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Treo Pro Gets Top Honors From PC Magazine

In a recent roundup of Top Unlocked Phones from PC Magazine I was delighted to see that our beloved Treo Pro ranked at the very top of the list coming neck and neck with a “Very Good” rating against the likes of the Nokia E71.

Importantly, the Treo Pro is the only Full QWERTY Keyboard + Full Touchscreen smartphone on this list (essential requirements for me) and also the highest rated Windows Mobile device.

Additionally, where some people may have questioned the price of the Unlocked GSM Treo Pro priced at $549 (but currently available for $449 from Dell) the fact is that the average price of a competing unlocked GSM smartphone is some $600.  Therefore, considering that in addition to the keyboard and touchscreen the Treo Pro also includes, among others, WiFi, GPS and HSDPA I would argue that it’s actually terrific value (on top of being a superb smartphone).

For some reason the reviewers at PC Mag seem to have taken a very strong liking for Nokia in general and their Symbian OS in particular giving the highest rating to four of its smartphones.  Personally I find Symbian to be one of the most cumbersome operating systems and cannot imagine that I would ever again own a Nokia phone.

At any rate, below is the full list of the 12 Unlocked GSM Phones chosen and reviewed by PC Mag ranked by rating first and price second:

Nokia E71 ($500 street)
[Symbian OS: Full QWERTY Keyboard, No Touchscreen]
Nokia E71As unlocked smartphones go, this Nokia does plenty to snag our Editors' Choice—and challenge the BlackBerry Bold while it's at it. Thanks to its 381-MHz ARM11 processor, the E71 is the speediest Symbian smartphone we've tested, and it handles Office, Exchange, and Web-browsing tasks in a flash, too. It's not too bad to look at, either.

Nokia N82 ($461.50 direct)  
[Symbian OS: T9 Keyboard, No Touchscreen]

Nokia N82If you're looking for the best camera phone on the market, stop right here. The Nokia N82's Carl Zeiss lens and 5-megapixel CCD sensor took photos, at least in moderate daylight, that were indistinguishable from the output of many dedicated point-and-shoot cameras. Its hardware numeric keypad also puts it a cut above the N95 (further below) in day-to-day usability—even if it's not quite as perfect a portable media center.

Palm Treo Pro ($549 direct)  
[Windows Mobile OS, Full QWERTY Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]

Palm Treo ProPalm's newest enterprise-centric Windows Mobile handset packs loads of functionality into a fairly compact design. The Pro can sync with up to eight e-mail accounts and comes loaded with a full copy of Microsoft Mobile Office. Add that to support for Wi-Fi, HSDPA 3.6, and GPS with turn-by-turn directions, and its appeal becomes clear. It does tend to be sluggish at times, though, and it has the same cramped keyboard as its Centro siblings.

Nokia N95 8GB ($750 list)
[Symbian OS: T9 Sliding Keyboard, No Touchscreen]
FrontNokia improves on its popular high-end, dual-slider N95 multimedia computer by adding 8GB of internal storage, a slightly larger screen, and a classier black-and-gunmetal shell. Dropping the microSD slot wasn't such a smart move, however—8GB may be plenty, but the lack of a card slot reduces your options for sideloading media.

Nokia E90 Communicator ($1,099 list)
[Symbian OS: T9 Keyboard, Flip QWERTY Keyboard, No Touchscreen]
Nokia E90 ClosedNokia's Cadillac of smartphones is bulky, heavy, and expensive in comparison to most other smartphones. But no other device packs in an ultrawide 800-by-352 pixel internal screen, GPS, a roomy QWERTY keyboard, and as much hardware and software power as the E90. Even the screen on the outside of this flip device is QVGA. The E90 is also a great-sounding voice phone. And despite its girth, it is small enough to be your only cellular device (unlike such Franken-PDAs as the HTC Advantage, which are too large to fit into a pocket).

ASUS P527 ($599 list)
[Windows Mobile OS: T9 Keyboard, No Touchscreen]

Right AngleASUS is known for its excellent motherboards, but it needs to do a little more work in the cell-phone department. Windows Mobile 6 runs painfully slow on the P527, which has only 64MB of RAM and a 200-MHz OMAP 850 processor. On the other hand, its built-in GPS, excellent battery life (14 hours of talk time!), robust software bundle, and hardware numeric keypad are all points in its favor.

LG Prada KE850 ($700 street)
[Windows Mobile OS, No Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]

LG Prada KE850Style mavens should head straight for the LG Prada KE850. It's not nearly as powerful as an iPhone, but it sure looks a lot like one. And unlike the iPhone, the unlocked Prada is usable on almost any international excursion where there's GSM network coverage, including in Europe, without horrendous roaming fees.

