* Prices may differ from that shown
Out of curiosity I looked up the price of one sof these bad boys on ebay - new, you can get it for around £30 - bargain.
The phone itself~ is actually really bulky. This is one of the main disavantages. It doesn't quite fit easily in your pocket. The aerial is also quite awkward, and can often poke you in the hip - not fun.
Ease of use~
Palm OS is one of the best possible OS's for smartphones. Set up is incredibly simple - you merely set the time, the country and calibrate the touchscreen. Et voila! The menu is also incredibly easy to use, as you can repeatedly click the home button to display specific programs, which cuts down a lot of time. All of the inbuilt Palm apps also have a help section, so you can't ever get stuck.
Typing is quite annoying for people who have larger thumbs, however it is a large improvement on its predecessor, as the keypad is curved to ensure the buttons are a big enough size.
The treo has bluetooth, infrared and usb capabilities. The bluetooth is simple to use and has a good range. THe infrared is a bit frustrating, but thats merely becase infrared is unreliable. One of its huge downfalls though is the lack of wifi, however most would take out an internet package with their service provider.
You're also provided with a usb cable, in order to hook up the palm to a computer, where there are several programs which can be used.
The camera is okay - it's VGA but it works for snapshots. It is also capable of recording video too, which looks really quite good.
BAttery life depends on how much you use your phone - if I watch a film on it i find it only lasts for several hours. If I barely touch it, it can do 2 days.
The touchscreen is responsive to stylus movements - not so much for your thumb but it can work.
Other features~ Endless. There are many awesome apps which can turn you phone into a specific format player. TCPMP is an excellent piece of freeware which allows you to play all kinds of video formats. The treo version has a video player built in, and this is the only player that allows for storage on the phone - the rest have to played from a memory card.
Other excellent apps include Pocketunes - an mp3 player for the palm, and there are many downloadable skins to jazz it up. Which brings me to my main point.
Software~ Palm OS software has been around for a long time, and there are such a variety of freeware and paid software it is remarkable. Some allow the phone to be used as a plug and play device into the comuter. Some software allows you to decide where audio exits from, other apps can make the physical buttons do anything you wish. THe Versamail programs allows you to effortlessly get you emails, and will even guide you through it if you want.
There is even software which utilises the infrared, and uses it to send out the same signals as a tv remote control. If theres ever something on in a bar that you dont want to watch, you can just flick it over.
The variety is truly awesome.
I really do think the world of this phone - it is by no means the prettiest of phones, but it does everything I can ask of it (if I can find a program). It's almost saddening that palm is turning to windows mobile for its software provider. It never let me down, and I see no reason why it should let you down.
This is a great little smartphone. It's more like a pebble than a jewel like what the iPhone is, but with it's Palm OS you have ten years worth of software available, from Tom Tom navigator and GPS logging software(requires a bluetooth GPS unit) astronomy software, through a huge number of ebook and document readers, learning programmes like supermemo, language and reference dictionaries, electronic reference, medical reference, the value for money of the old Palm O/S device (over buying every thing new for the shiny iPhone and Palm's new WebOS) is considerable. And games, games, games, and most all of it is on bittorrent. This smartphone is my second brain. Oh, it does the usual PDA stuff as well, calendar, appoinments, to do, tasks, address book stuff. The keyboard is great for texting, I'd never go back to T9 predictive text on an ordinary phone. URGH! It has sepearate chips for PDA and phone capabilities.
It can handle up to a 2GB SD card which means you can put a fair whack of your favourite MP3s. I actually put my language aural/oral exercises on it and listen to them on a bluetooth headset whielI'm cycling.
The only drawback is that Palm was forced by its telecommunications partners to basically cripple its on-board support for wifi cards. This was so that you would use the telco's data rates for email and surfing rather than the wifi hotspot at the cafe. Curiously Palm's later Treo which ran Windoze mobile were not so crippled. A case of a greater evil empire telling the evil telcos to go jump. (there is a third party sled which can help but is exy)