Treo Pro "Smart" Phone
Looking At How Making Calls On The Treo Pro Is Ultrafast & Intuitive
The market for Smartphones continues to grow exponentially (over 60% per year according to some sources) but as many reviewers have noted many of these (such as the iPhone) are not particularly “smart” phones.
It’s clear that the list of features and functionalities that a typical smartphone offers is huge and we’re at a stage where pretty much anything that we can think about can be done – the overall number of software and services available to use on your smartphone today is so vast that most people would actually not find enough hours in the day to install and use them all.
The fact is nonetheless that in a typical day I still spend at least 50% of my time using my smartphone _just_ to make and receive phone calls. It’s therefore rather important to ensure that my device is able to perform this task as efficiently and intuitively as possible and in this respect I have to admit that I have been rather pleased and impressed with my Treo Pro.
For starters, with the Treo Pro you can start dialing directly from within the Today screen (above left) using either letters (to lookup an existing contact) or numbers (to dial a new number) on your keyboard. In the example above I just typed the letters “a” + “n” to quickly (a fraction of a second) get a list of all my contacts starting or containing this combination of letters which open in the Phone application (also called SmartDial). You can also enter the first and last initials of a contact separated by a space.
What I particularly like is that the Phone application on the Treo Pro prioritizes your contact searches based on your 100 most recent inbound and outbound calls – an intelligent function that rightly assumes that over 50% of your most frequent calls will typically be made to the last 100 people you have made calls to or received calls from. It’s a very smart small detail that saves me time every day.
The fact that all of these last 100 calls are also the first thing that you see when you open the Phone app (you are essentially viewing your Call History at all times) means that you can also very quickly browse and redial a recently called or received number (called numbers have a green arrow, received numbers have a yellow arrow while missed calls have a red exclamation mark).
An additional useful tip is that when you have found a Contact you can quickly cycle through all available numbers by pressing to the Left/Right using your 5Way so that for example if the main number for your selected contact is Mobile but you actually want to call his or her home number you can do this faster withouth having to actually open the contact.
Next you have the Speed Dial option which allows you to quickly call (from Today or Phone app) any one of nine contacts (with the number 1 always reserved for your voicemail). Adding more Speed Dial number is equally quick and easy – you can actually create up to 98 locations but only 9 can be triggered with the keyboard.
I’ve personally never been particularly good with Speed Dials since I can rarely remember which number I have assigned to which contact but I do use it frequently to check my voicemail.
The three options above are (for me at least) the fastest methods for most quickly making a call but obviously you also have the option to use the on-screen keypad (above left). Additionally, the Treo Pro automatically recognizes most phone numbers that appear in web pages, messages (text, email or MMS) as well as other apps such as Google Maps (above right) and from where you can dial with a single click.
There are a number of options available during a call. The three most obvious and important are the ability to use the on-screen buttons to switch your Speaker On, Mute and Hold your call while three other buttons allow you to quickly access your Notes, Contacts and to Unlock your screen during a call.
Additionally, using the Menu you can also View Contact (to for example add Notes directly in your Contact file); access your Call History and Speed Dials.
Multiple Calls & Conference Calls
While you’re on a call you may naturally either receive a second call or alternatively also want to make a call. In the first instance, when you receive a second incoming call you just need to press Accept on screen – your first call will automatically be put On Hold and you can also quickly Swap between calls at the press of a button (either the on-screen Swap button or your green Phone/Send button).
In the other instance, when you want to make a second call while already on one you can either 1) select Add Call from the Menu; 2) go to Contacts and call the person/number you want or 3) dial a new number via the Keypad. Additionally, you can join your two calls to create a conference call by simply selecting Conference in the Menu (You can join up to 5 calls into a 6-way conference call but the total number of calls you can join in conference depends on your service plan).
Moreover, when you are in an active Conference call (above left) you can “extract” a caller from the conference call to talk to them “in private” – just go to the Menu, select Private and choose the call to make it private (above right). You can continue to Swap between the callers or join them all back in the conference as before.
More Call Options
There are a number of other options available via the Menu > Options which allow you to, among others manage:
- Call Barring (allows you to block incoming and/or outgoing calls)
- Caller ID (allows you to provide your caller ID to everyone, no one or only your contacts)
- Call Forwarding (allows you to either forward all incoming calls to a specified number or forward call only if there is no answer, you’re unavailable or busy)
- Call Waiting (allows you to be notified when there is a call waiting)
- Beacon: the Treo Pro has a unique feature where the round center key is illuminated and blinking when you have new voicemail waiting to be retrieved.
- Reject call with text message: instead of pressing the Ignore button when you receive a call that you cannot or don’t want to answer this setting allows you to reject the call with the text message of your choice.
- Add new phone number to Contacts at end of call (allows you to quickly add a new incoming or outgoing number dialed to your contacts via an on-screen pop-up).
Considering that I have well over 3,000 contacts in my address book, ensuring that I can quickly find and dial the number that I want is absolutely essential for my smartphone of choice. In this respect, I have found the Treo Pro to be among the very best that I have ever used for this purpose. Thanks to the super fast SmartDial (Phone app) I don’t have a moment of lapse or hesitation at the time that I need to quickly make a call.
Overall, there is no doubt that the Treo Pro manages to be not only a superbly amazing smartphone but also an excellent “smart” phone – a rather optimal combination...
Treonauts are always the smartest…