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  1.    #1  
    [[Advance warning, this turned out to be humungously long]]

    Having come off two weeks with a Treo 600, then immediately switching to a 650, which I've now been playing with for just over ten days, it's time for a review of my T650, with all the love, and all the frustration that that involves.

    1. Form Factor: The T650 is nearly identical in size and shape to the T600. It is a fraction of an inch wider, just enough that I needed to 'bend' my Pacrim open-keyboard case just a little to accomodate it. Otherwise, it's the same lovely and functional design. As a phone/PDA combination, it's just about ideal.
    Grade: A

    2. The Keyboard: The T600 keyboard was good. For a tiny little bunch of chiclets, it was possible to type out a message adequately well. Stress on "adequate". With large hands like mine, it meant fairly frequent double letters or adjacent letters, requiring frequent use of the backspace key. It was by no means 'easy' to type, in the strictest sense of the word. The T650 keyboard is improved by leaps and bounds. The slightly larger keys, along with the 'wider' doming of the top, along with the tactile 'click' feel they have, makes typing come right up to, and bump lightly in the a s s, the concept of being 'easy' to type. It's still no desktop keyboard, 'no duh'. I can type 90+ WPM on a regular keyboard. I downloaded the little WPM program for the palm, and unscientific as it is, I average roughly 25 WPM. I never tried that program on the T600, but i suspect i'd have been half that. 25 WPM is respectable, by any measure, and on a keyboard with keys the size of bubblepacking bubbles, it's amazing. For sheer keyboard usability, it gets a
    Grade: A.

    3. The relocated "Apps" and "Menu" keys: I don't think anyone could argue that they preferred the old location of the Apps/Menu keys down on the lower right. They're now where they should have been all along. Usability increase significant.
    Grade: A

    4. The Screen: I don't think I need to go into any exclamations about the screen. It's far too obvious. This gets a
    Grade: A+

    5.The Camera: It was a surprise to a lot of people that palm went with the same megapixels on the camera. It's nearly 2005 - a .3MP camera? Oh well. for the casual snapshot, or to document the occasional fender bender ( ), it does the job, and it is greatly improved on the T600 camera. However, taken on its own merits, it is fundamentally pretty lame that it's not at least 1MP. I suspect the reason they stayed with the low MP is due to the memory problems, which I'll get to, oh my yes.... The included camcorder functionality is nice though. That tempers the grade just a little.
    Grade: C-

    6. Removable Battery: Nice. Since batteries sometimes go bad, and at minimum they lose their ability to keep a charge as the years go by, it's nice not to have to replace the whole damned unit just for the battery. Plus it gives you the option of carrying a spare, which is a heck of a lot better than the ridiculous looking brick they offered as the 'external' battery for the T600. Nevertheless, it's really just a minor convenience. As a high-end, bleeding edge device, i don't see a whole lot of people (besides maybe me!) actually still using a T650 three years from now, when the battery is finally toast. So as a design change (particularly with the concommitant changes that brought about the memory problem, obviously, more below) it's really not much of a big deal.
    Grade: C/C+


    7. The 5-Way: I'm finding mine isn't precisely the same quality as the T600's. It's just a bit 'mushy' compared to the T600's, with not as sure a 'click'. It hasn't caused any notable problems, but I think at minimum they shouldn't have messed with an already near perfect part.
    Grade: B-

    8. The Sound On/Off Button: I prefer the raised-ridge on the T650's sound on/off to the T600's notch. In terms of overall functionality, it's only a slight improvement on the old design though.
    Grade: B

    9. The New Side Button and Volume Rocker: Nice minor touches. Nothing to write home about, but nice execution, for what that's worth.
    Grade: B

    10. The New Multi-Connector: While it seems a tad more rugged/substantial than the T600's hotsync/charge connector, I really don't like it at all. The connector itself is a bit on the fussy side - lining up the outside contacts always makes me uneasy - trying to mate black plastic to black plastic, usually without a 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight on it, gives me the eeby-jeebies. I worry i'm going to press the 'charge' connector too forcefully while it's not lined up, and send voltage where it ain't supposed to go, or mangle something tender. Secondly, it baffles me why they moved the actual charge adapter connection onto the multi-connector, rather than the way it was on the T600, on a "Y" closer to the USB connector. It means a second cable strung across my desk, how lovely. However, as i've recently learned from other threads here, the T650 *will* very slowly charge even without the power adapter plugged in - it sucks a little bit of voltage off the USB port, which is probably enough to charge it overnight just fine. So i can live with it (and my coolio cradle I kobbled together from my old Palm V cradle!). Overall though:
    Grade: C-


