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(Pocket-lint) - The Treo 600 is the latest version of the popular mobile phone PDA from Handspring. Following on from the Treo 180 and Treo 270 there has been a big change in the style and features of the new model.

The first main difference is the loss of the clam shell/Star Trek Communicator styled device and now the unit is a study solid one-piece device similar to the Tungsten Palm W. This of course has its advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that the touch screen is now unprotected and applying pressure against the other junk that manages to collect in your pocket worried us as to the safety of it. The second disadvantage that comes from a creating a smaller phone is the size of the QWERTY keyboard. While the new size is much appreciated, the lack of space for the keys is not.

The original Treo 180, whilst also having a small keyboard was just about big enough to bash out a 500-word email. The new keyboard with its rounded pebble-styled buttons felt uncomfortable after a couple of sentences, making this purely and occasional email device rather than a writer’s friend about town.

When it comes to viewing the screen is bright and clear with Palm doing a good job to make the navigation easy through the Operating System. Everything is controlled via a central D-Pad - certainly an improvement on the Treo 180 and 270’s up and down button.

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For the multimedia adventurous there’s a built-in digital camera capable of producing VGA, 640 x 480 pixels images and like most mobile phones the quality is good enough for the moment and nothing more and an SD memory slot for sharing information, transferring files and general storage usage.


Overall we have mixed feelings about this device. Such a fan of the 180 and 270 it does get a lot of new things right. For example the device is now a lot more compact and no longer an embarrassment to hold to the side of your head. However the annoyance of a shrinking keyboard and the unprotected screen did annoy us in the time that we had it for review. The other annoying element is that like the SPV this is an Orange exclusive and while they profess to be the number one operator in the UK that doesn't help the rest of us that are with someone else. It's okay but it's up to you to decide whether it's worth switching networks over.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 9 December 2003.