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Treo Pro Now Available To Pre-Order!

Palm Opens Pre-Orders For “Super Hot” Unlocked GSM Treo Pro

Treo Pro - Buy Now

There are some great news for those Treonauts who like me would like to be the very first to get their hands on Palm’s superb new Treo Pro as it is now available to pre-order online for $549.00 with a ship date ETA of between the 23rd and 30th of this month.

I have to admit that I have been extremely lucky to be able to “jump the line” a bit as I already have two Treo Pro smartphones in my hands – image above where I’m holding both the US and UK versions which are identical in all respects to the exception of the bundled GPS software (TeleNav in the US and Webraska in UK) as well as the minor accessories difference of the power adapter plug (the first is US-only and the second offers UK+EU plugs).

Treo Pro

To say that I have been extremely pleased with my Treo Pro experience so far would be a very mild understatement – I’m actually still getting over the shock of being able to have such an ultraslim, ultraslick and ultrachic Palm smartphone in my pocket every day.  There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Treo Pro is the very coolest Windows Mobile smartphone with a full front QWERTY keyboard and high-resolution touchscreen that you can get your hands on in the world today – the hardware alone is so good in fact that I have been more than willing to overlook some of the limitations of its operating system.

While some people may consider that I have a natural bias, the fact is nonetheless that the vast majority of people seem to agree with my overall Treo Pro verdict as a staggering 91% of combined registered votes in a recent poll (see chart below) gave this latest Palm smartphone a hugely positive rating of Hot to Super Hot.  I have to admit that based on my own experience and the evidently already vast support that the Treo Pro has garnered from prospective owners at large I am still surprised to see that some reviewers have been unable to grant this smartphone a greater rating.

Treo Pro - Hot Chart

One of the principal sticky points appears to be the matter of the (current) Unlocked Treo Pro pricing of $549.00 which some people consider to be excessive.  I will not dispute the fact that this is a lot of money BUT one must first understand what an “Unlocked” smartphone means and the added value that this offers so let me explain this a bit further.

What is an Unlocked Treo?

When you purchase a Treo directly from your wireless carrier your smartphone will have a software “lock” that will not allow you to use that particular device with any other carrier.  This “lock” will typically be in place for either the duration of your contract or until you request for your carrier to “unlock” your Treo – they may offer to do this for free or typically for a fee. 

Carriers lock the Treo that you purchase because they are “subsidizing” a large portion of the full retail price ($549 in the case of the Treo Pro) and they naturally want to protect the cost of their subsidy by locking you to only use the device on their network.  For example, the Unlocked Palm Centro has a retail value of $299 but is offered “locked” for only $69.99 with a 2 year contract by AT&T – thus saving you over $200 but locking you into a contract to allow the carrier to recoup its investment.

Therefore, a locked Treo Pro provided at a cheaper price by wireless carriers in return for a 1 or 2 year voice and/or data service commitment will appeal primarily to Treonauts who are looking to minimize the initial cost of their Treo purchase and are not so concerned about the contract aspect of it.

An “Unlocked Treo Pro” on the other hand will appeal to a different set of Treonauts who are much less concerned about price and a lot more concerned about having the freedom to choose which specific carrier they would like to use (in the US and the rest of the world).  For example, you will be able to use your Unlocked GSM Treo Pro with either AT&T or T-Mobile in the US or any one of the hundreds of GSM mobile operators across the world (something that undoubtedly appeals to the globetrotting businessman).

In the past, most Treonauts have preferred an Unlocked GSM Treo (for example when the Treo 680 was released over 53% of people stated that they would choose an Unlocked version) because:

  1. The Unlocked Treo Pro will work with both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.
  2. They can use their smartphone much more widely internationally thanks to the huge global footprint of GSM carriers (CDMA devices on the other hand can be used primarily _only_ in North America)
  3. They can easily change their SIM card to make use of cheaper local calling rates (for example using pre-paid SIM cards widely available in Europe and Asia).

I’m naturally curious to hear about what you are thinking about the prospect of owning an Unlocked Treo Pro today so please cast your vote and share your opinion with your fellow Treonauts below:

Treonauts Survey - Unlocked GSM Treo Pro
1. Which Treo Pro would you prefer?

  Unlocked GSM Treo Pro   Locked CDMA Sprint Treo Pro  
  Locked GSM AT&T Treo Pro   Locked GSM Treo Pro (Other Carrier)  
  Locked GSM T-Mobile Treo Pro   Locked CDMA Treo Pro (Other Carrier)  
  Locked CDMA Verizon Treo Pro        

2. What are the things that appeal the most to you about the Treo Pro? (Check all that apply)

  Unlocked GSM   3.5mm Stereo Connector  
  Form-factor & Design   microUSB Sync & Charge  
  QWERTY keyboard + Touchscreen Combination   Dedicated WiFi Button  
  Built-in WiFi   2.0 Megapixel Camera & Video  
  Built-in GPS   Third-Party Software  
  3G + HSDPA Wireless Data   Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync  
  Battery Life   Silent Ringer Switch  
  Palm Smartphone   Other  
  Windows Mobile 6.1        

Please note that for the moment there has been absolutely no official US carrier announcement from Palm but there are rumours that AT&T _may_ be on board for a release later this year while others also raise the possibility that Sprint and Verizon may also eventually get their Treo Pro.  For the time being though, if like me you absolutely want to get your hands on this terrific smartphone you’ll be able to pre-order your Treo Pro online for $549.00.

