‘Tis the season of the smart phone and this season black is very much the new, er, black. Just as RIM gets ready to launch the slick BlackBerry Bold, Palm is in there first with the Treo Pro – another beautifully redesigned handset with big colour screen, wireless connectivity and slick piano black finish and ergonomic curves.
However, the Palm Treo Pro, which will be available from O2 and Vodafone shops from next week, is not just selling itself on its looks – it is Palm’s most robust smart phone to date from the point of view of the IT manager.
According to Kieran O’Toole, sales and business development manager for Palm Ireland, the Treo Pro runs on the latest Windows Mobile 6.1, which boasts more remote device management with the Microsoft System Centre Mobile Device Manager 2008.
An IT manager can switch on the camera or disable wireless remotely like they would with a desktop on the network.
This is the first smart phone on offer from O2 and Vodafone running on Windows Mobile 6.1 and new changes since the last OS make for a more power efficient device that lasts the entire business day. In fact, it claims to be 20pc more power efficient with a 400Mhz processor (the last was 35Mhz) and the battery has jumped 25pc in power also.
Interestingly, this new Palm device, which is the successor to the Treo 750, does not come with any set-up manuals or CDs because the company is aiming to eliminate these extras with a quick set-up process via syncing with a PC – a process the firm is currently patenting.
While the onboard camera is only two-megapixels, O’Toole said that this is not the point: “By the time we bring out a five-megapixel Nokia will be up to 20 but this was never the point of the Treo, which focuses on the business users requirements.”
These business additions include the ability to add one push email account and up to four POP/IMAP accounts, as well as a handy new Wi-Fi button for instantly scanning and connecting to trusted Wi-Fi connections.
The 320 by 320 screen is an improvement on the previous 240 by 240 and is transreflective for reading test in bright sunlight (not that we will be able to test that particular feature in Ireland any time soon).
Silicon Republic’s first look at the Pal Treo found it easy to set-up and sync with Outlook and all files and documents on your PC but we’re looking forward to the Palm Treo Pro’s Garmin GPS kit, which will be out in a couple of months time.
It also synced easily with all multimedia content in Windows Media Player but the real test will be when we go digging for third-party applications and see how its web browser fares.
The price point will depend on the individual network but O’Toole said the RRP for the SIM-free version from the Palm website is €499, while it should be priced anywhere from between €200 and €250 in the shops, depending on the operator’s price plans.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: the Palm Treo Pro