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Help a 7+ year Treo user find a new phone

Help a 7+ year Treo user find a new phone

Old May 11, 11, 10:40 am
  #1  
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Help a 7+ year Treo user find a new phone

I have been out of the loop for so long that I don't know where to begin. I've used a succession of Treos (Palm or WM6 OS) since the introduction of the Treo 600. The latest gadget trends have left me feeling alienated, as the things I want from a device are not the features that are being marketed heavily. I've been paying attention over the past six months to how I use my phone so that I can develop a list of criteria. Here's what I have found:

1. Uses:
a) Voice calls in US48 only. I wouldn't mind the ability to use it in Europe, but I'm not willing to pay a lot for the option.

b) GPS navigation. I have a bluetooth GPS receiver in the car that I couple to the phone and use Google Maps (under WM6 on my Treo 750).

c) SMS (texting).

d) Editing Word & Excel documents.

e) Web browsing & web-based email (I migrated away from the Outlook email app in WM6). I only use the web for specific needs due to the horribly slow speed and tiny/crappy screen on my 750.

2. Based on my uses, here's what I see as key features:

a) Physical keyboard. This is non-negotiable. I hate touchscreens and because of my heavy texting and document manipulation, I need to be able to type fast.

b) Good voice phone, with the ability to raise the in-call volume quite high.

c) Seamless Word & Excel app.

d) Some sort of free navigation app better than the Google Maps I am currently using.

e) Web browser with Flash and respectable speed/resolution. I should be able to make an OpenTable reservation on the phone faster than pulling out my laptop, booting it, connecting my 3G card, logging on, and going that route (unfortunately, that's what I currently have to do).

f) The device must be able to multitask. If I am using it to navigate in the car and someone calls me, I don't want to lose the map.

g) I would like these features to be available without the need to pay a high monthly service fee.

3. Stuff I never use:
a) camera
b) streaming video/audio
c) games
d) time-wasters (i.e., the number of 3rd-party apps available does not impress me)

It seems like my list is basic enough that I might even find an older model available for cheap on eBay, which I would certainly consider. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old May 11, 11, 10:45 am
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It sounds like the Droid 2 is going to deliver on everything you need. Cheaper might be a used original Droid off Ebay.

no need for the Bluetooth GPS, and current Android devices have very good navigation in Google Maps (much more advanced than on your Treo). You can also buy nav packages that use locally stored maps.
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Old May 11, 11, 11:15 am
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I happily moved from my Treo 300/600/650 PalmOS devices (never went to the WM version) to a BlackBerry Curve, and now a Bold 9650. Not having the touchscreen was odd (fixed later this year, or with a Torch), but I similarly needed a keyboard and the usability features of the BB OS made me very happy. BB's are well-known for their keyboard.

If you're looking at pre-owned, I'd be sure to get one running OS6 or capable of being upgraded to it.
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Old May 11, 11, 1:47 pm
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Got my Droid Pro a few weeks ago and am loving it.
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Old May 11, 11, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
I happily moved from my Treo 300/600/650 PalmOS devices (never went to the WM version) to a BlackBerry Curve, and now a Bold 9650. Not having the touchscreen was odd (fixed later this year, or with a Torch), but I similarly needed a keyboard and the usability features of the BB OS made me very happy. BB's are well-known for their keyboard.

If you're looking at pre-owned, I'd be sure to get one running OS6 or capable of being upgraded to it.
OP asked for Flash, and AFAIK, even BB OS6/7 doesn't offer that.
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Old May 11, 11, 2:09 pm
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I agree with ScottC. An android based phone would meet all of those needs, but I would avoid used ones. A lot of changes have been made in Android OS over the past couple of years and new apps are not always backward compatible to the old OS.

I am a big fan of "slider" keyboards, as I think they are more user friendly than the Blackberry style, and don't add a lot to the bulk.

Check out Motorola's website. They have a good selection tool to narrow down what you are looking for.

