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  1. #21  
    To me the issue is not whether or not it could be better. It is how it compares with the alternatives? What is the point of subscribing to a high speed network if you are not web surfing and emailing? Because of its keyboard, Hand is designed as a data centric phone to make emailing and browsing easier.

    Imo a phone without a keyboard simply doesn't cut it as a data centric device. Yet virtually every other cell phone designer missed the boat in their initial convergent design. I think that users infatuated with Kyo and Sony devices are likely to change their minds when they think of the practicalities of emailing and web surfing instead of thinking about which device looks the coolest. I don't see viable alternatives around the corner when you think specifically about high speed networks. I think the clincher is that Hand's gprs patch using blazer as an interface will be much faster than what Sony brings to the table. Hand listens to their consumers. They absolutely will continue to improve their devices and stay ahead of the crowd, imo. What matters most is that this market has dones of innovation yet to come. This is very important to Hand, because unless they can stay well ahead of the giants lurking behind them, they will get trampled. You can be sure Hand will not get overconfident and rest on its laurels. They will keep pushing the envelope as fast as possible imo.
  2. #22  
    Originally posted by rvwink
    I think the clincher is that Hand's gprs patch using blazer as an interface will be much faster than what Sony brings to the table. Hand listens to their consumers.
    It seems that you are in a much better position to talk about Handspring than I am, as I am only a basic end-user.
    Nevertheless, I am lucky enough to have been able to try many communicator devices the past few months/years (because they ain't cheap!).
    Treo 270, with its color screen and specs attracted me and this is the reason I bought it.
    That the device is not GPRS or Bluetooth enabled out of the box sounded strange to me, because it goes so much against today's trend:
    Every single new computerized device is Bluetooth enabled those days, from printers to headsets!
    And as for GPRS... well, you already know what I think!

    I said before that I had the feeling that Treo wasn't a finished device, and I keep saying that.
    You argue that the next communicator that everybody is talking about, Sony-Ericsson P800, will not be up to Handspring's Treo.
    And that for hundred reasons, from screen quality, to build-in keyboard or speed. I donít agree with you, as I find the screen to be very mediocre, for instance.

    Well, let's see.
    In my neighborhood, the P800 is expected for the next two weeks.
    Iíll get one and will use it in parallel of the Treo 270.
    I will tell you my honest, non biased opinion.

    I donít know anybody at Handspring nor that do I know people working for Sony-Ericsson.
    Again, Iím only a basic end-user who pays from his own pocket to have the privilege to try those marvels (because, let's be frank: they all are) and have the pleasure to argue with you!

  3. #23  
    and have the pleasure to argue with you!

    You could have fooled me dennis, I thought we were mainly conversing, not arguing.

    Two people are building houses. One keeps things simple and he has the use of a comfortable house sooner. The other involves a more complicated solution and therefore his family has to struggle in termporary housing longer, but eventually they will appreciate the added benefits derived from the longer term solution.

    I look at people on this thread who can't take it any longer and need to buy something else because they are without a gprs patch and wonder. Don't they understand that what Hand is attempting is a longer term solution that should allow for more beneficial long term web browing that will not be available to other cell phones? I think the Sony ericsson phone will be a case in point. I am most anxious to learn about your comparison of the two phones.

    The issues that i think are are most important will be your inability to imput data using the keyboard. Your inability to load your palm os software. Your inability to slide it into your pocket as comfortably and finally your inability to surf the internet as gracefully without blazer. I have the impression that the gprs you receive will only work within whatever network you subscribe to.

    I am quite interested in hearing whether my fears for you are accurate, or whether Sony truly has it right. What I think I know is that Ericsson has had user friendly design problems for years, which is the primary reason why Nokia repeatedly ate their lunch. The guy that told me this was Jeff Hawkins during a speech I heard him give. That is the problem with evaluating phones by spec. The issue of the overall sophistication of the design and the user friendliness of the features, doesn't come fhrough from the photographs and carefully written prose.

