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.
Good, 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.