Mobi Products Cradle With Battery Charger For Treo 800w Offers Best Desktop Sync & Charge Solution
For starters the Mobi Products Cradle for Treo 800w is cheaper ($24.95 vs. $29.95) and allows you to not only sync and charge your smartphone but also conveniently charge a spare battery (such as the standard 1150mAh Palm battery or the much larger capacity Seidio 2600mAh Extended Battery) thanks to its built-in battery charging slot at the back of the unit.
This Treo 800w cradle is solid and well built but arguably a bit plain with no particularly attractive design features. Having said this it also doesn’t look out of place on my desk and stays firmly in place thanks to six large rubber feet at the base.
Your Treo 800w slots quickly and easily into the microUSB connector at the front but because the base is form-fitting it will not accomodate skin cases such as the very popular and extremely well designed Seidio FlexArmor skin case.
While the Mobi Products Cradle for Treo 800w is my top choice there are however a few things that could be improved. For starters, the manufacturer chose to use a miniUSB charging connector at the back instead of the microUSB that the Treo 800w uses so you won’t be able to use the included wall charger to power your smartphone. Next is the somewhat complicated internal wiring which uses two separate power blocks – the first (USB) only sync & charges your Treo 800w while the second (wall charger) only charges your battery. Clearly I would have preferred the wall charger to simultaneously charge _both_ the battery and my smartphone (particularly when for example the cradle is used by your bedside and not at your desk).
Overall, even with the minor above complaints, I feel that this Mobi Products Treo 800w Cradle is by far the best available choice today as it offers excellent value, very good build quality and rather conveniently and importantly also includes an essential built-in spare battery charger.
Separately, below you’ll find some more bestselling Treo 800w accessories which are all Editor’s Choice products as well:
1. Motorola MicroUSB High Performance Car Charger
Power and battery life has been one of the most debated issues with the Treo 800w. However, it’s evident that the combined use of 3G + WiFi + GPS on a daily basis will drain power on this smartphone faster and this is presumably the reason for the popularity of this Treo 800w car charger (along with a battery and spare wall charger) which allows you to keep your device fully charged while driving to or from work or while on the go.
This Motorola MicroUSB High Performance Car Charger in particular is extremely well built and beautifully designed with a strong and durable coil for extendable reach and the unique lens illuminates when plugged into your vehicle's power socket
Only $14.95 – See More Treo 800w Car Chargers
2. Seidio Spring Clip Holster Un-Skinned
The newly released high quality and custom-fitting Treo 800w holster from Seidio provides the convenience of always having your smartphone by your side and also offers the fastest way to answer your phone within close reach.
Only $29.95 – See More Treo 800w Holsters
3. Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors (3-Pack)
As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, most seasoned Treonauts know full well that the touchscreen is not only one of the most delicate components of their smartphone but also one prone to scratches if unprotected. These Smartphone Experts Screen Protectors ensure peace of mind.
Only $15.95 – See More Treo 800w Screen Protectors
4. SPE P6 Pouch Case
Given the fact that this P6 Pouch Case has been the bestselling case for all Treo smartphones for over two year it should not be surprising to see that it’s also one of the most popular for Treo 800w owners. Its extremely sturdy build combined with a large and strong front magnetic flap combined with its low price continue to make the P6 one of the best value products.
Only $19.95 – See More Treo 800w Cases
5. Motorola MicroUSB Rapid Travel Charger
Adding to the Treo 800w “power kit” this Rapid Travel Charger from Motorola is not only perfect for travel as it’s very small and light but also ideal for recharging your smartphone quickly as it does so in just 120 minutes.
Only $19.95 – See More Treo 800w Wall Chargers
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Palm Announces Centro smartphone for Sprint Available With 128MB Memory In Two New Soft-Touch Colors - Olive green and Vibrant rose - Starting Oct. 19 From $79.99
Following the success of its Centro smartphone and in preparation for the holidays, Palm today announced that the Centro smartphone for Sprint will become available in two new soft-touch colors – Olive green and Vibrant rose – as early as Oct. 19 at select retail locations, and beginning Nov. 2 in Sprint Stores, consumer and business sales channels, and online for as low as $79.99.