Treonauts are always free from any locks


Posted by Andrew on September 10, 2008 at 09:43 AM

Treo Pro

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Comments

1
by dmm | Sep 10, 2008 10:03:10 AM

For a while, the "AT&T or T-Mobile" choice in the US has been viable--now it's less so. Why? Because you can't get 3G speed using a Pro on T-Mo. They've gone with a nonstandard frequency for 3G, so very few (if any) unlocked phones will support it, leaving the user stuck at EDGE speeds.

2
by Treoinmypocket | Sep 10, 2008 12:02:28 PM

I'm excited about the Treo Pro as it is so long overdue. I think the indifferent reviews are for exactly that reason - this new Treo is playing "catch-up". Its good and on a par with many others but it doesn't surpass any in terms of features.

The camera is not up to par, the on-board memory is not competitive and the screen, while good is outclassed by the likes of the iPhone.

Personally, I want the Treo Pro but I'm stuck. I use Versizon for business and I have used all the other carriers in the past. I find Verizon best for my needs of domestic only (but weekly) travel and quality of coverage and service. In others words...I'm trapped!

And now I can't get this phone because it doesn't work on CDMA.

My old 650 is nearing the end of its life but I have so much invested in it that I just want to push it all onto the Pro....damned CDMA!

3
by Michael Lee Duttweiler | Sep 10, 2008 12:20:04 PM

I want a "Pro" with Palm OS! How long will we have to wait to have a viable alternative to WinMobile?

4
by serge | Sep 10, 2008 1:08:09 PM

I cannot vote in your Treo Pro survey only because there no mension at all of a Treo ""Pro"" working with a PALM OS... instead of that boring freezing window system...
Just try a Macintosh ( any of them) and will understand what I mean...
Palm is still in a self-hatred process - as not honoring its own software...( old song now...)

5
by Joe | Sep 10, 2008 3:19:58 PM

Of course Andrew's "Hot or Not" poll was horribly skewed. For one thing, there was no "neutral" response -- just three levels of "hot" vs one level of "not". And then the poll was given on a site devoted to Palm fans, which is of course likely to bias towards people interested in new Palm products.

Give the same poll on a general-interest site like Engadget, use more traditional/balanced response choices ("Very Excited", "Excited", "Indifferent", "Uninterested", "Sucks"), and you'll almost certainly see WAY less than 91% favorable response.

There would be many reasons for that lower response: Treoinmypocket gives a good list of reasons above. The phone is VERY expensive. (Most carriers will unlock phones after some amount of time, and if not there are often third-party services that will do so for a modest charge, so the unlock feature, while nice, is wildly overpriced.) Users of older Palm devices will no longer be able to use many of their existing accessories, chargers, etc, further raising the effective price of upgrading to the Pro. And many people just aren't interested in WinMo (even Andrew admits he has to "overlook" the limitations of the OS -- not that Palm OS is great either).

From what I can tell, it's not a bad device at all, but it's certainly not "Super Hot".

6
by Dave | Sep 11, 2008 9:37:10 AM

Love the look and features but I prefer the Palm OS, even though it's long in the tooth. Until they release a Palm OS version, I won't consider it.

7
by random9q | Sep 11, 2008 4:09:07 PM

Palm accidentally taunts the "Palm OS" faithful?

Almost certainly just a typo. But amusingly if in an "I only wish" kind of irritating way.

The Palm mobile.palm.com site finally got its product offering updated. (They'd neglected the 800w, even.) Well, it finally got updated. As of 30secs ago the page /us/mobi/products/smartphones/treopro/ specs a Palm OS Treo Pro.

HA! I wish. Not even likely.

8
by Natasha | Sep 11, 2008 11:01:57 PM

Yes the Treo Pro has the looks. But for us regular consumers who do conduct our everyday lives with our phones. It lacks, just as all windows mobile devices lack. My child's one complaint will be and is always with windows mobile devices is that she is limited.

I think that it would have been nice to offer it in the Palm OS and Windows as they did with the 700.

But that is just my opinion as a Palm user.

9
by Andrew | Sep 12, 2008 8:24:35 AM

I tried to place a pre-order but as I'm not living in the states it didn't allow me to order via the palm web site.

Any suggestions on how/where I can purchase and unlocked version for use & delivery in Australia?

thanks,
Andrew

10
by dmm | Sep 12, 2008 1:29:31 PM

Natasha--nice, yes. Feasible right now, no. A Pro running Palm OS (Garnet) would have nearly indistinguishable specs from a Centro. No WiFi, no GPS. We'll have to wait for Nova next year to see that sort of capability.

