15 days with the Treo 680 smartphone

I’ve been asked to review the Palm Treo 680. I got the unit yesterday from Microwarehouse and I’ll be testing it until I return the unit in the first week of February.

An official from Microwarehouse approached our executive editor weeks back asking her whether I would accept requests for reviews. Let me just spell it out here. I love trying gadgets and would be happy to review products provided that you give me enough time to tinker with it. Microwarehouse lent me the unit for 15 days.

Microwarehouse didn’t provide any restrictions. I asked whether I’d be allowed to install applications to really test the unit and they said yes. And what’s even better, Microwarehouse did not call me (we never even talked, they arranged it with my editor) to ask questions or offer “suggestions” about the article.

treo 680 TEST UNIT. The Palm Treo 680 I will be testing in the next 15 days. Click on photo to enlarge.

At the outset, let me just say that I am a Sony Ericsson fan boy. I’ve been using Sony Ericsson phones for years and love the way its units work and how you can use third party applications (even open source ones) with it. For me, mobility bliss is Sony Ericsson plus Float’s Mobile Agent-now there’s a lethal getting things done combination.

I still haven’t done anything with the unit except to install the battery and my son’s Globe SIM card and charge the phone. But let me just say that as things stand right now, it is a unit I wouldn’t buy. I mean, if you have P30,000 to spend for a phone, do you honestly include a Palm product among your options? With me, there’s no question, I’d go to a Sony Ericsson shop.

But let’s see whether I’d have a change of heart after days of using the Treo.

I have this presumption that the Treo, being a Palm product, would do well in its planner and personal digital assistant (PDA) capabilities. I also have this sneaking suspicion that it won’t do as well in mobile phone features as the units of traditional phone manufacturers like Nokia, Sony Ericsson or Samsung. I also have this presumption that the phone would do well for business executive types on the go but not as well with regular consumers who just want a multi-media phone.

The review also comes at a time when the bar for what is a cool mobile phone has been raised way, way higher (personally at least) with the introduction of the iPhone. But let’s see in the next few days.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.