More importantly, Palm also announced that it has DOUBLED the available memory on these Sprint Centro smartphones to 128MB (up from 64MB on existing models) and naturally also still leaving the ability to add up to 8GB more with a microSD card.
Additionally, these new Sprint Centro smartphones will now have the new excellent Facebook for Palm application (screenshots above) and Google Maps with the My Location feature pre-installed on the device. Facebook for Palm lets users connect with friends, respond to messages, upload photos and videos, receive status updates, browse friends' profiles and send out new friend requests -- all right from their Centro. And with Google Maps' new My Location feature, Centro knows where the user is and what's close by, so customers can find nearby restaurants, get directions, or see updated traffic reports.
Although I’m not a fashionista, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute added: "We're seeing fashion designers gravitate toward olive and rose tones, as forecasted in the PANTONE Fashion Color Reports for Fall 2008 and Spring 2009. Olive green and Vibrant rose are both strong fashion colors, offering a sense of sophistication and elegance. These hues are classic colors, with the longevity to translate from season to season."
Pricing and Availability
The new colors will be available for a special promotional price -- as low as $79.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement and $100 mail-in rebate and $25 or higher data add-on or Everything plan with data -- through Jan. 10, 2009.
New Centro Accessories
Palm also announced that it is introducing (available in November) several custom-designed Centro accessories (but has not yet provided images of these) that are simple and lightweight:
-- Centro Side Case -- This smart and elegant leather side case has white stitching, smooth microfiber lining to help protect the phone, a magnetic closure and an attached belt clip.
-- Centro Leather Flip Case -- The new Centro leather flip case lets users access Centro's touch screen, keyboard and buttons while it's snapped safely inside the case. It flips open for talking and using the phone, and comes with an array of liner and stitching colors to choose from -- black, green, rose or blue..
-- Vehicle Power Adapter -- The new vehicle power adapter for Centro is small and sleek, and includes a USB-to-microUSB cable and a multi-connector adapter (microUSB to multi-connector).
Bestselling Centro Accessories
You may also want to have a look at the Top 10 currently bestselling accessories for your Palm Centro below:
- SPE Skin Case
- SPE Screen Protectors
- SPE Stereo Adapter
- Seidio Super Slim Rubberized Hard Case
- Seidio 2in1 Stylus
- SPE TopPouch
- Cellet Cradle
- Palm Battery
- Palm Stylus (3 Pack)
- Mobi Crystal Case
SPECIAL OFFER: To celebrate this latest Palm announcement, for a limited time get 10% Off your purchase of any accessories in our Centro Store. Just enter coupon code CENTRO10 during Checkout.
Centronauts are always the most colorful…
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Review of $199 Redfly Mobile Companion Reveals Versatile, Powerful and Simple Plug & Play Solution For Your Windows Mobile Smartphone
Following the recent 50% reduction of the Celio Redfly Mobile Companion to only $199 this device has become a lot more appealing to many Treonauts who own a Windows Mobile smartphone such as the Treo Pro or Treo 800w and the Redfly has quite literally been flying off the shelves at this price.
While I refrained from getting my own Redfly when it was available for $399 I have to admit that the $199 price point made it rather more enticing to take this device for a spin and below you’ll now find my review.
The whole idea behind the Redfly is that it seeks to eliminate the need to carry a laptop and instead “allows you to use your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone as a laptop” without the typical costs or maintenance associated with a traditional PC. This is why the Redfly unit has no operating system, no CPU, no hard drive and no installed software of any kind.
The Redfly is essentially a “smartphone terminal” that connects to your Treo via cable or Bluetooth and uses your smartphone’s CPU power and 3G or WiFi data connectivity to work on any application installed on your device with the benefit of a much larger keyboard and screen – something which some mobile professionals who primarily need only email, a browser and a VPN or Remote Access while on the go have actually found to be extremely appealing.
