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    Handspring Treo 180
    Author: Drew Lanclos
    Date Posted: June 19th, 2002
    SLRating: SLRating: 8/10
    Bottom Line: A thorough mix of genius and asinine design decisions if there ever were one. It's sleek and lightweight, but Kyocera owners don't have anything to worry about...yet.

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    So, here's where the real meat and potatoes of the phone are. Any schmuck with venture capital and Krazy Glue can put a cellphone and a Palm together. It takes real genius to make it work sensibly and functionally. And this is the department where the Treo really shines. If it seems like I've been harsh on the Treo up until now, don't worry…It's relatively smooth sailing from here.

    For starters, Handspring's traditional Address Book+ is back, but now under the guise of Phone Book+, certainly more appropriate for the phone. Handspring revamped the contact display modes to allow for easier viewing depending on what kind of info you're looking for. For instance, if you're trying to scan for someone's phone number, there's a mode that shows strictly phone numbers in a condensed view, while another mode is available which displays the default contact mode, be it e-mail or an office phone number or whathaveyou. Also, unlike the Kyocera, if you click on a contact's phone number, the phone confirms that you want to dial it, instead of simply plowing on along. I find this to be useful, as I was always accidentally dialing people on the Kyocera. Also, you can add new Phone Book+ entries directly from the Call Log, and it will fill in automatically the information that was transmitted with the call. Very convenient. Phone Book+ also acts as the dialer application, which includes an onscreen dialpad if you wish to use your stylus. One critical feature it seemed to lack was a redial button, though.

    With the advent of SIM cards, portability between devices is now quite a bit simpler. The Treo includes some good SIM management tools that allow you to migrate phone numbers between the phone and your SIM card, in case you're getting the Treo as a replacement or substitution for your old phone. Given the current market situation, this is a good thing, but ideally in the future it'd be nice if contact information besides the name and phone number could be stored in a SIM. This isn't Handspring's fault, of course, but it limits the SIM functionality quite a bit, to the point where it's only useful if you're upgrading phones - It won't help you move from the Treo to a newer phone, other than transferring your basic account settings. Also, the SIM tool needs multiple-item selection capability so that I can move all or a group of contacts at once. As it was, copying phone numbers to the SIM card got to be rather tedious, and I only moved about 30 of the 200 or so that I have.

    The Treo also supports the booming SMS feature. Truth be told, I know plenty about SMS, but I didn't get to use it much in practice, since I don't know anyone with an SMS-capable phone (other than myself with the Kyocera, anyway). I know how popular SMS is, especially in the UK. This is one area where the typing speed of the keyboard is definitely a boon, though even Graffiti is faster than using the triple-punch telephony buttons on your run-of-the-mill Nokia 6161 or whatnot. I did get a little bit of experience with SMS during my time with the Treo, though - I got woken up twice by late-night SMS spam messages.

    The real draw of the Treo 180, however, is its wireless Internet access.

    Wireless Internet Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. Features
    3. Keyboard
    4. Hardware
    5. Software
    6. Wireless Internet
    7. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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