Full email and no business price premium
RIM’s BlackBerry revolutionised the way businesses communicate. With email being available outside the office, it changed from an online-only to an everywhere model. But business isn’t the only place where email is widespread: people are starting to demand the same access to their personal inboxes.
With the widespread usage of text messaging, as well as phone-based IM communication, people are comfortable with mobile messaging in general, so it’s only logical that manufacturers start the switch to email-based communications on phones.
Palm has targeted this group of users directly with the Treo 500v phone. A mid-priced, Windows Mobile 6 handset, the 500v is designed for personal use, but with email and messaging as a primary goal. It sports a 320 x 240 pixel transflective display, a full qwerty keyboard and MS Office (including Outlook) for email messaging. All this in a 120g parcel with claimed 4.5-hour talk time.
In our hands, the Treo 500v was a mixed bag. The screen was outstanding and easy to read in bright light and outside. The keyboard, though bubbly, was easy enough to use. It does take a bit of pressure to hit a key though, slowing typing down at first. The device felt a little underpowered, with the phone sluggish to move through the menus.
All in all, the Treo 500v absolutely hits its targets as a mid-priced, everyman’s email handset. It’s not perfect, and is best-suited to the more patient among us, but it’s a great effort from Palm.