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  1.    #1  
    I posted a review of my first day review of using the Treo 750 on Cingular near Portland, Oregon. You can find it here with photos. Please be aware this is a personal server on DSL not a commercial one. For those looking for something quick, I'll post the text here. I hope this is of use to people.

    A Vodaphone Palm Treo 750v in the U.S. (part 1)

    Introduction

    When I first saw the Treo 750v, I knew I would want one. The Treo form factor has always been a favorite of mine. This new version improved it by making it slightly smaller, eliminating the antenna and giving it a more upscale European style. In addition it added tri-mode UMTS to the quad-band GSM and used Windows Mobile 5. I much more prefer Palm OS, but WM5 does provide a slightly better web browsing experience, pretty good contacts, and pre-emptive multi-tasking.

    I found a seller on ebay selling a UK version. It was locked to Vodaphone but supposedly Vodaphone would unlock it on request. I took the risk and bought it, then waited for it arrive. It finally arrived Friday afternoon 10/13. Here are my first impressions after a day of use. I have not had a chance to evaluate all aspects yet, so I'll add to this as time goes on with more conclusions.

    Background

    I intend to use the Treo on Cingular since they have good GSM coverage and some UMTS coverage. I've had T-Mobile for many years until recently but I've grown tired of their lack of 3G data and smaller coverage. For the past few months I've been using a Treo 700p on Verizon. Except for being in the U.S. only, I have to say that Verizon's coverage is truly impressive. More later on Cingular network impressions. One other note is that I use Macs, so I'm using it on a MacBook Pro with Missing Sync for Windows Mobile. Fortunately I can also boot into Windows XP with Bootcamp for the several things that you can only do there for this kind of device (like unlocking it).

    I'm not going to try to cover every aspect of the device. There are websites out there for that. Instead I'm going to cover details and comparison I don't see others doing.

    Unpacking

    It arrived in a DHL package instead the Vodaphone box. It included the Treo, battery, USB cable, charger with multiple country plugs, wired headset, CD, Quickstart guide, and Users manual.

    The cable on other Treos has the power cord plug into the cable and the cable plugs into the Treo connector. The 750 uses the same connector, but the cable is smaller and different. The power cable plugs directly into the Treo and the USB cable plugs into the rest of the connector. Overall it functions the same but is a slightly better setup. Works fine with the Treo, but I'm not sure if this cable setup would work correctly with the current desktop cradle.

    Physical Characteristics

    Although the dimensions of the 750v are close to the 700p, it feels very different. It feels much smaller than the dimensions say. It's about .1" or 3mm less deep than the 700p. It feels thinner. The sides of the 700p curve out, while the 750v curves inward. And of course it doesn't have the antenna. The four app area button are different also. Physically, it's more like two large buttons on rockers (one each side). But it works very well and I like the feel better than the 700p. The D-pad is very similar to the 700p also except the edge on the 700 is fairly sharp, the 750 feels a little bit more rounded. The soft touch paint feels great. I can't get over how much higher quality it feels. The overall build quality is greatly improved. Very solid. The battery cover attaches very differently, it slides on with a spring load button that pops into place at the bottom. The battery cover is very similar in structure to the one on Nokia E61 except of course it's plastic not metal. Overall I just love this form factor, it's the best Treo size to date.

    Another difference if the keyboard coloring. Unlike previous Treos, the dial-pad is white and the other keys dark (dark blue in this case) instead. Personally I like this a lot. I think it helps make it look more phone like without sacrificing functionality. It also reduces the amount of keyboard light in the dark. An interesting thing is that the keyboard goes dark after about 15 seconds even when the screen is still on. A key press lights it back up. This is a first and is a more phone like behavior. I think this is good but I would like the keyboard on a little longer. I've searched in all the settings and can't find a place to change this. Otherwise the keyboard is just like the one on the 700p/700w/700wx.

    The silent switch is on the top as before. Sliding it to off makes a short buzz just like the 700p. Interestingly, the 700w and 700wx don't do this, so this makes the first WM5 device that has this. The mini-SD slot is under a cover on the right that is a combination of plastic and rubber. I like having the slot covered, but if you changed cards a lot this could be annoying. The screen is of course 240x240 and not as good as the 700p or 650. However it seems a little brighter and whiter than any of the 700w or 700wx screens I've seen. Something that is software but affects the look is the today theme. The default is one called "Business" that finally makes WM5 look half way decent. Instead of a blue theme with blue highlights (or red with red highlights) it's an olive grey with red highlights. It looks very classy and is very usable. About time someone did a theme that doesn't look like a cartoon character theme.

