I thought I’d better do a review of this new phone that I have for my work.
I travel a lot and if I’m not physically travelling to meet someone face-to-face i’m basically on email and instant messaging. I don’t have a permanent desk at a company office, rather I have a home office. In essence I rely on being connected to email 24/7 and thus use the internet and my phone-device a lot.
Now just before I give you my thoughts on this treo750 thing, I’ve got to emphasize that I don’t use this device for viewing videos or playing games. I don’t download applications onto the device and play around. Its a work thing for me. I do use it to listen to music though; like sat on flight from Aberdeen listening to an mp3 file that I like.
So let me start with my ranting and raving. The little button on the top of this gadget that you turn off all sound with is extremely useful. No buggering about with menus and stuff, simply flip the switch and all sounds are muted. The phone now vibrates instead. Very very handy this little switch. When you go into a meeting, train, plane, taxi, restaurant, how cool is it that you just flip this little switch and your in “stealth mode”. Cool. It is soooo chavy and uncool if your phone can be heard by others when it rings… This little feature has got to be the coolest feature. Right, now, I’ve just boarded a plane, so I flip the switch and life is sweet. I’m cool, understated and my personality and smile is at the forefront. No chavy sounds coming from my phone. I contently find my seat, firm in the knowledge that the world is viewing me like a cool dude that isn’t measured by the volume of his ring tone or the need to be seen as sooo important that people phone me all the time so I have to shout stuff like “yeah I’m just on a plane”. Anyway, the stewardess does her thing of telling everyone to turn off transmitting devices such as televisions – ( n.b. if i had a portable television transmitter in my jeans I would be more than willing to show it off. What a cool thing that would be. The people who wrote the stewardess’s script obviously cant fathom what a TV transmitter is). Anyway, I realise that “please put your pda in flight mode” actually means me. So I whip out my unfeasibly cool phone/pda/gadget for all to see and roll my eyes to the guy next to me, in a gesture that makes it look like I’m still quite understated and cool. By the time we’re taking off however, I’m still pissing about with windows menus trying to find the screen that says “Bluetooth-off” and “Phone-off”. The stewardess tells me (so everyone can hear) to switch off my phone or transmitting device. In a completely middleclass/compliance driven frenzy I open the back of the phone, take the battery out and show it to the stewardess, who by this time is smiling in such a professional an rehearsed way that she manages to make the ‘handjob’ sign at me with her eyes so only I can see it – I’ve now been told I’m a wanker and any kudos I had built up by having a silent phone has now evaporated. As has the power to my Treo.
So sitting there with my Treo in one hand, the battery in the other and the social-interaction-status of a post-it note with the word ‘wanker’ stuck to my forehead for all to see, I’m now wondering how to insert the battery again without the phone turning on, making its chirpy palm/windows/vodafone welcome noises.
Brilliant plan enters frontal lobes (just behind the postit note). If I attach the headset no one will hear. Now, of course, this brings me onto the second part of my long list of review items. The plug-hole-socket-thing at the bottom of the treo750 looks like a standard small ‘jack’. When I got the Treo it was very disappointing when I tried to plug in my swanky sony-mp3 headphones. This is not a regular phone jack plug socket thing. The only thing that will fit in that hole on the Treo is a Treo-headset; or possibly a cotton bud or a paper-clip. Anyway, with this knowledge to hand, but with a virtual postit-note on my forehead, I get out of my seat and disturb 8 people once we’ve taken off to get my headphones.
As you can imagine, I got hold of the wrong ones, and had to disturb people again to get into the overhead locker. While I was doing this the phone, which was lying on my seat ‘booted’ and through its magnificently clear loudspeaker my mail-notification sound of ‘Rimmer from red-dwarf introducing “hammond organ recital night”‘ – (look it up its a bit cult/nerd even for me). I was now pigeon-holed by the entire flight as not only being a chav trying his best to look important with his new fancy phone, but also as a middle-aged nerd. Only the theme tune to ‘lazy town’ could have made me look worse.
Anyways, I finally get the phone ‘transmitter’ switched off after finding the screen from the main ‘today’screen and simply clicking ‘menu’. Duh!. I’ve also found out that I could just have flip the cool ‘mute’ switch on the phone and all would have been silent…. User error? Maybe just too many ‘options’… Anyway, I’ve got my ‘these work only on a Treo’ headphones on and I’m now in gadget heaven. Huddled up in my seat with my little stylus and screen. Verdict so far is that the Treo does not make you look cool, hip or technically aware. But it is really groovy for doing stuff when ‘mobile’.
The first thing I need to do is turn on the music. For this, I simply fire-up “file-manager” and tap on the MP3 file I want to hear. Windows Media Player starts and my life is wonderful. I’ve just got to add here that the volume on windows-media-player is independent from the overall volume of the phone, so if you, like me, just like some background noise in the headset you’ll happily turn down the volume of the phone, realise that it isn’t low enough and then turn down the volume of windows media player as well. Imagine then, your surprise when in the middle of ‘sultans of swing’ by Dire-Straits an email arrives with a whopping 187dB and makes you drop your hot coffee over the keyboard of your laptop (a different but related story). This is, of course, another good reason not to bugger about with loud techno music ring-tones.. Anyway, I settle in to my seat and cocoon myself with stylus in one hand TREO750 in the other hoping not to get noticed anymore on the flight.
So, I fire up the ‘notes’ application and start typing on the keyboard. The keyboard is actually very handy I think. You really need a 2 finger approach on the TREO keyboard. I, personally, use 1 thumb and 1 finger, but depending on dexterity, gender and general ‘geekiness’ any amount of fingers can be applied I suppose. I think the keyboard is very good because its not spongy and it doesn’t ‘click’ annoyingly either – its just right in my opinion.
Anyway, back to the demise of my self-esteem. The stewardess arrives and asks me if I want something to drink, which I completely didn’t notice because I was typing and music was piping in full stereo (128k) into my ‘ear sockets’. A nudge from the guy sitting next to me alerted me to the eye-rolling-stewardess and in an attempt to be helpful and alert I sat up quickly and took the headset-plug-earhole-thing out of one ear and dropped the phone; the phone then proceeded to pull the other headset-plug-earhole-thing out and trying to catch the phone I banged my head onto the flip-down table of the guy sitting next to me who had just a few moments beforehand received a nice gin and tonic with ice and lemon.
The guy next to me now hates me. The stewardess, however is now changing her opinion of me from ‘wanker’ to ‘tit’.
After a lot of mopping-up and “I’m sooooo sorry”, I embark on the sensible course of action which is to, again, take the battery out of my TREO and put it all away. I think this experience is not so much indicative of the TREO750; but more of a description of the misconception of how much “freedom” a nifty PDA-mobile-Gadget actually gives you. But that’s not what I’m reviewing here..
My overall verdict of the TREO750 so far is that it seems to work, but the user needs to understand that it works like a PC and not something that gives you the lifestyle the adverts promised you – like a PC. Now I’m not knocking the Windows-TM (bastXrd, fecking w+nker-tw*t, pr.ck software that it is); but I’m still of the opinion that if I had a separate MP3 player, a separate phone and left my typing to my laptop, then I’d be better off. Oh and the battery doesn’t seem to last that long…
I will be reporting back about the use of Email, attachments and how to sync the TREO with your PC. Oooh the irony eh? A pocket PC that you have have to ‘sync’ with your Laptop PC, which in turn is sync’ed with the windows-TM exchange server, file-server … ahhh I see where this is going… Clever! Very Clever.. How many swimming pools does that man need anyway?
SO, Until next time: qwrty.