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Treo PCS vs GSM

Wed Feb 16, 2005 - 9:45 PM EST - By James Hromadka

Only Minor Differences

Since I was out last week skiing, I had to wait a few extra days to get in the GSM Treo 650. I had been really looking forward to its release, as I am a T-Mobile user and wanted to be able to stop using the Treo 600 as my fulltime phone.

So I just got the unlocked GSM Treo 650 in today and wanted to compare it with the Sprint PCS version of the Treo 650. I expected to find some subtle differences between the two models and did find some nice changes that PalmOne has made.

Physically, the models look the same. The PCS version is cobalt blue, while the GSM version is a dark silver. Because PalmOne left the buttons, faceplate, and side trim the same, the color difference is not as noticeable as one would think. I weighed both devices and found the GSM model to weigh .1 oz lighter. However, the battery door does not make a nice click sound when closed properly like the PCS version does.

Applications is where I noticed the most change. Gone are the Software, Downloads, and Get BC applications. Pics&Videos has been renamed to Media, which is a much better and shorter name. Two new applications, SIM Book and SIM Svcs, let you manage the SIM card for your GSM phone. In the past, I missed having an option to backup all contacts to SIM, but now that you do not lose all data if the battery dies, it is not as big of an issue for me anymore.

Both phones have Palm OS Garnet 5.4.5, and the main built-in applications retain the same version number. A few databases like Air SAM have incremental updates in version number, but otherwise things look the same.

The Treo splash screen is of course different, as is the screen when doing a hard reset. In the past, all Palm products had a simple "Erase all data? YES/NO" screen in English, but now a nifty multi-language screen comes up that has a picture of the Treo's buttons indicating that you should press Up to delete all data. My language skills are limited to English and poor Spanish, but I believe that "Erase all data" is written in English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Those are just a few of the things I have noticed in my switch from a PCS to a GSM Treo.

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