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Treo 700w Review: Part 2

As promised, following on my review of the Windows Mobile Treo 700w’s ActiveSync (1) and Today (2) functionalities below is the second installment in which I will cover the areas of Contacts and Calendar with their respective functionalities.  Also, in parentheses again I add my personal opinion judging whether I consider each function to be better or worse overall than on our existing PalmOS based Treo 650.

3. Contacts (Worse)

On the Treo 700w the Contacts can be accessed either by typing the first few letters of a First or Last Name in the Today screen which brings up a pop-up in the Lookup Field (below left) of all the relevant matches with their telephone numbers.  However, Palm/Microsoft have annoyingly omitted to include the email in this list which one could for example use to look up the name “John Brown” and then email him with one click instead of the four or five that it takes via the Messaging application.

Additionally, whereas on the Treo 650 you can type “jbro” (first letter of First Name + xx letters of Last Name) to quickly look for “John Brown”, the Treo 700w is limited to searching for either “John” or “Brown” but not the full name.

  Contacts01

Using the 5Way Up/Down within the Lookup Field you can scroll through each of the contacts and individual telephone numbers.  Clicking on the name will open the contact Summary (below left) while clicking on a number will automatically dial.  Within the Summary you can also scroll to the Name then select Edit which will take you to the contact Details (below right) which has 39 data fields compared to 22 standard and up to 40 total data fields in our Treo 650.

  

Instead of using the Lookup Field, you can also access the Contacts by pressing the Windows button then either scroll down or press the letter “o” on the keyboard.

  

As with other Windows Mobile applications I found the ‘options’ to be extremely limited and in the case of Contacts the only two are “Show Alphabetical Index” and “Show Contact Names Only” (above right) and you can’t simultaneous search by Name and Company.  You do have the option to select “View By…” either Name (above) or Company (below) but again no simultaneous search in both fields.

  

Using the 5Way Left/Right will scroll through the various contact details such as Work, Home, Mobile, Email and IM and pressing any name will again open the Summary (below left).

  

In the Contact example above you can select and press on either “Send Text Message” or “Send e-mail” to open the relevant Messaging application (above right with Outlook E-mail).  As I pointed out earlier I really feel that both Messaging options should have been made available from within the Lookup Field instead of so many more clicks away.  Our Treo 650 may also lack the “Email from Contacts” functionality but at least it is much better when it comes to “SMS from Contacts” which I use regularly.

4. Calendar (Worse)

The Calendar application includes five views: Agenda, Day, Week, Month and Year.  My favourite view is undoubtedly Agenda which provides a simple uncluttered list view of all you appointments for the day.  Although it lacks a dedicated on-screen “New” button like on the Treo 650 I found that holding the Center 5Way for a couple of seconds brings up a menu (below right) to create a new appointement but again annoying not the option to actually edit an existing one…

  

The remaining four Calendar views are next to useless – particularly the Day view which I found extremely difficult and annoying to use because it lists 24 hour slots instead of just 8 or 10 business hours (no Option to change this) and maddeningly scrolls across the screen in 8 hour increments.  The only advantage that the Day view has over the Agenda is that you can use your thumb on-screen for your appointment start time and to automatically launch the New Appointment screen.

  

  

If some aspects of the Calendar views are somewhat frustrating then the actual New Appointment (below) creation process is no different.  The main reason that I was disappointed here is because the Start and End times can only be set in half hour increments and you can’t use the keyboard to write say “3.15p” to set a time of “3:15 PM” (in fact you can’t use the keyboard at all).  A little trick that I discovered is that once the cursor is on the time you need to click on the Center 5Way twice to scroll.

  

Overall I found both the Contacts and Calendar applications to be disappointing and was particularly annoyed at the lack of customization options available throughout.  Having said this I have no doubt that corporate Treonauts will be pleased with particular aspects of the out-of-the-box integration with Outlook such as the option to set Attendees for a Calendar appointment. 

As I’ve mentioned before neither the Treo 650 running PalmOS nor Treo 700w running Windows Mobile are perfect but each have unique functionalities that Treonauts may like more or less to suit their particular needs…

UPDATE: The Treo 700w is now available to purchase from the Treonauts Shop for only $299.00 (after mail-in rebate and 2 years new voice & data account).