    Best Regards,
  4. #24  
    I am not sure. I am on the fence. As I see it, here are my alternatives (reasonable):

    Treo 270 Pros:
    Small Apps
    Flip Phone
    Email Push (extra $$$)

    QA issues (rattling, screen problems, etc). I travel extensively and I cannot be without a phone for any period of time..
    GPRS patch not available
    Back to a mediocre screen

    T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Pros:
    Great screen (only 4096 colors, tho).
    GPRS enabled
    Native email attachments (without extra money)
    Better integration with Outlook
    Larger screen area

    No PQAs
    No integrated Keyboard
    Not a flip phone

    As I see it, I can take my chance with $500 for each house of cards. I have owned a Visor and an iPaq (among many others). The smaller size of the Treo would be a plus. But, my main purposes are really phone, email, calendar sync and the occassional game. Although I loved the PQAs on my IIIx and Vx.

    I am torn. To be honest, if Handspring had solved the QA issues and made the OS upgradable, I would have chosen it... But on the fence I am...
  5. #25  
    Sorry Rvwink, English is not my mother tongue and I donít have a perfect command of it.
    Thatís why it might happen that I pick the wrong wordÖ

    I agree with you that Ericsson has not been the best, in the past, at creating user-friendly devices.
    But I used for about 8 months the R380, ancestor of the P800, and found it quite enjoyable. For the time, there was little to complain about!
    The screen quality was not the best, but what should we say about the Treo's?
    What's more, we must realize that the R380 was the first real communicator device available on the market... and it was reliable!

    Again, I canít say the same of my Treo 270.

    As I said before, I travel extensively.
    Therefore, I need to be able to check my agenda 200 times a day and refer to MS-Office documents (I bought Documents To Go) all the time.
    If I canít do that, I canít work.
    Unfortunately, in an average of four-day trip, the Treo 270 looses data once.
    I was lucky this week: I went away for three days and Treo worked all the time!
    Only this morning did it shut down by itself (need then to go to the process of plugging it to the outlet for five minutes before installing again the latest backup).
    For once, it wasnít too bad: I just missed a couple of calls this morning until I realized I was Ďdisconnected from the worldí and the re-install process was completed.

    Youíll say: Why donít you send your device back to Handspring?
    Because I canít afford to do that!
    It is more than a phone/PDA for me: it is a working tool as important as my laptop computer!
    I canít afford to send it to Handspring and have nothing to work with for one or two weeks (letís be optimistic!).
    I returned my Treo 270 enough time to my dealer (not charging batteries at first, followed by backlight problems) who doesnít want to hear about Treo anymore!
    Should I wait in the middle of winter in a house without heater telling myself that the heating system they will install in six months time will be great?

    And let's not talk about receiving Email instantly thanks to the very useful 'always on' GPRS!

    Eventually, you agree with me: Treo is a great UNFINISHED device!
    If it is unfinished, why did they put in on the market, then?
    Cash-flow problem?

    As Chipset said, Iím on the fence. But I am slowly falling on one side which is not necessarily the Handspring side.
    Unless they prove me wrong, which they havenít done yet.
    Quite the contrary!

  6. #26  
    In the early days in America there were pioneers who would move to the edge of civilization because the hunting was better and the land was cheaper. Unfortunately there were also indians around who usually didn't like pioneers. Occasionally a Pioneer would be killed by indians. But it would have been unrealistic of Pioneers to complain about the fact that indians existed near them, because they were the ones who had moved into the frontier where the indians lived.

    If you bought a Treo you were a pioneer. You had to realize that substantial risks existed by your being so early. Your last post doesn't make complete sense to me. Gradually the Treo 270 has been upgraded. Some production changes have taken place including new display capability. I also believe Treo 270s are being made at a different ems provider (Flex is out I'm told.) When the gprs patch comes out in September, I would expect other software changes to be made so that the Treo 270 becomes more reliable. In short, a solution to the reliability problems you have seem to exist. But you say you can't avail yourself of them because your phone is too important. Yet you want to keep living the life of a pioneer with its built in unreliability by buying another entirely new device?