    11. Speed/Performance: I have to admit, I don't see any particular speedup/benefit to the more than double the speed processor the T650 has over the T600. As I and many others have experienced, there are often longish delays switching between apps - probably due to the memory issue - but still one would think a 312Mhz ARM would have compensated.
    Grade: B-


    12. Included Apps: Too much to go over here, but in general, the apps are nice. Versamail is terrific. The various tweaks and fine-tuning they've done to contacts, calendar, etc., are just dandy. The phone app works well, overall. I'm just now trying out the VoiceDial software, and it's truly amazing though not genuinely "included" (what does that sucker cost after the free trial, btw?)
    Grade: A-/B+

    13. Software Functionality: Mixed bag here. Numerous apps have trouble running on the T650. Some refuse to run, some will crash always, some will crash randomly, and some just exhibit the occasional cranky behavior. As well, there are the weird occurrances of genuinely long (from 2 to 5 or more seconds) delays when switching between apps, sometimes. I have had Versamail cause a reboot on me the second I hit the 'mail' button, and once or twice in the program itself. Dialing contacts can involve a long enough pause that one isn't sure it really 'took'. There have been a few occasions where it's seemed that a program has gone into some sort of greedy mode, where trying to press the apps or menu button doesn't seem to do anything - or, upon pressing one or the other, the screen goes all white for many seconds - I think the longest I experienced was pushing ten seconds. Overall, this is an awful lot of functionality, usability problems with what I would have thought would be a somewhat *more* stable platform from the T600 - the old 'incorporate all we learned from the previous generation' thang. However, also overall, as a bleeding-edge cutting instrument, so to speak, the quirks are only enough to cause occasional frustration, not enough to return the thing - so taken on its own merits and bearing in mind the bleeding edgeness, I give it an overall
    Grade: B

    14. Memory: Oh my, the memory. As one who's been labeled a "Palm Apologist" and a "Cheerleader" on many occasions, I'm very definitely setting my Pom-Pons aside in their Cherish boxes for this part , and my response here may come as a surprise. The memory is, ultimately, a colossal blunder. I, personally, have not been notably affected by it. I bought a 1G SD card when I had the T600, and I also bought a license for PowerRun. So I've moved most apps that can be moved, over to the SD card. Here's where the faster processor may be a benefit, as the delay starting apps from the SD card is really minimal on the T650. However, that said.....What were they thinking? I mean, what on earth was going through their heads? The genesis of this, as I see it, is:

    A) Design change - removable battery. Gives option for spare battery for power user. Allows replacing only battery if it dies, rather than whole unit.

    B) Removable battery means that the unit will be without any life-sustaining voltage for some number of seconds. It would not be much of a benefit if each time you changed the battery, you had to hotsync all your apps and databases back onto your phone. no, that wouldn't be good at all - more likely than not, someone would need to change the battery when they're away from a charger, and that tends to imply being away from the desk, and thus away from the computer and the ability to hotsync. So, it's a non-starter to have a swappable battery without some way to maintain the data in the unit.

    C) How to sustain that data? a bank of capacitors to provide a few seconds of voltage while the battery's swapped out? I'm no EE, but i know the more power a cap stores, the larger it is. The T650 is a small device. You'd need to set aside a good chunk of space for caps - and even so, i doubt they could sustain voltage with the battery out for more than ten or fifteen seconds. That's fine if you focus all your attention on the phone, right then and there. But not fine out in the real world, where one may be interrupted by a friend or coworker, or find oneself in the middle of traffic needing to do the change with barely one free hand, or whatever. So caps are out - just not enough time. What about an auxiliary button battery? That seems like a not too hard option to maintain - my video camera has a button battery, it's the standard '2032' that's a little bit smaller than a quarter, and it pops in and out of a small retainer that's easy to handle. frankly, I've not yet needed to change that battery in nearly ten years, even though the main battery routinely runs down as it sits unused. It would of course need some dedicated electronics associated with it, as most button batteries put out 3V or less whereas the T650 needs between 3V and 4V. But in terms of space used, frequency of even having to think about it, and relative ease of implementing, I think that's how they should have gone. But whada I know?

