Smartphone Round Robin: Final Thoughts on the Treo 680

Palm Treo 680
By Kevin Michaluk on 19 Nov 2007 07:00 am EST

I could be a Treo User, but would much rather be a CrackBerry Addict! 

My time with the Palm Treo 680 has come to an end. After getting off to a slow start with the device (read my initial impressions here), I’m happy to say we’ll be parting company as well-acquainted friends. As soon as I’m finished writing this article, I’ll yank the SIM card and put it into the iPhone that’s sitting beside me in a UPS box... that should be fun! Read on for my Final Treo 680 Impressions >>

Don't forget, a comment to this post counts as an entry in the Smartphone Round Robin Contest! Be sure you're logged in before you comment. Another Quick Round Robin Note: You’ve probably noticed by now that we’re extending the event by a week… that means I’ll move onto the iPhone this week (first impressions tomorrow, final impressions for Friday), and next week will be back to my BlackBerry Curve for final thoughts and the official Round Robin Roundup.

Palm Treo 680 Final Impressions 

It did take some time and effort to turn the Treo 680 into my “main brain” per the Rules of the Smartphone Round Robin, but I made it happen and managed to survive yet another week without my BlackBerry. I never did quite reach a level of total comfort with the Treo –  the email was always a bit whacky for me and without BlackBerry Messenger I still feel lost and cutoff from my world (a fault shared by any non-BlackBerry device), but by installing a whack load of 3rd party apps I got the 680 doing everything a BlackBerry could do and even a bit more. A BIG Thanks to all of the TreoCentral members and individuals who commented to my Treo First Impressions article with tips and suggestions – you made the week much easier.

Evolution of Use
I covered the Treo 680’s hardware/form factor in my First Impressions article, so there’s no need to go over that again, but what I do want touch on is the evolution of how I physically used the Treo over the course of a week.

For the first couple of days I tried to operate the phone with just my right hand (as I would my BlackBerry Curve). In terms of length and width the 680 is a small device (thickness is another story), so one-handed operation seems like it should be the given norm. But the Treo’s touchscreen sort of complicated matters for me. I often found I could not easily get to where I wanted to go on the display with the navigation buttons (too much clicking required) and trying to use my right thumb on the touchscreen produced less than accurate taps. As a result, this forced me to swap the phone to my left hand so I could peck at the screen with my right index finger or stylus before swapping back to my right hand for continued use. It was a bit of a juggling act.

For the next couple of days I held the Treo with my left hand from the start, and used my right hand’s index finger on both the touchscreen and navigation buttons. It felt a bit awkward to use my index finger on the navigation buttons (it would be like using your index finger on a BlackBerry’s trackball and menu/back buttons instead of your thumb), but found I was immediately more effective with the Treo when using it in this two-handed manner all the time. When trying to use it one handed, I found the touchscreen and button controls almost worked against each other – my thumb wanted to use one or the other – not both. When I held the 680 in my left hand and used my right index finger for input, however, my dexterity was improved and I could then seamlessly move between button controls and touchscreen and work my way around the Palm OS much faster.

My Intermediate Phase - Hold the Treo with my Left Hand and Use
My Right Index Finger on the Buttons and Touchscreen

Finally, on my last two days of Treo 680 use, I consciously said farewell to the touchscreen and went back to one-handed use. I read some great posts in the TreoCentral forums on how to setup the device for max-efficiency and ease of use (i.e. mapping the keyboard to launch different apps), and between that and my improved familiarity with the OS I was able to do my day-to-day basic tasks relatively quickly in one-handed fashion without having to rely on the touchscreen.

I’m sure experienced Treo Users who have their devices tweaked up can perform any task on their device very quickly. I still think the BlackBerry is a better one-handed device and I much prefer the trackball with back/menu button navigation, but at least I gave the Treo 680 my best shot during the Round Robin. I came a long way with the device in a short time.

3rd Party Apps and the Treo
After a week of Treo use, I’d have to say the following comment posted by Scott403540 in response to my Treo 680 First Impressions article sums up the Treo 680 perfectly …

…It seems the critical difference between Treo and Blackberry is Blackberry does what it does very well right out of the box while Treo suffers in that respect, but there are tons of 3rd party apps available for Palm that allow it to do more than the BB. Of course, 3rd party apps also have a tendency to make the device unstable.

