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  1. richlin71's Avatar
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       #1  
    i sat down and wrote whatever came to mind about the 2 devices:

    http://uninteresting.org/nerd/sidekick-treo/index.htm
  2. #2  
    I used the SK for a year before switching; I agree with your review 100%.
  3. #3  
    Can either of you comment on the wireless reception of the Treo 600 vs the Sidekick? I've had the Sidekick for over a year, and it never seemed to perform as well compared to a cheap flip phone, with reception very picky and poor in fringe areas.

    I always assumed it was because the Sidekick had a poor antenna due to the form factor of the phone.

    Just wondering if the Treo would be any better.

    Still waiting on T-Mobile... crossing my fingers for a Monday 12/15 release.

    Craig
  4. #4  
    I too am a previous Sidekick owner (still have a color one sitting int the box). I had so many problems with reception and returning the darn thing that I just opted to get the Treo which I drooled over from the first moment I saw the thing.

    When I got into my car accident, I was alone on a dark road and couldn't even get a signal. Ended up having to drive the remainder of the way home on a bent axle. That was it for me! Waited till my contract was over (coincided very nicely with Treo 600 release date).

    Treo is wonderful. I do miss the SK's keyboard and resolution though. But the abundance of Palm applications easily make up for it.
  5. #5  
    Maybe it's just me, but here's my review:

    Sidekick = apples

    Treo = oranges
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by golfingtigger
    I too am a previous Sidekick owner (still have a color one sitting int the box). I had so many problems with reception and returning the darn thing that I just opted to get the Treo which I drooled over from the first moment I saw the thing.

    When I got into my car accident, I was alone on a dark road and couldn't even get a signal. Ended up having to drive the remainder of the way home on a bent axle. That was it for me! Waited till my contract was over (coincided very nicely with Treo 600 release date).

    Treo is wonderful. I do miss the SK's keyboard and resolution though. But the abundance of Palm applications easily make up for it.
    Are you still with T-Mobile with the Treo 600? Can you directly compare the reception of the two (Assuming the same carrier of course)
  7. #7  
    Seems it hit the bandwidth cap.

    Summary anyone?
    Pete
  8. ahalvor's Avatar
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    #8  
    Originally posted by PeteEMT
    Seems it hit the bandwidth cap.

    Summary anyone?
    I dont know what the original article said...and hopefully the original author will post it here. My opinion though is that the Sidekick would still be my device if it were not for the lack of sync.

    I love my Treo, and it is a great device.

    I will never go back to the Sidekick or T-Mobile from the principal of being screwed twice (once on the grayscale and once on the color).

    I am a Treo 600 user for at least until the next killer tool comes along. ;-)

    Andy
  9. richlin71's Avatar
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       #9  
    yeah, my bandwidth is all used up. i agree the treo600/sidekick comparison is apples/oranges, but the fact is a lot of people are comparing the two devices for their needs.

    here's what i wrote:
    i've been a die-hard Sidekick user for over a year now, using one since it was released in October, 2002. it's an amazing device that changed the way i used data in my life (much like the original Palm Pilot did back in the summer of 1996). last month's over-the-air OS update added much needed functionality (copy & paste, browser page-complete notification, new apps & ringers), but alas, it wasn't quite enough to keep me from jumping ship to the new "even more amazing" Treo 600 at Amazon's great price - $300 with 1-year activation ($250 for 2-year, but that's too long for me). plus, i can sell my Sidekick to offset the cost that much more.

    Hardware:
    Typing/Keyboard: the Sidekick keyboard is the best i've ever used on any mobile phone or PDA. the key spacing and tactile feedback are perfect. i can almost type as fast as on a normal keyboard, and can even touch-type without looking at the keys...BUT you HAVE to use 2 hands to type on it. the Treo keyboard is more scrunched (about 70% the width and 50% the height of the Sidekicks) but still pretty usable (but i make a lot more typos). you can even type 1 handed in a pinch, though it'll be slow. Winner: Sidekick

    One-handed operation: well, you can't do anything too well on the Sidekick with 1 hand, unless you're browsing the web and just going from link to link. the Treo, on the other hand, was designed to do practically everything with one-hand. Winner: Treo