    so, D) - The way they chose to sustain the data: The dreaded NVFS, with its mirroring system for user data. As has been hashed, rehashed, refried, roasted, and fileted, because of the way they implemented the NVFS, what were formerly teeny tiny database records now consume at minimum 512 bytes each no matter what. That means that the more contacts and calendar entries and memos and tasks and other databases you have, the more they grow, exponentially eating up free memory. Now, taken purely at face value, there's nothing wrong with the 512 byte chunk, and in fact there are some benefits for the future with such design (memory is addressed like a harddisk - and who knows, that may be where Palm/the Treo may be going in the future, to a micro-harddisk within the unit for storage - how nice would that be, having 4 gigs of built in storage....BUT, it didn't quite work out that way, now did it?

    For reasons probably of economics, but that have turned into a PRPRPR $debacle$, $PalmOne$ $chose$ $to$ $stay$ $with$ $exactly$ $the$ $same$ $amount$ $of$ $ram$ $in$ $the$ $T650$ $as$ $the$ $T600$ - $even$ $though$ $the$ $normal$ $user$'$s$ $consumption$ $of$ $that$ $available$ $ram$ $is$ $dramatically$ $increased$ $due$ $to$ $the$ $chunk$ $size$ ($and$ $the$ $amount$ $even$ $available$ $is$ $reduced$ $for$ $the$ $same$ $reason$). $This$ $was$ $a$ $ridiculous$ $choice$. $It$ $is$ $quite$ $simply$ *$not$ $possible$* $that$ $this$ $was$ '$overlooked$' $or$ '$not$ $thought$ $to$ $be$ $a$ $problem$'. $The$ $specifications$ $are$ $clear$, $and$ $PalmOne$'$s$ $own$ $knowledgebase$ $articles$ $clearly$ $demonstrate$ $the$ $memory$ $problem$ $and$ $how$ $it$ $is$ $exacerbated$ $by$ $the$ $new$ $design$. $Considering$ $that$ $the$ '$average$ $user$'$s$' $memory$ $use$ $is$ $increased$ $by$ $I$ $believe$ $approximately$ $1$/$3$, $then$ $at$ $the$ $very$ $minimum$, $the$ $T650$ $should$ $have$ $come$ $with$ $48$ $megs$ $of$ $ram$. $I$ $believe$ $even$ $those$ $customers$ $with$ $huge$ $contact$ $databases$ $going$ $into$ $6$,$000$ $plus$ $records$, $would$ $be$ $able$ $to$ $shoehorn$ $into$ $that$ $amount$ $of$ $ram$. $As$ $it$ $stands$ $now$, $there$ $are$ $T600$ $customers$ $who$ *$cannot$ $upgrade$ $to$ $the$ $T650$* $period$, $because$ $their$ $contacts$ $consume$ $all$ $available$ $ram$.

    How did this happen? Could be any number of symptoms of modern corporate culture, for one thing. 'Bad news' is not something you bring to management, as it 'gets you in trouble'. Or the Floating Heads in the boardroom simply said 'make it work, we don't care if there's a little less memory'. Or the deadline for getting the device to market was cast in stone by Sprint. Or the prices of the NVRAM at the time the design was formalized were just too high to be able to put in more while keeping the same pricepoint. That latter is not to be too easily dismissed. The marketplace can be cruel, and the fact is, for far too many people, psychologically, seeing that '5' in $599 makes the buying decision bearable, but seeing $649.99 as the list price is too much. Hey, I didn't make the rules, I'm just observing them!

    Palmone's offer of a 128MB SD card free to those T650 customers who request one is a nice gesture. I won't go so far as to say it is *only* a gesture, even though many feel that way. With a 128MB SD card, and a launcher of some kind (that's a secondary problem), one can free up quite a bit of memory. The process is well documented, and while I don't have the figures at hand, I think one TreoCentral user mentioned being able to shoehorn 3,000 contacts into their T650 after moving stuff to SD card? Please correct me if I'm wrong. The problem of course, is that to use that 128MB SD card to actually free up memory, you pretty much have to purchase a third-party launcher app - I did, PowerRun, and it works great. But that's $13 or so out of my pocket. So even if from this moment forward PalmOne were to include a 128MB SD card in the box with all new T650's, the user will still have to shell out $13 minimum on top of the base price - so effectively, the base price just went up to $612. Granted, many users might not need to move apps out of ram, so they get a nifty 128MB SD card.