From talking to Treo users and browsing forum threads, it became very apparent to me that if I wanted to unlock the potential of the 680 and get the full “experience”, I’d have to commit some time (and in some cases money) to installing 3rd party apps. Here’s the summary of what I loaded up:

  • ChatterEmail – Email Client
  • TCPMP – Video Client
  • Audio Gateway – Audio Streaming Client
  • ZLauncher – Theme/OS Customization
  • FileProg – File Management
  • GoogleMaps – No Explanation Required :-)
  • LEDOff – Utility for Controlling the LED Display
  • xWeather – Weather Client
  • Opera Mini 4 – Web Browser
  • Arcade Reality – Game
  • Video Jigsaw – Game

A good start, but there are many, many, many more utilities and apps to download for the Treo that allow you to improve the way you work with device and expand upon its built-in functionality. With the above 3rd party apps installed, my device stability has remained rock solid.

ZLauncher GREATLY changed my Treo's interface. I've barely scratched
the service with ZLauncher, but it's obvious you can tweak the Treo
to work the way you want it to work.

While new BlackBerry software titles are being released everyday, the volume of BlackBerry apps available still pales in comparison to the selection available for Palm devices. Hopefully we’ll catch up, especially considering RIM’s growth in the consumer smartphone market. Developers, get on it!!!

The Round Robin Challenge Check List

To make sure all of the community editor’s get good use of their smartphone of the week, we abide by the following rules:

1. Editors must use their assigned smartphone as their "main brain" and may not use any other smartphone OR music device (such as an iPod) for one full week: I did it, it took some work and 3rd party apps to make it happen, but I got through it.

2. Editors must attempt to sync their phone to their computer, syncing all PIM data: The Palm Desktop Software was easy to use. The most complicated part? Realizing you have to hit the “sync” button on the Treo’s specialized device connector cord to begin the syncing process. I installed apps both OTA and via the Palm Quick Install application. The desktop installer was easy to use.

3. Editors must attempt to set up their email on the smartphone: ChatterEmail allowed me to hookup my Gmail via IMAP. I was hoping for BlackBerry Connect, but it’s only available to those using the Treo 680 with a BES (not BIS). The default client would only do POP with my Gmail (booo!), but ChatterEmail got the job done decently well. It did have some issues though. Every now and then the messages would come through to the phone looking crazy (XLMERsdfaeLTJLKXWEQRJ:GVJI*Wr0q-tiqpi2345-014f dsKLJJ#WOURAKSFJ;mnbdar) and I found if there was a pile of new messages in my account when I turned the phone on it took a while for the ChatterEmail to catch up with them – it seemed to want to process each new message at a time (and give me notification of it on the screen) vs. just catching up right away and telling me I have new messages (as it would on the Blackberry).

The ChatterEmail app Occassional gave me Goofie Emails...
back in Gmail they looked just fine though

4. Editors must attempt to use their smartphone to get directions at least once: Google Maps did the trick. As always, easy to install and use!

5. Editors must attempt to use their smartphone with a bluetooth headset: Softtick’s Audio Gateway made it easy for me to stream music to my Motorola S9’s. It makes me wonder if a software app could fix up the lack of A2DP support on BlackBerry’s that don’t come with it (only the Curves and Pearl 8120/8130 currently support A2DP). It took me a couple of tries to pair my BlueAnt Z9 headset using the Palm OS Bluetooth device manager, but it did work fine on the third try (I’m not sure what caused the initial hiccup).

Audio Gateway
Audio Gateway worked great with my Motorola S9s

6. Editors must attempt to install at least 2 3rd-party apps (if possible) on their smartphone: Done and Done and Done!

7. Editors must attempt to play a game: ToySpring games are wicked fun! Video JigSaw and Arcade Reality is AWESOME. It uses the Camera on the Treo to create the game’s main graphics. Watch the YouTube video below to see Arcard Reality in action. Somebody needs to make this for the BlackBerry ASAP! Thanks D-Caf for suggesting it!

8. Editors must attempt to browse the internet:  I decided to kick it up a notch and downloaded and installed Opera Mini 4. When I went to launch the app I got the error “Missing IBM Java VM” message. I found the JVM download and install instructions on Palm’s website, got it setup, and was off to the races. Palm’s built-in Blazer web browser is ok (kinda like the default BlackBerry browser), but Opera Mini 4 is better.

Opera Mini 4
Some installation hassles, but Opera Mini was a nice upgrade from
Palm's Blazer Web Browser

9. Editors must attempt to add music to their smartphone and use it as their music device: Easy. My 4GB microSD card is loaded with music and PocketTunes did a fine job of playing them all.

