving verichat running. Are you leaving verichat on as the active program? As in if your screen went dark due to inactivity, if you tapped the power button once to turn the screen back on, verichat would be right there? Or do you just mean you launch verichat to connect to their proxy servers but then switch the Treo back to phone mode and wait for the verichat sms' to come in notifying you of an IM?

    I ask because I have noticed that if I leave verichat up and as the active program, it sucks the life out of my battery because it seems to constantly ping the proxy server for activity. I guess that's how it knows when someone is typing a message to me and I see the [typing] at the top of the screen, I also instantly see when someone come online, it's in constant communication with their servers.

    If I launch the program to connect to their servers but exit out of the verichat program going to say, phone mode, I can go for days, especially if I don't use the phone part. You must remember that verichat still has you logged into your IM accounts via their proxy servers. Your friends will still see you as online even though you may be talking on the phone or using the calendar. You will get an SMS when someone wants to chat with you.

    If you are saying that you do the same thing as me, and don't leave verichat running as the active program all day, I'd say yes, you have a bum unit.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by MikeElmendorf
    Basically, what I'm doing is leaving Verichat running in the background (my office, colleagues and friends communicate with me via IM throughout the day), periodically using the AOL client to check mail and once in a while browsing, but not much. The 270 seems to last all day. The Treo 300 today was telling me two hours after leaving my house and 4 hours after leaving the charger (but only with 2 or so hours) of being on wireless that the battery was "extremely low."

    Should there be a difference between 270 and 300 battery life? Any other pros and cons between the two I should consider as I decide which--if either--to keep?
    On my Treo 300 if I leave VeriChat as the active program, it also drains the battery pretty quickly. As a test I'm leaving it in a one-bar coverage location and it's already down to 3.85v after 20 minutes. You can pretty much watch it drain.

    Sad to say, but I think that is "normal" for the Treo 300. It's starting to bug me more, especially since I foolishly thought that the update was going to fix the poor performance. And now that pricing is getting more competitive on the GPRS side, I may have to jump ship myself if Handspring/Sprint doesn't figure something out.

    My best advice is that if you aren't happy with the performance, be sure to take it back during the trial period. It's not going to change within a year's period and you'll be stuck with a useless contract.

    Wish I could test a 270 myself in my area. I ditched GSM stuff when my Hiptop didn't get a good signal. I'm wondering if the 270 would work.
  4. #4  
    I did some testing with VeriChat and another program called Telnet. Both of these programs allow you to turn off the device and maintain a connection to a server. However I notice that Telnet doesn't seem to drain the battery nearly as much as VeriChat.

    So I put some beeps in TreoHelper to see if I could "hear" any spurious phone events while it was sleeping.

    I found that VeriChat seems to be doing a lot of network stuff while the 300 is turned off. Every minute there is some type of activity, perhaps a keep alive, and I would presume that it sends something to a server. I say that because I recognize the beep pattern as a grey->green->grey transition.

    Telnet on the other hand was silent except for every 5 minutes there were a few bleeps. They were weird quick bleeps and didn't sound like it actually transmitted anything, but I can't be sure.

    I haven't looked at the code, but my impression is that VeriChat is aggressively trying to keep alive the server connection, whereas I don't believe that Telnet is even bothering to do anything at all.

    The phone event activity I see with Telnet at 5 minute intervals, I believe is housekeeping by the phone stack itself. And since Telnet doesn't appear to have a problem with maintaining a server connection, I don't think there is any need for doing a manual keep alive.

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