    PalmOne has also pledged to fix the memory problem. There's been much debate about how they'll effect a fix, how much of a benefit/gain they'll be able to squeeze out of it, or whether it's even possible to fix it ('experts' on both sides have maintained 'yes it is possible' and 'no it's not possible'). We'll just have to wait and see. I suspect that P1 will be able to effect a fix in a ROM update, and that it will allow users to store up to 5,000 contacts with no juggling involved. That's just my guess. I have no scientific basis behind it.

    Ultimately, they will *have* to increase the memory in the T650. Period. As I mentioned, I think 48MB would be the minimum to bring the T650 up to approximate 'parity' with the T600. What will happen to the early adopters, when P1 announces the T651? Or will it be a silent upgrade, at some point new purchasers discovering that it contains 64MB, and the website quietly updating its pages to reflect that? No idea. I do know that PalmOne had better be prepared to make good a second time if they do that - either offering to all early adopters to exchange their 'Rev A' T650 for a 'Rev B' T650 with 64MB of ram for the cost of shipping, or the cost of shipping plus $35, or something. They'll have lawsuits on their hands if they don't offer a path, and I don't think that's hyperbole - updating the hardware to 64mb, after this publicly acknowledged problem, opens them up to claims that the original product was 'known defective'.

    Okay - I've run on here for way, way, way, way, way, way, way, WAY too long about the memory, as part of a review. But the 'bottom line' is that the memory problem is the single most signficant problem with the T650, and it is big, bold, and oh-so-not-beautiful. It doesn't affect me - but only because I already bought external storage and a launcher! When i first got the T650 and tried syncing to my existing T600 backup, it bailed on me twice. I had to go into Backup and delete a half dozen big-piggy apps to be able to do that first synchronization. Now, everything's dandy, and those other apps I find weren't so gosh-darned important to me. Most apps are now on the SD card, launcher in place, and I have only a small contacts database to begin with.

    But fundamentally, this never should have been an issue. I'm sure that using 64MB right out the gate, coupled with the NVRAM, would have cost more. and it would have lowered the profits they made from each unit. But think about it: besides the normal and occasional swings in the market, when has memory not consistently moved in a downward trend in overall cost? Take that hit on the profits during the first six months the T650 is on the market with 64MB, but after that, you'll be back in the pink of things as the raw costs drop. And avoid a PRPRPR $nightmare$ $that$ $caused$ $a$ $hit$ $on$ $the$ $bottom$ $line$ $likely$ $just$ $as$ $bad$ $as$ $that$ $loss$ $of$ $profits$ $would$ $have$ $been$ $from$ $using$ $64mb$ $ram$ $to$ $begin$ $with$.

    So, finally, to the grade. Some may say I'm 'going over to the dark side'. No, I'm being pragmatic and realistic. I still am absolutely Pickled Tink with my T650. But approaching this as dispassionately as I can, I have to enter into my gradebook the following for The Memory Debacle:
    Grade: D-/F+

    Since it's been seemingly months now since I started writing this post , I may have left out a thing or two. Oh well. I'm sure someone will remind me. although I'm not sure anyone will want more verbiage from this already verbose MF.
    Last edited by anastrophe; 11/28/2004 at 06:29 PM. Reason: coupla typos
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  2. #2  
    I was going to post a review, but what's the point? anastrophe speaks for me from now on. . . . or at least until I say otherwise.
    Palms and more Palms till the 700p ruined it for me. Blackberry and now the Pre. Sprint customer since 1994! They had 1 tower in town.
  3. #3  
    A couple of things on this review:

    1. I don't see how the camera is limited by memory. From everything I've read, which is a lot, it came down to having good quality pictures at .3MP or bad quality pictures at 1.3MP. What impact would the memory have?

    2. Battery - It's not a big issue for me, but I think credit should be given because there are quite a few people who see this as a great upgrade. I don't think it's big deal for people using the device for 3 years, but it's a big deal for people on the road or those that require more time. I would have given this a B+ grade at a minimum.

