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the itching saga continued

In my previous post I described the process of how I came to obtain a Cingular-branded Treo 650. What I didn’t describe what the flurry of activity that commenced immediate thereafter. See, I got that Treo merely two days before going to that geek-fest that was the 62nd meeting of the IETF.

A new cell phone isn’t really that big of a deal – I expected it to work as a phone, and for the immediate future that was all that I needed. What was missing was a case. The store from whence the phone came had zero cases. The Cingular store near my house had none, either. I wasn’t panicked. I told myself that I didn’t need a case. I could put in my jacket pocket, or a sock, or… Ok, I needed a case. I wasn’t going to be lugging my jacket around the entire IETF, I don’t carry a purse, and the thing really wasn’t comfortable in my pants pockets (YMMV).

After visiting every store in the immediate vicinity of work that I could think of, I eventually (on the day of my fight to Minneapolis) found myself in a CompUSA. And Lo, they had the $20 official “form-fitting” case for the 650. And screen protectors, but I digress. I was set. So, I’ve had the Treo for four weeks and a day.

How do I like it, you might ask? In general, I really really like it. But, I caution you, I do not place the most stringent of demands on the device. I use it as a simple phone and a PDA (which you might expect), but not really as a “mobile communication device” (more on this in a future post). As a phone, I think the Treo works pretty well, with a few little hiccups.

First the bad: a few times in Minneapolis, the audio quality was pretty bad, and a few times in my home area, I’ve heard some static. But usually the sound quality is pretty good, even at times with iffy reception. Even when the sound quality was bad, I could still understand the caller – not something I experienced with Sprint. When Sprint was bad the conversation became incomprehensible.

Now the good: It has a way better “on call” interface than the 3650, not that I consider this a difficult feat. In particular, you can get to the “mute” function without navigating through the menu structure. I’ve held the Treo up to my ear for 40 minutes straight and it felt fine. The (wired) headset that comes with the phone is pretty lame, but no worse than the 3650s. In fact, they look like the same headset with slightly different connectors. But the Treo beats the 3650 here, too. The headset jack is a standard. I plugged in the headset for my cordless phone and it worked. I could use my Xbox Live headset, as well. There is a bunch more about the trials and tribulations of using the Treo as a PDA and as an email client, but I’ll save that for a future post.

Written on Mar 25, 2005.

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