10. Editors must attempt to watch a video on their device: I installed the TCPMP app which allows you to play almost any video format on the Treo 680. I won’t say which videos I watched on the Treo, but lets just say it worked great! Wink

It took some 3rd party app support, but the Treo 680 managed to become my “main brain”.

My Final Thoughts 

Stuck Stick with What Works…
You ever notice how once you own something, you start seeing it everywhere? It always happens with cars and this week proved to me that it happens with smartphones too. After a few years of only ever seeing people with BlackBerrys, I finally started to notice Treo users. And not only did I notice them, but I stopped them in their tracks and talked to them about their Treo. I had five conversations with five Treo-using strangers (three at the shopping mall, two at the hospital) and in each case a nearly identical story emerged – the person had been a Treo user for a couple of years, had recently considered upgrading jumping ship to another smartphone, but decided to hold off for now as they are not in a rush to change as their Treo does everything they need it to do. I mentioned the BlackBerry Curve, and every Treo user I spoke to knew the device and liked the looks of it (in a couple of cases wanted it), but they just couldn’t justify going through the process of switching to and learning a new device when the one they have already does everything they need it to do. In other words, if it ain’t broke, don't fix it (at least until you have to).

There’s no doubt that the Treo OS is a bit dated in terms of looks (even after I dressed mine up with ZLauncher something about it still screamed Windows 3.1) and function (where’s the multitasking?) and that’s putting some Treo users into the “looking zone”. At the same time, it shows just how good the device and OS is – Palm built a phone that people can effectively integrate into their lives and are therefore not in a rush to part ways with it. I think Treo users are a loyal bunch – but I hope for Palm’s sake they give the OS an overhaul soon or that loyalty will eventually go elsewhere.

In Week 1 of the Round Robin I felt envy toward the Tilt’s GPS/WiFi/3G all-in-one capabilities, but that wasn’t the case with the Treo 680. Other than the sheer volume of third party apps available for the Palm OS, from a hardcore BlackBerry user’s standpoint the Treo 680 didn’t offer me much to get excited about. And I’m sure there are a lot of Treo users who might feel the same way after using a BlackBerry for a week too. Both devices get the job done, but they do it in a similar yet somehow very different manner. The device of preference will likely be the device of greater familiarity.  

For myself, I think my brain is just better suited to the BlackBerry OS. I prefer my BlackBerry Curve’s trackball navigation over the Treo’s touchscreen/multi-button inputs and I much prefer the menu and back button methodology of the BlackBerry OS vs. the need to hit “done” or “ok” on the Palm OS to return to a previous screen or tap at the top of the screen for menu options. And the BlackBerry handles email MUCH better, which is important to me.

Push come to shove, I could be a Treo User....but I'd much rather be a CrackBerry Addict!

Up Next
Mike now has his hands on the Treo 680 and I am going to get started on the Apple iPhone. This month marks quite a journey for me - from No Touch with the BlackBerry to Half Touch with the Tilt and Treo 680 and now onto Full Touch with the iPhone.

Be sure to check in tomorrow to see how this bonafide BlackBerry Addict copes!

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

Smartphone Round Robin: Final Thoughts on the Treo 680


i was a treo user. MUCH happier to be a crackberry addict!

u're right. the treo users left out there are the stuck users. if they give a curve or iphone an honest try they won't be treo users for long. they'll abandon the palm sinking ship as fast as they can

A very balanced and good review of the Treo...Felt nice to know that my BB achieves what the Treo can and so much more

Great Review Kevin, after reading the review I find myself relating the Treo 680 to a WinMob device in that you need to "customize" it to be functional, only in the case of PalmOS-WinMob the differences lye in the fact WinMob has a TON of stuff built in, and the Treo 680 lacks alot out of the box, so it needs to be spiced up, out of all the round robin so far I have not seen anyone be happy with the devices they were using right "out of the box" shall we say, except Dieter in his adventures on the BB 8310, He seemed content except for a few 3rd part add-on's, but all other seem like they need serious time, effort and in some cases money to get it right....I'm anxious to see your iPhone reviews now, simply because I know how much (imo) it lacks right out of the box, as well the multitude of 3rd party items available for it, assuming your going to go allll the way with the iPhone and jailbreak it...but that reflects once again on the fact that, other devices seem to be not usable,functional or comfortable "out of the box".