    3. I might have gotten lost in the length memory review, but I don't think the changing the battery would cause a loss of data because of the NAND. It seemed like you stated that the data might last 15-20 seconds. That's not the case due to the NAND, but again, I should re-read the posting a few times before I assert this as fact.

    4. I wouldn't give the adapter a C- grade. It doesn't seem like it has any real cons from your review except for the cord. It still does the job though and it's a step towards standardizing across all Palms so I'd give it a B maybe a B-.
  4. #4  
    Paul,

    Many thanks for the review. I really appreciate your honest comments.
    Ed
    ____________________________________________
    Visor Deluxe/Prism/Visorphone/Treo 270/Treo 600

    It's a Beautiful Day in Waiehu! http://edgarces.com
  5. #5  
    Outstanding article.

    T|C should hire you as a contributing author.
  6. #6  
    Might you give your thoughts on the sound quality of the phone?
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    A couple of things on this review:

    1. I don't see how the camera is limited by memory. From everything I've read, which is a lot, it came down to having good quality pictures at .3MP or bad quality pictures at 1.3MP. What impact would the memory have?
    each photo takes up memory. you can fit more photos into a given amount of memory if they're at a lower pixel count, generally. more megapixels, all other things being equal, are better. however, as the camera in the T650 shows - when compared with the T600's camera - you can get better quality out of the same MP's. generally though, i think it was a combination of added cost, and the potential for eating up what limited ram was available.

    2. Battery - It's not a big issue for me, but I think credit should be given because there are quite a few people who see this as a great upgrade. I don't think it's big deal for people using the device for 3 years, but it's a big deal for people on the road or those that require more time. I would have given this a B+ grade at a minimum.
    sure. it was an arbitrary choice, obviously.

    3. I might have gotten lost in the length memory review, but I don't think the changing the battery would cause a loss of data because of the NAND. It seemed like you stated that the data might last 15-20 seconds. That's not the case due to the NAND, but again, I should re-read the posting a few times before I assert this as fact.
    the point i was trying to make was that they moved to the NAND memory _because_ of the move to a removeable battery. with a built in battery, they can force the device to power off and stay off when the battery level gets too low, in order to protect the data. they still do it on the T650 in fact. but with a removeable battery, *all* power goes away, for some interval, so you have to find some way to maintain the data with normal, volatile memory. NAND solves that. my opinion is that a $2 button battery would also have accomplished that, and allowed a budget for more memory. for that matter, it would not have been difficult to set up the button and main batteries in such a way that you can't remove one without the other being in place.

    NAND is nifty, because no power is needed at all. as we've seen, it's not exactly the best choice, under the circumstances.
    4. I wouldn't give the adapter a C- grade. It doesn't seem like it has any real cons from your review except for the cord. It still does the job though and it's a step towards standardizing across all Palms so I'd give it a B maybe a B-.
    i suppose. i just don't like the way the connector attaches, with the two 'ears' on the outside edges. if the actual connection points were further recessed, with the outer plastic edge 'funneling' down to them, it would make for a surer feel to making the connection. as it stands, it's not a problem with the cradle i built. i could live with a B-.
    Last edited by anastrophe; 11/28/2004 at 07:39 PM. Reason: coupla typos
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by RWerksman
    Outstanding article.

    T|C should hire you as a contributing author.
    har! there wouldn't be any room left on their disks! i'd crowd it out, it would mean the end of the forums as we know it!

    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by ojleblanc
    Might you give your thoughts on the sound quality of the phone?
    yeah, that's a major oversight, isn't it. surprisingly - or maybe not so much - i have hardly used the phone part at all so far. my wife has reported that i sound just fine on it when i'm talking on it - and, i should note, i keep my T650 in the aforementioned PacRim open-keyboard case for the T600 - and the microphone on the T650 is not lined up with the hole in the case. but again according to wife, it sounds just fine.

    sound quality at the earpiece also seems fine. i do find that the speakerphone is so darned convenient that i've mostly used that. however, i still run into the problem with the speakerphone speaker buzzing/rattling/crackling if the volume's up too high.

    in terms of a grade for the mic and speaker, gee, i guess i'd go with a B-.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  10. #10  
    Great review. I would also like your views on sound qualitly. I am assuming I will be able to "work around" the memory problems (as silly as it is to have to do that) but there is no way to work around a phone where the other party cannont understand you!

