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  1.    #1  
    here is another review...

    An impressive cell phone & PDA convergence device.
    Sep 20 '03 (Updated Sep 22 '03)

    Author's Product Rating

    Superb design, excellent ergonomics, very small connected PDA, expandable memory slot

    No Bluetooth, no voice or video recording.

    The Bottom Line
    An impressive full-featured PDA, cell phone, messaging device, MP3 player, digital camera with SD/MMC expansion slot and a convenient QWERTY keypad, all in a diminutive size.

    Full Review
    You can see an image of this PDA cell phone on my profile page.

    What is it?
    I first heard of a small company called Handspring Inc, a few years back when I was involved in their initial public offering (IPO). They were offering PDAs based on the Palm operating system. Their biggest selling feature was expandability of features with optional add-on modules. They were slowly taking away market share from Palm Inc, which was their biggest competitor. Add Compaq with their IPAQ Pocket PC based PDAs into the mix, and we had lots of healthy competition. This was great for consumers because we got to enjoy smaller and faster PDAs that had better battery performance, color screens and hundreds of software titles that would work with the ever-popular Palm OS. But a typical consumer still carried a cell phone in addition to the PDA. The convergence of cell phones and PDAs was a natural evolutionary step. Soon we started seeing add-on modules and expansion cards that would add cell phone functionality to a PDA. But these often had compatibility and integration issues. So we the consumers eagerly waited for a true convergence device, a connected PDA. Among the first of such devices were the brick sized communicators by Nokia and Qualcomm. Consumers obviously did not like these monstrosities. So all the popular cell phone manufacturers went back to doing what worked: smaller and sleeker cell phones at affordable prices. While this was happening, the PDA manufacturers kept busy redesigning and retooling their older clunkier PDAs, into sleeker and more functional devices. They also did not loose sight of the truly integrated connected PDA.
    Fast forward to the present and we see many convergence devices. Many of them have successfully integrated PDA, cell phone, digital camera and even MP3 player functionality. Some of the more popular models available today are:
    - Sony Ericsson P800,
    - Blackberry 6710
    - Palm Tungsten W
    - Handspring TREO 270
    - Nokia 3650
    - Siemens SX-45
    - Nokia 7650
    - Samsung SPH-i700 & the SGH-i700

    They all run on different operating systems and have different hardware capabilities. But they are all trying to achieve the same goal: A fully featured PDA and cell phone device with a small footprint. The Handspring TREO 600 is a major step in the direction of a truly integrated device, because it is significantly smaller than itís peers, and still manages to have a QWERTY keypad. It also sets a high point for Handspring, to exit the stage by being wholly acquired by Palm Inc.


    WHATís HOT.

    Small size, impressive design features and excellent user ergonomics.
    The unit measures 4.5x2.25x0.9 inches, and weighs around 7 oz. A super bright 160x160 LCD screen (65,000 colors) dominates the front of the unit. Below that are the basic function buttons, 5 way navigation buttons and a very responsive and amazingly comfortable to use backlit QWERTY keypad. The stubby antenna, power button and expandable memory slot is located on the top. The digital camera lens is located on the back in the top right corner. This keeps stray fingers away from the lens, unless you are left handed

    Fast microprocessor and OS.
    The TREO 600 runs on a very fast Texas Instrument ARM processor running at 144mHz. This is more than sufficient for handling almost any application designed for the Palm OS 5.2 operating system. The TREO 600 will support many programs and utilities created by third party software developers. This allows you to customize the 600 to your specific needs.

    Expandable memory slot.
    This important feature allows you to back-up and store important data such contacts / address book, emails, photos, MP3 audio files, MPEG video files, appointments and other calendar items, etc. The unit accepts flash memory cards in the SD, MMC and SDIO formats. These are the size of a postage stamp and readily available in various capacities. SDIO cards are also available to add various other features like Bluetooth, WiFi network access and VGA display adapters.

    Excellent battery performance.
    In spite of the super bright LCD screen, Handspring claims the battery performance at an impressive 5-6 hours of talk time. The battery is rated at 1800mAh. However, I did not have much time with the preview model, to fully test the claimed talk times. About the battery performance, the CDMA phone is rated at 5 hours talk-time, and the GSM version at 7 hours.

