A Treo 650 / Palm TX comparison

Discussion in 'Palm' started by r0k, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Another installment. This one is called: One Handed Dialing

    One Handed Dialing
    The Treo talks with my handsfree car kit. I can receive a call by touching a button on my mirror. Very safe. I can call anybody on my contacts by dialing right from contacts. Very safe. So I thought. But wait...

    Compare these two use cases:

    Contacts on TX:
    1 - hit contacts
    2 - hit 5way right "a" appears
    3 - hit 5way right "al" appears
    4 - hit 5way down "aw" appears Yes! That's the one I was looking for.
    Eye time off road: 500 milliseconds TOTAL.
    The problem is that if I don't have a compatible phone paired I'm now faced with typing the number into a phone to get a call going.

    Contacts on Treo 650:
    1 - hit contacts. no wait. there is no contacts button. hit phone. no wait, contacts is on a tab. I've gotta LOOK AT THE SCREEN to make sure it's highlighted. Ok: 300 milliseconds are spent making sure contacts is highlighted.
    2 - hit 5way down and it can scroll through 3800 contacts one by one. no "a" appears. what the?
    3 - ok now stare at the thumboard and find "a" then hit "a"
    4 - now look for and hit "w" Ok, finally found the one I am looking for but I had to TYPE IN TRAFFIC ?!?.
    Well at least all I have to do to get a dial going is highlight the phone number and hit the center of the 5way.
    Eye time off road: Wow, those are red and blue lights behind me! Where'd he come from? Did I run all three of those semis off the road? Sorry. I guess my eye time off road must have been more like 5 seconds. 10 times slower because I had to type rather than rock. Who the heck thought this up?

    TX one handed lookup beats Treo one handed lookup
    Where the heck did my TX-style one-handed 5way lookup go? Anybody know how to get TX style rocker based lookup on the Treo? Please tell me the 700p will support 5way lookup like the TX. Furthermore say there will be an update for the 650. Looking up contacts by typing can be dangerous, and thumbing the entire alpha keyboard for a name like zielinski is much more difficult than rocking the 5 way for z, then i, then e, etc.

    Disclaimer: Before you go and get all upset by these two scenarios, these use cases are hypothetical. I would never drive with my knee while dialing and jotting down notes and eating a hamburger and drinking a coke and changing the radio station and ... :eek: .

    Redial SNAFU:
    Then there's the recent calls list. Pick calls log from the phone app and you get a very nice long list of sent and received calls. Hit the rocker to scan through and select one of them. BEEEP. WRONG. You haven't really highlighted one of them yet so the rocker won't scroll through the list until you hit LEFT three times! Geez. Why the heck would CANCEL have focus when I want to quickly redial a recent number. Even Motorola on the astoundingly mediocre t730c figured out that if I'm viewing recent calls, I probably want to redial rather than cancel. :eek:

    Thanks for the info, AWright...
    I will have to look at Bluefiles one of these days. If it's anything like wifile pro, it will ease the pain of living without wifi.
    I agree, maceyr...
    As for infrared, I rarely use my pda as a remote anyway so I don't miss it much. But I really do feel foolish for registering novii remote deluxe now that I have a pda with an effective IR range of one meter!! :(
     
  2. Mi An

    Mi An Hyperfocal

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    Sadly, it looks like someone beat me to it. But I'm thinking I might try for wider usage, making it a little less specific. A verb to summon the adage "the best laid plans of mice and men" that can apply to pretty much plans (but with bonus points if used towards software).

    Ex.
    Dude, your day just got seriously cobalted.
    Little did he know that the cobalting had only just begun
    Sorry honey, our date has just been cobalted.
     
  3. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    RF performance within sight of Tractor Supply Company

    I know you are all dying to hear how well a Treo handles itself in the cornfields of central Illinois. Not bad, actually. As long as you hang near the interstate. Along Highway 39, reception was fine, but along 80 it was spotty. 80 is only the main east/west interstate in the US and I cannot fathom why reception would be spotty along 80, but it was.

    wireless web
    Why the hell am I shelling out money for a digital plan? First an update. I'm sure you remember me saying I would hold off on getting a digital "plan". Well, since I knew I would be on the road, I decided to get a 10MB "plan" to cover me when I urgently need connectivity from the road. Verizon's so-called 3G SUCKS. In terminal 2 of Ohare, I just wanted to log in and check the status of a stock trade while waiting for a delayed flight. I got to the login page, downloading... 221k... downloading... Finally I hit cancel and blocked images. downloading... 91k. 91k of javascript and html just to make sure a trade went through. no, wait. the log in button is an image so if you have images turned off it doesn't work. I spent 20 minutes at this until I realized it's time to cancel my digital plan, well maybe. There's always email. Then I remembered I don't have versamail either since the install cd failed to work for that portion. Why not just throw the prc file on the cd so I can get it myself instead of relying on 92 things in a row to go right in windows for me to get versamail. Also, I forgot to bring eudora with me. A mistake I won't repeat. I decided to click the mail icon that was on my Treo and it's some kind of sync-based hooey from intellisync. Deletion bait. So I won't cancel my digital plan until I get and try Eudora on my Treo, but the slow non-functional experience I suffered in Ohare doesn't bode well. And I wasn't even a corn field. I was in the thick of Verizon's digital coverage.