Treonauts always look at the details


Posted by Andrew on December 27, 2005 at 01:57 PM

Treo Windows Mobile

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» Treo 700w review, part 2 from Treo Today
Andrew of Treonauts has posted a follow-up to his review of the Palm Treo 700w running Windows Mobile. This time around he looks at the PIM applications - Contacts and Calendar. Both suffered in comparison with the Palm OS versions - I would attri... [Read More]

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» Treo 700w Review from Windows Mobile News
Treonauts.com have been reviewing the new Windows Mobile Treo 700w. The review is in several parts: Part 1 Part 2 Part 2 Update ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 2, 2006 6:52:47 AM

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Comments

1
by Scotty | Dec 27, 2005 3:23:43 PM

What are the sort options in the Contacts app?
Like Last Name, First Name etc...

2
by Andrew | Dec 27, 2005 3:42:43 PM

Scotty - the only sort options are "View by: Name" (Last, First only) and "View by: Company" which groups all names from the same company.

However, you can't do one "global find" for both Name and Company simultaneously. It's either one or the other.

Cheers, A.

3
by Antoine | Dec 27, 2005 3:51:17 PM

Hello Andrew. I revied the rx3700 iPaq about a year ago and had many of the same type of summarizing observations that you are having. I know that in the end, a PPC/WM device made me appreciate my PalmOS device more, even while wanting some of the more useful things that WM does. I am glad that you are having a good time with playing with your 700w. And while I dont see you moving to one (I think you are a PalmOS guy), I do appreciate your honestly in looking at this thru ur experiences, not necessairly one of a person on the top looking down on anything that doesnt move you. Keep up the good work with the review.

4
by ppcmd | Dec 27, 2005 3:57:40 PM

I don't use the built in PIM apps much like I didn't on my previous POS devices, it was simple, the PIM apps sucked on both OS platforms. I will be adding WEBis Pocket Informant.

5
by Andrew | Dec 27, 2005 4:01:46 PM

Hello Antoine - thank you. I greatly appreciate your many kind and helpful comments regarding the Treo 700w particularly since, as you point out, my own WM experience has been very limited until now.

BTW: I still haven't made up my mind as to whether I am a PalmOS or WM guy... ;-) There are many good things on both sides...

Cheers, A.

6
by cc | Dec 27, 2005 4:37:21 PM

In the contacts, have you tried tap-and-hold'ing the item, to see what is available in the context menu?

I dont have a PPC'03.. but the PPC UI im accustomed to typically relies on that. .and perhaps a send-to-sms option is available there?

7
by Andrew | Dec 27, 2005 5:43:59 PM

cc - indeed I hadn't noticed that when you hold the Center 5Way in a specific contact for a couple of seconds you get the option to:

Call Work
Call Home
Call Mobile
Send E-mail
Send Text Message
Add to Speed Dial

Very helpful, thanks.

However, this still won't allow you to Text or Email from within the Lookup Field which would have been a nice functionality.

Cheers, A.

8
by Miguel | Dec 27, 2005 7:28:52 PM

I cannot wait to see if the SMS (messaging) is just as bad as the Sprint 6700. Being that its WM5 I will think so but truely hope its not and instead as good as the 650.

9
by Ari | Dec 27, 2005 8:29:45 PM

i have been concerned that this site has become all about selling shit, this post and the editors honesty has restored my faith. Cheers.

10
by vincent | Dec 27, 2005 8:58:32 PM

Hi,

Would like to find out what version of bluetooth is it using?
Can it support AD2P profile?

And does the Wifi using 802.11b?
Does it support WPA?

Thank You!

11
by michael | Dec 28, 2005 12:44:45 AM

Hi~
I have a Treo 650 and a Samsung i730 for work. I know for the Windows Mobile software on the i730, you can do appointments in any hour and minute (i.e. 3:10 pm or 3:17 pm or 3:xx)--you just have to manually key it in, either with the hard keys on the i730 or using the on-screen input methods. I am not sure if this is a feature that is carried over to the latest incarnation of Windows Mobile 5.0, but it is possible on WM 2003SE.

12
by TazUk | Dec 28, 2005 8:11:20 AM

@Vincent, it's running Bluetooth 1.2, don't know which profiles it supports though :o\. The 700W doesn't have integrated WiFi support, if you want it you'll have to get an SDIO WiFi adaptor.

