Palm Treo Pro
An elegant new and unlocked Windows Mobile 6.1-based Treo
Assembled and edited by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer
On August 20, 2008, Palm introduced the Treo Pro, a smartphone for businesses that seek to simplify their IT infrastructures and reduce costs, and for users who want to stay on top of their professional and personal lives. With its streamlined design and Palm shortcuts layered on top of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the Treo Pro, powered by a 400MHz Qualcomm MSM7201 processor, combines sleek simplicity and robust productivity -- including email, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities -- that meet the needs of businesses and end users alike. The Treo Pro will be available from Vodafone and O2 in Europe, from Telstra in Australia, and also in an unlocked version in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Tech specs show a 320 x 320 pixel transflective touchscreen, 802.11b/g WiFi, built-in GPS, a 2-megapixel camera with 8X digital zoom and video capabilities, and a microSDHC slot that supports up to 32GB of memory. There's 128MB of RAM and 256MB ofmemory of which about 100MB are available to users. the 1,500mAH battery is good for up to five hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby.
On the voice/data/phone side, the Treo Pro supports HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM (tri-band UMTS - 850MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz, and quad-band GSM - 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz). There is also Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). MicroUSB is used for synchronization and charging.
The new Treo measures 4.5 x 2.36 inches and is just over half an inch thick. That makes it a bit larger than the recently introduced Treo 800w, but a bit thinner and, at 4.7 ounces, lighter. Elegantly finished in obsidian black, the Treo Pro, to my eye, looks sleeker and more modern than the 800w.
Here's Palm's pitch: "Businesses want the control and savings that Windows Mobile affords, in an innovative and elegant package that keeps their users happy. That's where Palm comes in," said Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer, Palm, Inc. "Everything about Treo Pro -- from the hardware design to the packaging and accessories - embodies the elegant and simplified end-to-end experience that our customers expect from Palm."
Being a Windows Mobile device, the Treo Pro makes it easier for IT managers to support an increasingly mobile work force at a resonable cost, and the increased security, easier device management and access to information on the corporate network that Windows Mobile 6.1 provides certainly comes in handy.
Palm points out in no uncertain terms that the Treo Pro is more than just another Windows Mobile smartphone. The "Palm Experience" added to Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional includes:
- One-touch Wi-Fi button for an easy, fast Wi-Fi connection experience.
- Today screen enhancements with wWeb search directly from the Today screen.
- A ringer switch that silences the device immediately.
- A screen saver that always shows time, missed calls, and new SMS/MMS messages.
- A voicemail indicator; a flashing center button indicates a new voicemail.
- Dedicated email and calendar buttons.
Lower Costs, Increased Productivity
The idea is that with the Treo Pro, businesses can quickly and easily deploy a secure, low-cost and compatible smartphone infrastructure for their mobile workforce by taking advantage of a tightly integrated Palm and Windows Mobile 6.1 solution, including:
- Microsoft Direct Push Technology with direct connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP2 or 2007 gives users up-to-date email, contacts and calendars.
- Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 provides increased security, easier smartphone management, and access to information on the corporate network. IT professionals can confidently manage large Treo Pro deployments.
- There are 1000s of apps available for Windows Mobile so businesses can extend mobility beyond email to optimize business processes.
- The Treo Pro is a world phone ideal for companies with an international work force.
- Integrated GPS lets users can access maps, turn-by-turn directions and point-of-interest searches.
- Palm shortcuts and one-button access to important functions means less training and support is necessary.
- The familiar Windows experience provides the warm fuzzies when web browsing, viewing and editing Word and Excel compatible files, reviewing PowerPoint presentations and PDF files, and opening ZIP files remotely.
Pricing and Availability
The Palm Treo Pro will be available in the United States in the fall through the Palm online store (http://www.palm.com/store) and select Internet, retail and enterprise resellers for a suggested retail price of US$549. The U.S. version is unlocked and unsubsidized, giving end users the flexibility to simply insert their existing active SIM card and immediately start using their Treo Pro without a new contract.
-- Conrad Blickenstorfer