11
by random9q | Sep 13, 2008 12:20:12 AM

Still. STILL! They taunt. The URL http://mobile.palm.com/us/mobi/products/smartphones/treopro/ ... still it claims that there's a PalmOS Treo Pro! Madness, I tell you! Madness! If only it Could have PalmOS AND WiFi AND GPS AND all the rest. But no. The photos are clearly WinMo. It's just a typo. HAHAHAAA!

Clearly I've lost my cynical perspective and exchanged it for one of madness.

Methinks given the lack of editing on the PalmOS mobile portal maybe someone within Palm is secretly hoping this will generate buzz either within or outside of Palm, Inc. Maybe it will. I'm just bemused that the typo has held this long. I'd be more bemused except for the fact that the mobile portal is so infrequently maintained, it obviously doesn't get a lot of priority. Which is an unnoticed irony.

12
by strive | Sep 13, 2008 5:45:04 PM

Where can I walk in and buy a treo pro?

13
by dmm | Sep 14, 2008 11:53:30 AM

Walk in and buy a Treo Pro... right now, IIRC, Palm still has a store at the entrance of their corporate HQ. Or a physical store that sells unlocked GSM phones--however, a lot of those will still be waiting on the orders they've placed with distributors. I know the New York and DC areas in the US have stores like that, and I'm sure other US metropolitan cities do too (in other countries, of course, it's a whole different ballgame).

Andrew, here's a question for you--you've mentioned pRevolt (formerly PalmRevolt) on various occasions, including that you've used it on Palm OS Treos. Now that you're switching to the Pro, have you found an equivalent? IMO, the WinMob interface just seems... flat. I've seen lots of skins for Windows Media Player, and some for the phone dialer... none yet, though, for the overall interface. How about you?

14
by Stephen Edelstein | Sep 14, 2008 4:44:31 PM

Are you saying the Treo Pro is so good that you would jump ship to another carrier just to be able to use it?

15
by Not 4 Me | Sep 15, 2008 9:12:17 AM


WINDOWS = SHMOE

WINDOWS not "Pro"

No faith Palm will ever release a "new" PALM OS.

16
by Andrew | Sep 16, 2008 7:19:59 AM

dmm - I haven't yet found an application for my Treo Pro like pRevolt but 1) the main look and feel of the OS already looks really good and 2) applications such as Spb Mobile Shell do an amazing job at improving the overall UI for frequent tasks.

Stephen - not only would I jump carriers for the Treo Pro but I'm even jumping operating systems by going from Palm OS to Windows Mobile. That's how strongly I feel about the Treo Pro as I simply don't want to let go of it.

Cheers, A.

17
by Lord | Sep 16, 2008 1:16:49 PM

WiFi's long overdue...and good to have.

I'd rather they put in 3G rather than GPS (if they had to choose on functionality). It's a pain in the ass having to carry separate 3G phone when I have to go to Japan.

And Windows is crap, no matter how much you dress it up.

18
by Treo Luvr | Sep 17, 2008 1:18:05 AM

Kicks the Iphone 3G to the curb. Seriously, the Iphone lacks mechanical input (keyboard, 5 way cursor). How would you play Tetris on that thing? I'm hoping that Verizon will carry this totally sexy Treo. My 700wx is such a pain to carry around. The wifi will be the big trade-up for me. Free internet!! The standard headphone jack will eliminate the need for adapters, so good job palm!! Too bad it doesn't have stereo speakers like the Moto Qs do. No big deal for me.

19
by Guy | Sep 17, 2008 2:46:01 PM

I just jumped from a new Centro (Palm OS) on Verizon to an i-phone on AT&T.

The coolness factor of the i-phone is much higher, BUT...

I've had more dropped calls in a week than in all of last year. And crappy, garbled, Darth Vader sound quality. Turns out that the i-phone cannot seamlessly switch between Edge and 3G when the 3G signal drops, so it drops the call. Apple advised me to switch the phone to Edge unless I specifically want to do web work. Just as well I guess, since 3G drains the non-replaceable battery faster.

Also, typing on an i-phone is pure pain. And there's no Copy/Paste function at all. And, if you can believe this, no voice dialing or task list. You can get dialers, but they don't actually dial - you have to visually confirm the contact and then hit Dial. You can also get task lists.... but not with alarms.

In the 30 days I had it, the Centro really grew on me and I find myself missing it. The Palm OS did many things really, really well. I was hoping that the Centro Pro would fix the Centro's glitches (Bluetooth dropouts were horrible), but there's no way I'll do Windows. I checked it out on other devices and found its basic features much less usable than the Palm OS.

I will watch with great interest to see if Palm's new CEO gets a new OS out the door.

20
by G | Sep 18, 2008 2:30:25 PM

I have switched to Blackberry Curve on Sprint from a Treo 755p, and I still miss palm os badly. There's way too many things no other op system can do, or can do as well, as palm os.

I considered 800w but didn't get it b/c it's WinMo. So I will keep my Curve until and if palm comes up with a 800w palmos equivalent.

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