13
by Doug | Dec 28, 2005 9:34:10 AM

Andrew,

Is there any way for you to see if this device has the AKU (Adaptation Kit Upgrade) 2.0?

Without it, it can't do push email with exchange, which seems like an important feature.

Let us know what you can find out!

- doug

14
by Ryan Smith | Dec 28, 2005 2:59:09 PM

Unless Palm has made some significant downgrades to the contact and calendar functionality, I've used both Palm and WM extensively on other devices and my Treo 650, and I've always liked both these apps on the WM devices much much better. Being able to organize by company makes for a much cleaner and easer to access contact list. Try organize by company option and you will really like it. Also, the today screen has to be considered as part of the calendar app, and being able to see your next 5 or 6 appointments is so much better than on the Treo 650. IN fact on a WM device I never need to look at my calendar because the today screen typically gives me all the info I need. I think when you get used to this device, you will like the WM options much better. By the way, you can place a dedicated new option at the bottom of the screen in the options.

15
by PDAjah | Dec 29, 2005 3:43:13 AM

Being a Universal user I have also discovered that the WM5 calander is useless. You have to use a third-party PIM unlike on Plam OS. Wait till you find the interesting memory leak problems with WM5!

16
by Can't tell ya | Dec 29, 2005 11:47:56 PM

You can actually do a 'send email' from within the lookup field/process.

Here's how:

Once you look up someone via first name or last name, in the Today view, and the list of results are there, you can press and hold the center key on that contact in question, and up will pop:

text message (xxx)xxx-xxxx
email (name@domain.com)
email (cell phone#)

So I think that will get you what you want. (a friend of mine has a test 700 - super secret)

17
by ev | Jan 1, 2006 2:11:59 AM

will the treo bluetooth headset work with the 700w

18
by Eric | Jan 3, 2006 2:18:16 AM

Doesn't it seem, guys, that the tips you are giving Andrew should have been much more obvious on a smartphone? With a Treo 650 I didn't have to guess, or figure out something non-intuitive, to send email/msg to someone while in the contact. It was intuitive. For being the king of intuitive GUI's, it sounds like Microsoft has a ways to go on mobile devices. I've never had a hard time figuring out how to do stuff on a Palm. This isn't meant to bash MS or the 700w, instead it's a fairly serious question.

The Sync stuff that Andrew liked better doesn't seem to be enough of a plus to want to change.

19
by Alex | Jan 3, 2006 5:42:50 PM

I think a key difference here is that a lot of the functionality in WM5 is hidden in context menus--as in Windows, itself. If you're used to the context menu metaphor, it's *very* intuitive to look for one wherever you are in order to access advanced options. While I can understand it is disconcerting if you're not used to it, IMHO it contributes to a much cleaner interface. Looking forward to the rest of the review (I'm still debating whether or not to purchase... =)

20
by Fortezza | Jan 5, 2006 10:29:38 PM

To buy or not to buy? This is an easy decision. It runs a Microsoft OS, so don't purchase it.

21
by Sheldon | Jan 7, 2006 8:37:49 PM

Never used a Treo! I am looking into one 650 or 700? Currently, using sony clie for pda and phone want to combine both together? Do check e-mails and etc. Want to be simple! Not a computer whiz? Please help!!

22
by Patrick | Jan 8, 2006 1:15:18 AM

Thank you for your extensive review and comparison between the 650 and 700. I also have the 650 and am interested in possibly upgrading.

How would you rate the keyboard between the 650 and 700? Any noticeable difference? I've heard the 700 has more spacing? Does this make the keys seem bigger?

Thanks!

23
by Kevin | Jan 9, 2006 5:50:32 PM

I was given the option to upgrade from the 650 to the 700, but my time is limited. Do you think I should give it a try?? Can't a lot of the efficiency problems be fixed with a software upgrade if one is ever released?

24
by Kevin | Jan 9, 2006 6:37:27 PM

If I cannot afford the unlimited data plan for internet and email, what are my options since I've heard bluetooth connectivity is blocked on the 700w?

25
by Mark Jenkins | Jan 9, 2006 10:06:25 PM

You can "find" by first AND last names. Instead of "jbrown" type "j brown". The space is the name delimiter.

Mark

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
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