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  1.    #1  
    I will premise this by saying that i have owned the 600, 650, i730, blackberries, and currently using a WM3 PPC 6601 with VZW. I would consider myself to be a "business professional" and not one who uses his/her handheld as a laptop replacement. let me also say that our companie's provider is Verizon and that most all of my family and friends are on Verizon too. i personally prefer the expansive coverage that they provide and don't mind paying extra for their EVDO network.

    I will be loading Goodlink 4.7 on it in short order (it's currently being charged). I am not a "3rd Party App" type but an extensive/heavy user of email/calendar/contacts, internet (for generic browsing of headlines) and of course the phone. I do also view Excel and Word docs from time to time but because of the sheer size (into the megabytes, thousands of rows long and hundreds wide) of them a handheld isn't the right utility to view them on. Lets see how the memory handles that application and all that comes with it.

    So far, my observations are as follow:

    -Operating System: well, not much to say here "so far" given that I my current device runs on the WM3 operating system. All of the prompts appear to be the same and the usability of the 5-way seems as good if not better than my current device (6601). but in truth, i really can't opine here until i spend a bit more time with the device.

    -Form Factor/Weight: it is lighter in hand, even though only .03 oz lighter, it is a felt difference. I am one who has always appreciated this form factor, I love the size and the weight. I love the exposed keyboard, no sliding or turning of the device. It feels just the same and I love being able to use one hand once again. This is big for me given how many messages I have to respond to. I couldn't be happier with this aspect of the device. Another thought: I might be able to go back to only carrying a single device (ppc6601 is simply not acceptable in pocketability terms and I won't carry it on belt).

    -Screen: absolutely fine and better sharpness/clarity than my current device. It is also very bright when at max. I have viewed one web page only at this time (msnbc mobile). The touchscreen functionality works pleasantly. My opinion? Too much is made of the 240x240 resolution. It blows away the 600 and looks almost as great as the 650. The difference is not felt in my opinion, it is not a drawback that some make it out to be. Remember, I don't care to watch movies/tv and I have my desktop for the grazillion line item spreadsheet. This screen is ok "for me."

    -Browser/EVDO: I have EVDO on my current device so no gain, comparatively. Is it a great feature to have? Absolutely, especially if you enjoy browing the Internet. I personally love the browser in comparison to Blazer on my older Treos (not limited by website size, for the most part).

    -Phone: called the wife immediately to test it out. this is perhaps one of the biggest IMPROVEMENTS. I CAN FINALLY HEAR and THEY CAN HEAR ME! Seriously, the speaker (in comparison to my current device) is soooo much louder and clear. Dialing is straight forward, but then again, I'm familiar with the WM operating system.

    -Memory: well, let me load Goodlink onto the device and I'll be able to better comment at that time. Goodlink is a memory intensive device, lets see how it does.


    will be back with more. please remember, I'm not wed to this new device in any way. I have 15 days to exercise my option to return it. If it does not meet my needs it will be put back to VZ. right now I'm having some fun.

    regards


    p.s.: VZW is currently including a case, ear/headset, and car charger in the deal (i really only care about the car charger, it's a nice perk).
    Last edited by oalvarez; 01/11/2006 at 09:59 PM.
  2. slinky's Avatar
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    #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by oalvarez
    -Form Factor/Weight: it is lighter in hand, even though only .03 oz lighter, it is a felt difference. I am one who has always appreciated this form factor, I love the size and the weight. I love the exposed keyboard, no sliding or turning of the device. It feels just the same and I love being able to use one hand once again. This is big for me given how many messages I have to respond to. I couldn't be happier with this aspect of the device.

    -Screen: absolutely fine and better sharpness/clarity than my current device. It is also very bright when at max. I have viewed one web page only at this time (msnbc mobile). The touchscreen functionality works pleasantly. My opinion? Too much is made of the 240x240 resolution. It blows away the 600 and looks almost as great as the 650. The difference is not felt in my opinion, it is not a drawback that some make it out to be.
    Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new 700w. You should. A couple of comments about your review, respectfully.

    1) What are you comparing the device to? If it's to the 650 and it is .03 oz lighter, then I'm willing to bet that if you were blindfolded you could not tell the difference between the two. Do you realize how small that amount is?

    2) The screen is fine for general apps. Once you get into the realm of maps, it's usable but not great. You will definitely see a difference in resolution in contrast to the 650. If you think the 240 blows away 160 then you are understating the difference between 240 and 320 once you get to apps that use that resolution. And it's even more of a difference than 640x480 versus 800x600 or 800x600 to 1024x768 - and those are big differences. You just haven't used apps that use them. It will also make a noticeable difference for pictures. Not as huge as the awful 160x160, but certainly noticeable.
  3.    #3  
    Slinky, good day to you. Perhaps the "felt difference" is coming from tooling the ppc6601 around for quite some time now....but i do have a treo 650, in drawer at work, and it does seem lighter. the .03oz. is what appears to be the difference shown on the websites, and I understand that .03oz is difficult to feel, but it does "feel" lighter than my sprint t650. maybe it's actually lighter beyond .03oz vs. the 650? regardless, it feels lighter in my hand, again, that might be the 6601 effect.

    as for the screen, and when comparing the difference to the 650 in store, the screen did not seem as bright as the 650 but in no way did i feel as though i was settling for that much less. the screen on the display that i'm looking at appears bright and the characters are clear and sharp. as for the different apps, i did qualify the basis of "my comparison" and that was that i am not a user of 3rd party apps beyond Goodlink. I don't use maps, I simply use what the device offers out of the box.

    as always, thanks for the note.
  4. #4  
    I've heard that the 700w may be thinner and tapered differently than the 650, so that could very well lead it to feel lighter/smaller. The PPC-6700 I played with for two weeks felt like a brick or a bar of soap as compared to my Treo 650, despite the two having nearly identical physical dimensions. The 650 had a much more curved back which made it feel significantly smaller than the PPC-6700. It sounds like the 700w design is further evolved in this respect.