You are gonna take a SIM from Treo and put it in iPhone? How's that possible. I though iPhone does not take SIM?

iPhone is a GSM device, it has no choice BUT to take a SIM card, what I think your referring to is the fact the iPhone (unless unlocked) is restricted to an iPhone specific SIM card.

In the past 3 months I have owned an iphone, Palm Treo, ATT tilt, and an ATT 8525. I have finally settled on a blackberry curve on the Tmobile network and I must say that I like my blackberry the best. I found the Treo to be very cumbersome and sometimes counterintuitive to what it was I was trying to do with the device. In terms of device design, Blackberry has it beat by a mile. Palm's Treo is quite bulky and a bit too long for my liking. I like a phone that I can throw in my pocket and be on my way. The iphone had nothing that I wanted in terms of features. What good is an ipod with a phone if I can't even surf the internet at 3g speed? The iPhone is beautiful in terms of design but is definitely lacking in the features department. No GPS, 3g or HSDPA, etc. The Tilt was quite the opposite of the iPhone. It had a plethora of features, all of which I absolutely loved, but the battery life was absolutely abysmal, even after installing 3rd party apps to supposedly help alleviate the strain on the battery. I returned my Tilt within a week of buying it. My 8525 is pretty much the same story as the Tilt, everything I could want in a phone minus the GPS but terrible battery life. The Blackberry has by far been the best experience I have had with a phone. Aside from the lack of 3g support from Tmobile and built in GPS, I have to say that I am overall very pleased with it. I love the wifi @ home service and I love that I can operate the Blackberry with one hand. It meets most of my needs in a very compact and efficient package. Not to mention that I don't need to charge every 4 hours. There's my take on the whole thing. Not as thorough as the Round Robin participants but I figured I would add my 2 cents. Sorry in advance if I stepped on anyone's toes. :)

I really enjoyed your commentary on the phones! You pretty much confirmed my feelings about the other phones. I had an older Motorola V557 that would not work in my office at the hospital. So when a friend at work asked me about the 8300, I figured that I would just punch up my home phone to show how it worked, figuring it would be the same as the 557, so I wife was none to happy about being awoken at 2 in the morning....cost me a dinner out and flowers....but was very happy with the Greatly improved performance.

In the past 18 months, I've been through: Treo 650-> TMobile MDA -> TMobile Dash-> HTC Touch-> BB Curve 8320.

The only thing I haven't used extensively has been an iPhone. I must say though, out of PalmOS, WinMo Pro, WinMo Standard & BB, for my needs the BB is perfect. Fast, easy to use, it just works.

I evaluated what I use a device for some time ago, and determined that 90% of what I did was email (with a little bit of RSS thrown in). Given this, the BB is an obvious choice for me.

Although I've never owned a Treo I'm a long time PalmOS user. I was looking for a smartphone with solid PIM functionality and good form factor among other things. The iPhone was out and Windows Mobile wasn't even an option for me. At first I dismissed the Blackberry because I thought the Treo would satisfy my "stick with what works" needs. But after doing some research I bit the bullet and bought a Curve. Hardware wise the Curve is awesome (although I do miss the touchscreen and hardware buttons)! But it's almost been 30 days and I'm still not totally sold on the software. For example, I know there are ways around it but why can't I create a calendar reminder more than one week out? And I really was surprised at the lack of 3rd party apps compared to PalmOS. But it's really nice having my PDA and cell phone integrated into one bad-a** device and this dog can learn new tricks! Although it would of been nice to have read these Round Robin articles before my purchase I know I made the right choice with the Curve!

Hi, As I have stated in the past, I was unsure of which smart phone to get. I had gotten the BB Curve on the salesman's suggestion ( he uses a previous model ). The 680 is, indeed, a nice phone and I almost got it. Now if the developers would get with the program, we too could, and Should, have the apps we need. Jon

BB is catching up in the 3rd party apps game....I've already got most of the apps on my bb that were important to me on my Tungsten--as soon as they get a decent, relatively inexpensive doc program like Docs to go, I'll be a happy girl.

That was a great review of the Palm Treo. I am with you on the dated look, even the really old black and white Palm I had many years ago still had that old fashioned Windows 3.1 look and feel. You would think they would update it, and give it some "eye candy." As stupid as it may sound, I think that this definitely helps sell some of the devices out there. Nonetheless, what a great review. Everyone in the Round Robin has been doing awesome reviews throughout the process.