    Because the Treo 270 has been around for 3 or 4 months, the chances are better that the new ones being made will be more reliable. As important as your convergent data phone is to your busines, why isn't reliability quite important to you. Wouldn't it make more sense to exchange your Treo for one made in the last week or two. As far as I can tell fromTreo Central, the Treo 300s have been pretty reliable, and there is no reason why the Treo 270s can't achieve that same reliability going forward. Finally, I don't think Sony's gprs solution is going to be half as good as Hansprings based on what I have read. Just my opinion Dennis. Good luck.
  7. #27  
    I have owned many products and I am an early adopter (first handheld was a Newton MessagePad 100).

    But, let's face facts, when you buy something as an early adopter you may expect some things: No GPRS availability, yet. Spotty GPRS coverage (I was the first person in my state to have the GPRS phones from Voicestream, last year). You may even expect a couple small quirks.

    However, I believe when you make a device that people rely on, it should be reliable. For example, if you bought a new car, or new type, you wouldn't expect problems. By your definition, if someone bought a hybird car and the steering wheel came off, you'd say, "That's what you get. Let me tell you about Indians!"

    Here's the deal. Screens are important to phones and pdas. They shouldn't have messed that up. Rattling noises on a PDA, that shouldn't be a problem. These are the basics of the device, not the newest cutting technology. If you said you get spotty GPRS coverage/service, I would agree with you. But to have a PDA and Phone that can't keep data (according to some) and you can't see it, is a bit much.

    Every device has it's faults, don't get me wrong. But big basic problems shouldn't be one of them.

  8. #28  
    Amen to that, Chipset!

    I have no problem being a pioneer, but then let me know I am one, and don't sell me a device making me believe I can rely on it!

    When the first European pioneers moved to the new continent, they knew they could not expect to live the life they had in London, Paris or Hamburg!
    That was a basic fact they had to agree with even before they started sailing.

    When I bought my Treo 270, I didn't feel like a pioneer.

    OK, I can understand that there will be some problems - communicators devices are something new after all.
    But they are based on well-known technologies: mobile phones and PDAs.
    Hence you would expect the device you buy to have the basics right (battery, screen, sound quality, Bluetooth, GPRS, etc.).

    Sorry to say, but the Treo doesn't have most of the basics right!
    Why should I need to replace the Treo I bought less than two months ago with a new one?
    That would be the third replacement!

    As Chipset said, would you accept this from you new car or TV-set manufacturer?
    Would you find acceptable to change your new car's windshield after two weeks, the steering-wheel a week later and wait until God knows when for your engine to speed up above 35 miles an hour?
    I wouldn't.
    And I don't see why I should be less demanding with my phone. Even if it is a Handpring-made!

    Furthermore, I live and work/travel outside the United States, and GPRS is widely available everywhere.
    Actually, today most of the new phones come GPRS-enabled out of the box. Even at the lowest price.

    I kind of look ridiculous when I tell my friends that my expensive communicator is not GPRS-enabled.
    And I pretend not to hear when they ask about Bluetooth!

    Rvwink you are a great story teller (the house now the Indians), but your analogies didn't work both times:
    I have no problem being a pioneer (and in a way I am one with the kind of job I do), as long as I know and don't pay a fortune to have the priviledge to own a device still being developed, and which right place should be in Handspring laboratories and not the street!

    Let me ask you that question again:
    Does Handspring have a cash-flow problem or did they want so badly to be first on the market that they started to sell what will surely be a great device, once it will be completed...
  9. #29  
    It is common knowledge not to buy a new msft operating system just after it has been released. Dell has learned from experience not to include brand new products among what they stock. They want some data that indicates that the product has been proven to be reliable first. Liking cutting edge materials but thinking somehow you are entitled not to have problems is wishful thinking in my mind. As we go down the minaturization chain, the unreliability of products dramatically increases. Clearly laptops are much less dependable than desktops and pdas when just released are less reliable than laptops. I read about one problem which developed because a label Hand put on a battery caused them not to fit in its compartment properly causing problems. Saying Hand should have known about a display glitch on a state of the art screen they introduced, is another example of wishful thinking and comparing a state of the art combination pda and cell phone with a mature product like a car is a good example of a bad analogy imo.