    A last physical comment on sound. A pet peeve of mine is the the 700 line seems to have volume settings able to wake the dead. I guess CDMA users must be deaf. The highest volumes will rattle your brains and the quietest are still loud. It's OK to have loud settings but have lower volumes on the lowest settings. Some Nokias I've tried do this well. I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that the softest settings on the 750v are much softer than the 700. Finally a Treo where I don't have to set the volume switch off in an office environment. I really like the volume setting on the 750v but I can already see the review complaints about wanting louder ringtones coming. For me, this is a big step in the right direction. The speaker also seems clearer that previous Treos. All you 650 owners, export your "Treo Techno" ringtone, the 750v doesn't seem to have that one.

    Unlocking

    Of course the main idea is to use this as a phone. As expected it was locked to Vodaphone. Fortunately in the last couple of days two websites have appeared offering unlocking services. I tried the one at http://www.imei-check.co.uk/ . You pay them a fee along with providing an IMEI number for the phone. They provide software to download and they email you an unlock file. You place the Treo in a special mode by holding the side button (below the volume buttons) in and pressing the reset button. Then you connect it to a PC with the USB cable and run the unlock software. The software checks the phone, asks for the unlock file and then unlocks the Treo. Total time is only a few minutes if you everything ready. I was plenty worried doing this but it worked fine and announced the Treo was unlocked. I then tried it with both a T-Mobile SIM and a Cingular SIM and both seemed to work fine. I put in the Cingular SIM for the rest of the testing.

    Setup

    On Palm OS Treos, things like the data settings for GSM seem to get read from the SIM card and just work. On CDMA Treos, it's programmed so it's not a problem. On other WM5 devices not from a specific network vendor, I've only seen ones where you had to manually enter all the data. I tried an HTC TyTN on Cingular a couple of months ago and you had to go through this exercise to get things working. I was very surprised to go to the connection settings and see an option for Cingular already there. All that was really needed was to select it. I did go through the settings but they didn't need to be changed. It looks like Palm added a feature to read the data from the SIM that isn't normally there in WM5.

    Another feature I wanted to setup was using bluetooth dun. Once bluetooth is on, this is available. You don't need to run another program like Modem Link to get this. You do need Modem Link for a USB dial-up connection but I haven't used that yet. Setup on the Mac wasn't too hard until I got to the modem script. Nothing I had would work and were giving me various errors. After a google search I found pointers to Ross Barkman's window mobile modem scripts http://www.taniwha.org.uk/files/Wind...GSM2006-08.zip . Run, don't walk to get these if you are using a Mac. Worked great the first time.

    Another thing was setting up synching. I won't go into detail, but Missing Sync worked OK. Not great, just OK. This version is much more limited than the Palm OS version. It only does contacts, calendar, and tasks (and Entourage if you use that). No notes, nothing else. I was also very surprised to learn that it doesn't sync the addressbook pictures. The Palm OS one does and there is nothing in the company webpage to say this doesn't until you search for it in their knowledge base articles. Given that they don't offer a demo, I feel cheated. Very lame, I expected better than this. But right now it's the only game in town.

    Software Differences

    As everyone knows, this runs WM5. I still prefer Palm OS, but it sure looks like there isn't going to be any UMTS Palm OS device. I'll point out a few differences I've seen. The phone app does NOT have the speakerphone and mute buttons that the 700wx has. I was very surprised by this since I saw an interview with a Palm representative who said they were there. They aren't, it's just like the 700w. It does come with a Wired Car Kit app, but I haven't tried that yet. And of course the big thing is the threaded SMS app. Yes it's there but I haven't used it much yet. The email app does have a menu selection to change folders now, so you don't have to use the stylus. Other than that it seems the same. No way to schedule retrievals for POP and IMAP other than every xx minutes. And you can't set it for more than 60 minutes, I tried and it complained. Other than that is seems about the same as the software on the 700w/700wx.

    Bluetooth

    The 750v finally brings some useful bluetooth functionality. Initially I didn't expect much difference from the 700. So far I have:
    Used bluetooth dun
    Paired with car (BMW 2006 330i), used phone connection, seen favorites transferred to car address.
    Paired with Jabra JX-10. Seems to work fine.