Kevin, review is great. I know this device is out-dated but I would consider it as my second phone. It looks really like Curve or better to say, Curve looks like Treo. Like I said before it would be better that you could use Treo 500, or 750...

I'm really waiting for your iPhonr review from Blackberry user perspecitve...

It feels like I've had them all, a least in every OS with and without touchscreens (other than Symbian) and the Curve just feels like it was built from the ground up as a communication device (voice and email). IT JUST WORKS. I loved tinkering and hacking Palm OS, Windows Mobile (whether PPC, WM, etc), and the unhackable iPhone, yet the pieces never worked together. Palm OS experience only covered the Samsung i500 and Treo 270/600/650, so I never forayed into the 680+ generation, but the more I "loaded on" Frakengarnet, the more unstable the system became. Same goes for PPC/WM - they just fell clunky and cludgy (and that includes the Tilt and the best of breed Blackjack). True, I haven't customized the Curve much at all, but I don't feel that longing need to do so.

All I want now is for AT&T to adopt the T-Mobile UMA model and switch me seemlessly from cellular to WiFi - for the voice services. Short of the gorgeous screen on the iPhone, no device has useful web browsing for anthing more than information gathering. Even that iPhone is over-hyped because you still only effectively get a window on the real web world. Stick to an ultraportable for that.

Thanks for this detailed and very interesting review! I'm really enjoying the round robin series -- though I haven't used all the devices being reviewed, I have used all the review OS's and it's fascinating to see another crackberry user's take on those operating systems.

Just looking at the home screen on the Palm OS makes me angry. I don't know why, I just hate it that much. Good review, but considering that the Palm OS is around 5 years old now, there's no surprise why you weren't particularly wowed by anything. Hopefully when the Linux Palm OS comes out in 09 (probably '10 the way Palm is moving), it'll be an innovative and feature rich smartphone OS.

You pretty much got it right - the 680 can be a great device IF you load it up with 3rd party apps.

Glad you took on ZLauncher - it's a beast but worth it if you spend time with it. Your theme needs some work, though :) As far as the 3.1 look, that's up to you. The default, yes. But with ZLauncher you can make it look pretty much exactly like the iPhone if you want. Hi-Res eye candy is limited pretty much by you if you play with it enough.

Nice write-up!

I thought your write-up was very detailed and I thought Arcade Reality was a pretty cool app. It seems, however, that your battery will definately suffer from playing that game. I wonder how that would fair on a Curve.

As a former Treo 650 > Cingular 8525 > Treo 750 user and now 8310 Curve user, your review and applicable comments are very accurate. The email applications and stability of the Treo devices and Windows OS respectively are difficult and frustrating. I suffered from "multi-soft reset" carpal tunnel syndrome directly associated with the Palm and Windows OS devices.

I am quite happy with the BB Curve. Finally found a device which will tolerate my workload and at times, impatience with unstable/unreliable devices.

I'm glad that you could go back to one handed use near the end. That was the main reason I got the pearl. I didn't realize that the curve would be decent one handed as well. I probably would have gotten the curve instead of the pearl, but the curve wasn't out yet when I got the pearl. Didn't realize that palm couldn't multitask. Good review.

Without all the cool 3rd party aps, the naked Treo wouldn't be very good looking. So far, this seems to be the closest competitor for the BB

The other day, I was in an at&t store browsing phones (geeky, I know) and I walked by the treos. My friend turned to me and said "What is that?" referencing a 680 model. I responded with "You've never seen a treo?" and he answered back with "What is that, some kind of blackberry knock off?" at which I was instantly reminded of the round robin, and compelled to comment, haha.

Great write up on the 680. As a 680 user, I have been debating switching to the BB. As soon as BB gets D2G, the switch may happen, but until then I will have to stay with the Treo as I use documents often on my 680. Maybe in the spring.

Well I can say I did not see the issue that I have seen with besides the whole application and how it still acts like windows 3.1! The other issue that I ran into quite frequently why I do not like the Treos in general is they are prone to lock ups! There is a cool software called Good Sync that will allow you to get e-mail from an exchange server but truthfully I prefer the Black Berry's Push e-mail scheme a lot better. I used to use a Treo 680 for my previous job and before I got the curve I almost picked up a 680 for myself but I am glad I did not because the call log blows, touch screen was a pain to use especially answer incoming calls. The battery life was downright horrible *worse then my curve*, the memory leaks it has is worse then the bb. Let's put it this way, if I had to have any other phone, I would choose a Razr over the Treo any day of the week, however, I am a BB Addict and I am not going to any other phone brand ever!


