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Treo 650: 10 Reasons to Buy or Upgrade

I recently came across an article in the Chicago Tribune in which the author argues about what you should do if you are looking to buy the best smartphone.  In his view there are two options:

Option A
If you are not currently a Treonaut then you should definitely buy the Treo 650.

Option B
If you are currently a Treonaut with a Treo 600, upgrading to the Treo 650 is not worth the extra money.

While on the one hand I can't agree more with Option A - everybody will one day be a Treonaut but doesn't necessarily know it yet.  On the other hand, I can't disagree more with Option B as I believe that upgrading to the Treo 650 is worth every cent and then some.  Let me share my own reasoning on this issue.

Here are my top 10 reasons why I believe that it's totally worth buying the Treo 650:

  1. Everybody agrees that the Treo 650 is the best smartphone on the market.  I like the best, I want the best.
  2. I principally need a phone, a PDA, the facility to easily read and reply to my emails while on the go and I want it all in one device.
  3. As a PalmOS device, the Treo provides me with a robust and established operating platform as well as a huge choice of applications in countless categories.  Someone, somewhere has likely developed an application for something that I need to do and even for those things that I didn't know that I wanted to do - in fact I discover new interesting applications almost on a daily basis.
  4. I want a smartphone that integrates well with both my professional and personal lifestyle.  The Treo allows me to a) communicate efficiently with phone, email, SMS, MMS or IM; b) access online and onboard information of all sorts within a couple of clicks and c) entertain me with movies, photos, games, music, ebooks, audiobooks and more when I feel like relaxing.  These are the things that together make for the great Treo Lifestyle.
  5. Considering that aside from my watch, keys and wallet there isn't a single other product that I spend more time with and that I use my Treo on a daily basis, the rationale of spending a few hundred dollars to buy one seems perfectly reasonable.
  6. Since I already know that I need a business-class PDA which on average retails for some $350 and that I also need a mobile phone which may cost me anywhere between $0-$200 (with a service plan) and $200-$500 (without one) then $599 for a Treo 650 (without a service plan) is extremely good value.  This was actually the reasoning that I followed when I originally purchased my Treo 600.
  7. What I know now (but didn't consider when I got my Treo 600) is that beyond the combo phone/PDA functionality that the Treo delivers I can relatively cheaply add applications that will transform my Treo into a portable music/audio player, a portable game player, a portable movie player, a portable ebook reader, a digital photo wallet among others.  I calculated that buying all of these devices individually (hardware alone) would cost me in the region of $600 or more.  With my Treo I simply added two 1GB SD cards for only $150 and then another $100 for the required movie, music and photo applications.  Not only do I not have the hassle to carry multiple devices but it also makes $ense.
  8. The hardware and software specs of the Treo 650 are superb.  A small selection of these includes the fact that: it weighs just a little over 160gms, it is extremely small considering that it's effectively a handheld computer, it has an ultrasharp 320x320 screen, it has terrific standby and talk-time battery performance, it has a full and very usable QWERTY keyboard, it allows you to easily connect to your email out-of-the-box, it has a good camera and video recorder, it integrates seamlessly with Outlook and other PIM applications, it offers one of the most intuitive operations of any phone (let alone smartphone), it comes bundled with RealPlayer, a great game and DocumentsToGo to view and edit MS Office documents.
  9. Over 50% of Treonauts state that they "Love!" their Treo and a combined 85% state that it's a "Great" smartphone.  Also, 9 out of every 10 smartphone reviews give the Treo 650 top marks.  There are few other phones that I can think of that are this emotionally and positively charged.  This has created a phenomenal community and it's always a treat when I meet (online or offline) a fellow Treonaut.
  10. Finally, there's the value of being able to show-off the latest generation, coolest smartphone in the world to friends, colleagues and clients and see their jaws drop as I demo all that I can do with my Treo 650: totally and utterly priceless.

