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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.

Making Calls

 Treo-Pro-Phone-Today Treo-Pro-Today-Dial

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.

 Treo-Pro-Phone Treo-Pro-Phone-Recent

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.

 Treo-Pro-Speed-Dial Treo-Pro-Speed-Dial-01

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.

 Treo-Pro-Keypad Treo-Pro-Google-Maps

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.

During Calls

 Treo-Pro-Call Treo-Pro-Call-Options

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

 Treo-Pro-Dual-Calls Treo-Pro-Call-Swap

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).

 Treo-Pro-Conference-Call Treo-Pro-Conference-Private

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

 Treo-Pro-Call-Services Treo-Pro-Call-Advanced

There are a number of other options available via the Menu > Options which allow you to, among others manage:

  • Services
    • 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.
  • Advanced
    • 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

Posted by Andrew on November 17, 2008 at 12:51 PM

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by MaxLaw | Nov 17, 2008 3:20:25 PM

First, I have not yet owned a Windows Mobile phone, but only a Treo (actually two Treos) with the Palm OS. In your review, it seems to be that you can only do quick dialing using numbers 2-9 which you have assigned to a particular person/contact. Thus, I am assuming that you can NOT assign a letter (rather than a number), such as "H" for Home. Am I correct on that?

Also, how many clicks does it take to begin looking up a number? Not certain from your review. Palm OS has it down to one click on my phone. Not trying to say that Palm OS is better (maybe it is, maybe it ain't), as I have not yet plunged into WinMo, but a lot of us Treo users only know of the Palm OS.


by dave stockton | Nov 17, 2008 4:14:16 PM

Been using Palm based software for 15 years...on Palm devices and the original Mac software....can't remember the name. Am afraid that my 1,500 contacts will not export well to the winmo product...Any comments...experiences?????

by tommyc3po | Nov 17, 2008 5:40:09 PM

I synced my centro with MS Outlook and then synced the windows device with outlook to pick up all the synced info. This was easy, but you need outlook. As far as Mac software, I do not know, but I'm sure you can export someway using the palm desktop software.

by Palmdoc | Nov 17, 2008 6:44:35 PM

Thanks for the write up. Useful pointers. What about voice dialing?

by This is why Microsoft is dumb | Nov 17, 2008 6:48:24 PM


"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."


If someone was making a call to a a frequent phone number, nine times out of ten they would NOT be searching for the number, they would just enter the name.

SEARCHING is an activity for finding information that is otherwise not so obvious.

This is why Microsoft is dumb

by Eimy | Nov 17, 2008 9:09:29 PM

I used to have a treo 650, but it got stolen and I decided to switch to treo pro, I only have my contacts in my last backup, is there any way I can sinc them with my new treo pro. Please help.

by ng | Nov 18, 2008 1:18:49 AM

are the phone program functions specific to palm's implementation of windows mobile, or are they available on any windows mobile device?

by Andrew | Nov 18, 2008 7:18:25 AM

@MaxLaw - yes, Speed Dial only allows you to use numbers 2-9 and unlike with the Palm OS you can unfortunately not assign a letter (H for Home) as a Speed Dial shortcut.

Overall though, looking up any contact on the Treo Pro is _extremely_ fast and intuitive. The exact number of clicks depends on the actual contact that you're looking for and the overall number of contacts that you have BUT typically this requires no more than typing a couple of letters + highlighting the contact you want with the 5Way Up/Down + pressing green Phone Send button to initiate the call.

@Dave - I had absolutely no trouble exporting all my 3,000+ contacts to the Treo Pro. If you're using Outlook I highly recommend getting Pocket Mirror Professional to ensure that you can synchronize multiple contact folders (supports an unlimited number unlike the 15 categories restriction on Palm OS)


Alternatively, if you're on a Mac then look at The Missing Sync from Mark/Space:


Also see my Windows Mobile Software Editor's Choice Selection for more top titles that I use on my Treo Pro:


@PalmDoc - Voice Command (aka voice dialing) on the Treo Pro is _unbelievably_ powerful BUT requires some getting used to + proper tutorials. I will very shortly write a review about this.

@This is - you do enter the name and not the number to find a frequently called contact.

@Eimy - sorry to hear about the loss of your Treo 650. If you have not used Palm Desktop or Outlook to sync all of your contacts then it may be difficult to transfer all of these to your new Treo Pro. I've unfortunately never come across this problem and not sure how to fix it.

@ng - the SmartDial (Phone app) on the Treo Pro is not available on all Windows Mobile smartphones. It's not entirely unique but the Treo Pro is certainly the only one with a keyboard + touchscreen to have this Phone app.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by This is why Microsoft is dumb | Nov 18, 2008 10:15:14 AM


If you are SEARCHING, it is more than likely a search for a not-frequent contact.