    As for the 240x240 resolution, my personal opinion is that for many situations it will be as good as the 650's 320x320. Here are some specific examples, with my not-so-humble opinions:
    - Mapping. What sort of mapping are you doing? For in-car GPS navigation, all I need most of the time is to see when the next turn is coming and I rely as much (or more) on the voice prompts and oversized fonts telling me the next street name as I do on the graphical map.
    - Video watching. On a screen this tiny for videos watched at arms-length distance, I'm not sure the added pixels that a 320x320 screen are going to offer a dramatic improvement. It will probably be noticeable, just not dramatic.
    - Excel spreadsheets. IMO, you have to be a masochist to want to view spreadsheets on even a 320x320 device.
    - Fonts. This is important. This is what you see a lot of in every app. You want these to look good. Here's where WM5's built-in across-the-board support of ClearType may actually give the 700w advantage. I'll have to withhold my final judgement on this one until I see a 700w in person.

    IMO, the real problem with the 700w's 240x240 resolution is WM5 itself. Yes, WM5's support of ClearType is a strength. But WM5 also has several weaknesses related to resolution. What am I talking about? Well, WM has always been wasteful of screen real estate as compared to the Palm OS GUI. You've got scrollbars that take up more space, title bars, menu bars, and a separate bar for changing the input mode. With WM5, they've got this new "clever" soft button idea which is a horrible waste of space/efficiency. My Treo 650 has a dedicated hard menu button. On the 700w, you'll find that most apps have the virtual buttons always shown and one of those buttons will almost always be for "Menu".
    Now THIS is the future of smartphones.
  5.    #5  
    Scott R, you are spot on, not because I just purchased one but because your comments are well thought out. I am only 2 hours into it and learning as I go. YES! you are right, some of the screen real estate is used in a less than efficient manner, but in the end I can see what i need to see. do i want to watch movies on the thing? no, that's not what i use my device for, so for me it suffices. as for the form factor/weight, yes, it feels slimmer/less big in hand, perhaps that's what i'm feeling, but it still feels lighter than the 650 (remember, it actually is).

    great comments.
  6. slinky's Avatar
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    #6  
    Interesting guys, thanks for sharing your impressions. For the most part I think that 240x240 is sufficient. My big fear is what happens in a few months and the benefits of the added resolution. But at that point we might be talking about a whole other ball of wax -- the square versus the rectangle. It's like when you were trying to do Photoshop or word processing in 800 x 600 and then found how incredible it was at 1280 x 1020 when you could put the toolbars to the side and almost see a whole page without obfuscation. Spreadsheets are masochism but you'd be surprised how important it is for little databases and the like, e.g. time trackers, client management, Act-like databases, etc. The extra resolution is just so nice to have. But the real difference I think is as you put it most and my concern -- the inability to use the 320 x 240 to the maximum advantage. But that is the tradeoff with any Treo like form factor.

    For maps, I use Mapopolis. When you are in dense cities like NY, Boston or Chicago the resolution really makes a difference. Pictures are adequate but it is SO nice with the high res. Honestly, seeing my nephews in that mode is just wonderful. I never thought I'd ever care about movies (in my phone?) But I've found that I'm using it more and more that way for plane rides, longer train rides when I just feel I need to do something different.

    As far as the weight goes, no question that pscyhologically there is something at play and that is worth mentioning. Great comments guys.
  7.    #7  
    EVDO: now that i've had it for almost a day, I find the EVDO/Internet speeds to be faster than my ppc6601. i'm not sure why, perhaps the smaller screen to fill? not sure what the processor speeds are between the two but the pages load faster than on my 6601.

    just another observation in this testing period.

    goodlink hopefully installed today (to measure memory and battery life under more severe loads)
  8. mmereos's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by oalvarez
    as for the screen, and when comparing the difference to the 650 in store, the screen did not seem as bright as the 650 but in no way did i feel as though i was settling for that much less. the screen on the display that i'm looking at appears bright and the characters are clear and sharp.

    as always, thanks for the note.
    I have since returned my 700w and returned to the 650, but there is a huge difference in the brightness of the screen. I noticed it especially when I was driving outside in my car. With the Treo 650, I had no problem seeing the screen while wearing my Polarized sunglasses, but even at its brightest setting I had to struggle to see the screen.
    I do agree with the resolution not being a big deal. It was noticeable over the 650 in that you can see the pixels, but not drastically enough that some people are saying, I would say the screen is acceptable, and I'm sure it uses less battery.
  9. #9  
    Oalvarez,

    I'm eagerly staying tuned to read your observations. Thanks for posting!

    Lucan
  10. ucsdsig's Avatar
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    #10  
    Thanks for the review and update Oalvarez. I'm waiting on Goodlink to officially provide support for the 700w (my IT guys at work say it should come w/in a few weeks).

    I'm curious to see if installing Goodlink will have a drastic impact on the 700w's memory.

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