    New Blazer Browser.
    The wireless browsing with the CDMA model I tested, felt more like my dial up ISP from 3 years back Which is a significant improvement over my T-Mobile T-Zones connection. This web browser allows you to load any webpage. You are no longer limited to WAP optimized pages. It is capable of displaying frames, javascript and images. Secure access allows you to load encrypted pages such as online trading, banking and even corporate intranets. (provided you have authorized access)

    Add-on software.
    Most standard PDA and phone functionality is built-in. But because this was a preview model for industry insiders, it had only basic applications loaded. Handspring is selectively releasing the various proprietary APIs to third party software developers. So expect to see some compatible applications in the near future.

    Messaging options.
    Contingent on carrier availability, the TREO 600 will support SMS, MMS, IM and even POP3 E-mail. This is where you can truly utilize the convenience of a QWERTY keypad.Each of the keyboard buttons has a domed surface. So while the buttons are very closely set, it makes it very easy to type in text messages, names, appointments, etc. The e-mailing and Web options are dependent on the carriers, when they start selling this model.

    Digital Camera.
    The camera has a 640x480 VGA resolution and captures images in the JPEG file format. The file sizes are small enough to be emailed quickly. While I have grown cool the concept of having a sub megapixel camera in my phone, I think Handspring finally did it right. The camera can be used to send pictures via e-mail or MMS. The JPEG files can also be used for picture caller ID and as wallpaper on the main screen. Currently Handspring has no intentions of adding any video capture capability. However, it would be nice if they did

    MP3 Player.
    MP3 songs can be played over the dedicated speaker located on the back of the unit, or through the headset. Sound quality was good, max volume could have been higher.

    Two models will be available.
    There will be mainly two models to choose from. The first will be a dual band phone that can be used on CDMA networks such as Sprint PCS. The other will be a quad band phone, which can be used on any GSM network worldwide. They will be identical with just some minor cosmetic differences. Any preinstalled applications will be determined by the carrier selling the phone.

    PC Sync.
    The Treo 600 is compatible with most accessories designed for the Treo 300. So you have a choice of using a USB sync cradle or USB cable, for synching to a PC.

    WHATís NOT.

    Built-in battery.
    While the battery has an impressive amount of talk-time, it is not removable. This means that if something goes wrong with the battery, the whole unit needs to be sent in for repairs. While battery technology has evolved substantially, they can still develop problems such as memory effect, severely reduced charge times and even leakage. This is why I prefer a removable battery. It also allows me to carry an extra battery on long trips. Handspring will be selling an add on battery module to increase total battery performance.

    Headset Jack.
    The unit has a 2.5mm headset jack at the bottom. Since it is capable of playing MP3 files, Handspring should have used a 3.5mm jack instead. This would have allowed for a wider range of headsets to be used for listening to music.

    No voice or video recording capabilities.
    The unit has a built-in microphone and a digital camera. So it would have made sense to include voice memo / phone conversation / video recording capability. Why Handspring did not include these is a mystery to me.

    This is an impressive full-featured PDA, cell phone, messaging device, MP3 player, digital camera with SD/MMC expansion slot and a convenient QWERTY keypad. This unit is perfectly suited for mobile professionals who need to stay connected via e-mail, carry a large list of contacts, stay up-to-date on their appointments, and have a cell phone available (without carrying multiple devices). The small size and excellent design are an added bonus. It is scheduled for public release by end of September to early October.


    Amount Paid (US$): 0.0
    Recommended for: Business Executives - Powerful and Professional
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by WeeBitObsessed

    Amount Paid (US$): 0.0
    Recommended for: Business Executives - Powerful and Professional
    Professional screen? Yeah, either get it for free or pay through the nose.
  3. #3  
    dan please stop whining about the price...its like spam! thanks...nice weebit...nice to know that a lot of the major companies so to say are giving the 600 great reviews
    Treo 300, Treo 600 - Sprint

    I dream in code and TCP/IP sequence numbers.
  4. njchris's Avatar
    459 Posts
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    Jeez dan, you are sounding whiny and childish now, or a Troll....
  5. #5  
    buy a comparable phone and a separate comparable cell phone. then do the math...

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