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Treo Pro Preview

Palm’s “Super Hot” New Generation Treo Pro Smartphone Proudly in my Hands!

Treo Pro

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!!!

Treo Pro Packaging

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.

Treo Pro - Kit

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.

Treo Pro - Packaging Comparison

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.

Treo Pro - Front

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.

Treo Pro - Back

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).

 Treo Pro - Screen & Keyboard Treo Pro - Camera & Speaker

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.

 Treo Pro - Bottom Treo Pro - Top

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.

Treo Pro - Wifi Button Side

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.

Treo Pro - Size Comparison

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.

Treo Pro - Battery & Back Cover

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.

 Treo Pro - Screen Treo Pro - Browser

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.

 Treo Pro - Keyboard Detail Treo Pro - Stylus Detail

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.

 Treo Pro - Sync, Charge & Stereo Treo Pro - Palm Logo

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.

 Treo Pro - Camera Detail Treo Pro - Speaker Detail

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.

 Treo Pro - Reset Button Treo Pro - Call Button

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).

 Treo Pro Accessories Treo Pro - microUSB cable

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.

 Treo Pro - Headset Treo Pro - Headset Microphone

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.

Treo Pro - New Accessories

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).

New Palm Treo Pro

Is the Treo Pro hot or not?    Treo-Pro

Super Hot
Very Hot
Hot
Not
  Current Results

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


Posted by Andrew on August 22, 2008 at 09:38 AM

Treo Pro

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Comments

26
by Mdlsimpson | Aug 22, 2008 4:58:46 PM

P.S.... Andrew

I am so jealous that you have one of these before the rest of us

Thanks for a GREAT preview!! Looking forward for more tidbits to come...

27
by Scott | Aug 22, 2008 5:13:05 PM

Still no ideas on when this will be subsidized by a carrier (AT&T) in the U.S.?

And another vote here to say thanks for keeping the iR port on it (from another Realtor as well :-))...Either we have iR on our smart phones or we have to carry around 2 devices all day.

28
by Roy | Aug 22, 2008 7:19:35 PM

I haven't noticed in any of the pics if there is still a place to connect an antenna or not. There is one on my Treo 750 (though the connector end is not the same as that for my 680) I work in remote locations and usually need one to get any signal at all. Will I be waiting on another version of the Pro?

29
by John Whorfin | Aug 22, 2008 8:09:47 PM

I can't believe you people so readily drink Palm's Kool-Aid. (Ooo, it's black and shiny and no longer embarrassingly thick! It finally has WiFi and GPS and 3G! Jeez, welcome to 2008, people.)

Try to remember a few important things here...

1.) Palm hasn't released a significant update to the Palm OS since 2002. That's SIX YEARS AGO. And the long-awaited next-generation NOVA / Palm 2 OS isn't going to be released "at the end of the year", Andrew, but in the first half of 2009 according to an article about Rubenstein and Palm in the New York Times two days ago. (And given that we have yet to see any evidence of it from a single screenshot to an SDK - not to mention Palm's horrible track record - I'd say that's optimistic.)

2.) The fact that Palm is launching a flagship product without a U.S. carrier partner is a huge red flag, and very alarming. When's the last time that happened? Clearly Palm is having problems getting a carrier on board to subsidize it. (Does anyone really think AT&T is going to take this when they've already got iPhone exclusivity?)

3.) Finally, Daniel, you're talking about iPhone 1.0, not 2.0/3G. You simply can no longer say the iPhone is just a "prosumer media toy" and the "TP is business productivity purposed and targeted at very diff. audience (the power user)." That's BS. At $199, the iPhone is now at a consumer price point, but it also has robust enterprise capabilities with full Exchange support and an explosion of third party apps...

http://www.apple.com/iphone/enterprise/

Why would I pay almost three times as much to be stuck with Windows Mobile - not to mention a fraction of the screen size and a fraction of the built-in memory of an iPhone? Please.

And it's got a smaller screen and a worse keyboard than my old Treo 680.

