I’ve been using the Palm Treo 500v for a week now. This device is the first Vodafone device using the User Interface that we have jointly developed with them.
I had a Palm Treo 500v as an Engineering sample but I always hate to give opinions on those devices as they are normally unstable, not final hardware and tend to have some problems (if it worked perfectly it would have shipped)
Grey or White…
When I first saw the Treo 500v I really didn’t like the white device I much preferred the Grey… however I’ve completely changed my mind and I now much prefer the white. My initial concern was that the white device would get grubby but so far it’s not got a mark and I’ve been carrying it around in my pocket all the time.
Do I love the UI?
Our UK team created the Vodafone UI and when I first saw it I thought it was amazing – really smooth and provides quick access to the key features on the device very easily. It makes Windows Mobile accessible to a lot more inexperienced Phone users I believe. I’m a Power User so sometimes certain functions (like Settings) are a few more key presses away than I would like but one top tip is to use the Centre Key to bring up the Main Menu (see screenshot below). For most users the UI gives access to the most frequently used options very quickly and will probably be of great help to them.
Other things I like
I really like the form factor of the 500v. I used to be a big Treo 750v fan (mainly due to it’s excellent keyboard) but the 500v is winning me over. That’s not to say that the 500v is intended to be a 750v replacement… it isn’t but it is interesting to compare the two form factors and it certainly gives Palm users a choice. I was showing it today to some of our Windows Mobile Support teams and they were all shocked about how light the device is despite it’s physical size.
I do like the simplification of switching profile, setting Alarms and even Home Screens that the My Settings options give you.
It’s also great to see Office Mobile on a Windows Mobile 6 Standard device!
As I mentioned earlier in this post I have been using a Treo 750v extensively so I was going to be most critical of the keyboard on the 500v. On first impressions I thought the keyboard would not be as good but I’ve found it to be really responsive and I would have to say it was a dead heat between the 750v and 500v keyboard.
Things I don’t like
The only gripes I have about the 500v are :
1) I’d really like a dedicated camera button (I should probably RTFM as I’m sure there must be a way to access the Camera quickly) (I’m sure someone will post a comment to tell me how)
2) WiFi – The device does have 3G however I’d really like to have WiFi for use at home as I don’t get 3G coverage where I live
Overall the 500v is a brave step for Palm and one I think people will enjoy once the device is available 1st October.