    I think you have made an important point on the replace battery vrs. replace phone issue as the possible genisus of the whole memory mess. I know how really unhappy Sprint seemed to be when they had to send me a new phone when my old Treo battery went dead. Perhaps the whole thing started not from a groundswell of demand for a replaceable battery from the consumers, but from a demand from sprint that they could send out replacement batts instead of a whole new phone. That then led to the need to swap that led to the need to keep data that resulted in non-volitle memory.

    I hear Alexander the Great bombed at the box office this weekend, perhaps Oliver Stone should start working on this problem!!!
  11. #11  
    Camera: It was the same cost for a low light .3MP camera, or a 1MP camera without low light capabilities. Why the choice for the 'inferior' camera? The photos are designed for business users who want a simple photo in their contacts -- so low light capability is more inportant that higher resolution (they think)

    Odd thought of the day: if the memory is essentially mirrored, why can't they unmirror it for those of us that want it that way? We get 32MB non-volitile and 32 volitile to play with (and it all backed up on our PC incase of power loss). Is this even a workable idea?
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    #12  
    I think you are off the mark to say that the non-volatile memory was chosen because of the replaceable battery. IMO non-volatile memory was chosen so you don't have to worry about a DEAD battery, replaceable or not. Having lost my contact list a couple times, I am really looking forward to a phone with non-volatile memory.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman6
    I think you are off the mark to say that the non-volatile memory was chosen because of the replaceable battery. IMO non-volatile memory was chosen so you don't have to worry about a DEAD battery, replaceable or not. Having lost my contact list a couple times, I am really looking forward to a phone with non-volatile memory.
    either way, however. they *had* to do *something* once the design had a removable battery. had they not opted for a removeable battery, i'm not convinced they would have gone with the NAND memory.

    an argument could be made however that it went the other direction. they decided to do the NAND memory for the reason you state, so figured to themselves - 'hey, now that the memory's not volatile, we can do a removeable battery!'

    maybe some kind palm developer will jump in and address this.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  14. #14  
    I'm thinking that I agree with iceman6 about the battery because they have the same memory type for the T5. In theory that battery shouldn't need to be replaced very often -- at least not as often as the phone.

    My point about the camera is that the pictures are stored on the SD card, thus internal memory shouldn't be an issue. Sure you'd use up more space on that SD card that you are now using for applications, but I think Palm guesses that most people have at least a 256MB card in there and any number of pictures don't add up to much.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    I'm thinking that I agree with iceman6 about the battery because they have the same memory type for the T5. In theory that battery shouldn't need to be replaced very often -- at least not as often as the phone.
    i would only counter that, being a cellphone/pda, it inherently draws more juice, and as such users are a lot more likely to desire a replaceable battery in order to have a spare - so swapping the battery could be a fairly frequent occurance depending upon the user's habits. but yes, the idea to make the battery removable may have come after the decision to move to NAND. plus, they are probably likely to continue moving to NAND now and into the future. nonvolatile is far more desireable in untethered devices than volatile.

    My point about the camera is that the pictures are stored on the SD card, thus internal memory shouldn't be an issue. Sure you'd use up more space on that SD card that you are now using for applications, but I think Palm guesses that most people have at least a 256MB card in there and any number of pictures don't add up to much.
    the pictures can be stored on an SD card, if you have one. as a base unit, the T650 - at least as of the last hour - doesn't come with one, so to make a reasonable allowance for those who don't have one, with so few megabytes free, it would probably come as a shock to a user to find that they could only save, say, five photos at any given time on their unit, as opposed to (i don't know how many, but ultimately lots) with the .3MP camera.

    on the other hand, as even the .3MP camera offers, you can shift the size down to save even more space. so they could easily have offered several different size choices - and it would have also been nice to have a 'memory free' gadget on the camera's screen while taking photos, so you could keep track of your use.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by anastrophe
    yeah, that's a major oversight, isn't it. surprisingly - or maybe not so much - i have hardly used the phone part at all so far. my wife has reported that i sound just fine on it when i'm talking on it - and, i should note, i keep my T650 in the aforementioned PacRim open-keyboard case for the T600 - and the microphone on the T650 is not lined up with the hole in the case. but again according to wife, it sounds just fine.

    sound quality at the earpiece also seems fine. i do find that the speakerphone is so darned convenient that i've mostly used that. however, i still run into the problem with the speakerphone speaker buzzing/rattling/crackling if the volume's up too high.

    in terms of a grade for the mic and speaker, gee, i guess i'd go with a B-.
    Hi Anastrophe

    Great review, kinds of put into perspective whether can live with the shortcomings of the Treo 650 but I believe amount the PDA *** phone devices in the market, I feel personally is still the best.