    Phone: this is everyone's main complaint about the Sidekick - it's really awkward to use as a phone. when my Sidekick rings and my headset isn't plugged in, i'm usually inclined to not answer and send it to voicemail. i just never got comfortable pressing it against my head. the screen sticks out from the earpiece and mic, so it always makes contact with your cheek. you can dial one-handed with the scroll-wheel, but it's awkward. i usually had to dial with the screen flipped open, holding it in 2 hands, then closing the screen and holding it to my head. with the screen closed, the Sidekick is actually about the same size as the Treo, but for some reason the Treo feels like a phone while the Sidekick feels like a brick. the earpiece juts forward, so your cheek doesn't really touch the screen. you dial 1 handed by pressing the dialpad on the screen or the keyboard keypad. Very intuitive. Winner: Treo

    Voice Quality/Network Coverage: let's face it - Tmobile coverage sucks. in this apartment in LA, my Sidekick gets a tiny bit of reception when placed in a specific part of the table. if i move it 2 feet over, it's gone. and if i pick it up to use it, it's gone. so i have to reach my hands out trying not to disturb it and hoping i don't disrupt the connection. if i make a call with low (1-bar) reception, the call will usually break up. and this is even AFTER the OTA update where the reception was supposed to be improved. Sprint coverage is also poor in this apartment, but even at 1 bar the data is reliable and calls go through clearly. i have yet to be anywhere where i was out of Sprint's range. Sprint's data network is also significantly faster than Tmobile's. Winner: Treo

    Sound: the Sidekick's built-in songs/ringers are horrid. the OTA update provided some fun stuff (i love the chicken squawking sound!). but still, the quality really isn't that good. the Treo has much, much, much nicer sound quality. the built-in speaker gets pretty loud, whether used as a speakerphone or playing mp3's. Winner: Treo

    Camera: i have the black & white Sidekick, which takes (literally) postage stamp size pics. practically useless. plus, it's a separate attachment that you have to plug in and i never carried it around with me (whereas it's built into the back of the Treo as a tiny, unobtrusive lens). i think the color Sidekick takes VGA (640x480) pics, just like the Treo 600. everyone rags on the Treo for the picture quality, but hey, it works well enough. go set up a moblog (mobile blog) on textamerica or buzznet. Winner: Treo

    Screen: the resolution is higher on the Sidekick, but the Treo is color & super bright. maybe too bright. i sometimes had trouble reading text on the Sidekick in certain lighting conditions. Winner: Treo

    Expandability: there's nothing on the Sidekick. the Treo supports secure digital cards (SD I/O), including future Wifi and/or Bluetooth SD cards. Current SD cards hold up to 512MB. Winner: Treo

    Battery: with super-heavy usage i'd use up maybe 30% of the Sidekick battery in a day. on the Treo, i could probably suck up 80% if not all of it simply because it does so much more (playing mp3s/streaming audio, speaker phone, and driving the bright color screen). i usually charge my devices every night, so this isn't a big deal to me. Winner: Sidekick

    Software:
    Applications: the Sidekick catalog offers a few apps for download, while the Treo runs over 19,000 PalmOS programs. it's a no-brainer. being able to play Bejeweled on my Treo was a big selling point! you can even play videos with Kinoma. Winner: Treo

    Web Browser: as you can see from the pics, the landscape orientation of the Sidekick makes for a nicer browsing experience. the Danger web proxy servers strip down all graphics so they load quickly (Blazer downloads all the original graphics and just resizes them for display). with the 2-handed operation of the Sidekick, you can move about and get things done quickly & intuitively. but it doesn't support Javascript - the Treo's Blazer browser does. you can also navigate 1-handed on the Treo (great when driving) using the 5-way D-pad. and if you want to use any of the other browser apps for PalmOS5 (there's a bunch of em), you can just install that. Winner: Tie (Sidekick is a better browsing experience, but Treo has better compatibility).

    E-Mail (I use Snapper Mail on the Treo): the Sidekick email client is truly a push client (like the Blackberries), where your mail just appears. the Treo mail clients (like Snapper Mail) keep running in the background when the device is asleep or you're running another app, and wakes up to take over the device (at specified intervals) to check your mail - during which time you are forced to watch the progress bar as it downloads. the usual other caveats apply (Sidekick screen displays more info with a better layout, but the Treo allows for 1-handed reading/navigating/managing of emails). Winner: Sidekick

