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The palm treo 500 is like the cheaper alternative to a blackberry without the blackberry associated problems. The treo is running on windows mobile operating system which is brilliant for syncing with your windows pc with a simple and easy to use piece of software.
The home screen of the treo is busy with icons which is quite daunting to experienced users never mind new users, I sometimes still sit there scratching my head thinking to myself "where on earth did I find that last time?" as it seams that the menus lead to menus which lead to further menus and you feel yourself wanting to write the menu route down in hope that you'll be able to find what you are looking for next time. Then when i have found what I am looking for you find your self surprised of the non-logical location that you found it in.
I even found that locating punctuation difficult whilst typing out a text message. There is a particularly useful predictive text with the messaging that remembers any previous words and phrases that you have typed in, so as you are typing away words in a list keep popping up as the phone guesses what you are going to write, it even try to guess what word you are going to type next impressive I thought very handy for speeding up the process.
I did find a few things disappointing with this phone particularly the camera quality, the pictures that it produced were very dark and fuzzy, a flash on the camera would definitely be an improvement the phone.
After the long period of time that I have had the phone I am yet to find a "delete all" option in the text message settings meaning that it becomes a very boring and tedious job when deleting large volumes of text messages.
I found battery life to be a big problem I very often would carry the charger around with me to keep it alive, the battery was greatly affected by the use of any features particularly as they would continue to run in the background until they were shut using task manager, very awkward I found when even just simply looking at a text message or going into contacts to make a phone call.
Having used both the Treo 650 and 750 i was quite dissapointed when i recieved a Treo 500 device on trial. Initial thoughts about the device were that it looked quite cheaply made and didnt feel to comfortable in your hand. It uses the same windows platform as both the Treo and 650 and 750 which i cannot fault for ease of use and realiability however it think that this handset lets the range down. Since having the Trial device i have had to send two of these Treo 500's back due to them being faulty. The device also doesnt benefit from a touch screen like the previous devices making it more focused to making calls than being a email device. That said the device does benefit from a range of useful features including mobile office, bluetooth and a camera. So for the price of this device it does do the same as the Treo 650 and 750 all being not quite as well or easy to use.
We have had the palm treo for around 3 months now as part of a contract with o2. we originally wanted the xda orbit 2 but would have had to pay £100 on the £35 cotract. the palm treo 500 was free and the contract included a free of charge unlimeted web bolt on so we can browse and download as much as we like without worrying about charges. the handset itself is very light and easy to use. the buttons are a little small and did take my partner some time to get used to and they can be a little stiff. the handset takes a while to get used to all of the features but this isnt really a bad thing, its just that the handset has a lot to offer. the camera is only 2 mega pixels but is great. it takes some lovely pistures and they can be cropped, the contract can be adjusted and it has a zoom function. the large screen is great for browsing the internet and is great for things like face book and my space. it is easy to download pictures form the internet to use as screen savers so this can save some money. texting is easy due to the full qwerty key board an you can save email addresses and windows live messenger ID's in your contacts which comes in ver handy. the battery life is not the best as the handset normally needs charging after a day or so but this is to be expected from a handset that does so much. this is a great way of having all the features of an n95 or xda orbit, at half the price or even free on an 18 month contract.