MWg Atom Life ($399.95 list)
[Windows Mobile OS, No Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]
AngleThe Atom Life harks back to the days of standalone PDAs—with their fast processors, touch screens, styli, and reams of RAM. This one, however, also acts as a cell phone, although it's a bit tricky to use because of its lack of a hardware keyboard, either numeric or QWERTY. Still, MWg wasn't kidding around—the company packed in a 624-MHz processor, 128MB of RAM (double that of most other Windows Mobile 6 handsets), and 1GB of internal storage.

Nokia N78 ($520 list)
[Symbian OS: T9 Keyboard, No Touchscreen]
Nokia N78Nokia's cute candy-bar phone is a solid option among Symbian smartphones, but if you want full, on-the-go enterprise capabilities, you'd have better luck elsewhere. Typing on the N78's cramped numeric keypad is no small feat, and a lot of its applications could stand a bit more work (its IM client is weak, and the Maps app can't hold a candle to Google). Still, it's a good voice phone and a decent, full-featured music player.

HTC Touch Dual ($639 direct)
[Windows Mobile OS, No Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]
HTC Touch DualNo one will accuse Windows Mobile 6 of being easy to use. But HTC puts in a noble effort to make it so, draping the company's slick TouchFLO interface over Microsoft's powerful-but-clunky OS. The Touch Dual can also hook into AT&T's high-speed HSDPA data network—a rare ability among unlocked GSM phones—and it's powerful enough for smooth video playback, too.

HTC Touch Diamond ($729 list)
[Windows Mobile OS, No Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]
HTC Touch DiamondBy far the flashiest of HTC's recent offerings, the Touch Diamond has a dazzling design and TouchFLO interface—which would be much more impressive if the phone weren't so sluggish and buggy. Despite its 28-MHz Qualcomm CPU and 192MB of built-in RAM, the combination of the Diamond's brilliant—and huge—VGA screen and Windows Mobile is too much for the handset to bear.

Samsung Omnia SGH-i900 ($779 street)
[Windows Mobile OS, No Keyboard, Full Touchscreen]
Samsung Omnia SGH-i900 : FrontiPhone coveters may be apt to flock to this touch-screened Samsung smart device, but they should proceed with caution. Plagued by a buggy interface and often-sluggish performance, the Omnia works better as a media handset than as an enterprise device. But in this role it really shines, handling music, videos, and photos (its onboard 5-megapixel camera is superb) with ease.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my own list of the Top Smartphones on the market today include the:

Evidently, since I cannot use all of the above smartphones simultaneously my personal top choice at the moment is the Treo Pro because it’s in my opinion the best device that Palm has yet produced and also for the reasons listed below:

Top 10 Reasons To Get Your Treo Pro

  1. Ultraslim & Ultrasleek Form-Factor & Stunning Design Treo Pro Top Marks
  2. Full QWERTY Keyboard + High Resolution 320x320 Flush Touchscreen Treo Pro Top Marks
  3. Built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g with WPA, WPA2, 801.1x authentication) Treo Pro Top Marks
  4. Built-in GPS (Standalone and Asssisted GPS) Treo Pro Top Marks
  5. High-Speed Wireless Data (3G HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE) Treo Pro Top Marks
  6. It’s a Palm Smartphone Treo Pro Top Marks
  7. Dedicated Silent Ringer Switch Button Treo Pro Top Marks
  8. Standard 5 Hours Talk Time (Up to 7 hours Continuous) Treo Pro Top Marks
  9. Dedicated WiFi On/Off Button Treo Pro Top Marks
  10. Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 Treo Pro Top Marks

Like many I’m just waiting for AT&T to finally release the Treo Pro – a move that will make this superb smartphone widely available and hopefully priced at $249 with a two year contract…

Top Unlocked Phones [via PC Magazine]

Treonauts always make the top choices

Posted by Andrew on November 13, 2008 at 02:43 PM

Treo Pro

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by serge | Nov 14, 2008 7:31:24 PM

I wish to see and get the same TREO PRO with a PALM OS compatible with my Macintosh...
Tell me how PALM can kill its own baby with foster parents like Windows... Please again, explain to us this ''abandon patern'' of the Palm CEO. Can you give us a rational understanding ?

by Who Cares | Nov 16, 2008 9:38:45 PM

PC Magazine did not rate the Treo Pro with "top honors".

Out of 12 phones ranked, FIVE phones received a rating of 4 out of 5 points. FOUR different Nokia phones received the same ranking.

In fact, the Treo Pro was criticized for its small Centro-sized keyboard and sluggish performance.

by Mike @ WannaDevelop.com | Nov 20, 2008 2:37:00 AM

It is good but not all that good.. There are others ;)

Good write up anyhow.


by Jack | Nov 22, 2008 4:42:10 PM

I never thought I'd see the day, but BlackBerry all the way. My Treo 800w starting sending out duplicate messages, and a second unit did the same. Switched back to my Centro and duplicates quit. Same thing is happening on my Treo 750 on AT&T, though not as often as on my 800w. I'm not on a BlackBerry Curve. Way better device than Palm is producing. Palm's days are limited I'm afraid.

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