Palm Treo Pro: A sweet Windows smartphone

Review: If you're partial to Windows Mobile, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than the new Treo Pro from Palm

The BlackBerry, iPhone, and T-Mobile G1 may be the kings of smartphone cool, but if you ask me, they all share one big shortcoming: They don't run Windows Mobile.

I know that statement puts me in a distinct minority. But I love the way Windows Mobile supports push e-mail from Microsoft Exchange Server and easily syncs with Outlook. Not to mention several other business-friendly features the competition lacks -- including VPN software and the ability to view and edit Microsoft Office documents.

The Palm Treo Pro -- an unlocked, quad-band, Windows Mobile 6.1 device with a physical QWERTY keyboard and 2.5-inch, 320-by-320-pixel display -- isn't the first Windows Mobile handset by Palm. Some models in the 700 and 750 series also run the Microsoft OS. But the HTC-manufactured Pro is the smallest Treo (0.7 ounce less than the HP iPaq 910c). Most important, it overcomes a number of hardware and software problems that plagued earlier Palm designs.

The lean Treo Pro -- with its rounded edges and recessed screen -- has a modern look. It fits comfortably in your hand, and I think the ergonomics are a bit better than the iPaq 910c's. For a size comparison, it has about the same footprint as the iPhone and is just slightly more petite than the BlackBerry Bold. Although the Pro's case is plastic, the build quality is very good. My biggest gripe is the shiny black surface, which really shows fingerprints and scratches easily.


For a look at other hot smartphones, see a review of the T-Mobile G1, and a review of iPhone 3G. For tips on bringing the iPhone into the office, read "How to make the new iPhone work at work."

Unlike similar devices, where configuration changes require an excursion into the operating system, Palm's hardware gives you quick access to a number of common functions. For example, around the case's edge are dedicated buttons for power, wireless connection, and volume -- plus a ring silencer and a camera. On the bottom, there's a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB connector. Front-mounted buttons provide quick access to e-mail, calendar, and Windows menus.

The keyboard is a little cramped, and the keys will be too recessed for some. But with my medium-sized hands, I had no problems typing accurately. That said, it's not on par with BlackBerry keyboards or the Palm Treo 750's keyboard. Of course, you also can interact with applications using Window Mobile's on-screen keyboard or via the Pro's five-way navigation wheel. One nice touch: Besides functioning as a Select key, the center of the navigation wheel softly blinks white when you have a message waiting.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Palm Treo Prosmartphones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Heck

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?