The Redfly Mobile Companion is a small (only 1 x 6 x 9 inches), light (only 2 lbs.) and extremely solid, elegant (with a wine red rubberized coating) and well built laptop “shell” which offers a keyboard + touchpad, 8 inch screen at 800x480 resolution, Bluetooth, 2x USB ports and VGA port as well as a 4500mAh battery that lasts a very healthy eight hours.
The two USB ports (pictured below) can be used to connect a wired/wireless mouse (no drivers required), flash drive or memory card reader as well as your smartphone with a Retractable S&C Cable for example (your smartphone charges when plugged-in) while the VGA port will allow you to connect a monitor or projector for presentations.
Considering that the Redfly is only 9 inches wide it’s clear that the keyboard is tiny but even with my large fingers I found it surprisingly easy to use. Additionally, the screen offers excellent resolution and brightness for both indoor and outdoor use (I have not yet had to set the brightness at more than 60%).
Small details such as the side power button (above right), the latchless screen closure mechanism and large rubber feet at the bottom all contribute to make the Redfly mobile companion a rather pleasant device to work with.
Perhaps my only complaint (albeit minor) is that the charger is both a bit larger and heavier (7.2 oz) than I would have liked but then again when compared to the diminutive Redfly everything else starts looking big…
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main advantages of the Redfly Mobile Companion is that it does not have nor requires any on-board software to work with your smartphone (you just need to install the Redfly driver on your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone and you’re ready to go within only a couple of minutes).
With the driver installed on my Treo Pro I simply plugged the USB sync cable into one of the USB ports (you can also use Bluetooth) at the back of the Redfly and pressed the Power button on the Mobile Companion. Within five short seconds the Redfly had “acquired” my smartphone and I was now able to view my display in 800x480 resolution (nearly four times the size of your 320x320 resolution smartphone screen).
The actual screenshot (click for full size) of my Programs screen on the Redfly above for example can now display seven applications across while my smartphone is limited to three.
Virtually all Microsoft applications installed on your smartphone will work at this higher display resolution. For me the most important were all PIM applications such as Contacts, Messaging, Tasks, Calendar and Notes as well as Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader and all Office Mobile apps (Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word) – I was delighted to see that I had absolutely no problem at all using all of these applications.
For example, working within Excel Mobile at 75% zoom I was able to easily view 12 columns and 19 rows of content (screenshot above). Other examples include the Contacts below left and a full HTML email below right (click for full size).
Generally speaking you will have to test the other Windows Mobile software that you have installed on your smartphone to determine whether it will display correctly at the higher resolution that the Redfly delivers. For example, Google Maps (below) worked superbly well while CorePlayer Mobile was unable to properly display video.
Also, it’s clear that mobile browsing will be a core priority for Treonauts interested in the Redfly Mobile Companion. In this respect, I’m happy to report that Pocket Internet Explorer and the Iris Browser work extremely well both over 3G and WiFi but Opera Mobile unfortunately will not launch.
Additionally, although I could receive calls without any problems on my Treo Pro while connected to the Redfly (I highly recommend using a Bluetooth headset for all calls) for some reason the main Phone application would not display properly. An easy way around this proved to be simply accessing the Contacts app and initiating all my calls from there.
Overall however there were significantly more applications that worked perfectly well with the Redfly than those that did not and I grew rapidly used to the increased screen real estate that it offers.
UPDATE: Celio has provided me with some additional info below:
1) We’re working on fixing the HTC Comm Manager and the Treo Pro Dialer and will release an update to the Treo Pro REDFLY driver when fixed.
