TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Treo650 v Blackberry

Re: Treo650 v Blackberry

John Bartley (
Wed, 08 Dec 2004 13:21:44 -0500

On 7 Dec 2004, in comp.dcom.telecom Mark <> wrote:

> Has anyone done an investigation as to the specific features and
> benefits of each of these devices. Ultimately they seem similar in
> almost every way. One thing that I really don't understand is the
> email. How does the treo work v the blackberry.

There are fundamental differences between the Blackberry and a Treo
600/650, and then some important differences within the same device

1. RESALE VALUE As an educational experience, go off to eBay and see
what the resale value of a Blackberry is, as compared to the resale
value of a Treo 600 or 650.

2. OPERATING SYSTEM The Blackberry runs an obscure proprietary
operating s ystem, with very few third-party applications. The Treo
runs a third-party well-documented operating system from, PalmOS 5, with over 2 0,000 applications available.
Visit for an idea of how much is out there for

3. BUNDLED SOFTWARE The Treo 650 is bundled with Documents To Go from
Data Viz, reviewed as being better at editing and viewing Word and
Excel files t han even Pocket Word and Pocket Excel on a Pocket PC.
You can read/write/e dit M$ Word and Excel documents, loaded through
the sync process, insert via an SD card or receive by e-mail
attachment. Here's a list of what else you get:

Phone, Contacts, Calendar, VersaMail, Messaging (SMS), Media, Camera,
Camcorder, Web browser, RealPlayer, Tasks, Memos, Calculator, World
Clock, HotSync AE Manager (program for your desktop for syncing data
in and out), link to Microsoft Outlook (Windows only), AudiblePlayer
(MP3s), Palm=99 eReader (e-books), and games (Zap! 2016 & Solitaire).

You can check and see what software comes with the Blackberry model you're
interested in at

4. CELLULAR CARRIER The original Blackberries worked on a two-way
paging network which was elegant and very robust, but now is in
serious decline. Now, Blackberries work over SMR (mobile radio)
networks like NEXTEL, SOUTHERN LINC and MIKE (they're not really
cellular companies, although they act like it), as well as on cellular
and PCS-cellular carriers like SprintPCS, Telus Mobility, Bell
Mobility, Rogers, T-Mobile and Cingular. I am wary of NEXTEL because
the data feed is _very_ slow (9.6kbps), even when compared t o poky
ol' GPRS (38kbps download with Cingular, Rogers, T-Mobile)), not to
mention SPCS speed with their 1xRTT/CDMA system (50-70 kbps in real

> I heard rumors that for the treo to work your computer must be on, and
> it must be forwarding your messages to versamail. Is this true. How
> does the blackberry work instead? Any information will be greatly
> appreciated.

Both the Blackberry and the Treo can work with or without your PC
on. If your company has bought an e-mail server running special
software from Blackb erry or Good Technology, that can autoforward
e-mail to your handheld without requiring your PC be turned on for

Has your company bought that special server and software and installed
it? If not, than your PC can be set up to forward mail, or there's
another approach.

My Palm machine (a Tungsten W, but the same trick works with Treos)
gets an SMS sent to it by T-Mobile (my cellular carrier) whenever an
e-mail comes into to any one of several e-mail addresses which meets
criteria I specify (from wife, from other family, from Red Cross or
has any of a series of special phrases in the Subject line of the
message). The e-mail address has to be served by a POP3 or IMAP
server, but almost every mail server has the c apability. (Yahoo
makes you pay for POP3 access, BTW.)

This is a poor man's forwarding server, as I don't get the entire
message in the SMS; but, I do get notified, I do see who sent it and
the subject line. If it is really worthy, I can pick it up with
VersaMail very quickly.

The USENET news groups comp.sys.palmtops.pilot (for PalmOS) and
comp.sys.ha ndhelds (for Blackberries) are other good places to answer
these and more PDA e-mail questions.

John Bartley K7AAY
Author, Wireless Palm FAQ, Handheld's Cellular Data FAQ & PalmSource Expert
Guide to Amateur Radio

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