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One of its kind
Aug 13, 2004 04:00 AM 5013 Views
(Updated Aug 13, 2004 04:06 AM)

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It has been almost a month since I obtained my latest toy – the Treo 600 Smartphone (from Handspring). And I am loving every minute of it.


What is a smart phone?


Basically it combines a PDA (personal digital assistant) with a cell phone. All the addresses and phone numbers can be kept up-to-date and you can dial anyone of your contacts with one key stroke.


The Treo 600 is a “smarter phone” since it is more than a PDA and cell phone combo. You can access email from any where, surf the net and to top it all, it has a digital camera – click and send it as an email attachment.


Overview of features / functionality


# The Treo 600 is compact and is about 10 cms long, 6 cms wide and 2 cms thick. It conveniently fits into your pocket or hand bag. It weights only 150 gms.


# The screen is LCD (liquid crystal display) which is touch sensitive and comes with an attached stylus – though I am lazy to use the stylus – I use my fingers.


# There is a fully functional key board with ergonomically designed keys – even though the keys look small – they are easy to operate and one can type in long text effortlessly.


# The battery is rechargeable and lasts about 6-10 hours. Personally I charge it every night – just to be on the safe side.


# It has a speakerphone – very convenient if you want to use your hands for something else (guys , guys, behave – get rid of those dirty thoughts).


# The operating system is PalmOS. For the technically challenged – PalmOS is a popular operating system for hand held devices and there are several third parties who make software and games based on this OS.


# The contact information (address, phone number) can be entered on your desktop / laptop and the Treo 600 can be synched regularly. The same synching can be done for your appointments since there is an easy interface to MS Outlook.


# The built-in camera is easy to operate – it is 0.3 pixles and just point and click and store the images.


Other features include having a to-do list, a memo pad for writing small notes, a sophisticated calculator and a world clock with alarm features.


It also has expansion memory slots and can be used for listening to MP3 files – I have not yet tried that option.


The operating manual is self explanatory.


What I like and How I use my Treo


# All my contacts are created on my laptop and synchronized with the Treo. This ensures that I have a back up copy of all my contacts – better safe than sorry.


# All my daily appointment are synched with MS Outlook – the advantage being for conference calls with a bridge number – I can dial the number directly and do not have to note it down separately.


# The last 1000 calls are stored in a call log. This helps in going back and retrieving any phone number in case you have forgotten to jot it down,


# The voice mail feature is easy to use and prompts for options in order to maintain the mail box – like deleting messages, changing the greetings etc.


# It comes both with a ringer and vibrator mode (again – please get rid of those dirty thoughts). The silent mode is useful if you are in a meeting or in a noisy environment.


# It has an automatic key guard feature – prevents accidental pressing of keys.


# There is a “favorites” screen – where all the frequently used phone numbers can be listed so that it is like speed dial.


Sitting at airports – one can play games like solitaire and tetris. I also browse the net – especially the news – it is fast and a nice way to keep up to date. There is a feature about e-books – one can download them on the phone - have not yet used that feature.


Initially I was very excited about the email facility – in the middle of the night, the Treo would buzz announcing that I have an email. That is when I realized that no email is worth a good nights sleep. Now the emails too go to sleep.


It costs $ 500 and I think it is value for money. It is definitely better than the pocket PC’s.


What it is not and I wish it were


With so many features packed into a tiny device, I wish the next release has the following (there is no harm in dreaming):


# Wife / Boss mood indicator – especially some kind of a signal about when to keep your mouth shut (sounds familiar ? ) or when to notice something.


# X-Ray vision – every male childs’ fantasy to see through clothes.


If I think hard enough, I am sure I will come up with some more – what is your wish list?


I am extremely pleased with this gizmo – and as of now it has no competition in the marketplace – it is one of its kind. I would highly recommend this smart phone.


Happy talking, clicking and wishful thinking.


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