2) Sadly, in general, video doesn’t work. There are a few isolated combinations (phone model/video codec/REDFLY firmware/media player) that do somewhat work. But the frame rate is poor and the combinations are so specific and sometimes unpredictable that we have to officially say, “No video is supported at this time.” We want to watch video on our REDFLYs just as bad as everyone else, so it’s a high priority to fix. However, due to bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth and USB (no phones right now I believe support USB 2.0 although the REDFLY does) and the fact that video must be compressed and decompressed twice (once in the media player on the phone and again on the way to the REDFLY screen) we may still be one or two product generations down the road before we get true video on the phone itself to transmit properly to the REDFLY. There is a slim chance we could get some video working with just a firmware update to the current version, but it is quite a long shot and most likely will come in a later product iteration down the road. We’re currently working on a short-term workaround (stay tuned) but even that still won’t support full video from a phone’s media player.
3) The Opera 9.6 and Skyfire browsers will not work. We’ve been in touch with both companies, but each would have to alter some code to get their browsers to scale/handle the resolution change. Opera 8.6 works great though.
I have to say that I have been rather pleasantly surprised by my Redfly Mobile Companion experience. It is extremely easy to setup and use, beautifully designed and built, offers a good keyboard and large high resolution screen in a very small and light body. I would personally not have considered ever getting one priced at $399 but at the current $199 I have to admit that the Redfly gets two thumbs up from me. Mobile professionals who don’t want or need a full laptop on the go will be rather pleased by its simple yet powerful features (see below).
Top 10 Redfly Mobile Companion Benefits
- Present from your smartphone
Deliver PowerPoint presentations from your phone via the REDFLY’s built-in VGA port. Anything on the smartphone can be displayed via VGA.
- Travel light
Leave your laptop behind, but take your data with you.
- Easy email, attachment and documents
The larger display and keyboard make it easy to use email and applications such as Office Mobile (Excel, Word, PowerPoint).
- Web browser on a large display
Enjoy a better web browsing experience with the ability to view pages without scrolling, zooming or squinting.
- ALT-TAB like a desktop
Quickly move between open applications using the familiar Alt-Tab key stroke.
- Bluetooth to the phone
Connect between your smartphone and the REDFLY via Bluetooth for a wire free experience. Use your phone and REDFLY at the same time.
- Use a flash drive
Access data using USB flash drives or memory cards with a card reader.
- Charge your smartphone
Charge your smartphone while connected via USB for extended productivity time.
- Travel with one charger
The REDFLY can be set to keep the USB ports powered when plugged into the wall. Charge the smartphone via USB and you only carry one charger.
- Notes on the fly
Use the Windows Mobile Notes feature and take notes while on a phone call or in a meeting. All information is always with you and easily searched.
Treonauts are always ready to fly…
Unlocked Palm Treo Pro Available From Dell For Only $475 – You Save $74 or 13.5% Off Normal Suggested Retail Price
Just a couple of days ago I was rather excited to be able to announce that the Treo Pro is now available to buy directly from the Treonauts Store priced at $549.95 with the bonus of a bundled free SPE Micro USB Sync & Charge Cable valued at $11.95 – something which I personally found to be a great deal.
Now while doing some research on the web this morning I stumbled upon an even better offer which has the Treo Pro at Dell priced at only $475 (before tax) – an incredibly low price that gives you a full $74 (13.5%) off Palm’s official retail price and makes this (even after tax of between $20 to $40 where applicable) without a doubt the current best deal to get your hands on the “Super Hot” Unlocked Treo Pro (see my review).
I don’t know how long Dell will be keeping the offer live nor exactly why they are so aggressively promoting this Windows Mobile Treo Pro but I’m evidently delighted to see this level of commercial support from such a well known brand – a support that makes it both easy and much cheaper to get your hands on this absolutely terrific smartphone.
Although this is clearly a great offer, one area where Dell’s website remains rather poor however (understatement) is when it comes to Treo Pro accessories and Windows Mobile Software so below you’ll find some of my top recommendations.
Editor’s Choice Accessories for Treo Pro
Treo Pro Cases (above from left to right)
- Incipio ORION Sleeve Case
My very top choice. High quality leather that fits like a glove, looks great and protects my Treo Pro from scratches.