30
by Crackers | Aug 22, 2008 11:43:26 PM

How about radio/antenna performance? Treo 750 was a big step backwards from 650 as the antenna performance went down when they removed the stub. Europe and Asia carriers demand the sleeker design, but US users suffer the consequences without the best possible radio/antenna. I'd like to hear more about how the phone performs.

thx
gw

31
by Crackers | Aug 22, 2008 11:46:30 PM

Hey John Whorfin:

Whose drinking the Kool-aid? A phone with out a keypad is not a business tool per most people's standards.

gw

32
by tgwaste | Aug 23, 2008 1:57:18 AM

Crackers is right.. _none_ of the execs at my company use the iphone and the keyboard is one of the biggest reasons. At my company we have a nickanme for the iphone 'tool shiner'. we call it that cause you have to use the screen so much that your constantly rubbing the finger prints off of it.

33
by Sam | Aug 23, 2008 2:53:22 AM

Can the Pro work on Verizon since they don't use SIM cards?

34
by John Whorfin | Aug 23, 2008 11:20:04 PM

Hey Crackers:

Why don't you learn the difference between "whose" and "who's"?

And the iPhone does have a keyboard - on the screen. Welcome to the 21st century.

35
by TreyFoxx | Aug 24, 2008 8:25:51 PM

May Palm live forever. I love the palm OS and my Treo. When my 650 broke because of being dropped a lot, I purchased another unlocked version. I know my days of the Palm OS are coming to an end, so I started looking at the HTC PRO. Now I have no reason to leave Palm. I will gladly pay the $550 for the Palm Pro.

Hopefully, I will be able to find all of my real estate programs on the WM platform.

Andrew, Can you send me your Palm Pro to play with? :-)

36
by dgarts | Aug 24, 2008 10:14:38 PM

"work of love, passion and dedication..." but in Windoze and no Palm OS...??

Mwaaaaahhh!!

Wake me up when Palm does.

37
by Paul | Aug 25, 2008 8:34:38 AM

Has the web browsing changed on the new Treo Pro compared to say the Treo 700P? I for one really like the full web browsing and easy zoom of the iphone and really don't like the mobile web browsing of the 700. All my contacts are in the palm os and that along with iphone and AT&T exclusivity has kept me from switching to the iphone. If I could test out the treo Pro and like the web browsing, then i'll be upgrading in November when my contract is up. Will Verizon be carrying the Treo Pro?

38
by Doug Z | Aug 25, 2008 12:48:01 PM

I think we all know the answer to whether Verizon will be getting it. NO. The biggest complaint I have with Verizon is that they lag way behind in the high end power telephones they offer to the public. When I was ready to move from the standard phone about 3 years ago, I was looking at the Treo because I had tried the Handspring and Palm Pilot versions before, but I hated carrying two devices. I was going to get the Palm OS version, but waited to get Windows Mobile Treo 700W because of compatibility issues (less purchasing of 3rd party software to get what I wanted). It is coming up on 3 years since then and they still do not have an update to that phone, even though Palm has released 2 different phones with Windows Mobile since then. Although I would prefer the Treo Pro to be released on Verizon, I know am just hoping that they will be releasing the 800W soon so that I can get the upgrade, as I am getting sick of my phone being so slow due to having a phone that is 3 years old with 5+ years old technology.

39
by serge | Aug 25, 2008 1:36:55 PM

I would easealy share your anthusiasm if this Treo PRO was running a PALM OS and not a Window one.
If Pro means Window you missed me. I am a Pro Macintosh user and a Pro Palm user but please forget Window as exclusive PRO ...
Palm does not care about the fidelity of thousands Macintosh users... I do not call this being Pro but arrogant...

40
by Car Nut | Aug 25, 2008 10:08:25 PM

I can switch to another Treo anytime, but have been satisfied with my 700p. Not sure what to do....

Verizon is my only option (which is perfectly fine).

Windows on the pre-Treo Pro phones has not been great at all. The 700 series Windows phones have been troublesome to say the least for all my corporate users. However, the belief that the Treo Pro might reveal a truly friendly, stable, and reliable Windows OS sounds exciting.

