Palm Treo Pro
Palm essentially invented the smartphone category and, despite the mindshare other manufacturers may have, continues to innovate in this space. The new Treo Pro is an excellent example of this, starting with the unusual, angled box the Pro comes in.
No CD is included or needed; simply connect the Pro to your computer and it appears as if it were a small USB drive, containing all the software and manuals.
Useful features abound, including a one-touch Wi-Fi button, the ability to search directly from the Today screen, a screen saver that displays the time, new messages, and missed calls, and dedicated e-mail and calendar buttons. The Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and opening and moving between applications is quick and easy.
The Pro sports an Obsidian black high-gloss case that’s unfortunately a fingerprint magnet; I preferred the soft-touch finish of recent generation Treos for this very reason. I also preferred the keyboard from the Treo 800w, as the Pro’s keyboard has a less precise feel to it.
In daily use, the Pro has excellent battery life, Wi-Fi is easy to manage, the GPS works well. It is relatively light for a smartphone and easy to carry.. The display is super sharp. The Treo Pro is unlocked out of the box, which means that it will accept any active SIM and works anywhere there is GSM coverage (a Sprint CDMA version was recently announced). Business travelers can save on international roaming charges by using a local SIM card anywhere in the world. If you are looking for a Windows Mobile phone, the combination of elegant design, above average functionality, and excellent performance make it worthy of consideration.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.