Great review of the Treo 680 Kevin. I've thought about going to a Treo several times over the last few years, but since I'm on a BES with work its been a no brainer to stay with Blackberry and take my e-mail, contacts, calendar with me everywhere I go. But Treo is a very viable alternative -I particularly like the newly released Centro (too bad its just available on Sprint for the time being).

Wow, I was quoted in a Smartphone Round Robin article! :-)


Thanks for the great, thoughtful, and thorough review. I am happy to be "stuck" with my Curve!! I can't wait to see your results of the iPhone.

Great review. Very objective. The Treo was definitely an option when I was upgrading my phone last year but I'm very glad I went with the Pearl. Would love to get my hands on the Curve!!

I use both BB 8830 and Treo Palm OS. The BB8830 huge wins are the email BES app and phone app. As far as scheduling appointments, adding third party apps and a good phone app the Treo is the choice. Palm's OS is old, but very simple and easy to use. There is software that can link appointments call history to a contact where it's very nice to have. The BB doesn't have that, yet. The size and battery: BB8830 wins on size; the battery is better. The Treo is thick and tough to manage in a pocket and the battery time is good. The SAR Level on the BB8830 is low, The Treo Palm OS CDMA is high which is concerning to me(I think there's something going on that they won't tell us). I am a long time Palm user and tried the BB 8830 for 2 months to give it chance. Unfortunately, I switched back to the Treo for better contact/calendar managment, third party apps like recording calls if you weren't able to write down something important, touchscreen(makes a big difference switching from one app to another)+ it has a keyboard, and the phone app. When someone is calling while on the phone, the Treo will show you who is calling and has touchscreen buttons to send to vmail or send a text(very nice feature). The BB phone app has the same functions, but you have to hit the trackball a couple times to send a text where as the Treo is one touch on the screen. ALL SMARTPHONES HAVE STABILITY ISSUES, EVEN THE BLACKBERRYS! When you start adding apps with both the BB and Treo, you run into small issues. The Palm OS has about 3-4 more years left in their product lifecycle. If the Treo's become thinner by half, then people will better appreciate the value of a Treo and the product life cycle could extend itself out to 6-7 years. If you work in a business that is heavy on the emails and they support BB BES, then that may be the pick. My BB 8830 is a second phone and the Treo is my primary. If they come up with an Agendus type contact manager, phnoe call recording software, I would convert to the BB 8830 fully. Until then, Treo is my main smartphone

I had the treo 680, and was very pleased with it while using it. Never quite in love with it due the the email capabilty. When news broke of the Iphone I was so excited, I figured this would be the greatest phone ever. I never considered a blackberry. I bought the Iphone the second day it came out. I have to say it was very cool, the wifi was great & the internet access was great. The big drawback was the touchscreen, I was unknowingly calling everyone all day long, my husband, sister, mother & boss were listening to my conversations - about EVERYTTHING - HUGE PROBLEM. Apparently this has happenend to many people. Also, if you send more than 10 emails a day your battery dies mid day another drawback I found with the Treo 680 as well. Another problem I found was that I could not send pictures via Text messaging or recieve them via text messeaging on the Ipone. I went to AT&T and they suggested the Curve, try it for 30 days. At first I hated it, it was strange - I was used to the touch screen from both phones. But after one week - reading tips from your site & just playing around with the phone - I love it. In the first week I found a new great feature all the time. It is simple, efficient and for someone who is out all day the battery last - plus it fully charges in 45 minute. I now feel like I don't now how I lived without it. I have converted my sister, mother, & now my husband. Thank you for you lessons, they have been quite helpful.

I am planning to move to Blackberry 8300.

I am a single user and - at the moment - I synchronize my Palm Zire Calendar, Contacts and Tasks with Outlook 2007 at Windows Vista.

I won't have a Blackberry server (BSE) so I don't know if I will be able to synchronize my new 8300 data with the Outlook data which stands alone on my laptop.

Any feedback will be appreciated

I was wondering your experience with the following:

1. User sound clarity and volume
2. Sound clarity for the person whom you were speaking with on the other end

I have owned both a Treo 650 and a BB 8830. I find the Treo lacks in in sound quality and definitely in sound volume. The BB8830 amplified background noise so much for those on the other end of the phone with me that despite prefering the feel and function of the BB, I had to return it and go back to the Treo.

What were your experiences?