Economy of Effort

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Treo 650

After my last piece of junk cell phone broke (the Motorola V180), I decided to get out of the “buying whatever phone Cingular offers cheapest” rat race and buy myself a cell phone worthy of owning.

That phone is the Palm Treo 650. I bought a slightly used (but in fantastic shape) Treo off of eBay.

With Chatter Email, my email gets “pushed” to my cell phone, Blackberry style.

With VeriChat, I have a multi-network IM client right on my phone. Even when my phone is asleep with the screen off, I’m still logged into AIM and ICQ in the background, and when someone messages me, my phone wakes and alerts me.

With the included Blazer web browser, I’ve got an awfully nice bite-sized web browser. I’ve bookmarked a number of PDA-friendly websites (ESPN’s “PocketPC” version of their site, Amazon Anywhere, AOL Moviefone WAP, and others).

It’s great. Cingular offers unlimited Internet access for $20, and it’s excellent. It’s not a 3G phone so I can’t get on those super-fast data networks like Verizon’s EVDO, but my next smartphone will. As it is, going from regular junky phone to any kind of usable Internet access at all is quite a jump, and Cingular’s EDGE network is just fine for email, IM, and some on-the-spot web browsing.

I’d love a higher quality camera (it only has a VGA, 0.3 megapixel camera), and faster data support, and maybe a better web browser (Blazer is nice but slow, other browsers on the Palm are either fast and ugly or fast and crashy-unstable). I know I will upgrade a year or so from now and look back and wonder how I lived with some of the “lacking” features. But right now, I’m giddy.