    Now before you go spanking me for not getting a gprs phone and plan, remember that I can make phone calls from the corn fields and you can't. First and foremost, the Treo is a phone.

    So, the Treo is useless as a web browser just like the TX was. The TX was rendered useless by blazer. Verizon shot the Treo's web capabilities in the temple before I even got to deal with blazer. Now perhaps the web site I chose was a bad choice, but I really don't want my brokerage account passwords passing through skweezer's servers. I also tried brighthand, hoping the site would automatically switch to mobile mode. No such luck. My brief brush with wireless web says one thing loud and clear: For internet usage, the Treo 650 is still a toy - unreliable for real business use Perhaps GPRS would work better, but then you don't have a real phone. Perhaps CDMA lets you make calls from the corn fields, but then you don't have real wireless web even in the heart of Chicago. If I had wifi in my Treo, I could have signed on to T-mobile's $6.95 hotspot and got my work done between flights rather than rely on Verizon's spotty web performance which reminds me of a 110 baud modem. And yes I had a 110 baud modem so I know exactly what it's like. What a shame.
     
  4. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Today, I took my Treo to Panera Bread. You remember Panera Bread from my old TX reviews right? I just wanted to try "wireless web" in the same setting I had once used wifi with my TX. I tried to get to a site that required a login. I got further than I did at Ohare, but still failed to see any of the data I was looking for. Then I went to Brighthand and never succeeded in seeing anything but some animated gifs on the main page. I used well over a third my 10mb wireless credits during my attempts to view these two sites. I have had broadband internet for a number of years and swore I would never go back to "dialup". Internet access using the "PDA Plan" from Verizon is nothing more than dialup without the funny noises.
     
  5. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I've bellyached about the Verizon data service enough and can turn my attention back to the Treo as a phone. What a nice thing it is to have more than 10 recent calls in my calls log. I don't know what the limit is, but I bet it's more like 100 than 10. This was a feature I wish I had all along. I would never bother with an address book for "transitory" contacts such as the ER that saw my son when he broke his arm. I could just scroll back to received calls for the half dozen or so times I ever need that number.

    Very nice. The longer I have the Treo, the better I like it as a phone. Well, there was this one stupid incident. I was on the phone and an SMS message came in. Do you think the phone waited for me to end my call to buzz? Heck no! My friend on the other end thought I was operating a chipper-shredder. Whoever thought defaulting incoming SMS alerts to vibrate even during a call is more than slightly clueless.

    Now to call Verizon and yell at them about their nada access, ahem I mean data access...

    EDIT: Oops! I almost forgot! I got my new Clarivue's today. NO ADHESIVE. "Discardable Front Skin" and "Discardable Back Skin" but once they were gone there was NO stickiness to the screen protector at all. If I wanted, I could lift and reposition it effortlessly. Very nice. The old hand-cut (temporary) belkin is now history and I can see my screen a LOT better. And two for $7.99 with free shipping. A good buy.
     
  6. skshrews

    skshrews Newbie

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    Interesting discussion, and exactly the issue my wife and I are facing:

    My wife finally gave up on her paper/pen PDA system (a wire bound notebook), and at my prodding, agreed to look into buying a PDA. We decided on the Palm TX over the older Palm PDA models due to the screen size, processor speed, memory, and price. From reviewing internet forums, the Palm TX seemed the most reliable mechanically/electronically. As she is a non-techie, she wasn't interested in the embedded folder sytem of Windows CE/PDA system.

    The Treo 650 was a consideration, but she has a very small cellphone, which is easy for her to carry. The Treo would have forced her to carry a bulky cellphone with her at all times. Her Samsung C207 is a "phone only", but is very small and easy to carry.

    The TX has been very good. The screen is bright, it has a nice construction "feel", and it's light. It uses most of it's front surface for the screen, an important consideration in a small device that you will be using mainly for reading documents and PDF's. Every millimeter of screen size in a pocket device has a logarithmic effect on your viewing- the size difference between the Treo and Tx is siginifcant if you're frequently reading documents.

    For her, the music, video and Wifi are secondary considerations, though it's nice to be able to update email thru Wifi.

    Smartphones still make too many compromises in terms of screen size, device size, and data entry to make them good PDA's (though the Treo 650 is very close). There are also compromises on the phone side-I've found the number keyboard on the Treo to be smallish, as I often have to make calls in the middle of the night (for work), fumbling with the keyboard is a major issue.

