Do You Really Need a New Phone: Palm Treo vs Palm Pre,Pro/apple iPhone
Do you really need a new phone? Palm Treo 680
Palm seem to have been given a new lease of life, both as a company and in the form of the new product line-up: The Palm Pixi, Pre and Pro smartphones are designed to compete with such stylish and wonderful machines as the Apple iPhone. I still have a Palm Treo 680, and while I like the look of these new ones (and I shall upgrade eventually) I do wonder if I should stick with the current mobile phone. After all it does everything I need: Internet access, it has a very useable keyboard a good touch-screen, but more importantly it has a stylus, which enables me to access and edit my spreadsheets and other documents on the go, which is almost impossible on an iPhone with my fat fingers.
"Apple has an App for that..." Apparently Apple invented the clever idea of Apps... No they didn't, they just marketed it far better than Palm did. Palm have been doing it for years and any Application written for a Palm device in the last decade or so will probably work on a Palm Tre 680 (and it will also probably be free)
Why not buy a sim-free Palm device and avoid a costly contract. They are also available very inexpensively second hand.
What is the Palm Treo 680?
This is a well thought-out device with a good touch sensitive screen and a surprisingly usable keyboard, even for people like me, with fat fingers. I have used Palm OS PDAs for many years so I have a lot of data and applications from previous devices that I want to maintain and I was keen to stay with the Palm OS operating system rather than switch to Windows at this stage. It was easy to move the Treo 680 from my Palm T5 without any loss of data. Now I only need to carry one device instead of a PDA and a phone. The stylus is a bit fiddly to use when compared to the chunky T5 one, but then the stylus is not needed as much given that the keyboard replaces the need for text entry with the stylus.
The Operating System: Palm OS
The operating system is easy to use and syncs without any problems to my old iMac (Mac OS X version 10.2.8) In the few months I have owned this phone it has crashed only a couple of times, which is surprisingly good. Palm OS however does not support 3G so the internet access is quite slow by the very latest standards, although fine for occasional use, so this is probably not an ideal device for someone who spends a lot of time surfing on the move.
Performance: Treo 680
Battery life is not as good as my old T5 PDA and it does need to be charged almost on a daily basis, but then that is to be expected with such a lot of functionality in a single device. The memory is of course non-volatile so running out of battery power is not a major issue and all of the data is backed up during the syncing operation anyway.
As a phone it is fairly good with reasonable reception and clarity. Over-all a very good substitute for two devices. There is a new trendier PalmOS phone available now, called the Centro, which has a very similar specification, slightly faster internet access and a lower list price. I prefer the styling of the older 680 model which looks more professional and is available for large discounts although that may mean it will be phased out imminently.
Summary: The best PalmOS smartphone
Summary: Palm Treo 680
Advantages: PalmOS, inexpensive smart phone with a great screen
Disadvantages: PalmOS, slow internet access, a bit fiddly