Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Upgraded to Treo 680

Since my old Treo 600 showed signs of truly giving up the ghost, I finally arranged for a friend who was flying in from Singapore to pick up a Treo 680 (unlocked, GSM) for me.

After using it for three days, I'm ready at last to post my initial impressions.

Things that I Liked
Especially in comparison to the Treo 600

  • Physically
    • Fantastic screen resolution (!!!)
    • No antenna
    • Lighter and slightly slimmer unit
    • Removable battery
  • Photos and Videos
    • Can record video (new)
    • Little portrait mirror next to camera lens (new)
    • Photo viewer / slideshow is very friendly
    • Can take photos at 2x zoom
  • Contacts
    • Can add photo or image for each contact (new)
    • Can specify ringtone for each contact (new)
  • Calendar
    • Can now categorize calendar entries (new)
    • Can now beam all calendar entries belonging to one category to another phone (instead of beaming per item, new)
    • Today's Agenda view (new)
    • Year view (new)
  • Messaging
    • Very clean integration of SMS and MMS features
    • Can delete single message from within a chat thread (new)
    • Can force messages to thread even if I haven't replied to a message (new)
    • Can save messages to a Saved Folder (new)
    • New sent folder provides easy access to my messages outside of chat threads
    • Auto-select messages in a chat thread as you scroll down (new)
    • MMSes with long subject names are delivered without errors
  • Web and Email
    • Blazer web browser lets me disable CSS and not display images
    • Gmail configuration is pre-built in, no need to set up POP and SMTP
  • New: Voice Recorder feature
    • Fantastic sound quality and playback volume
    • Great microphone sensitivity
  • Network
    • Bluetooth now available
What I Didn't Like:
  • Physically
    • Back cover has a slightly clunky feel, as does the side cover for the SD card
    • Have to remove battery to get to the SIM card (not so with the Treo 600)
    • Positions of buttons have been moved around and require some adjustment
  • Photos and Videos
    • No improvement in camera resolution. Still at VGA
    • Camera battery drain problem requires the installation of a software patch
  • Web and Email
    • Command to disconnect from the GRPS network used to be available from within the browser. Now it's only available in Network settings; requires extra navigation
  • Network
    • Still no wi-fi
Also, in the course of playing around with this unit, I learned about a few Treo features that were available even with the Treo 600, but which I had not used before:
  • You can beam your entire contact list from one Treo to another
  • You can beam only contacts belonging to one particular category
  • You can beam all your memos from one Treo to another
  • You can beam only memos of a particular category
  • You can use MMS to send an email
Overall, I'm incredibly happy with this upgrade, and in fact find myself wondering why I waited this long to switch!

Obviously, the Treo 680 is nowhere near as sexy as an iPhone, but since I'm very risk averse (i.e., I don't want to deal with a hacked phone) and I don't want to deal with the headaches of migrating data from one type of phone to another, the Treo 680 is just right for me.