Treo Pro Preview
Palm’s “Super Hot” New Generation Treo Pro Smartphone Proudly in my Hands!
After years waiting in frustration, I have to congratulate Palm for having successfully reached the first key milestone of its “transformation” by delivering the Treo Pro – the first Palm smartphone in years that can claim to be a true match against other high-end enterprise-class competitors. It was about time guys!!!
Even though previous Treo Pro images and specifications were helpful and more than a little bit exciting it certainly makes an even greater impression to have the Treo Pro physically in my hands – to say it’s “stunning” would be a gross understament. You’d actually have difficulties believing this was truly a Palm Treo if the logo wasn’t on it.
For starters, as previously reported (see Treo Pro Now Official) Palm has completely revamped its packaging – making it much smaller, more modern and uncluttered. The box is almost two-thirds smaller than previous ones such as the Centro and Treo 800w pictured below.
While the packaging is certainly nice and helps to form your first positive impressions the fact is that it’s ultimately the actual design of the smartphone and its accessories that matters. There’s no doubt that the Treo Pro has not only already matched my expectations in this regard but it’s also well on its way to exceeding them.
Whether you look at the front of the Treo Pro with its stunning full QWERTY keyboard and new completely flush screen or its back with a minimalist camera eye and redesigned speakerphone this is a smartphone that you just want to keep holding in your hands, look at and play with.
The Treo Pro looks a bit like a high-tech polished black pebble – a Zen of tranquility on the outside but one that also happens to be bursting with energy inside (thanks to a fast processor, 3G data, WiFi, GPS and a whole lot more).
As I mentioned earlier, Palm’s #1 job was to demonstrate that it could get its hardware “design mojo” back and I believe that it has finally done so with the Treo Pro – it’s quite a bit more than evolutionary but not (yet) revolutionary.
One thing the Treo Pro can easily claim to be is the slimmest smartphone with a full keyboard and flush touchscreen that Palm has ever produced and possibly the slimmest Windows Mobile smartphone in the world right now. I have no doubt that enterprise customers will likely be absolutely delighted when they get one.
It doesn’t matter how many pictures I have seen nor how many times I repeated that the Treo Pro is just as slim as the iPhone 3G nor that it’s about half the thickness of the Treo 750 that it replaces (image below with the Treo 800w in the middle) the fact is that you can’t “feel” how thin it really is until it sits in your hand.
What is particularly great about the Treo Pro is that Palm has finally also limited the number of compromises that it was willing to make to deliver such an ultraslim smartphone. A perfect example of this is the 1500mAh battery (pictured below) which delivers a very healthy 5 hours of talk time.
Almost every single detail about the Treo Pro conveys the feeling that (for a change) this was a work of love, passion and dedication where the many Palm designers paid thoughtful attention to even the smallest element and combined them to deliver this stunning smartphone.
For starters, after having grown used to the small screen on my Centro I have to admit that I rather appreciated the extra real estate found on the Treo Pro which now offers a delightful flush high-resolution touchscreen.
The keyboard offers the same excellent “rubber sheet” technology as that found on the Centro but it’s 10% wider on the Treo Pro. The stylus, now repositioned at the bottom, is solid and finally also in steel instead of bendy plastic.
Palm has also for the first time added a full 3.5mm stereo jack as well as the fast and convenient microUSB 2.0 sync & charge connector.
Gone is the pointless self-portrait mirror at the back as well as the huge speaker. Both are now replaced by minimalist designs with a small silver circle and capsule speaker.
Even a small button (above left) found behind the back cover was given attention to detail with the Palm logo delicately printed on it and more importantly there’s also the re-introduced reset button . At the same time, the microSDHC memory card slot is easily accessible (just above the reset button) once you remove the back cover (which slides out towards the top).
Additionally, Palm’s renewed design momentum didn’t just stop with the packaging and smartphone but has also carried through in a new range of Treo Pro accessories. The box includes a USB wall charger, microUSB sync & charge cable with round silver accents (above right) as well as a 3.5mm stereo headset which includes a rather convenient and discreet microphone with Call Answer/End button.
At the same time, Palm has also revealed that it will shortly be releasing a new cradle, vehicle power adapter, side case (pictured below) as well as a travel microUSB cable, extra battery, audio adapter and styli.
Overall, although this is but my first (rather positive) impression of the Treo Pro I think that it will be hard for anyone to truly and honestly dismiss this latest Palm smartphone. Some are already calling it the best Windows Mobile smartphone available today and if our recent poll below is any indication nearly all Treonauts would seem to agree (over 90% voted it between Hot to Super Hot).
I will share with you my full Treo Pro review next week but in the meantime please cast your vote above if you haven’t already done so and I look forward to reading your comments while I continue to delight playing with my shiny new smartphone…
Treonauts are always full of energy and passion…