Treo 700w Review Phone Features

Treo 700w Review Continued:
Phone Features

January 11, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

First a phone, then a smartphone

The Palm Treo 700w is a phone first, then a smartphone, so performing well as a phone of the utmost importance. Initiating a call can be accomplished a variety of ways:

  • Speed Dial Photo Favorites
  • Speed Dial Buttons without photo
  • Typing either a name or number into the phone “form” box
  • Dial from within Contacts
  • Dial a phone number from within an email
  • Dial a phone number from a webpage

Dial from web on 700w

Suffice to say, the Treo 700w offers a number of options to make a call. I was very happy with the quality of the calls with the Treo 700w. Without using a headset, the Treo 700w was slightly better than the Treo 650. Calls were clear on both ends. For the first day or so, I did not have my Bluetooth headset set up with the Treo 700w. This was intentional, as I wanted to try the speakerphone and use the Treo as a handheld. Both the phone and speakerphone performed very well. My father, who recently turned 76, was a good test considering he can barely hear me when I call on a landline. He was able to hear me without an issue and said, “You sound clear” and was surprised to hear that i had him on speakerphone. I’ve been using the Treo 700w for a week and it’s met my expectations in terms of phone call quality.

Bluetooth Headsets on the Treo 700w

As a Palm Treo 650 owner, I was happy to see that my Bluetooth headset would be compatible with the new Treo 700w. I use the Sony Ericsson HBH-660 and the new pairing was quite seamless. Simply touch the Bluetooth icon at the top of the Windows Today screen, Select Devices, New Partnership and then follow the directions. The Sony HBH-660 paired in just a few seconds. The Sony has always worked great with the 650, so I was curious to see how it would perform with the 700w.

Treo 700w Bluetooth

When initiating a call, the Treo picked up the headset almost instantaneously. On the flip side, when receiving a call, the headset actually rang before the Treo. This is big plus for Treo 650 owners who are moving to the Treo 700w. You can expect that you’re Bluetooth headset will work with the new Treo. Mileage may vary, but I couldn’t be happier with the results of the 700w with the Sony HBH-660. Quality of the call was not different than with my Treo 650. Excerpt from review of Treo 650 with Sony Ericsson HBH-660: I experienced very good voice quality on both ends using the 660. Volume was at an above average level. Depending on the surroundings, the headset could be a touch louder. Overall, I was able to hear callers in outdoor conditions. From the callerĂ¢??s perspective, my voice was clear and often compared to that of a landline.

Calling Features

On the Treo 650, you have on-screen buttons allowing for easy hang-up, speakerphone function, hold features and to access the dial pad. It’s also quite easy to put someone on hold and to add a call. The Treo 700w has similar features, but they are hidden in the menus. Pressing the left menu button will place the call on hold. If you dial a second contact while on a call, it will automatically put the first caller on hold until you press the Conference button. To sum it up, conference calling is available on the Treo 700w, but requires the use of the menu buttons rather than the on-screen buttons of the Treo 650. By automatically placing someone on hold when you make a second call, the Treo 700w does save you a step. Like many features on the Treo 700w, utilizing the menu buttons is key. I found it easy enough to set up a conference call on the Treo 700w. On the 700w, when you end the conference, you are hanging up on the second caller. This allows you to finish a conversation with caller one if necessary. On the Treo 650, ending a conference call resulted in hanging up on both callers.

Voice Command

Neatly tucked away in the Settings section of the Treo 700w is a very powerful feature. Once activated, Voice Command
can be initiated by setting up a button in the Buttons preferences. In my testing, I set up the side button on the Treo. Holding
this button brings up a microphone icon. I instructed the Treo to “Call Gino’s Pizzeria“. The Treo 700w
repeated back my command and I could have the Treo 700w dial by either pressing the left menu button or the Phone button.
In the case of multiple phone numbers, you can instruct the Treo to call the home, mobile, work phone number associated with the contact. For instance, “Call Mary Smith Mobile“. It also brings up the contact record allowing you to easily scroll to the appropriate number.

Getting to the Speakerphone

Accessing the speakerphone option on the Treo 700w requires some dexterity. You must first access the Menu button and press the center of the 5-way navigator to enable the speakerphone. Gone is the big button of the Treo 650, which enabled a quick switch to the speakerphone by pressing the button on-screen. Accessing speakerphone using Windows Mobile 5 seems a bit clumsy. I’ve done it a few times while driving and don’t recommend it. If Microsoft would allow you to use the same menu button to access a feature, this would minimize the downside. One nice feature was the ability to go back to Bluetooth. Let’s say you put a caller on speakerphone, you can opt to back to using your Bluetooth headset. First you select the Menu button, Go to Bluetooth and then use the center of the 5-way navigator.

Treo 700w Review continued: Calendar and Contacts

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