    For those of us who use PDA's for primarily mobile information recording/accessibility, the classic PDA is still the way to go. A separate, small cellphone is more convenient to many non-techies, some (like my wife), who don't even wear clothes with pockets or routinely carry a purse.

    I'm thinking of upgrading my now ancient Clie SJ22. I'm leaning toward the TX, but I'll see what new Palm smartphones are coming out over the next few months.
     
  7. Dick Tracy

    Dick Tracy Detective/Moderator

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    Welcome to Brighthand skshrews.

    Congratulations on converting your wife from paper and good luck deciding between a Treo and a TX. This is clearly a personal decision so I won't attempt to sway you either way.
     
  8. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Welcome to Brighthand, skshrews!

    I agree with DT and I won't try to sway you either way. You are choosing between two best-in class devices. The TX is arguably the best pda on the market, and the Treo 650 is arguably the best smartphone. When the 700p comes out, hopefully with better broadband capability and more memory, it will become king, but the Treo 650 will remain unchallenged until then. The better broadband capability I am alluding to on the 700p is something I am painfully aware of after paying Verizon for their "data plan" only to find I can connect at 110 baud. There is an improved data connectivity available for CDMA phones that the Treo 650 doesn't support that the 700w does support. I don't include the 700w in my comparison because of the mere 240 x 240 resolution it supports.

    I agree with you about the tiny phone issue. The Treo feels big compared to many of the smaller phones. I don't mind the size because I was carrying around two devices and now have only one. There are Treo owners who wish the screen was bigger. I'll keep the small screen, now that I wear reading glasses all the time ;).

    I think you will be absolutely delighted if you both get TX's. Of course, if the size issue wasn't a deterrent for you, Treo's would make an excellent choice as well.

    For somebody who is getting a PDA for the first time, it is better to start off with pure pda like the TX. I wouldn't rule out the Z22 either. The issue is that when you decide you want more features like bluetooth, SD cards or even wifi you would need to buy another pda. The TX is a unit you can "grow into" and is available at a reasonable cost.

    Assuming you go for the TX, one thing to consider when you do get new phones is to get phones that support bluetooth. This can allow you to dial contacts from your TX rather than keeping two address books: one in your TX and one in your phone. Of course there are those who have reported using a TX with a bluetooth phone to get on the 'net, but again this is a capability you can "grow into" or may decide you don't need.

    Let us know what you decide!
     
  9. mw22

    mw22 Mobile Deity

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    Hi

    Maybe if they brought out a Treo with the BEAUTIFUL 480x320 screen then THAT Treo willbe supper dups.

    But reading wi fi on a 320x320 u just got to be kidding.

    I am trying to pair my TX to my Treo 650 via BT but missing the "Palm init string" ?? Can anyone help here
     
  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    It's time for an update. I have not been lugging along my TX but that situation may change. The Treo 650 is supposed to have 32 meg, of which about 22 meg is available to the user. After installing docs2go from the cd and versamail from the download (cd failed), more "user" memory is taken away. With a mere 11 applications installed on internal memory, I find that I have a mere 7.6 meg free. I was tempted to go ahead and fill it up until only a few meg were free when I found I was having problems running astraware sudoku from SD card. It turns out, they want you to have 6 meg free on internal memory just to run the game! So it looks like I'm done. I can install no more apps. What makes matters worse is that my Sandisk 2 gig SD card is SLOW. I'm sold on smartphones, but I've really gotta have more internal memory. Going from TX to Treo 650 was hard enough, but I assumed having a huge SD card would solve the problem. It has not. For what I use a Palmos device for these days, 64 meg internal memory is an absolute minimum. So when the 700p or 670 or whatever it is comes out, I will find myself wanting to upgrade for two reasons: too little memory and abysmal data performance.

    I set Versamail to wake up and get my email once an hour. It ALWAYS fails. The Data speed is such that even when I check mail manually, it's a crap shoot. Sometimes I get all my headers and sometimes I don't. On my TX, I used to get 5K of every message, while on the Treo I'm only trying to get headers and selectively go back and get certain messages and it STILL fails much of the time. At least I can get email on the road, but there has to be a better way than using Verizon's "national access". The data performance and memory are painful enough that I am considering splitting pda functions between my TX and Treo. What's even worse is that just grabbing those few headers is using up my mere 10 Meg data plan at an alarming rate and I can't justify paying for "unlimited" for such crappy speeds. I have stopped using the web, though mobileap may get me back to using blazer again.

    As for the screen resolution, I find I can live with 320x320 but would take vga if it would not make the phone bigger. No graffiti, no sliding keyboard contraptions, just a small landscape vga screen on a Treo that is no bigger than the one I am carrying today. I know, it's not likely, but it doesn't hurt to ask...
     
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