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  1.    #1  

    I was a big Sony Ericsson fan before I got my GSM Treo on T-Mobile. I had the P900, P800, T610, T630, Z600, T68, T68i. Now for the first time I am considering CDMA. I used to do international travel but now I am sticking close to home for the next two years. Have any of you used both the CDMA on Sprint and the GSM Treo? I am considering Sprint for the faster data speed but I was hoping that someone would do a side by side comparison i.e. pros and cons of both, including the price of current plans and startup costs.

    I know this is a lot to ask but I know it would be very helpful to me and maybe a few others.

  2. #2  
    I've done both Sprint vs. T-mo and Sprint vs. cingular (after MEdia Works became available). IMO, the only advantage Sprint offers is pure data speed. I'm in central Indiana and I see about 80kbps with Sprint and 35kbps with the GSM carriers. Using treo's browser, the experience is virtually identical, however. OTOH, the biggest advantage for GSM is the battery life--significantly better than CDMA. I like the fact that my carrier doesn't need to know what phone I am using (why not have a "beater" phone for rougher situations?).

    T-mo is a more internationally-focused carrier than cingular. For instance, T-mo SMS is truly worldwide, cingular's is limited pretty much to the w. hemisphere. Pricing of these carriers is more comparable than ever, unless you have a grandfathered Sprint plan (I do, but I'm planning on going with cingular exclusively when my contract is up with Sprint). I chose cingular over T-mobile because their coverage is much more extensive. T-mo has better customer service than the others, by far.

    EDIT: I should add that not needing carrier-specific firmware is certain to ensure a GSM treo will get the best upgrades first. I have 3.04 on my cingular treo and it's really nice. My Sprint treo is running the 1.10-SPR.

    Also, try a search on this subject. I wrote a lot a while back (unless it was lost in the crash). It started a real flame-war .

    Disorganized, disjointed, stream-of-consciousness but I hope this helps.
  3. #3  
    I see it as a choice between fairly slow and slower still data speeds. So I focus most on relative cost: T-Mobile still wins, right? The other high expectation is for maximum portability, and this means battery life since size and weights are constant: T-Mobile wins again, right?
    You may be right; I may be crazy. But, the Treo may be just the device I've been looking for.
  4. #4  
    I'm not sure about the difference in coverage between Tmobile and Cingular since Tmobile uses the Cingular towers.
  5.    #5  
    Thanks for the information. That was a no nonsense approach with some good facts. Being able to upgrade to the latest firmware is worth taking a hard look at and battery life for a portable device like this is very important. I think I will stick to my GSM Treo for now.

    I am on contract until August with Tmobile and since my rep sent me a new GSM treo for $450.00 without any contract extensions it keeps my options open without too much of a commitment.

    Now if we could only get an SD bluetooth/wifi card!

  6. Minsc's Avatar
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    I would make the choice based on your preferred carrier, not the Treo. The GSM and CDMA versions of the T600 are far more similar than they are different. If you're currently a T-Mo customer and are happy with their service, then get the T-Mo Treo. Obviously if you frequently travel internationally then T-Mo rocks. I've used T-Mo but prefer Sprint as the coverage area is dramatically larger.

    Not sure at all what the argument for the firmware is about. To say that the GSM version is better becuase it's on firmware rev. 3.04 vs. 1.10 for the Sprint version is an apples and oranges thing. Based on threads here at TC, it sounds like most of these GSM firmware releases have been bug fixes, some are even fixes on top of fixes. Regardless of which version you get, I would be willing to bet $$ that any future firmware releases for either version will be bug fixes, not new functionality as so many here seem to think.
  7. #7  
    I had a Treo 600 on eval from Sprint for two weeks. I am a Tmobile phone customer now and would prefer to stay there all things being equal.

    What I found with my 600 on sprint was that I was always in 2 bar strength areas - sometimes 3. Based on this, I got nowhere near the 3 hour talk/data time but much less. I had to charge every day, ran it almost down to zero. I think this is because of being in lower strength areas and the phone having to transmit at higher power levels.

    The data rates I got were great - pretty much in the 100Kbps area. That seemed to work great.

    So, I have been investigating getting a Tmo Treo 600. But, since GPRS on TMO is now about 35-45Kbps average and 54Kbps max (per Tmo CS), that has me worried about using this for data - i.e. a lot slower.