I used to be a Moto fanboi, but they fell behind the competition. I think are back as a strong contender now.
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Old May 11, 11, 2:17 pm
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Consider a Motorola Atrix. No, it does not have a keyboard, but you will adapt (I was hardcodre BB and went iPhone - very happy now). The Atrix has Swype technology for keying and it is remarkably accurate. I bought one for my wife and am still learning how to use everything, so this is not an absolute recommendation. But i am impressed....

You can adapt to the no keyboard thing. Consider the fact that the benefit of the other phone featues may outweigh the loss of the tactile keyboard.
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Old May 11, 11, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by skimple View Post
I agree with ScottC. An android based phone would meet all of those needs, but I would avoid used ones. A lot of changes have been made in Android OS over the past couple of years and new apps are not always backward compatible to the old OS.

I am a big fan of "slider" keyboards, as I think they are more user friendly than the Blackberry style, and don't add a lot to the bulk.

Check out Motorola's website. They have a good selection tool to narrow down what you are looking for.

I used to be a Moto fanboi, but they fell behind the competition. I think are back as a strong contender now.
Huh???

Used Android phones are fine, as long as they are popular and well supported.

For instance, I installed Gingerbread on my HTC Evo recently, and it is blazingly fast and can do Google voice chat just fine.

Don't buy into the hype that you have to buy new phones just to have the latest features. There are plenty of options for quality used phones. Android fragmentation is also highly over-stated. I have used half a dozen Android devices, including tablets, and have never found this to be a problem.

However, if I were buying new today, I'd look at the carrier first, and then look at the 4G dual core Android phones that have a keyboard.

Having said that, I came from the very first Palm Pilot all the way to my Treo 650, and finally moved to iPhones / Android phones. I used to think I had to have a keyboard. I have a Samsung Epic with a large slide out keyboard. In the last 7 months I've had it, I think I've pulled out the physical keyboard 4 times. The on screen keyboard is that good, that I rarely use a physical keyboard.
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Old May 11, 11, 5:51 pm
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I think there are really only two phone OSs worth considering, Apple and Android. If you want a keyboard Apple is out so it is as ScottC said, an Android phone with a keyboard.
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Old May 11, 11, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
OP asked for Flash, and AFAIK, even BB OS6/7 doesn't offer that.
Yes, lack of Flash is a dealbreaker for the simple--but annoying--reason that restaurants are addicted to Flash for their websites. I really want to be able to look up restaurant menus on the go.

Can anyone chime in on the ability to work with Word & Excel files on the Android or Blackberry platforms?
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Old May 11, 11, 7:14 pm
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Documents To Go looks like a good android app for editing Word and Excel files. I too would recommend Android. The version of Google Maps that comes with new android phones has 3D GPS navigation with equivalent look/feel of a dedicated GPS unit. It really is very good.

Droid Pro would be my recommendation.
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Old May 11, 11, 9:18 pm
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Jailbroken

iPhone 4

Google Maps is awesome but it wasn't made to work on old phones thats why you think it sucks. I love it hands down compared to the like 5 other nav apps I've tried for Android or iOS.

Droid for you I still don't believe you guys that say you need "hands on" keyboard the keys are even smaller than the iPhone you just need to get used to it for a bit... w/e yall missin' out

Last edited by caGALINDO; May 11, 11 at 9:24 pm
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Old May 11, 11, 11:20 pm
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To comment on touchscreen vs. physical keyboard, I agree with the OP. I too was a long time Treo user. Was very hesitant to switch to touchscreen keyboard. Very happy with my Evo but I don't love typing on the screen...would prefer a keyboard. I thought about getting a phone with keyboard, but wanted something slim...was tired of the fat/bulky phones.

I know some people like touchscreen keyboard and get used to it, but some people still like a good old fashioned physical keyboard.
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Old May 12, 11, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by jw713 View Post
I know some people like touchscreen keyboard and get used to it, but some people still like a good old fashioned physical keyboard.
Have you tried Swype?
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Old May 12, 11, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
Have you tried Swype?
Yep, that's all I've used. I like the cool factor of it and I'm pretty fast, but I still find it takes longer than typing on a physical keyboard. I've actually been thinking about trying out another keyboard on the phone to see if I like that any better.
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