    Now the fun stuff:
    Paired with Motorola HS-820 stereo headset. Yes, stereo sound on a Treo!
    Turned on voice command, hit button on bluetooth headset, spoke command and dialed.

    Nice!!!!

    Works fine so far, very impressive. To be honest the voice recognition I tried on the Nokia E61 stunk. It got everything wrong for me. The Microsoft voice recognition with the Treo 750v has near perfect. Very impressive, you can even do things like ask the status of battery and signal strength along with lots of other things. I'm still exploring it, but the bluetooth voice dialing finally feels like we are making some progress.

    Network and Reception

    This is an area that in only a day I haven't been able to test as much as wanted yet. I used an HTC TyTN about two months ago and I would have to say that so far the 750v seems to have reception about the same. It picks up or doesn't pick up UMTS exactly where the TyTN did. It's gotten good GSM reception in all the limited areas I've been so far. The few people I've called so far have said they can hear me fine with no problems and it's sounded on my end. The speakerphone sounded fine also but I've only used this in a limited way so far.

    I will say that Cingular is so far behind Verizon in 3G it's not funny. Cingular's map in my area (near Portland Oregon) shows 3G everywhere that GSM is. What a load of bull! I only see 3G in a small percentage of the areas I've been in so far. On the other hand, I've yet to be a spot without Verizon coverage and EVDO data.

    When I do get UMTS coverage, data speed is as expected. About 300kbit/sec to 400kbit/sec when it's working well as compared to 800kbit/sec for Verizon. Still, it's a much leap from EDGE. HSDPA can be get about 900kbit/sec normally (I saw this on the HTC TyTN) but that's not on the Treo yet. Rumors say the Cingular version might have this, but we will have to wait and see.

    Wifi

    This has been a mixed bag for me. I got the Spectec mini-SD 802.11b card and inserted it. Nothing. After lots of fumbling figured out that I needed to install drivers (no drivers needed on a Mac!). The card came with a mini CD that took a while to get the drivers off, you can't put a mini CD into a laptop with a slot drive (no CD tray). Eventually I installed them, but still the Treo didn't recognize the card. I got a pointer from someone on Treocentral for a downloadable version of the driver. Reinstalled, still no card. Finally I soft reset and the card was recognized. One disappointment is that the drivers don't seem to support the normal advanced WPA2 encryption. I had to back my network down to the earlier WPA encryption for it to work. It also works with the old WEP encryption also. Last night the Treo was restarted by the Sprite backup software (as I does normally). When I put the card in this morning, it was not recognized. Soft reset, still not recognized. Hmm. Inserted card and then soft reset. Now it was recognized. Need to experiment more but it's starting to seem like you have to reset with the card inserted for it to recognized. I know I have put the card in and had it recognized, so the issue might be a soft reset with the card out causes the driver to not be loaded. If this is correct that's a big pain since the nightly backup resets the Treo. One other thing is I saw the network disappear once when it running. Ejecting and reinserting the card didn't help. I had to soft reset to get it back. I haven't had any problems with memory cards so I'm beginning to wonder if I have a bad wifi card.

    Cingular Rant

    Dear Cingular, please send someone to work at Verizon for a while so you can make simple things work. I got an account to try the Treo. Simple phone plan with data. Seems to be working but I tried to login to the Cingular website to set things up. Nope, it keeps claiming is an old AT&T number and won't let me register. Call them and I keep getting forwarded to the business section saying this is a business account. Spent over an hour two different time today with different reps trying to get this fixed. They finally opened a ticket with "technical support" but of course it's not fixed yet. What a bunch of clowns, seriously. This is basic business stuff that should work. I'll probably have to go back to a store to try and get something done, these people on the phone are useless.

    Conclusion so far

    I really like this phone. I would like it better with Palm OS but it has some really neat things, is a real world phone, and just a fabulous form factor. I've tried many of the devices out there; Motorola Q, Nokia E61, HTC TyTN, and more. At least for me, none of the can hold a candle form factor wise to the 750v. And finally for a Treo, it backs up that form factor with great build quality and pretty nice features. I'm going to continue updating this text and pictures as I get a chance to do more. I have not 100% committed to the phone since I'm having trouble with Cingular. But the only real issues I've had so far have been with them and not the Treo. Check back in a few days for more reception comments as I get a chance to do more with the Treo.
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  2. #2  
    Thanks for the great review. I'm not brave enough to do what you did -- a big-ticket Ebay purchase, from overseas, of a locked phone. I'll wait for the official unlocked version.