I can't decide......wait for the next Palm OS Treo (probably Jan/Feb 09 for Verizon option) or go with a Verizon Treo Pro (probably available Oct/Nov 08)?

If the Treo Pro doesn't get sold by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in 2-3 months, this phone may die a very unpopular death.

I don't need an unlocked phone and will not pay for the added expense. Especially for all my corporate users who never travel overseas.

41
by Jason | Aug 26, 2008 7:14:31 AM

Silly question perhaps, but does the Tro Pro allow users to switch between the EDGE network and the 3G network like the iPhone?

42
by Gem | Aug 26, 2008 8:58:08 AM

Any word on whether this phone will come out for Sprint?

43
by Rudy | Aug 26, 2008 1:33:59 PM

Can somebody please tell me what's the difference between this and the Treo 800w (pros/cons) since they appear to be very similar other than the case?

Rudy

44
by Ron | Aug 26, 2008 1:51:44 PM

It looks to me like Verizon is going to release the 800w on their network, rather than sponsor the Treo Pro. Why? It's cheaper for them to do so - nearly the same functionality (except for cool-factor and some battery life), and the 800w is already engineered for CDMA network (Sprint has it). The Treo Pro is only an unlocked GSM phone - this means that they didn't have a carrier sponsor the thing, so it's a "spec" device that their pitting against the iPhone. If (*IF*) it has monster sales - which it definitely has potential for - Palm will either seek a carrier to sponsoer the re-engineering to CDMA or maybe do another unlocked release on that network. My guess is that Verizon will opt for the readily-available and cheaper 800w (read: quicker profits for less investment) and leave the Treo Pro CDMA for Palm to take (or not take) the risk on.

45
by Ron | Aug 26, 2008 1:54:22 PM

Before John Worfin (or is that John Big-Butay?) catches my spelling error:

YES, it should have been "they're", not "their".

46
by Pablo | Aug 26, 2008 4:10:51 PM

As the Treo Pro appears to be a next step beyond the 800w (in tems of design adn battery life--with all tech features being pretty similar), why would Palm release them both at about the same time? I am waiting for the 800w to be released by Verizon, but feel like it is already a genration behind before it is even released. Does this make any sense to anyone? Could they not have put a the CDMA technology into the Treo Pro skin?

47
by Matt | Aug 26, 2008 4:43:20 PM

To follow up on Rudy's question, other than the packaging/phone (i.e., skin) itself, and battery life, is there any difference between the Treo Pro and the 800W?

Why would anyone buy an 800W in other words if the Treo Pro is set to be released imminently??? I'd be pissed if I'd just purchased the 800W!

48
by lanujang | Aug 26, 2008 7:53:36 PM

it's nice but it's on WM. too bad... i will wait for TreoPro Palm version.

49
by Jeff | Aug 26, 2008 9:32:57 PM

Andrew - One of the early questions I am curious about I don't believe I have seen you answer yet...with regard to the flush screen, has done well so far resisting scratches? Are you using a screen protector? I have used one on all my Treo's thus far, but with a flush screen I am curious if they would do more harm than good. Any thoughts? Thanks!

50
by serge | Aug 31, 2008 10:59:32 PM

BLACK COLOR IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE A SMARTPHONE -- DESPITE THIS TREO ""Pro"" (The Palm OS is not Pro?)
I SEE THE PERSISTANT SELF-HATRED ATTITUDE OF PALM BUILDERS -- SO SUBMITTED TO WINDOW WHY DON'T YOU TRUST YOUR OWN UNIVERSAL PALM OS(for Macintosh users and the rest of the world... ) ...
HOW COULD YOU DARE COMPARE THIS TREO ""Pro"" TO AN IPHONE - ANDREW YOU MIGHT HAVE HALLUCINATED...
However I will wait ( maybe ) the return of a PRO smart PALM SMARTPHONE... ( I just had my Centro stolen... and my bulky Treo 650 has a broken outside antenna...

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