Thursday, April 19, 2007

The hunt is over...for now

I haven't mentioned my hunt for a replacement cellphone for a while.
This is because it ended prematurely (before my contract was even up). As I mentioned in "Cellphone Research Resumed" , I had seen a Verizon Treo 650 on sale. Anyway, after comparing the Treo 650 with the Motorola Q, and finding to my surprise that the Treo is actually slightly smaller than the Q in height and width (but obviously not depth) and reading numerous bad user reviews of the Q; namely about the poor battery life and slow data entry, I decided to give the Treo 650 a try. Since I would not be signing up for a new contract and could "simply" switch from my existing phone to the Treo 650, for not much more than I would pay for the Q with a one year contract, I figured it would be worthwhile. It may seem risky to buy online from someone advertising on a user forum, but after reading their posts on the forum, as well as a number of email exchanges I felt I could trust him, and bought the Treo. After paying for it on the Saturday I received it the following Wednesday, in its original box with the original accessories and a Vaja (expensive leather) holster.

The now defunct "Mobile" magazine referred to the Treo 650 as being so much better than the Treo 600 that it was "like comparing a sports car to a melon cart". There are a number of reviews comparing the two phones here and here, but since I still have my old Treo 600, I'll mention a few points.
First, two standard phone buttons (Send and End) have been added to the keypad, which also has been rearranged slightly so some of the buttons are more logically placed.

The 650 was the first Treo with a "user replaceable" battery - the back opens like a normal cellphone and the battery can be swapped out.
As a result of having this "user replaceable" battery it meant the 650 could not have volatile flash memory like the Treo 600 but used Palms new NVFS (Non-Volatile File System), a major hardware change - the battery could run down (or be removed) and the data wouldn't be lost. The touchscreen had been upgraded to 16-bit (65K colors) 320x320 pixels, a major improvement over (less than 4096 colors) 160x160 pixel screen. The processor was upgraded to 312MHz (from 144-MHz), making the performance quite zippy. The only downside was that the new NVFS (Non-Volatile File System) required more space to store the same amount of files, so although the available memory was appeared the same it was actually less than the 650.

The 650 also has bluetooth, so I can finally use the bluetooth headset I got with my RAZR.

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