    May I know how long does the battery life last on a full charge as compared to the Treo 600, technically I guess, with the higher resolution & the faster processor, it should be shorter.

    Cheers
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by vicqua
    Hi Anastrophe

    Great review, kinds of put into perspective whether can live with the shortcomings of the Treo 650 but I believe amount the PDA *** phone devices in the market, I feel personally is still the best.

    May I know how long does the battery life last on a full charge as compared to the Treo 600, technically I guess, with the higher resolution & the faster processor, it should be shorter.

    Cheers
    i can't really speak to battery life - haven't had much opportunity to use it away from home yet. also only had the T600 for two weeks, so almost impossible to compare. later, maybe.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by anastrophe
    i would only counter that, being a cellphone/pda, it inherently draws more juice, and as such users are a lot more likely to desire a replaceable battery in order to have a spare - so swapping the battery could be a fairly frequent occurance depending upon the user's habits. but yes, the idea to make the battery removable may have come after the decision to move to NAND. plus, they are probably likely to continue moving to NAND now and into the future. nonvolatile is far more desireable in untethered devices than volatile.



    the pictures can be stored on an SD card, if you have one. as a base unit, the T650 - at least as of the last hour - doesn't come with one, so to make a reasonable allowance for those who don't have one, with so few megabytes free, it would probably come as a shock to a user to find that they could only save, say, five photos at any given time on their unit, as opposed to (i don't know how many, but ultimately lots) with the .3MP camera.

    on the other hand, as even the .3MP camera offers, you can shift the size down to save even more space. so they could easily have offered several different size choices - and it would have also been nice to have a 'memory free' gadget on the camera's screen while taking photos, so you could keep track of your use.
    That's exactly my point with the cellphone/PDA and the battery thing. If they switched for the T5, which they did, then it's arguably not because there is a big demand for switching the battery out because the T5 doesn't need the battery switched out as often as it's only a PDA. For a Phone/PDA the logic makes sense, but not for a PDA like the T5. Thus I think we can conclude the memory wasn't chosen because of the removeable battery.

    Well let me give another reason why the camera wasn't chosen based on the memory issue. There is a camcorder application. There's no way they would permit a camcorder application that can record for unlimited time (as long as space is available) if memory was enough of an issue to not include a 1+MP camera. A camcorder application will take many times more memory than a 1+MP camera. You don't just limit the MPs and then allow something that will take exponential more memory.
  19.    #19  
    i realized i didn't give an overall grade to the T650 based on all the sub-grades i gave. doing it on straight math - and without any weighting, which really isn't fair (screen grade vs sound on/off button with equal weight, har) - it works out to 2.67, or just under a B-.

    however, that's about right i'd say - depending upon how much the memory issue affects the individual buyer. for someone not affected by it, i'd give it an A, frankly. for someone with 6,000 contacts, it rates a D....or worse.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
  20.    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    That's exactly my point with the cellphone/PDA and the battery thing. If they switched for the T5, which they did, then it's arguably not because there is a big demand for switching the battery out because the T5 doesn't need the battery switched out as often as it's only a PDA. For a Phone/PDA the logic makes sense, but not for a PDA like the T5. Thus I think we can conclude the memory wasn't chosen because of the removeable battery.
    i'd buy that for a dollar.
    Well let me give another reason why the camera wasn't chosen based on the memory issue. There is a camcorder application. There's no way they would permit a camcorder application that can record for unlimited time (as long as space is available) if memory was enough of an issue to not include a 1+MP camera. A camcorder application will take many times more memory than a 1+MP camera. You don't just limit the MPs and then allow something that will take exponential more memory.
    heck, i'd buy that for a buck fiddy.

    yeah, good points, and i agree with both.
    Paul Theodoropoulos
    <a href=http://www.anastrophe.com>www.anastrophe.com</a>
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