(Very simply, if it was a more frequent contact, there would be less need to SEARCH to begin with!)

Thus, it is counter-productive that the Treo Pro/Windows Mobile search results prioritize frequent contacts.

As you state, most often everyone simply wants to use their phone to send and receive phone calls...

Look at how much clutter and bloat Microsoft adds to this simple function!

It is a nuisance for the operating system to require someone to be an engineer just to use the phone.

This is why Microsoft is dumb.

by Andrew | Nov 18, 2008 10:31:49 AM

@This is - while I can't dispute that Windows Mobile may have been less than ideal in the past I strongly disagree with your current view.

It appears that you have clearly not had the opportunity to use a Treo Pro yet and the fact is that it is offers one of the fastest and most intuitive ways to make calls on any smartphone today.

Cheers, A.

by Nelson | Nov 18, 2008 11:55:03 AM

Thanks for all your comments and reviews. I have a Treo 800W Windows 6.1 (...and very happy after many years of using PALM OS). The 800W does most of the items you mentioned with the exception of the "During Call" buttons and the "More Call Options". Most of those items are available via the menu button. Is this a function of the Treo Pro only? Do you have another application running for the buttons?

P.S. You can do letters as speed dials with the 800W...more than likely you can do it with the Pro.

by Robin | Nov 19, 2008 12:29:20 AM

I have been using treo from the 280 came out. had a 600 650 now the Pro. so far the only thing the windows mobile has over Palm OS is the multi programs open. searches, dialing and key assigning is way better in palm OS....I can even assign a program to any key in Palm. if a Palm version comes out i will definately consider switching.

by Dan | Nov 23, 2008 4:26:52 PM

When I make a call on my Treo Pro it defaults to Lock (screen). Is that normal? In that mode the cursor buttons are reversed, so up/down on the Palm wheel goes left/right and visa versa.

Also when I have the contact list up, left/right goes up and down the list and up/down scrolls through the different numbers for a single contact. Seems backwards to me.


by Carley | Nov 24, 2008 11:17:17 PM

To Dan - Under settings on the Treo Pro, there is an icon called keyguard - you can change the default settings there.
Cheers fellow new Treo Pro user - Carley

by Amanda | Dec 2, 2008 12:21:09 PM

Hi i have owned a palm treo 700 w for years now and like the phone alo, but i am looking for a new phone due to some reacurring issues with the phone. how does the pro compare to the 700 w. i WILL NOT go to the palm os i have used palm software before and have been waiting for another windows based one that i could relate to! i use it alot for emails, internet, and scheduling, and get very important calls and most of the time i cant even get my 700 to ring and miss the calls!!

by VA Attorney | Dec 3, 2008 3:06:10 PM

This is a sweet little program. I use it all the time.

by quan | Mar 5, 2009 5:47:47 AM

how do I block my name and number from coming up if I want to send a text message to another phone?

by quan | Mar 5, 2009 5:48:18 AM

I have the palm treo 800w by the way.

by Arthur | Mar 16, 2009 11:34:15 PM


I currently have an HTC Touch Pro - my 1st WinMo smartphone. I used to have a Treo 755p but needed WinMo for business reasons. I am extremely disappointed in the WinMo interface vs Palm. Particularly for camera function and texting.
My Touch Pro can't take an immediate picture. Sprint and HTC themselves have confirmed that there is always going to be a lag (4-6 seconds) from when button is pushed to picture is taken. That stinks and makes it impossible for live pics of people or animals, etc.
In texting, many times I am 4 words into the text before the letters start to appear. The lag is horrible.
I never had these problems with my 755p. Does the Treo Pro have these issues? Also, is picture mail totally horrendous? On my Touch Pro it can take 6-15 minutes to send pics that my 755p would have had done in 2 minutes.
Thanks for all the great info!

by Dan | Apr 30, 2009 10:14:33 PM

Question 1: When I sync my Treo Pro to Outlook 2007 on a Vista Home Premium HP Pavillion I lose all my speed dial numbers. Does anyone know a way to prevent this? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
Question 2: Is there a way to get user-defined fields from Outlook to read on Windows Mobile 6.1 on my Treo Pro?
Thanks for any help.

by Peter | Sep 17, 2011 12:08:24 AM

To conference call I select "add call" under menu get a screen with no option to go to contacts or does dialing another call connect to the 2nd call. How does conference calling work on this phone. My manual refers to "hold" button that doesn't exist. Also palm.com/chat instructs to use the multiple send tactic. Doesn't work either. The send button on the Treo just turns the speaker on and off. Help!

by Peter | Sep 17, 2011 2:10:04 PM

Actually, I resolved the issue. No problem with the phone. My carrier, Pageplus, had not enabled the conference calling feature yet.

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