There was a previous Treo 750, but it had been ravaged from downloading of third party applications and bluetooth file transfers. Despite an installed 6GB microSD card via a miniSD adapter, I would constantly get error messages about insufficient memory and apps such as Internet Explorer were rendered useless. No matter what I tried to do with the phone, it would most certainly become unusable within minutes. As a result, I had AT&T send me a refurb replacement via the warranty program.
I was trying my best to be realistic about the Treo's capabilities and not adopt any high expectations. After all, the Nokia E71 (or the entire ESeries product line) was in a league of its own as far as multimedia convergence was concerned. I certainly did not expect my Palm device to multitask and remain in a stable mode in the past, so why I insisted on pushing it beyond its limits was beyond me. All I knew was that receiving another refurb model with a clean slate gave a second opportunity to work with the old device with patience and common sense. Instead of being disenchanted with what the Treo could NOT do, I was to try and be grateful for what it COULD do.
So far, so good...there was only a 1GB microSD card in the device (with a miniSD adapter) and I appeared to be doing just fine in running a couple apps at a time. The only downside was the limited bluetooth capability which didn't even allow me to transfer files through the air to the Treo 750! Since I couldn't forward vcards from my E71 to the Treo, I chose to spend a part of the night entering all contacts and calendar data by hand. This wasn't too bad since it allowed me to regain familiarity with Treo qwerty.
What turned out to be a pleasant surprise was the playback capability of YouTube videos via the Streaming Media application. The screen quality was not as vivid or clear as the E71, and the volume (although plenty loud) did lack depth and bass with its mono output. The videos did demonstrate suitable play performance with practically no sign of delay, and this was most likely thanks to the 3G network data connection.
The same data connection came in handy for the acquisition of my incoming mail messages via Outlook Mobile. However, it was not on the same level as Nokia Email on the E71. Instead of configuring my Gmail as an IMAP account, it set it up as a POP account. No matter what I happened to do on my Treo 750 in managing my mailbox, it would not register to the main server. Having to delete messages from my Treo and then from my Gmail account online was a bit of an inconvenience, but certainly not the end of the world. As long as Outlook Mobile could remain steadfast in updating my inbox as it was supposed to, I didn't have much to worry about. However, accessing HTML was not a default action when opening new mail, and getting to certain site pages without a mobile version proved to be impossible without a provided desktop version link. I had since then attempted to setup my IMAP Gmail account manually and hoped for positive results.
Later on in the day I continued to find great benefits to the Treo 750's offerings. Qwerty feedback felt really solid and every single keypress registered onscreen. Within minutes I was speeding along in typing with the keypad for text entry just as if I was on the E71. Sound quality was a bit lacking in comparison to what I was used to on the E71, but sufficient nonetheless. I was able to make and receive calls with no trouble and via the earpiece and the speakerphone was of moderate volume (similar to the E71). Incoming messages via SMS worked just fine, and I had to be honest and confess my liking of the threaded conversation layout returning with the Treo. Of course, the graphical emoticons always added a bit of humor and charm to the messaging feature.
Accessing websites via Internet Explorer only involved the mobile versions, and I was not about to try and push the Treo beyond that capability; as long as I could access Facebook and my mobile banking, that's all that mattered. Upon making Google my homepage, I did discover the use of the Windows Live text field on the home screen. Inputting any kind of reference would quickly bring me to search results from Google on Internet Explorer, and I was quite impressed by this. For a long while I had never given this feature a chance (and didn't take advantage of the similar Nokia Search feature either), but I was glad to finally see how useful it could be.
Another aspect about the Treo that I liked was the word prediction software. It appeared to make more sense than that of the E71, and yes I was even willing to admit that. The listing of suggested words just seemed to be more intuitive as I typed along in rapid succession. The touch screen navigation was definitely a feature that I took advantage of in my operation of the device, and the stylus sweep across chosen text for copy/paste functions was a godsend!
Honestly, I had developed a whole new respect for the old Treo 750 despite my preconceptions about it. Once I really took the time to understand it with an open mind and realized that everything can't run like a Nokia, I was hardly disappointed in it's performance. However, despite all of these findings I soon found myself placing the SIM card back into my Nokia E71 and feeling right at home once again. The time with my refurbished Treo 750 may not have lasted long, but it was certainly an eye-opening experience.