Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Q&A!

[This is an official Smartphone Experts Round Robin post! Every day you reply here, you're automatically entered for a chance to win an iPhone 3G, Case-Mate Naked Case, and Motorola H9 Bluetooth Headset! Full contest rules here!]

Our video preview is done, our final review is posted, but you had Palm Treo Pro questions and so we'll try to provide some answers... After the break...

deathscaller Says: Does the Pro’s Internet speed compare to the iPhones at all?

3G is 3G, but the cpu speed and software engine can make a difference. Web browsing on the iPhone seemed much faster, which I chalk up to MobileSafari's WebKit foundation (well known from back in it's Linux Konquerer days for its sheer speed). Email is much lighter than web rendering, and iPhone does HTML email, where I only saw mobile email from the Treo Pro, so that's not a fair comparison, but both were snappy (though Gmail IMAP still gives me fits on every platform)

Justin Says: I’m curious to know your thoughts on the email set up. I had a hell of a time when I used the Treo 750, and that was ultimately what drove me away.

I won't lie: it's fairly hideous. Then again, Windows makes you set up Exchange in Control Panel rather than Outlook, so my expectations have been trampled. I couldn't get Exchange to work due to the failure to allow custom certificates to be accepted (on the iPhone, you can just ignore the warning). Gmail set up, but defaulted to POP, not IMAP. It did do a decent job of auto-detecting Gmail's settings, however.

Mike M Says: How well does it do things the iPhone is lacking? Cut and paste, to dos, mms, etc. And would you even consider switching just to get these features? I know I wouldn’t, but I’m sure there are people out there who are on the fence who would like to know.

I really wanted cut and paste, but on both the Treo and Android I ended up not using it much. It was too annoying. On the iPhone, if I want to send you a webpage I'm looking at (or location, or photo, etc.) I just hit the + button, pick your address, and boom, email is sent and I'm back in on the web. Having to manually fiddle with highlighting tiny, irregular text blobs, going through menu gymnastics, manually switching apps, etc. just slowed me down and made me think it wasn't worth it.

MMS is useless to me as I don't have any friends or family using it either, and everyone else I just email the stuff to right off the iPhone. It's device independent, which I prefer.

If Apple really nailed implementations of these features, I'd certainly be really happy and probably use them when I had to, but if they did it badly (no Storm jokes!) I'd be even more annoyed. So no, I wouldn't switch.

Anthony Martinez Says: How’s that keyboard. I picked up a Palm in a store once and thought it was way too small. But then the iphone keyboard is small in portrait mode too. What are your thoughts?

Material is better than the 6xx/7xx series, but the narrow width takes that step forward back a notch.

Jeff Says: What have you missed most from the iPhone that the Pro doesn’t offer?

Without a hint of sarcasm: joy. The iPhone is just a pleasure to use. The Treo Pro was powerful but a lot of work. I didn't enjoy the experience, even when it impressed me. User experience on the iPhone -- every little detail from app flow to stretch and bounce animation effects -- is just so well polished.

PRIMECHUCK Says: Does the phone stream live events

Qik style? According to WMExperts, yes it does.

Mike M Says: How close do you think palm and the iPhone are from being incomparable devices? Palm doesn’t seem to be much of a contender anymore, how long before they drop out of the competition?

I hope never. While Apple is amazing at competing with themselves (see the iPod space), everyone does better with strong alternatives pushing innovation.

Jason Says: Is the touchscreen very important to navigation/data entry/etc? Most other phones are either all keys or all touchscreens…

I'm used to using touch screen on Palm devices (insert stylus humor here), so for me it was very easy to default back to. Crackberry Kevin, by contrast, likely never went near it.

Rey Says: What’s the best and worst thing about it?

Best is that it's a really great WinMo device with excellent hardware. Worst is that it wasn't a Palm Treo.