    You need reliability but like moths to a flame, you want to be the first to sample each new device. The law of probabilities finally went against the two of you and you are upset that you can't stay state of the art and reliable at the same time. I think chipset is about to buy a thoroughly second rate new phone to replace a far superior device just because he has had problems with his Treo and can't wait another 30 days to have his problem solved. He should read the reviews on pocket pc phones. They stink.

    If you want reliability wait a little bit and listen to the early reports before jumping in. If you insist on being at the cutting edge, at least accept some responsiibility that occationally you are going to stub your toe. Dennis what makes you sure that the Sony p800 will be entirely reliable?

    Was hand in a hurry to release the initial Treo? You Betcha. Were they under pressure to get the Treo 270 out early as well. Agreed. Also hand was moving into a new field where they didn't have much experience so it takes a while to move up the learning curve. Take responsibility gentlemen that in return for being pioneers you need to occasionally face the indians.
  10. #30  
    Great move Rvwink!
    It's getting very late in my part of the world.
    I'll get back to you tomorrow.

    Thank you for the excellent response... that I don't agree with.
    As you might expect.

  11. #31  
    My analogy was correct, albeit a little different. The PDA is a mature device, as is the phone. The combination of the two is the unique aspect. Same with the car analogy. The car is a mature product, but do you think hybrids are? Probably not.

    I haven't blown money on a pocket pc or treo phone combo. I was leaning toward the blackberry 5810, until the reviews came out.

    The t-mobile device has gotten some decent reviews.

    As for MS software, you are right.

    However, when you create a device you know people are going to manage their lives on, and it is not reliable and has to be replaced, that's another story. Pioneers in the old days explored not knowing what they would find. Products on shelves, especially from established companies, typically demand a standard of usability.

    I am not arguing with you, however I believe the problems with the Treo could have been addressed before.

    FYI, I have worked for hardware manufacturers (in testing) and in software companies (as a developer). Bugs happen. Big bugs shouldn't.

  12. #32  
    Best story I heard was company was having trouble with product not working. Couldn't figure out what was causing the problem. After exhaustive investigations turned out the problem was pantyhose. They asked all of the woman wearing pantyhose to work, not to, because their panyhose was generating static electicity which was throwing off one of the settings on the device.

    I happen to believe that the added power of the pocket pc which is required by the enormous amount of code that msft provides is a major negative for a cellphone because it negatively affects size, weight and power consumption which are all very important items for cell phone users.

    It is interesting to me that none of Treo's competitors have upgraded from the 33 mhz mot processor that hand used to the 66 mhz model that exists because there are very very few items in a cellphone which require a more complicated processor. Btw the reviews I have seen across the board on msft based phones have uniformly been bad. Have you searched out all of them?

    The convergent device is entirely new. It presents major problems in miniturization. It is truly amazing that numerous companies that are in the business of doing cell phones have postponed and postponed again their new product introduction in this category. It is amazing to me that Treo was able to get to market so far ahead of their competition with a solution which seems light year ahead of what they provide. Why was it that no one else figured out that a keyboard would be an improvement over graffiti for data entry?
  13. #33  

    The hell with GPRS. Go join those guys planning a class action suit.

    For $500 I paid for mine, I'm quite happy with my Treo, Thank you.
    Visor Deluxe, Prism, Visorphone, Treo 270, Treo 600, Treo 650, and am eagerly waiting for the next generation Treo...but that the iPhone????
  14. wshwe's Avatar
    64 Posts
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    For people that need reliable access to their calendars and MS Office documents, notebook computers with wired connections generally are the best bet. Wireless data service can be dicey no matter which method you use. Cellular providers still have problems in some areas with their voice service for pete's sake.
  15. #35  
    Here is copy of an article from ZDNet that was sent to me by a friend, it addresses pretty well the issues we are discussing here:


    Why I'm STILL waiting for the perfect PDA/phone
    David Coursey,
    Executive Editor, AnchorDesk
    Wednesday, August 28, 2002

    Early in my technology-writing career, I learned an important lesson: Fools rush in, and it's wise not to stop them. After all, someone needs to be the beta tester, right?