    Also, on there seems to be a lot of evidence that TMO is going to be rolling out EDGE data at year end - also confirmed by TMO CS. This will yield a theoretical max data rate of 384Kbps but realizable rates of 80-120Kbps average. This would be great! But....

    Handspring Tech support, after much discussion, finally figured out that all GSM Treos mfg today only support GPRS. EDGE support requires a new radio/RF section so that means that the current hardware won't work and one would have to replace their treo to take advantage of the higher data rates assuming Handspring changes the radio and supports EDGE. There would also be software updates required.

    I'm thinking that side by side, that the performance may be limited by the Treo itself just because of processor speed and redraw speed etc.. So, since I also plan to use my laptop connected to this using WirelessModem.prc where I did get faster speeds than with the Treo itself, i anticipate that the GPRS vs CDMA speed difference will be much more noticeable in this case.

    So, I guess this means if you want to go fast, then it is Sprint.

    Can anyone comment on that actual performance seen on the Treo side by side Sprint to Tmobile now? How about using the Treo to connect a laptop?

  8. #8  
    Prior to getting a treo 600 with tmobile, I had a treo 300 with sprint. I was always having trouble with reception and battery life. In LA, I was always hitting dead spots and many places were 2 bars or less. The battery had to be charged everyday because it was always running down (This may be a T300 issue).

    In any event, since I switched to tmobile (using a T600), I almost NEVER hit a dead spot and my reception is almost always 4-5 bars. BTW, the battery almost never goes below 50% in one days use.

    I won't go back to sprint because of the reception issue.
  9. #9  
    I have had the AT&T (GSM) and the Sprint (CDMA) T600, and the Sprint reception is much better than AT&T. The battery life and data speeds were virtually the same for those two networks.
  10. Minsc's Avatar
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    I haven't compared a GSM vs. CDMA Treo side by side for data speed purposes, but from the anecdotal evidence around here it sounds like you won't see much of a difference in web browsing speeds as I think there's some bottlenecks in the Treo itself, but you do notice a definite difference in downloading files and email.

    climber_rich, how long ago were you using Sprint in LA? The reason I ask is because Sprint has improved their networks in many areas in the last year or so. I have a good friend who lives in Orange County and he loves Sprint. He had AT&T for about 4 years before switching to Sprint last summer, and the improvement he's gotten with Sprint is astounding.
  11. #11  
    I switched in early march. The reception sucked in West Los Angeles and was mediocre on my travels to OC.
  12. Minsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climber_rich
    I switched in early march. The reception sucked in West Los Angeles and was mediocre on my travels to OC.
    Hmmm, that's too bad. Very likely could have been the T300. I don't think it was known for it's RF performance.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by climber_rich
    I switched in early march. The reception sucked in West Los Angeles and was mediocre on my travels to OC.
    I'm in West LA regularly and live in OC. I have no reception problems in West LA with Sprint. There are a few dead spots in OC, but nothing worth switching from Sprint for.
  14. #14  
    I had a Sprint T600 for about three months, then T-Mobile (GSM unbranded) T600 for the last two months. Aside from what's already been mentioned (i.e. faster data rates with Sprint, better battery life with GSM, etc.), some other observations:
    - GSM Treo is slightly smaller and significantly lighter than CDMA Treo. This would matter somewhat if you carry it in your pocket like I do.
    - GSM Treo is truly universal; you're not wedded to one service provider forever. If you are unhappy with T-mobile or whoever your first carrier is, you can switch to another GSM carrier. And if you move/travel internationally, just replace the SIM card. No need to call Sprint to provision, etc.
    - Sprint's data service is much more reliable than T-mobile's (at least in Manhattan where I live). Whereas my success rate in connecting to data was about 80% with Sprint, it is about 50% with T-mobile. Not a big deal as I am not a big data user, but could be problematic for others. Not to mention Sprint's data is faster.
    - T-mobile has better-priced plans -- in most markets they are offering 1000 anytime, unlimited N/W for $40/month. And I have free data with the wireless web promo they were offering awhile back.
    - I prefer the platinum/silver color scheme of the GSM unit to Sprint's black/red scheme.
    - Sprint's unit seemed to be more reliable (crashed less often), though I'm not sure why that'd be the case.
    - T-mobile has SMS which works extremely well (but it's not free). Sprint's SMS is yet to be rolled out.
    - T-mobile's customer service is light years ahead of Sprint. Sprint's 10+ call centers means you'll never get a consistent, accurate answer or solution if you call.
  15. #15  
    Addendum to my previous message: it appears T-mobile upgraded their networks in NYC, and over the past week or so my data connect success rate has approached 80-90%. I'm not assured this is not a fluke, though. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on your location.
    One more note:
    - In the last five years, I have been a Sprint customer for three years, and a T-mobile customer for two years. No matter which phone I've used, I have found that Sprint has better reception i.e., fewer dropped calls, fewer call "tics", etc. On the other hand, T-mobile (in my opinion) has better call quality -- the sound is *crisper*, so you can make out what the other person is saying more easily.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Minsc
    Hmmm, that's too bad. Very likely could have been the T300. I don't think it was known for it's RF performance.

