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  1. dpuza's Avatar
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       #1  
    The 160x160 screen resolution issue has been beaten to death on this board. I agree it is not desirable. However, what I am interested in is a list of hi-res smartphones that include a thumbboard. In my mind, the screen specs are a luxury; but the presence of a thumbboard or lack thereof completely alters the fundamental experience of interaction with the device.

    The issue of the thumbboard is an issue of functionality. What functions can ONLY be performed on a 320x320 display that are simply not possible with a 160x160? Even if, for example, you could only see half as much text on the screen at once with the lower resolution, at least you could still SEE text, and still a good deal of it compared to most ‘normal’ phones. Without a thumbboard it is simply not possible to use typing as a choice for input, the method that I feel is optimal.

    I can not understand why in our technologically advanced society this extremely useful, basic functionality would ever be left out of such a communications device and is a rare and treasured find. As much as everybody is shocked by the decision to go 160x160, I am a million times more dumbfounded that the Treo is the ONLY device in its class with a thumbboard built in. The only explanation that makes any sense to me, as hard as it for me to believe, is that it must be such a difficult engineering feat to design a good thumbboard, and that Handspring is just that much ahead of the game.

    I owned a wireless phone once and loved it, but I was forced to let it go because I was a poor college student. My only experience with them ever since is that they are the most evil thing since telemarketers and spam because they regularly subject entire populations of unwitting individuals to an array of loud, chaotic, distracting, annoying electronic sounds and the conversations of people with an apparent IQ of 40. It was enough to convince me that despite any actual usefulness of owning a mobile phone, I could live without wireless.

    But then I was issued a Motorola T900 two way alpha numeric pager from my employer. It was the first time I had used a thumbboard, and I was astonished, because:

    Suddenly it is possible to: quickly direct a complete thought towards another being, wherever you are physically located. Instantly, they are aware of this, no matter where they are physically located. With the device set to silent mode with vibration, no one else is aware that this has taken place.

    Because the original thought is indefinitely preserved in its entirety, the recipient can choose discreetly whether they are in an appropriate environment for the communication and has the option of changing to one that is more suitable; at the same time the sender is able to pursue other activities. The urgency of real time interaction, which a voice phone call depends on, is not required to ensure that the original thought is not lost -- the time and effort wasted -- and entire conversations can take place in this manner. This is the fastest, most reliable, efficient, non-intrusive form of communication currently available to human beings period; setting a trend that brings us closer and closer to, well, telepathy…

    Instant messaging has become ubiquitous on the internet. Any ordinary Joe as well as their mom and daughter now takes this technology for granted as a practical part of their daily life, or at the very least they have heard about it. Internet voice chat has not caught on in the same way. With the extra complications of wireless, it absolutely baffles me that wireless phone conversations have become completely mundane while something as simple and useful as wireless text messaging is just starting to catch on, and rather poorly at that. Taking the instant messaging phenomenon wireless is long overdue as the next step forward. Is this really just an American culture issue?

    All this being said, how in the world can you reasonably expect to conduct any kind of serious text messaging without some sort of keyboard? Granted, besides speech, writing with a pen or pencil and paper is the most natural method of expression for the largest number of people in the world. Graffiti has similarities to this form of writing although it does not mirror it perfectly. After writing, typing using a QWERTY keyboard is the most widely familiar form of expression. But with typing, the increase in speed and efficiency is astronomical! I can type much faster than I can write, and I would have a hard time believing that this was not true for the majority of those with any decent typing ability as well. The smaller size of a thumbboard is not a perfect translation of the typing experience but I find it to be a much closer match than using a pressure sensitive on-screen keyboard, as well as a closer match to typing than Graffiti is to writing. If you want to talk about an exercise in futility… serious messaging with a phone style 10-key keypad? Now that's a joke!

    I personally think the on-board camera is great, as well as the Treo’s many other features, for similar reasons. The power comes simply in having all the functionality in one device, giving the user the ability to do what was never possible before. Owners of the current model of Treo can describe many diverse uses they’ve found that they never even imagined when they made their purchase; the Treo 600 will continue to surprise and innovate and change people’s lives. Does the camera provide the ultimate in digital picture quality? Of course not, but that is the whole point: the Treo was not designed to meet enthusiasts’ demands in any one market of function specific devices that was already flooded with suppliers, but to pioneer an uncharted new market and excel as a completely integrated communications device. If one is not interested in the Treo for its functionality as such a device, I do not understand why anyone would be interested in the Treo at all.
  2. #2  
    I share your frustration at the lack of thumbboard-equipped phones, but it is incorrect to say that the Treo is the only phone with a thumbboard. Others that come to mind are:

    1) The Blackberry phones (the most recent of which has a color screen and a larger thumbboard than the Treo's, while still being pocketable).
    2) Danger Sidekick/Hiptop
    3) Palm Tungsten W
    4) Nokia 6800
    5) Nokia 3300

    Each of these has various strengths and weaknesses as compared to the Treo. I'm sure more manufacturers will wake up and produce more options over the next year.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  3. dpuza's Avatar
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       #3  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    I share your frustration at the lack of thumbboard-equipped phones, but it is incorrect to say that the Treo is the only phone with a thumbboard. Others that come to mind are:

    1) The Blackberry phones (the most recent of which has a color screen and a larger thumbboard than the Treo's, while still being pocketable).
    2) Danger Sidekick/Hiptop
    3) Palm Tungsten W
    4) Nokia 6800
    5) Nokia 3300

    Each of these has various strengths and weaknesses as compared to the Treo. I'm sure more manufacturers will wake up and produce more options over the next year.