Touch Me Says: The tiny 320 x 320 screen on the Treo looks like a big disadvantage compared to the iPhone’s 480 x 320. How does that affect its use? Or does not needing screen real estate for a virtual keyboard and menus make it a wash?

It felt cramped, which is amazing since the previous gen WinMo Palm had 240x240. And when the default soft keyboard popped up, not only was it tiny and stylus-compelling, it usually covered the field you were supposed to type into.

BLUELINE Says: What is of like haveing a phone with both touch and physical buttons for the ui. Do you think it is better or worse then a all touch or no touch phone?

I like having the choice, though I won't know for sure until I've used a completely non-touch device like the BlackBerry Bold. However, I'm increasingly coming to believe that hard keyboards -- for some types of users like myself -- are a thing of the past.

Jason Says: Has palm changed anything about the Windows Mobile OS to make it their own? Sort of like the panels on the SE Xperia or the Fuze…

Not this time around, far as I could tell, though that keeps WinMo smoking fast (if heinously ugly).

Jeff Says: what was the learning curve like on the keyboard going from the iphone to the pro?

I used to have a 680, so not too bad. I did find it annoying that the hard keyboard wouldn't change to reflect state. With the iPhone, I've gotten used to pressing "shift" and seeing upper case, pressing 123 and seeing numbers, etc. Especially in password fields, I was never sure what I was typing (even with the little icons on screen).

Jason Says: With the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, would you use the Treo Pro (or AT&T Fuze and T-Mobile G1) as much for music/videos?….I can’t imagine using the connectors

Treo Pro has the 3.5mm headphone jack, it's the Android G1 and HTC FUZE that don't have them, and yes it's even more egregious than the original iPhone 2G's wonky 3.5mm (because it needs an even more annoying adapter).

Jeff Says: How about battery life?

It was great! It lasted more than a day, however because I couldn't get everything working, I did far, far, far less with it than I typically do with an iPhone.

KLutes Says: I am curious as to how robust the device feels as a whole in comparison. More solid less solid or about the same build quality. I see lots of cracked glass iphones on my college campus and I am curious as to how bang up prone this little gem is.

Both the iPhone 3G and the Treo Pro have had reported problems with micro-cracks in the plastic casing, but Dieter's Treo Pro is still pristine! Build quality is superb, with a ton of fit and finish. However, it's plastic, not glass, and was a little creaky around the battery cover. The iPhone has no removable battery, so it's as close to a solid slab as you can get.

Bela says: Do you feel that this phone compares to the Android ?

Android is still very much a beta/technology preview, while WinMo in its current incarnation is a relic, so as the former rises and the latter falls, they could be comparable during this brief slice of time. What Android 2.0 and WinMo 7 look like is a far more important, and difficult question.

Thanks everyone for sending in your questions!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Round Robin: TiPb vs. Palm Treo Pro Q&A!

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Yea no kidding. I feel like I can say I've used the thing now, good job Rene. Keep it up, it's nice to see where the competition is and what directions they're taking.

Great Q and A session, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. It's greatly appreciated.

Great job on this, Rene, but I (like most around here) still can't figure out what makes this a Palm device. If the hardware is made by HTC and the OS is Windows Mobile, what contributions did Palm make at all? The name is on the device, so I have to assume they contributed more than just a font. In all seriousness, where in this device is Palm's influence?

Interesting reading the Q&A for us non-iPhoners... Don't know what I'd do without the streaming audio capabilities especially with Kinoma Play, couple with native A2DP support..guess there are always tradeoffs!

Loadssss of great question guys!!! All the questions I had are answered thankyou!! Great post and a great review on this device.

Thanks Rene..to me it is a winmo pda and nothing more..def not a palm! Hope the new palm OS will offer us something good!

gotta agree that palm staying around only makes the field of smartphones even better since then companies can't slack off and be content with what they have already.

Thx for taking the time to answer all the questions. Oh and no worries only two more weeks and you get to go back to your beloved IPHONE.