    I've been thinking about that lesson a lot lately as I track all the coverage, here and elsewhere on AnchorDesk, of devices that combine a PDA and a cell phone. Most recently, my colleague David Berlind wrote about the features he'd like to see in the ideal PDA/cell phone combo.

    WHAT I TAKE AWAY from these columns is the strong sense that combining a PDA and cellular telephone is like combining a horse and a cow: I doubt the result would provide either good milk or a suitable platform for chasing bad guys out on the prairie. Like Mr. Ed used to say, "A horse is a horse..."

    And a cell phone is a cell phone. And a PDA is, well, a personal digital assistant. The requirements I have for each device make it difficult to combine them. Among these must-have features are: a dedicated keypad for the phone, a thumbpad for the PDA, and a rectangular phone I can hold to my ear without my face touching a big PDA screen. And I strongly agree with Mr. Berlind that you need easily replaceable batteries. I'll even up him one: I want the option of using AA cells in an emergency.

    Given those requirements, I'm not surprised that I've yet to see a combo device that works as well for me as the individual pieces.

    I still find wireless PDAs interesting. Why? Because I want wireless e-mail, especially always-on wireless e-mail, and I'm beginning to see Web services that make good use of a small screen. I remain a big fan of Pocket PC. I just don't want to make any compromises. When a wireless PDA comes along that does everything my iPaq does, I'll think about buying it.

    IN THE MEANTIME, however, I'm sorely tempted by the Treo 300 that Sprint introduced along with its PCS Vision service. Sure, it uses the Palm OS. But the color screen, along with the work Handspring and Sprint have done to make the device a good e-mail platform, makes all the difference. As a phone, it's only so-so--but on the high side of so-so; it's perfectly usable as a compromise device.

    It's just that I don't like to compromise. So I'm expecting to keep carrying a separate phone for the foreseeable future. My next phone is likely to be one of the Sprint PCS Vision devices, because they allow me to attach a modem cable. (Coming soon: Bluetooth!) That means I can connect my notebook to the Net at 40 to 70kbps. Sure, that's slow if you aren't a full-time dial-up user, but it's better than I've been getting from my cell phone up to now.

    As for those of you seriously considering a combo device, I'll take a cue from Mr. Berlind and offer you a single word of warning: battery. I've yet to see a combo unit with an easily replaceable battery. So if you run out of juice when you're away from your desk or car charger, you may be hosed. That should be reason enough to scare any serious user away from these admittedly cute devices.

    I've made my own peace with this state of affairs by figuring that as long as I don't use it for voice, a combo device probably has enough battery power to be an OK wireless PDA. Certainly, the RIM 957 Wireless Handheld I've been using gets excellent battery life--but, then, it doesn't have to drive a big color screen all the time.

    So for now, unless you're willing to make some serious compromises, I'd take a wait-and-see approach on today's combo devices. But if you see a fool rushing to buy one, don't stop him. We may all learn from his experience.


    So, are we pioneers after all?

  16. #36  
    Of course it is (and someone had to say it sooner or later: it is always Microsoft fault!)

    Let me explain:
    For too many years, Microsoft got us used to buy very expensive software that don't work they way they should out of the box and has us regularly pay for a version that corrects previous bugs and creates new ones.
    And we all go for it and find it great!

    This is exactly your argument, Rvwink.
    You want us to find normal that we can't rely on an expensive tool, because it belongs to the 'computer' world.

    Of course, as I said before, you would never accept that your coffee-machine, car or washing-machine let you down the week after you bought them.
    Because they do not belong to the proper world!

    A car is an expensive tool.
    But it doesn't belong to the lucky sphere:
    It must be up to my expectations as soon as I drive it away from the dealer.
    And so for the washing-machine.

    But not my communicator device.
    Because it is a pioneer tool.