    Scott
    Scott, you are correct in pointing out my mistake. Everybody, feel free to add to the list. Are these really the models that people refer to when complaining about lack of hi-res? This is the type of information I am looking for.

    I had a feeling I was not expressing myself clearly when I said that "the Treo is the ONLY device in its class with a thumbboard", and that it would set off some red flags for the readers of this post. Let me explain:

    I had my eye on the Tungsten W for a while, as well as the Nokia 9390 and Sidekick, before I found out about the Treo. My problem with these devices and with putting them in "the same class" as the Treo is that, while they do have phone functionality, they do not seem to be designed primarily for this purpose and seem like they would be awkward to use as a 'normal' phone. In my opinion the Treo is extremely well integrated as both a phone and a PDA, and could be used equally well for either purpose.

    I realize that this criterion is merely a matter of my personal taste, but I think that it is also a determining factor for many consumers as to whether or not they purchase a product. I feel that this is majorly overlooked on these boards and especially by those who market and design these products.

    I had not seen the Nokia 6800 before, and it does have an interesting form factor. Thanks for the input, Scott.
  4. #4  
    As we all know, none of the phones shown on this list work on Sprint's network:

    1) The Blackberry phones (the most recent of which has a color screen and a larger thumbboard than the Treo's, while still being pocketable).
    2) Danger Sidekick/Hiptop
    3) Palm Tungsten W
    4) Nokia 6800
    5) Nokia 3300

    The TW isn't even a conventional phone, as it can only be used with a plug-in earpiece. The 3300 is totally bizzare, and the Sidekick is pretty weird to use as a phone also.

    The 6800 has crappy software (according to the WSJ's Mossberg). The Blackberry phones are all bigger than the Treo 600.
  5. #5  
    Why not both? Power issues aside, why not put a 320x480 or 240x320 or even 160x240 screen onto the face of a treo-sized device, and then have a slide-out thumboard, a la Sharp's family of PDAs (mainly Japanese language models, except for the 5500/5600). Most of time that I use my treo 300 (browsing, reading email, phoning, most gaming) I dont need the keyboard, and would love a larger 2:3 screen.

    I cant decide between a single device solution (treo) and a dual device solution (phone-BT-pda). The treo 600 cant replace a laptop, whereas good, albeit large, PDAs are getting close.

    Fortunately, the treo600 with its SDIO slot solves the problem: down the road I can get an SD BT card for the treo and couple it with a next-generation PDA ... perhaps with the projection keyboard like this one http://www.virtualdevices.net/Flyer.pdf

    Mark
  6. #6  
    I had a feeling people were going to pick apart the phones I listed. My point was not to claim that those phones were all superior to the Treo 600, merely to address the specific point (as I interpreted it) that there were no thumbboard-equipped phones out there. Yes, each of these other options have their own set of weaknesses, not only compared to the Treo 600, but even compared to my Treo 300. However, there are strengths as well which I could list, such as larger, more comfortable thumbboards, cheaper prices, and higher res screens. Again, not all share those positive attributes, some have some of them, others do not.

    Overall, most of these were already available when I bought my Treo 300 and yet I still chose the Treo 300, warts and all. But depending on your needs, some of these others may actually be better for you. I just wanted to point out some of the other thumbboard-phones out there. All of them leave quite a bit to be desired for my needs, the Treo 600 included.

    Scott
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  7. #7  
    it's discontinued but a buddy of mine still uses his:

    Nokia 9110 Communicator
  8. #8  
    Sorry, Scott. I should have read your original post more closely. Your point is well taken.

    Clearly, there are other alternatives to the 600. The 600 ain't perfect by any means, so some will go to these alternatives.

    Too bad Handspring didn't go the extra mile on the screen (excuses aside). Maybe they just didn't have pockets that were deep enough to have the 320X320 manufactured for them.

    But, I'll still get the 600 as for me, personally, its the best option available.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by okie_tex
    it's discontinued but a buddy of mine still uses his:

    Nokia 9110 Communicator

    The nokia communicators cannot be compared to the treo...the communicators have a completely different OS and do not work on the Sprint Network.....besides did u really think u were gonna find treo-haters here
    Icy
    300 w/ Sprint
    will be
    600 w/ Sprint
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by IcYPLaYa21


    .....besides did u really think u were gonna find treo-haters here
    PurpleX, that's your cue.
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by Stickman
    As we all know, none of the phones shown on this list work on Sprint's network:

    1) The Blackberry phones (the most recent of which has a color screen and a larger thumbboard than the Treo's, while still being pocketable).
    2) Danger Sidekick/Hiptop
    3) Palm Tungsten W
    4) Nokia 6800
    5) Nokia 3300

    The TW isn't even a conventional phone, as it can only be used with a plug-in earpiece. The 3300 is totally bizzare, and the Sidekick is pretty weird to use as a phone also.

