Readers of this blog will know I’ve been a happy owner of a Treo 650 since December 2005. The device handles email, simple web browsing, text messaging and Palm Pilot functions well on top of having a great sounding phone with long battery life. Although the software could be better, the device is compact and versatile and works well once set up. Ultimately, the only major drawbacks I found with the device was the somewhat slow speed of the Sprint data network, the low quality of the cameraphone, and quirks in getting some Palm software. The device also doesn’t support email “pushing,” requring you to manually check email.
Readers will also know I was selected to participate in a testing program by Sprint to try out one of their latest phones (The Samsung MM-A920) with high speed data, live TV, and 1.3 megapixel camera, among other features. While impressive on paper, this phone never really excited me. The music store keeps malfunctioning and stops me from being able to download from their library. (And the phone’s earphones are too loud for me – even at the lowest setting) The cameraphone’s software was slow and the images didn’t look as good as the Treo’s despite the higher resolution. And the TV, while a neat party trick, was too small for anything but occasional use. While grateful for the free phone, I’ve generally been using it as a music player only.
Given my preferences and experience, you might assume my “dream device” would be a combination of the best features of both of these phones: a Treo somehow super-powered with broadband data speeds, a better camera, and better multimedia capabilities. It turns out just this week Sprint and Palm announced the Treo 700p, a device that does exactly that. While not a revolutionary device, in my opinion it’s the closest thing to the ideal phone/computing device available.
The only catch? Somehow I’ll have to come up with $650 before the end of May, unless the cell phone fairy visits me again …