Palm Treo 750v smartphone

Launched exclusively on the Vodafone network, the Palm Treo 750v is the company's latest smartphone and the first in Europe to feature the Windows operating system. But can the small form factored Treo complete against other contenders in the market from HP, HTC and of course BlackBerry?

The new 3G model, titled the 750v runs on Microsoft's latest mobile OS and features a number of exclusive elements, including picture speed dialling and a personised homepage. The picture speed dialling feature allows you to take a picture of a key contact and then call them by pressing the picture rather than having to dial the number and the personalised homepage includes links to Google's search engine - unfortunately you can't change the search engine that is displayed.

Losing the stubby aerial on the top, or as one Palm executive said "the perfect handle to pull it out of your pocket" the design is overall small but still fairly chunky feeling - solid in the hand but also bulging in the pocket.

While it is only 1mm thinner than previous outing, due to a more curvier design your hand now wraps around it much more naturally and the dark-blue soft touch rubber paint used on the outside of the device makes it very touchy feely to hold.

The size is mainly due to two factors - the inclusion of 3G connectivity and a full QWERTY keyboard. In use we found the small buttons difficult to use and certainly harder to use over the flatter keypads found on other smart phone devices such as the HP 6915 and BlackBerry devices.

Other features include a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile for music and video, Bluetooth connectivity, Mini-SD expansion slot and a 240 x 240 TFT touchscreen making the overall offering very appealing indeed.

Those keen to get the functionality of the BlackBerry, i.e. the push email service, will be pleased that the Treo offers that here and Vodafone is currently offering its users discounted data packages to make this function appealing.

The main enhancement here over the recently announced BlackBerry Pearl is the 3G connectivity and this makes surfing the Internet considerably faster as long as you are out of the office. Likewise the fact that it is runs Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 operating system means that there are plenty of add-on applications to suit most people's needs.

Verdict

The Palm Treo 750v is a good Windows Mobile device with plenty of features, however we found the keyboard small and frustrating to use mainly due to the rounded buttons - for the record we've never managed to get on well with the Treo keyboard and unfortunately this 750v hasn’t changed our minds.

So while we think the Treo is a good unit, personally it's not for us. Our recommendation therefore is to visit a Vodafone store and have a go yourself. If you like the keyboard, or are a previous Treo user then you'll be right at home and the rest of the package is packed with options.

Good, but we will just stick with our BlackBerry Pearl for now even if it is only 2G.