I got to spend 30 minutes with a Treo 600 today. Not long enough to write a full review, but long enough to know that palmOne/Handspring has got it right. the Treo 600 will be the device to beat, from the integrated PDA/phone perspective.
While the Treo 600 is far from perfect, it does so many things right the shortcomings can be overlooked by most users. I ll quickly break down what I like and don t for easy digestion:
- Works on almost every phone system in the
, so you don t have to switch providers. US
- The keyboard got smaller, but it s still very usable and has a respectable backlight.
- 32MB of RAM is now a baseline, glad to see they recognized this with the 600.
- The screen is smaller, but tighter and brighter making it a reasonable compromise to keep the overall size down.
Batterylife is supposed to be leaps and bounds better than the 300. This unit sports an 1800 mAh battery compared to the 800 mAh unit in the 300.
- The unit feels solid. It s heavier than the Treo 300 but that s fine with me. The Treo 300 felt cheap and is in many cases, like that constantly breaking hinge.
- Addition of an SD slot is huge, no idea how Handspring let that go last time.
- The volume buttons on the left side make for a useful feature.
- The stylus fits very firmly in the silo, there will be many fewer lost styli compared to earlier models.
- The phone applications (and the camera as well) seem more tightly integrated this time around.
- The navigation pad works very well, home is now a single button press
- ARM processor seemed to run very well, keeping up with all I asked it to do.
- Reception appears to be better. Side by side a Treo 300, the 600 consistently had one more bar of reception.
- Comes with Documents To Go, which is nice given Sony s discontinuation of distributing it with most Clie s.
- The earpiece sticks out a little bit rather than being flush with the device. This should make for a better ear connection and improved audio. The strong speaker phone is another option and works well.
- Continues to use the same connector, so current accessories like charging cables will work.
- The camera is poor and the lens has no cover. It s begging to be scratched and most certainly will be.
- No Bluetooth means no wireless headsets. The headset jack is also on the bottom of the device, which is not only abnormal, but makes it cumbersome in many instances where the device is pocketed.
- You ll want to buy a case or at least screen protectors. The exposed screen is begging to get scratched without protection.
- The units have the Handspring logo on them even though we know the new company is palmOne and devices that come out in 2004 will be branded that way. Not a big deal, but your new toy will appear to be old within a few months.
The Treo 600 will be a winner. Availability on multiple carriers, well designed keyboard and ease of use will make the 600 a favorite of mobile professionals everywhere who want an integrated keyboard and wireless access. The price is still to be determined, but at $500 it can t miss.