On Tuesday, CNET's Bonnie Cha posted her thoughts on the Palm Treo Pro (Sprint edition). Overall her remarks were quite positive and capped with a "Very Good" rating of 7 across the board (Design, Features, Performance and Overall).
She noted how people's attention is focused on the Palm Pre, "however, the Treo Pro shouldn't be dismissed so quickly."
It offers a lot... with tradeoffs
Cha said this business-centric smartphone offers a lot, including Internet Explorer 6, EV-DO Rev. A support, and GPS, and delivers satisfactory performance.
Props were given for it being one of the sleekest devices to offer a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. However, she felt the Centro-like keyboard looked cheap, was cramped and should have more solid keys for a corporate device. She described the Treo Pro as a well-stocked smartphone but nothing out of the ordinary.
She spent some time discussing the "non-corporate" (i.e. Office-related) features like the 2-megapixel camera with 8x zoom and video recording capabilities. Noting how you can shoot still images in one of five resolutions and one of four quality settings, she also remarked that she wasn't particularly impressed with picture quality: "We could make out the objects just fine, but images looked gray and dull. Video clips were decent."
Find me fast!
The Treo Pro's GPS receiver garnered some raves being called "quite impressive." Using Sprint Navigation, the Treo Pro was able to quickly locate her position within two minutes (first time), while subsequent starts were faster. Testing it on a route from the Marina District of San Francisco to CNET's downtown headquarters, she said the "real-time tracking was almost on the mark."
Call quality & speed
Testing the dual-band (CDMA 850/1900; EV-DO Rev. A) Palm Treo Pro in San Francisco using Sprint service, the call quality was good and the network speedy.
"For once, we didn't have to wait ages for Sprint TV to launch, and the streamed content was smooth and surprisingly watchable. We also downloaded several songs from the Sprint Music Store, which only took seconds. Using Internet Explorer Mobile 6, the full CNET site took about 25 seconds to load while CNN's mobile site loaded in 7 seconds and ESPN's mobile site came up in 5 seconds.
The review is fairly comprehensive. The "Very Good" rating shouldn't be ignored. It's clear that if you are seeking a Windows Mobile based phone, the Treo Pro should be in the consideration set. However, she did state that Sprint's business customers "will get a better user experience from the HTC Touch Pro." Clearly the keyboard was a deal breaker.