    I'm like you -- if they'd have the 750's capabilities with the Palm interface I'd buy it rather than WM5. All I want is full OTA sync to Exchange Server.
  3. #3  
    Great review! I disagree with the Palm OS statement. After playing around with a 680 at Digital Life this week, I was reminded of how antiquated the OS truly is.

    Where is the reset hole on the 750v? Do you still have to take off the battery cover in order to reset the device like the 700w?

    When using A2DP did you try browsing the net or doing other processing intensive activities? Did you experience any skipping?
    Last edited by JGold; 10/15/2006 at 01:22 PM.
    PDA Lineage: Handspring Visor Deluxe, Visor Prism, Casio EM-500, Casio E-200, HP Jornada 568, IPAQ 1910,IPAQ 4150,Ipaq 2750 (with Moto Razr V3), Imate K-Jam,Treo 750,HTC Touch Cruise,HTC Touch Diamond(US)
  4. #4  
    I do beleive the problem that you have with the synchronizing comes from using Missing link. Because I use my Treo with Winsdows XP and it synchronized the following:
    Contacts, Calendar, E-mail, Tasks, Notes, Favorites, Files and Media.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by JGold View Post
    Great review! I disagree with the Palm OS statement. After playing around with a 680 at Digital Life this week, I was reminded of how antiquated the OS truly is.

    Where is the reset hole on the 750v? Do you still have to take off the battery cover in order to reset the device like the 700w?

    When using A2DP did you try browsing the net or doing other processing intensive activities? Did you experience any skipping?
    Reset is behind the cover for the MiniSD. No need to extract the battery cover.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
    Reset is behind the cover for the MiniSD. No need to extract the battery cover.
    Phew! That's good news!
    PDA Lineage: Handspring Visor Deluxe, Visor Prism, Casio EM-500, Casio E-200, HP Jornada 568, IPAQ 1910,IPAQ 4150,Ipaq 2750 (with Moto Razr V3), Imate K-Jam,Treo 750,HTC Touch Cruise,HTC Touch Diamond(US)
  7. #7  


    Very nice review. There is a pretty dramatic difference in size here.

    Surur
  8. #8  
    Thanks for taking the time.
    I was very anxious for your feedback, because of living 15 min from you. If the 3G is still spotty, I guess I will endure my 650 a little longer.
    Just call me Berd.
  9.    #9  
    I've only check around my house with the Treo but so far it's picking up the exact same 3G areas the HTC TyTN did two months ago. I'll be covering a bigger area tomorrow when I go to work (Hillsboro) so we'll see. What kills me is that Cingular show the whole metro area just as blanket coverage when that's clearly not even close to reality. Need to call Cingular again today, the account is still messed up.
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  10.    #10  
    The Palm OS may look antiquated, but it still lets me do things faster and easier than WM5. But that's a personal opinion.

    I have had time to do much yet with A2DP. I'll to try it with other tasks to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by JGold View Post
    Great review! I disagree with the Palm OS statement. After playing around with a 680 at Digital Life this week, I was reminded of how antiquated the OS truly is.

    Where is the reset hole on the 750v? Do you still have to take off the battery cover in order to reset the device like the 700w?

    When using A2DP did you try browsing the net or doing other processing intensive activities? Did you experience any skipping?
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  11.    #11  
    Yes, as I said Missing Sync for Windows Mobile (on the Mac) is very limited in what it does. You certainly can do all those things under Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
    I do beleive the problem that you have with the synchronizing comes from using Missing link. Because I use my Treo with Winsdows XP and it synchronized the following:
    Contacts, Calendar, E-mail, Tasks, Notes, Favorites, Files and Media.
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by bcaslis View Post
    Yes, as I said Missing Sync for Windows Mobile (on the Mac) is very limited in what it does. You certainly can do all those things under Windows.
    Bcaslis,

    Have you tried Parallels on the Mac? I know someone that runs it on his MacBook pro and was able to set up AS fine on the WinXP side.
    PDA Lineage: Handspring Visor Deluxe, Visor Prism, Casio EM-500, Casio E-200, HP Jornada 568, IPAQ 1910,IPAQ 4150,Ipaq 2750 (with Moto Razr V3), Imate K-Jam,Treo 750,HTC Touch Cruise,HTC Touch Diamond(US)
  13. #13  
    Here's a little trick to get around faster in WM5. You probably know already you can use keyboard presses to launch programs from the start menu e.g. Start > I starts Internet explorer, start > P opens the programs folder. Once you get into the habit of doing that instead of the D-pad to scroll menus your speed will increase dramatically, as muscle memory takes over.

