Palm Treo Pro CDMA Review
Palm is bringing a new device to Sprint, have you heard? It’s sleek and sexy and a big departure from their previous designs. No, it’s not the Pre (that’s coming too), it’s the Treo Pro. We first saw the Pro a few months back in GSM garb, and honestly not much has changed. The Sprint version has all the great features of the original, but obviously swaps the GSM radio for a CDMA one. It retains Wi-Fi and has EVDO Rev. A for 3G cellular connectivity. Other features include GPS, a full QWERTY keyboard and Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.
Included in the box you will find:
- Li-Ion battery
- AC Adapter
- USB data cable
- Stereo headset
The CDMA Pro is identical in design to its GSM forerunner. The face is much sleeker than any Treo we’ve seen before, with curvy lines and flush navigation buttons. The keys are the same as on the Centro, though with a little more spacing since the phone is wider.
The Treo Pro does not abandon its roots altogether though, and the overall design is the same as any other Treo out there: display on top, cluster of navigational and shortcut buttons in the middle and QWERTY keyboard below. The 2.5” sits flush with the housing, a departure from previous Palm devices that makes the touchscreen easier to use. It measures in at 320x320 pixels and as a Windows Mobile device is only 65k colors. It’s a good display, but not great. We had no problems reading it any lighting condition, but like we’ve seen on past Motorola screens the colors seemed just a bit washed out and they aren’t as vibrant as panels we’ve seen from HTC and Samsung, even though HTC manufactures the Treo Pro.
You can compare the Palm Treo Pro CDMA with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
d-pad is a silver ring, and in the middle is a black bubble button with a silver Palm logo. It is easy to use and navigate with. The shortcut keys are pre-programmed to Start Menu, OK, Messaging and Calendar, but are customizable in the settings menu. They also are flush and seamless with the glossy black housing, which is a large part of what gives the Pro its modern appearance. The Send and End keys are simply small black circles, rounded and raised with an LED-lit green and red ring around them respectively. They are visually separated from the rest of the cluster by an hourglass-curved line. Again, small design touches that make a world of difference.
The keyboard is virtually the same as the Centro, though there are a few small differences. Since the Pro is wider, the far left and right columns of keys are as big as the rest, not tapered like the Centro. There is also the slightest amount of extra spacing between the keys, making a fairly good keyboard better. It’s still no BlackBerry, but the slight grippiness of the keys prevents your finger sliding off and pressing two at once. Unfortunately they are not super grippy like the refreshed Centro. They feel much cushier than the hard plastic keypads of previous Treos, which we appreciate. The travel is good and there is no doubt that the key has been pressed.
The side buttons are sleek and well designed; there is no missing them but they blend into the body’s minimalist design well. The volume rocker sits on the top left, and below it is the camera key which has to be held to activate. The right side has a flush Wi-Fi on/off button towards the bottom, sitting above the IR port. The keys on the left side offer reassurance when pressed, but the Wi-Fi switch has no tactile feedback. When we pressed it worked, but we only knew so because of the onscreen confirmation.
The top of the phone has a power button to the left and sliding silence switch to the right. The power key is flush like the Wi-Fi switch, but easy to press like the left side buttons. The bottom houses the microUSB charging/data port and 3.5mm headphone jack.
back of the Pro would probably fit perfectly on the iPhone 3G, assuming it had a removable door. The Pro shares the same fingerprint magnet glossy black finish and soft rounding at the corners and edges that make it comfortable to hold. Unfortunately it also shares the tendency to scratch when breathed on, and even the most OCD user will notice light scratches after just a few minutes of use. Under the door is the microSD expansion slot.
[img right [] /]The 2-megapixel camera is situated in the middle near the top, and directly to the left is a vertical speaker on the edge. The stylus is tucked away tightly into the bottom left corner. Thankfully Palm has moved back to metal after using a cheap plastic one on the 800w.
The Treo Pro feels good in the hand, reminiscent of the iPhone. It’s slightly narrower, which we always prefer, but overall the dimensions are very similar and the rounded backing makes the depth deceptive. The weighting is good; the Pro is solid without being heavy. Where the Centro was an evolutionary departure from the norm, the Pro is a gigantic leap forward in the design of Palm devices and bridges the gap between the Treo and Pre.