Here are my top 10 reasons why I believe that it's totally worth upgrading from the Treo 600 to the Treo 650:

  1. Everybody agrees that the Treo 650 is the best smartphone on the market.  I like the best, I want the best (plus there really aren't that many things that I can 'spoil' myself with).
  2. After using my Treo 600 for a period of 14 months I consider that I have fully amortized the cost of my original purchase - I certainly got more than my money's worth over this time.
  3. I need to sign up or renew my plan with a wireless carrier no matter what.  They offer me (in the US) between $100 and $150 off the list price of the Treo 650 bringing my out-of-pocket cost down to (depending on the retailer) between $499-449 and $399-349 with a service plan.  In Europe it would likely be even less with a service plan - probably $240-$300 or under.
  4. There is still a significant residual value of some $300 for my Treo 600 (based on the latest eBay listings).  So, I can sell my old Treo 600 on eBay for $300 and then my 'real' purchase cost for the Treo 650 falls to just $199-149 or $99-49 - a total bargain if you ask me.  Alternatively, I could also keep my Treo 600 and give it to someone as the perfect birthday gift.
  5. The key upgraded hardware features of the Treo 650 over the Treo 600 are things that provide me with real and tangible value that I am willing to pay for.  The massively improved screen resolution and much more efficient keyboard are reasons enough but also the practical aspect of the new removable battery which eliminates my stress over lost data and the Bluetooth connectivity which allows me to use cable-free accessories such as a headset and keyboard as well as wireless hotsynching.  Naturally the higher processor speed is also a big plus and the camera although not improved in overall resolution is orders of magnitude better than that on the Treo 600.
  6. Much of the new or upgraded software functionality and usability on the 650 are welcome improvements - particularly the Microsoft Exchange connectivity built-in to VersaMail.  I am also thrilled that at some point in the near future I will also have the option of BlackBerry's software functionality on my Treo which combined with the better screen resolution displaying ultra crisp text, superb keyboard and form factor will undoubtedly make my 650 the best mobile email device.  At the same time, the Treo 650 is the smartphone with the largest number of supported email solutions on the market - such as GoodLink, Business Connection, IntelliSync and SnapperMail.  All of this is also valid for SMS, MMS and IM.
  7. There are a number of applications that will not run on the low resolution display of the Treo 600 and upgrading to the Treo 650 with its 320x320 resolution has now removed this limitation. 
  8. Additionally, all of my existing applications look 10 times better on the Treo 650's sharp screen.  As I have repeatedly written, I've been using my Treo 600 extensively for photos, videos and ebooks and the experience of doing this on a Treo 650 is like comparing night and day.  Overall my entire entertainment related experience has been spectacularly enhanced on the 650.
  9. After ranting and raving about the Treo 600 for so long people might have thought that I'd lost my mind if I didn't jump on the opportunity to upgrade to the Treo 650.  Hell, I probably would have lost my mind if I hadn't upgraded!
  10. Finally, there's the value of being able to show-off the latest generation, coolest smartphone in the world to friends, colleagues and clients and see their jaws drop as I demo all that I can do with my Treo 650: totally and utterly priceless.

The above are just my own personal views but below is your opportunity to share your own thoughts about it with your fellow Treonauts as well as to show the sceptics out there how much they're missing out by not buying or upgrading to the Treo 650.  You can fill out as many or as few of your reasons.

Treonauts' Reasons to Buy or Upgrade the Treo 650
1. I believe that it is worth buying because:


2. I believe that it is not worth buying because:


3. I believe that it is worth upgrading because:


4. I believe that it is not worth upgrading because:


Here is a Treonaut who is over the moon with his Treo 600 but states that he would rather miss out on the Treo 650... Improved Treo Not Worth Cost [Chicago Tribune]

Treonauts have a special bond...

Posted by Andrew on January 21, 2005 at 01:01 PM

Treo 650

| Permalink


by Fred | Jan 21, 2005 1:17:45 PM

For what it's worth, I was about to buy a 600 when I heard about the 650, so I waited. Then I heard about the memory 'issues' and decided not to wait, and got a 600. I've had it for three weeks now and it's fantastic! The screen quality is fine for me, even for movies, and so is the keyboard.
Sooo . . . if memory is important for you as it is for me, I'd say get or stay with the 600.

by Elliot | Jan 22, 2005 2:12:17 AM

Quick question...is there a bluetooth keyboard out? I see that you mentioned one but i haven't seen one on the market yet!

by dodgerfan | Jan 22, 2005 1:08:43 PM

The hardware specs are stunning and I am among the raving folk who brag about the capabilities of my Treo 650. I skipped over the Treo 600, making the jump from the Treo 300. The faster CPU and screen resolution are among the major selling points for me.

But the real issue about why I would hesitate in recommending an upgrade for some of the corporate types I work with is that VersaMail and Docs to Go have some serious stability issues. Any time spent on the expansive online community of TreoCentral will yield a real sense of the agony people are going through in trying to prevent their devices from spontaneously resetting or getting the corporate email functionality of VersaMail do what it ought.

Once those issues are ironed out, I think the Treo 650 will be a real winner, to be recommended without reservation.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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