    Desktop Integration: the Sidekick only integrates with the Tmobile Desktop Interface on the web. the wireless sync between the website and the device is pretty cool. but NOTHING beats integrating directly with Microsoft Outlook on my desktop, which the Treo does. Outlook integration is probably the biggest gripe Sidekick users have, and it seems like such as easy thing to implement and it really makes me mad (really!) that they haven't provided it in over a year. sure, the Sidekick does Calendar/Todo/Contacts/Notes, but they are all separate from my Outlook, which makes them almost useless. Winner: Treo

    Multitasking: the Sidekick rocks because all the apps continue running even if you switch away from them. so for example, you can start to load a web page, switch to AOL IM or email, and it'll beep/vibrate when the page is loaded. the Treo runs PalmOS 5 which doesn't support true multitasking - so when you switch away from the browser (Blazer), it essentially freezes it, and when you come back it has to re-draw the page. the only somewhat persistent apps are Verichat (you'll receive a popup message in any application when someone IM's you) and SnapperMail (it'll start checking your POP mail even in the device is in sleep mode). Winner: Sidekick

    Chat: the Sidekick AOL IM client is awesome, pretty much working exactly the way the desktop client does. but Verichat, while the interface isn't as clean, also lets you log into MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and ICQ. and it keeps you persistently logged in via a proxy, even when the Treo is off. what's annoying is that there's a slight delay as it logs into each proxy whenever you start it up, and it takes a few seconds until you see your buddy lists. Winner: Treo (unless you only use AOL IM, in which case the Sidekick wins)

    Music/MP3's: well, this isn't a fair fight. the Sidekick really has no music playing capability - it will play tiny mp3/wav attachments, but can't play entire mp3 files (there's nowhere to store them). the Treo can play mp3's off a 512MB SD card. pTunes on the Treo can even play streaming Shoutcast internet radio! i've connected to streams up to 96kbps. Winner: Treo

    so those are the main things that come to mind in comparing the devices. if i had to summarize the main things that make the Treo a must-have upgrade over the Sidekick (for me), it's
    Outlook Integration
    Voice Quality/Network Coverage
    Form Factor
    MP3 capability

    the Sidekick is an effective data-enabled phone.

    the Treo is an effective data-enabled phone, PIM organizer and game player (replacing my PDA), and mp3 player (possibly replacing my iPod). and it's a "functional" digital camera (for spontaneous low-res shots).

    as a final thought, it's not really fair comparing these two from a "marketplace" perspective. the Treo is a $600 retail device targeted at mobile professionals, and the B&W Sidekick is a $200(?) device targeted at teens/young adults. the process of installing and managing PalmOS apps on the Treo is significantly more complex than the simple, well-integrated, never-crashing apps built-into the Sidekick.

    the fact that Danger hasn't built Outlook integration into the Sidekick is a strong statement: as a small startup with limited resources, enabling that functionality is not a key requirement for their target demographic (teens). i assume they're busy signing on new carriers instead.
  10. #10  
    In answer to the reception question, I get much better reception with my T600 than my SK; however, that's probably due to weaknesses with T-mobile in my area (central Connecticut)

    I don't think they are apples/oranges; they fulfill many of the same needs for folks needing mobile connectivity as well as organizing functions.

    I'm not trying to bash the SK; it had its own charms - the T600 meets my needs better.
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by Bujin
    In answer to the reception question, I get much better reception with my T600 than my SK; however, that's probably due to weaknesses with T-mobile in my area (central Connecticut)

    I don't think they are apples/oranges; they fulfill many of the same needs for folks needing mobile connectivity as well as organizing functions.

    I'm not trying to bash the SK; it had its own charms - the T600 meets my needs better.
    No, it's not your area, it's the SK.

    I'm in NYC where T-Mobile service is pretty good. I just replaced my color SK with the 600 and there is definitely an improvement in reception as well as data connection. Using Web Pro is great and if you disable the show pictures option, you will fly through the web.

    The only thing I miss about the SK is the keyboard and color screen. That's probably about all.

    Off topic for one moment, but I just got a Nokia N-Gage to play around with and the reception is even better than the 600.
    At my office, my SK would not pull in a signal. My Treo gives me one or two bars. When testing the N-Gage, I get 4 bars at the same location. Nokia phones do offer superior RF.
  12. #12  
    I'm trying out the Treo right now in addition to the SK. I'm surprised how slow the web browser is...

    I really, really wanted JavaScript for occasional needs, but I'm surprised how slow non-proxy browsing is.

    Being able to use iSync with my Mac is nice, though.

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