    As well as my new BMW (matter of speech, I wish I had the latest model!), full of gadgets and all.
    Very much computerized.
    But still. It is a car.
    Hence its working ability must be up to 100% when I drive my first mile (or kilometer!) with it.

    Not my Treo.

    Really, I don't know!
    Can you explain again?
  17. #37  
    Sorry, but I can't hold back any longer. The car analogy is actually perfect. We all expect after a century of development that it is perfect out of the showroom. But it isn't always. The BMW is a perfect example. The new 7 series is a piece of junk. It is so subject to malfunctioning electronics that many dealers try to dissuade their customers from buying it. Forget a $500 beta test, this is an $80,000 one. Even reliable cars aren't perfect. That is why there are "lemon laws". Go to a car discussion site and you'll never buy a car again after reading all the hyperbolic vitriol directed towards even the vaunted Honda Civic. The real question, which I have never seen answered on any thread here, is the overall percentage of returns/defects for the TREO. All our stories are merely anecdotal. It is unpleasant for the person whose TREO has malfunctioned, whose replacement doesn't come on time, who can't get a straight customer service answer, but the only real indicator of whether Handspring blew this thing is the overall number of problems. Is there someone who knows that stat?
  18. #38  
    Evidence which shows how many past units failed is worthless imo because there is a learning curve and bugs are gradually fixed. Eventually the number of problems are greatly diminished as the product approaches a point where there is clear sailing ahead. So how many units were bad initially, doesn't help one make decisions now.

    For me it is really simple. If you want to deal in reliability, wait 6 months and read user boards and you will almost always get reliable stuff. On the other hand, if you want to experience state of the art sh-t and think that you are a "cutting edge" guy, then accept that as part of the equation you are not entitled to complete reliability. You simply can't have it both ways. It is not realistic for your to whine about problems, if your state of the art device has some bugs. Then you say okay this was not perfect. Let me try another state of the art experience and see if that is better. However, the odds imo are much better that the previous product, i.e. the Treo after 6 months of refinement will be more reliable than a new Sony with no refinement. So my suggestion Dennis is to make the time to upgrade your Treo to a new one, and make sure that your problems haven't been already solved. Also, since reliability is so important to you, hold back 3 or 4 months on the new Sony and see if it functions reliably for others. Also see if the people who switched from the Treo to Sony are happy. Just my opinion.
  19. #39  
    I agree on the principle of what you said, Rvwink.

    And sorry for the poor car example, boardoe!
    In fact I don't own a BMW, and never did in my life, but a Mitsubishi, and I know very little about cars.
    My apologies!

    Nevertheless, to get back to our beloved TreoÖ
    If we started on the GPRS issue (which might be solved in some way, have you seen today's post on the GPRS thread?), we've been covering wider topics.
    And reliability not being the least one of them.

    I have the expensive habit to buy those devices and software that I find interesting as soon as they are available.
    So I am used of bugs and problems of all sorts:
    As I said before, I went from Ericsson R380 (that I liked a lot), to Nokia 9210, Sagem WA3050, Ericsson T68 to the latest Nokia 7650.
    I must say that I wasnít impressed with most of them (except, again, for the R380).
    But all, and I mean it, all were/are reliable.

    On the other hand, I like the concept of the Treo.
    The idea is good. But it is, as you said yourself, premature.
    Handspring should have worked few months more on their device before putting it on the market.
    According to what I read here and there, it seems that the new Treo 300 is the finished version of the device.
    I am sure you read Clogoodieís thread titled Ď270 vs 300 first impressionsí: enlightening.

    So the 300 is Treoís final version.

    Unfortunately, not living in the US, I have the feeling that Iíll never see it.
    But Iím glad to know that I participated in the fund-raising necessary to develop the perfect Treo!
  20. #40  
    Please Dennis:

    Recognize that what was learned in the Treo 300 will be shared with the Treo 270. The new ones coming off the line now are being made by a different company than previously. Some software changes were likely made. I am confident that the Treo 270 will be every bit as reliable as the Treo 300.

    Just don't give up on it. Upgrade it again with a fresh one.

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