Treo 600 vs. Blackberry 7230 — You’d be Surprised!

I have a confession to make. After owning a Treo 600 (Sprint PCS CDMA Version) and a Blackberry 7230 (T-Mobile), I surprisingly returned the Treo 600 in favor of the Treo 600.

After reading Walt Mossberg’s article, which raved about the Treo 600, I expected to be blown away by the device and its capabilities. When you add in the fact that I had been soured by my last experience with an integrated phone/PDA from RIM, nobody was more surprised than I was that I ended up preferring the Blackberry 7230.

Blackberry 7230 is still the best-in-class device if you are an email power user – Leaving aside any discussion of the merits of Good vs. Blackberry from a software standpoint, I would have to say that the Blackberry is a better device if you are an email addict. I find the Blackberry keyboard to be a bit more hand-friendly for typing long messages and the device is really optimized for email. The Treo 600 is MUCH better than its predecessor in terms of its support for email and data synchronization, but I just feel that the Blackberry can’t be beat if you are really just looking for a PDA with wireless email.

Leisure-First vs. Work-First Decision – My previous comment relates to a larger design difference between the two devices. The Blackberry 7230 is a device designed with a work-first, leisure second design principle. It is really optimized for the Monday – Saturday mobile working professional (hence the lack of a music player, digital camera, or any other real entertainment capabilities). The Treo 600 is much more of a balanced leisure/work device. It has the capabilities to perform admirably as a work or leisure device, but doesn’t force the issue.

World Class Mobile Browsing Experiences – Without gushing too much, both devices offer incredibly strong mobile browsing experiences. With either device you will have the ability to easily navigate most websites, save those that make heavy use of JavaScript. I have been very pleased with the GPRS network speeds on the T-Mobile network.

All in all, I think that the Treo 600 is a great device and is probably the best one if you are not a hardcore email addict. But, I think that it is time that people give RIM some of the design credit that is usually reserved for Apple and Palm — the folks from Waterloo have designed a nearly perfect device for their target audience.