- Body Glove Side Case
One of the most popular current cases and my top choice to keep your smartphone by your side.
- Swiss Mobility Legion Smartphone Case
A versatile and very high quality case that offers space for more than just your smartphone thanks to a number of built-in pockets.
- Motorola MicroUSB High Performance Car Charger
A beautifully designed, simple car charger that has proven to be one of the most popular accessories for both the Treo Pro and Treo 800w.
- SanDisk 8GB microSDHC Card with MicroReader
I personally currently use two of these 8GB cards to carry all of my music and personal files while one the go.
- SPE Micro USB Sync & Charge Cable
Probably the very best value and most convenient accessory for your Treo Pro that allows you to both sync and charge from your PC or a USB wall charger wherever you go.
- Jabra BT530
A new headset that I have been extremely impressed by and that I currently use on a daily basis. Superb noise cancellation, a dedicated On/Off switch and a microUSB charging connector combine to make this my preferred choice for the Treo Pro.
- New Jawbone
Without a doubt the best-in-class noise cancellation headset available on the market today and the #1 bestselling BT headset for the Treo Pro.
- Jabra BT3030 Stereo Bluetooth
Given that the Treo Pro now offers a 3.5mm stereo headset I have found this Stereo Bluetooth Headset to be by far the most convenient choice for the Treo Pro and it also happens to offer excellent value.
- Palm Treo Pro Battery
A replacement battery for your Treo Pro that will conveniently double your work and talk time wherever you go.
- 3M Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Thanks to this cleaning cloth that I always keep in my pocket I can quickly wipe fingerprints, dirt and oils to keep my Treo Pro shiny at all times.
- Redfly Mobile Companion (On Sale – Only $199!)
Thanks to the recent massive price drop of the Redfly Mobile Companion from $399 to only $199 this unique device has quite literally been flying off the shelves but is due to be back in stock in the next couple of days.
Treo Pro Software
Separately, you may also want to have a look at the current Bestselling Windows Mobile Software where you’ll find titles such as:
To help you enjoy using these terrific applications we’ve created a 20% off coupon valid throughout this month until October 31 – simply enter the coupon code BESTSELLERS in your cart to apply this discount [please note that this coupon is not valid for use in the Treo Accessories Store or Centro Accessories Store].
Finally, if you’re looking for some more in-depth information about the Treo Pro please read these previous posts:
Treonauts always find the best offers…
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Spb Mobile Shell Delivers Best Windows Mobile User Interface Enhancement, Today Plug-Ins and Launcher Menu
As I mentioned last week in my Moving to Windows Mobile Treo Pro post one of the most unique and useful features of Windows Mobile is its powerful and versatile Today screen.
I particularly love how the Today screen allows you not only to quickly view important information such as your Messages and Appointments but also provides fast on-screen One-Click access to other equally useful applications such as Google Search and Messenger as well as a new Comm Manager (screenshot below right) found on the Treo Pro that allows you to quickly control your Phone, Bluetooth, WiFi, Microsoft Direct Push and Data Connection.
Additionally, each corner of the Today screen conveniently triggers a different application. The top left corner opens the Start Menu (below left) that is a simple application Launcher and gives you quick access to Programs and Settings. The top right corner opens a new on-screen Task Manager (below right) that allows you to quickly view your available Program Memory and view and/or close any currently running applications (thanks to multithreading Windows Mobile allows you to run multiple apps simultaneously).
At the same time, the bottom left corner (image below left) gives you direct access to your Contacts while the bottom right corner opens Pocket Internet Explorer.
Overall, having the ability to access such a multitude of information and applications via a simple one click from the Today screen is clearly extremely useful and a rather efficient way to get things done quickly.
Having said this, as I have outlined above, while the standard Windows Mobile Today screen and its many other user interface ramifications are certainly “great” they fall short of “brilliant”. As I quickly learned using my Windows Mobile Treo Pro, if you want to discover “brilliant” you’ll first need to install Spb Mobile Shell.