    I had a feeling that it was the T300 that was causing the bad reception. In any event, I like the flexibility you have with a GSM phone for the few times I travel internationally. The longer battery life is nice too.
  17. #17  
    I've been using a Palm-branded T600 with T-mobile for a few months now, in Washington DC and on a few trips to major US cities. My experience:

    -- Data speed w/ the Palm apps is pathetic, no matter where I am. Blazer takes 20-40 seconds to display a 90K results page, and WebPro is better on some pages but worse on others. Between this and the lo-res screen, I find I only use the browser in extremis. For email and DirAsst the speed isn't a problem.
    -- On the bright side, though, my transfer speeds with pdanet are excellent; I haven't benchmarked, but it's at least as good as a very fast modem, with no discernible lag. Not sure why this would be, but I'm not complaining. I got a short hotsync cable which now lives in my notebook bag, so my $20/mo T-mo data plan translates into unlimited PC Internet wherever I go (goodbye hotspot charges!). This alone makes it all worthwhile.
    -- I've had a few occasions where I couldn't get online, but usually a soft reset did the trick.
    -- Call quality is excellent, and so far the only place I haven't been able to get a signal is underground. Battery life has been very good.
    -- The three times I've called, T-mobile CS and tech support have been fantastic: cheerful, knowledgeable, and able to call up the info I need, with at most one transfer and very short waits.
    -- The "WorldClass" int'l plan isn't bad for casual use: 29c/min to call out from the US, 99c/min roaming outside the US, roaming internet from $15/MB. Not cheap to use, but it's a FREE add-on (you just have to call and enable it), so it's great for occasional brief trips.

    So overall, I'm pretty happy. Unless you're dead-set on using the built-in browser a lot, I think T-mo is is a great choice. And I can't tell you how happy I am never to have to call Sprint CS again ...
  18. jaslo's Avatar
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    I had a Danger Sidekick on Tmo and a friend had a sony-ericsson on Tmo. In the Bay Area, we both found that reception (using the Cingular towers, of course) was non-existant in most places. Even driving down 280 in Cupertino, I would have no signal for much of the time. Partly this was due to the crappy Sidekick radio, but my friend with the ericsson had almost as many problems.

    I got the treo on Sprint and coverage so far has been good. Not great, not Verizon (non-GSM) great, just good. My conclusion is that GSM is especially tricky indoors and Cingular/Tmo just didn't have the coverage in this area to make it useable.

  19. #19  
    Only differance I have seen is battery life on T-Mobile is around 2.5hours talk time, sprint is about 2hours talk time in my area.

    Data speeds Sprint 14.2k download peak
    Data speeds Sprint 8.4k download peak
    Note: Data Download speeds were using PDANET on my laptop using the phone as a modem
  20.    #20  
    Well, I had to find out just how much faster the Sprint Treo was compared to my Tmo GSM phone. I took my Treo to my local Sprint store and stood in front of the display and held my phone up to the Sprint version and watched the two race to complete a page load. *No one said anything but they did look at me a couple of times.

    I typed in URL's that I knew there would be no images in the cache in either phone and then launched them at the same time.

    Just one example of a web site that I timed at the Sprint store:

    Web site tested:
    Sprint load time: 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
    Tmobile load time: 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

    I tested several other sites and found that Sprint was consistantly twice as fast as my GSM Palm Treo 600 on Tmobile.

    I think I can sacrafice a little battery life and a few grams to get internet speed that is twice as fast on my Treo. Too bad my contract is not up until August. I think I might be switching to Sprint at that time.

    I just wish Sprint could beat my 1100 minutes any time, free nights and weekends with nights starting at 7m for 39.95 per month. :-(

    What could derail my decision is bluetooth/sd wifi card that will work on the GSM phone and not on Sprints version. That would keep me on GSM.
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