Treo Pro Second Look: Good Makes It Better

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 12, 2008

When I took a look at Palm’s new Treo Pro in a column, my enthusiasm for the sleek hardware design was restrained by general unhappiness with the Windows Mobile 6.1 software. Since then, I have loaded the Treo Pro with the BlackBerry-like Good Mobile Messaging software I use to get email, contacts, and calendar updates from my Microsoft Exchange server. What a difference some software makes.

treo_pro.jpgGood, a unit of Motorola, provides a consistent and easy-to-use interface across a variety of smartphones. In particular, it replaces the clunky WinMo mail, contact, and calendar programs with its own friendlier and better integrated versions.

So far, I like it better than the Motorola Q9h that is has, at least for the time being, replaced. I miss the Q’s dedicated Contacts button and longer battery life (with the big, fat extended-life battery.) But the Palm’s battery life is good enough to get through a long day with heavy mail use and unlike the Q, it does not require rebooting several times a day to maintain proper contact with the data network and the Good server. Its easy automatic screen and button lock avoids the pocket dialing that has been a constant problem with the Q. And the Opera Mobile browser that both the Q and Treo share works better with the Treo’s touch screen.

The big problem with the Treo is that at an unlocked, unsubsidized $550, it’s just too expensive if if not being bought for you by an employer who can negotiate the price down. There’s some hope, though, that AT&T will eventually pick it up and offer it at a substantially lower the price with a contract.

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Reader Comments

yz426rider

September 15, 2008 04:47 PM

Mobile devices are at their best when the interface design puts the user first. I've tried several email clients and find that the Good interface is by far the best user experience I've had to date. I'm on a Q and my son is on a Treo and I wish I had his device too!

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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