Treo Pro Looks Good, but Needs Improving

The Treo Pro from Palm is bringing a sleek new look to the smart phone for businesses users. However, the erratic 3G performance and battery life issues in the Palm Treo Pro need to be resolved.

With the new Treo Pro, Palm for once is bringing the sexy to business users, delivering a sleek, appealing device ready for business use.

Unfortunately, the Treo Pro's erratic 3G performance quickly depletes the battery under certain circumstances, making it difficult to recommend the device until the 3G problems are resolved.

Without question the Treo Pro is Palm's most aesthetically pleasing smart phone to date. With its shiny obsidian case and smooth, rounded edges, the device is both visually pleasing and comfortable in the hand. At 4.49 by 2.36 by 0.53 inches, the Treo is much thinner front to back than the Treo 800w for the Sprint network that I recently reviewed; at 4.69 ounces, the Treo Pro weighs almost an ounce less.

Palm is positioning the Treo Pro as a GSM World phone, selling it as an unlocked device from $549 from the Palm Store. The device, which supports HSDPA, EDGE and GSM, should work seam??ílessly in international markets, as it offers quad-band GSM sup??íport (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) and tri-band UMTS support (850, 1900, 2100 MHz).

Despite its sleek look, the Treo Pro is part of Palm's family of devices aimed at business custom??íers, so it comes preconfigured with Windows Mobile 6.1 Profes??ísional, which works out of the box with Microsoft's Exchange (including Direct Push support) and System Center Mobile Device Manager platforms. The device also includes the Office Mobile Suite of applications-the mobile iterations of Word, Excel, Power??íPoint and OneNote.

The Treo Pro has a fairly power??íful mobile processor (a 400MHz Qualcomm MSM7201 processor) and an adequate amount of mem??íory (128MB), so performance was reasonably snappy compared with other Windows Mobile devices I've tested. However, available on-board storage is some??íwhat limited as the Treo Pro has 256MB of on-board storage, but only 100MB is available for user programs. Howver, the Treo Pro can be outfitted with a large amount of remov??íable storage, as the MicroSDHC slot supports cards up to 32GB (my biggest card, at 6GB, worked fine). Unfortunately, the user needs to remove the back cover to access the MicroS??íDHC slot, which I found difficult and awkward to remove.