Spb Mobile Shell is an absolutely essential application that completely and radically transforms the user interface on your Windows Mobile device and overall it’s a utility that very significantly and meaningfully enhances your overall smartphone experience on a daily basis. To be honest I feel that Spb Mobile Shell has actually played a very significant role in my recent move to the Treo Pro and helping me to overcome some of the reservations that I had about its Windows Mobile operating system.
Now that I’ve properly introduced this superb application, let’s take a closer look at exactly what Spb Mobile Shell does and how it enhances your Treo Pro or Treo 800w smartphone.
For starters, as you can appreciate from the screenshots above and below, the “before” and “after” look and feel of the standard Programs and Settings for example is completely revamped by Spb Mobile Shell and becomes a great deal more user friendly. Among others, these screens conveniently organise folders at the top while leaving any remaining cells free to be populated by the most recent applications that you have opened from within those folders.
Going back to the Today screen below, here Spb Mobile Shell provides you with four unique tabs – Home, Time, Weather and Dial – which are lined up horizontally in four cells that allow you to quickly access applications, view information and dial favourite numbers.
The first Home Tab (below right) is opened by tapping on its battery icon (that conveniently displays remaining battery power) which opens a “quick launcher” panel that allows you to launch up to 12 of your most recently used applications or you can even set up to 12 of your favourite and most regularly used apps.
The second Time Tab (below left) displays the current time in a graphically rich analog clock and the panel that it opens shows the local time for three world cities of your choice as well as quick view and access to your alarms.
The third Weather Tab (below left) offers a rich graphic of today’s weather plus forecast temperatures and conditions for Night, Morning, Day and Evening as well as a full four day forecast. It’s amazingly well implemented and I find myself using it all the time.
The fourth Dial Tab (below right) meanwhile provides you with five quick-dial cells from where you can either call with one click or also send a text message by pressing and holding the cell (which also shows you all available numbers for that contact).
Another thing that Spb Mobile Shell does after installation is reassign the Windows button on your smartphone so that it stops launching the Start Menu and instead opens Spb’s own menu (below left) which is much more complete showing your 12 most recently used applications at the top and six other folders (Organizer, Internet, Multimedia, Tools, Programs and Settings) from where you can quickly find and launch your apps. Virtually the only complaint that I have here is that once inside a folder a quick keyboard search (type “G” to find Google Maps for example) is unfortunately not (yet) supported.
At the bottom of Spb Mobile Shell’s menu are three other icons. The first on the left takes you to the Now Screen (screenshot above right) displaying a large date and time, weather, missed calls and unread messages, phone profile (to quickly set to Normal, Silent or Vibrate) as well as next alarms, appointments, calendar and battery and signal levels.
The next icon is for Contacts (above) where you can add up to 11 photo or name speed dials, view more detailed contact information as well as access Spb Mobile Shell’s own Contacts application (which I found to be only moderately useful).
Perhaps even more importantly, one of the coolest and visually stunning aspects of these Spb Mobile Shell screens is that they offer a range of superb “transition animations” – with effects such as sweeping, sliding, folding, revolving and flipping – that make it an absolute pleasure to interact with this application and ensures that you properly impress those who mistakenly believe that the only device capable of doing this sort of thing is the iPhone.
Overall, Spb Mobile Shell is without a doubt one of the best value applications that you can install on your Windows Mobile Treo smartphone. I absolutely love the Today add-ins that it offers (particularly the quick launch and weather) and its much more complete Menu to access your applications is both very rich graphically and extremely modern thanks to its animated transitions.
Spb Mobile Shell is available from our Windows Mobile Software Store normally priced at $29.95 but thanks to our 20% off coupon code you can now get it for only $23.96. Simply enter the coupon code BESTSELLERS in your cart to apply this discount.
Separately, if you’re looking for some more in-depth information about the Treo Pro please read these previous posts:
Treonauts always look for the very best…