Palm Treo Pro

In the light of recent stiff competition, can Palm’s latest do enough to keep business users interested?

An issue that plagued the Centro was the size of the physical keys and though it's improved, the problem remains for all but the daintiest of hands. As outlined above, however, the slick touch screen interface somewhat sweetens any bitterness business users may have about key sizing.

The display could be described as good enough', though the 320 x 320 resolution is nothing to write home about. We put the handset through its paces on both a sunny day and a conversely dark and miserable morning and we were pleased to say that the screen dealt with both conditions admirably.

A convenient feature is a top mounted silent mode shortcut switch, avoiding the desperate phone-into-the-bag scrabble when it goes off unexpectedly.

Battery life is always an issue with Windows Mobile devices, and Palm has clearly concerned about this. The screen saving mode kicks in relatively quickly and missed calls and messages are displayed without having to unlock or press the screen. This will come in handy for keeping an eye on your phone for important calls during a business meeting without giving the other attendees the impression that they have anything other than your undivided attention.

Browsing the web is a pleasant experience thanks to HSDPA connectivity, and GPS plus the Webraska navigation software will help point you in the right direction for business meetings, though disappointingly it's only a trial version. There's also a handy Wi-Fi shortcut button, which found and connected to our wireless network quickly and easily.

It'll hook up to your corporate Exchange mail server so you can never been parted from your emails and it's standard OS will no doubt please the IT department when it comes to any support issues you may have going forward. The Pro also supports POP3 and IMAP email accounts.

Furthermore, the nifty little handset can also be used as a modem to support web browsing and access on a larger screen device like your laptop. Just make sure you watch your data consumption levels particularly if you're abroad.

The two-megapixel camera is not going to win any camera innovation awards but, let's face it, if you're travelling somewhere on business, you're unlikely to have time to take that many snaps.

Verdict

The Palm Treo Pro shows that, given the right TLC, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional can be a powerful business tool. However, with its average battery life and small keyboard there’s little incentive to ditch your iPhone, E71 or Blackberry Bold.

Processor: 400MHz processor

Memory: 128MB SDRAM, 100MB ROM

Display: 2.5in 320 x 320 touchscreen

Connectivity: Bluetooth, quad-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, 802.11bg WLAN, GPS

Camera: 2-Megapixels

Ports: 3.5mm audio out

Battery: 1,500mAh li-polymer battery

OS: Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional,

Dimensions (W x D x H): 114 x 13 x 60mm

Weight: 133g

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