    You can also scroll down most lists by pressing the initial key of a file name e.g. under programs, if you press W it will scroll down to Word Mobile. If there is something else starting with w, an additional press will move the focus to the next item. This same trick will work in the file open dialog in Notes or Word or file manager.

    So to start Word Mobile from the program menu for example, you would simply press Start>P>W>enter.

    Using the keyboard one can get pretty fast in navigating the GUI.

    Surur
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    Here's a little trick to get around faster in WM5. You probably know already you can use keyboard presses to launch programs from the start menu e.g. Start > I starts Internet explorer, start > P opens the programs folder. Once you get into the habit of doing that instead of the D-pad to scroll menus your speed will increase dramatically, as muscle memory takes over.

    You can also scroll down most lists by pressing the initial key of a file name e.g. under programs, if you press W it will scroll down to Word Mobile. If there is something else starting with w, an additional press will move the focus to the next item. This same trick will work in the file open dialog in Notes or Word or file manager.

    So to start Word Mobile from the program menu for example, you would simply press Start>P>W>enter.

    Using the keyboard one can get pretty fast in navigating the GUI.

    Surur
    Or, you can rename your application shortcuts with a numerical first character. For example, I have ordered my top 5 apps in my start menu as 1.Resco Explorer, 2. Avantgo, 3..... etc.
    PDA Lineage: Handspring Visor Deluxe, Visor Prism, Casio EM-500, Casio E-200, HP Jornada 568, IPAQ 1910,IPAQ 4150,Ipaq 2750 (with Moto Razr V3), Imate K-Jam,Treo 750,HTC Touch Cruise,HTC Touch Diamond(US)
  15.    #15  
    No, I use Windows XP under Bootcamp on the Mac. Faster performance and complete compatibility for USB devices like the Treo. You have to reboot back and forth which is slow, but I don't have apps that I WANT to run under Windows, only apps that I sometimes NEED to run. And for that the better compatibility is worth the tradeoff.

    Quote Originally Posted by JGold View Post
    Bcaslis,

    Have you tried Parallels on the Mac? I know someone that runs it on his MacBook pro and was able to set up AS fine on the WinXP side.
    Main Phone: Treo 270/600/650/700w/700p/750v/Motorola Q/iPhone
    Tried but sold: Motorola Q/Nokia E61/700wx/HTC TyTN/Treo 680
  16. #16  
    Great review bcalis, I'm happy to hear that your initial impressions of reception show that the device isn't as bad as some reviews are stating it to be.
  17. #17  
    Hi, found the Treo 750 for sale here in the US. Apparently they receive their stock on Monday been waiting awhile for this puppy.
    http://www.cti-miami.com/Treo-750-pr-16953.html
  18. #18  
    Nice review.
    Last edited by brmcguire; 10/15/2006 at 06:07 PM.
    Brian McGuire
    .../600/650/8700c/700w/Moto Q/700p/Nokia E62/700wx/8525/750c/BB Pearl/Blackjack/BB 8800/BB Curve & HTC Vox S710 >>iPhone
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsmnut View Post
    Hi, found the Treo 750 for sale here in the US. Apparently they receive their stock on Monday been waiting awhile for this puppy.
    http://www.cti-miami.com/Treo-750-pr-16953.html
    Has anyone bought through CTI-Miami before? Are they a reputable dealer?

    Also, if unlocked 750v's are now becoming available from actual vendors over here in the US, is that a sign that a Cingular announcement must be looming?

    Keith
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetluva View Post
    Great review bcalis, I'm happy to hear that your initial impressions of reception show that the device isn't as bad as some reviews are stating it to be.
    Which reviews are you referring to? Link?
    PDA Lineage: Handspring Visor Deluxe, Visor Prism, Casio EM-500, Casio E-200, HP Jornada 568, IPAQ 1910,IPAQ 4150,Ipaq 2750 (with Moto Razr V3), Imate K-Jam,Treo 750,HTC Touch Cruise,HTC Touch Diamond(US)
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