    The 6800 has crappy software (according to the WSJ's Mossberg). The Blackberry phones are all bigger than the Treo 600.
    Don't forget, there are a lot of GSM users in the world, and these phones are potential competitors to the Treo 600. Just not options to users who stick to Sprint.
  12. #12  
    ok so if ur gonna go that way about GSM...the Treo 600 is the best quality GSM ur gonna get at that price...low res is greta cuz its compatiable with almost all apps...hi res is a very small fraction of apps...ur gonna say "well thats gonna increase" but by the time it increases to a relative size, hi res will be cheaper and phones will have more features. so the treo 600 is a great time filler for the next 2 or 3 yrs when a truly amazing phone at a great price comes out...then ur gonna say "well what about inflation" well what about it...DVD players used to be 300 400 dollars now they are 80 dollars...hmmm similar to an advertisement from sprint yes? "well then u get old phones" ur gonna say. well its not about the BEST phone overall...its the best phone for your needs...an enhanced version will come out...if it doesnt, then HS will go out of business....so talking dollars and cents, the Treo 600 is an amazing investment. now back to the camera part...sure its a sh*tty one but its still useful...though it may not be allowed at ur work place, it will soon.... http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103_2-50...g=zdfd.newsfeed

    MS is nothin but a bloodsucking waste of space as far as im concerned...screw MS.
    Icy
    300 w/ Sprint
    will be
    600 w/ Sprint
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by IcYPLaYa21
    The nokia communicators cannot be compared to the treo...the communicators have a completely different OS and do not work on the Sprint Network.....besides did u really think u were gonna find treo-haters here
    i didn't say it did ... but it has a monster keyboard ... or 'thumboard' and a very LOW res screen!! i wasn't looking for treo haters -- so far, the treo 600 is my next pda/phone since i returned my BB7230 yesterday!
  14. #14  
    the screen res is great because it is almost universal...almost every app has low res by default...if not lo res is included as a different .prc....as for the thumbboard...that may take a little getting used to, but just as when u purchased ur first treo, ull get used to it just as quickly, if not quicker...i for one wanted it like that...
    Icy
    300 w/ Sprint
    will be
    600 w/ Sprint
  15. Ravi's Avatar
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    #15  
    I too would have preferred a higher res screen for the 600.

    I had a Tungsten W for around three weeks a little while ago. That was a good, bright 320 X 320 screen. The thumboard / keyboard was a joy to use and in all the time I had it and 'worked' with it (using the phone unnecessarily and playing as many games I could download), I NEVER had a battery problem. I could get at least 10hrs out of it between charges and continuous playing. The quality of the phone was brilliant and I loved the machine.

    The ONLY problem for me was the headset. Having to wear it continually was a real pain but there was no way out of it. It came to a crisis when I got the headset cable wrapped around the seatbelt and when I ejected the seatbelt, I ejected the Tungsten out of the window and sent it down a drain, never to be seen again !!

    My point is that Palm / Handspring could have used that 320 X 320 screen from the TW. Essentially the 600 doesn't do any more than the TW and it also has a bigger battery so we could have expected even more life out of it.

    I just want to know why they didn't bother and opted for the low res screen.
    I think that most people wouldn't notice most of the time BUT once you see games and graphics running at 160 X 160, the machine MAY start to lose it's shine.
    If you look at the attached jpeg, like me, you may notice a big difference but then again you may overlook it and anyway, I am a fussy ***** !!
    Attached Images Attached Images
  16. dpuza's Avatar
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       #16  
    ravi, your personal experience with the Tungsten W and the drain illustrates a critical (usability) design flaw with that model.

    Would you rather:

    Play games / look at crayon pictures on a high res screen?

    or,

    Lose your phone in a drain because it wasn't designed in a way that was natural to use.

    The Treo 600 is a wonder in design... it shouldn't be judged on its specs alone. I could design a PDA with wireless/phone capabilities, a blazing fast processor, bluetooth, wi-fi, hi quality screen resolution, etc., etc. -- it's called a laptop. So what?

    I had not kept up recently with the advances in PDA technology. Given the time I was 'away' and my imagination, I was actually suprised that a device like the Treo is so rare and unique and not standard issue. My intention with the original post was to point out how truly few other devices exist today that really compare to the Treo. I wanted to challenge other users to come up with an actual list of models to discuss.
  17. #17  
    one of the reasons the treo is appealing to me is not only because of its amazing design and fast processes...but its the fact that not a lot of ppl have them...if it was standard issue it wouldnt be as much impressive you know what i mean....if ur phone rings and everyone in the room pulls out the same phone it makes it lose its uniqueness...a lot of my friends have ppcs...and they were jealous as hell when i showed them my treo...say we all had treos it wouldnt be as much fun...i know its superficial but be honest every1 is like that...especially to ppl they hate.
    Icy
    300 w/ Sprint
    will be
    600 w/ Sprint

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