I used to absolutely love my treo 600 - it did exactly what I wanted and performed very well indeed, except for one thing: a buzzing when using the earpiece (not for me, but for my callers). I always used the earpiece and much as I liked the phone, I had to get rid of it just for that problem alone.

So I took the (rather stupid) plunge and got an orange spv-c500. Nice looking phone, very good sound quality, good battery life... but the most impossible-to-use phone I have ever come across. There was nothing even vaguely clever about the UI on that phone - it's just a series of menus you can access by number. Everything in it seemed counter-intuitive, except the dialling, which was clever (you could type, for example, 268 and it would find anyone called "anthony"). It had a strange "front page" UI that was orange branded, but at least could be replaced by the default one. Even forgetting about the dreadful "user interface", the fact that email access was so incredibly slow really did it for me.

So within a month or two I got really fed up with that phone and with still no sign of the treo 650, I took another (not so stupid) plunge at bought a Nokia 6630. Now this was different - a good user interface, true multitasking and the ability to check mail whilst on the phone. I also used a truly excellent program called "Mightyphone" that would sync the address book with outlook over the air, sadly not available on palms. But this phone started to bug me. I really missed the keyboard on the palm, and the battery life was terrible (it's a 3g phone).

So earlier this week, I upgraded to a treo 650. It was a bit difficult trying to get used to the one/off button moving to the front, and I couldn't work out how to get the contacts list or favourites up in a simple way. And I recognised the phone application too - it's exactly the same as the one on the SPV C500! Except I couldn't get rid of it. I could tell it was wrong even before reading the various threads on firmware upgrades. I can't believe that Orange delayed the launch of this device presumable to install this dreadful piece of nonsense on it. How did anyone think of something that messes up a perfectly good existing application so well?

Now I've upgraded to 1.23 firmware and all the horrible orange-branded phone application has disappeared. I would absolutely recommend this for any Orange treo 650 user. The phone application that Palm made is so much more intuitive and requires far fewer keystrokes to use... For example, just press the phone button and start typing to find a contact.

A couple of problems still: If I'm on the phone, and start adding notes to a contact, and leave it for 30 seconds or so, the phone application pops back up and all the notes I have typed don't get saved.

And does anybody know who to start the phone application without it dialling the contact you happen to have been viewing in the contacts app?

Anyway, I feel at home now, with a treo 650 that works like the 600 used to!