After exhaustive research and no little trepidation I plumped for this rather chunky Smartphone over all the other market offerings; three weeks later I only wonder why I spent so much time taking the plunge. Lets start with the basics: it's a good phone backed up by the best contacts package I've come across. The chunky external aerial gets a signal where other phones don't and, even when the phone goes on the blink, there's usually still signal enough to text, e-mail and surf. In all three cases, the software offers sophisticated options - I may not have explored every permutation of every sub-menu, but I've yet to find something it can't do.
I also found using the QWERTY keypad really easy. I had fully expected to have to buy a portable keyboard as I have rather large hands and big thumbs and, at first sight, it seemed even smaller than I has thought. However, clever contouring and a very positive action makes it very quick and easy to use, even with two, size nine left thumbs! A word of warning though, you will NEVER want to go back to an ABC/DEF keypad again.
The huge plus for this phone though was the ease of its Hotsync functon. As the owner of a Mac G4 laptop, I had become fed up waiting for the other phone companies to get their act together and was rather sceptical as to how well handheld and lap top would work together. At the very least, I thought I might have to give up using Microsoft Entourage - which has by far the best integration and project management facilities of any desktop organizer I have yet to come across - or cobble something together using either Palm's own software (which I have used happily before) or Mac's own version (which continues to be a disappointment, even on OSX "Tiger" 10.4). Although it took two minutes fiddling with conduit settings, the Hotsync, which works with the touch of a button and takes just seconds, operates smoothly with any of the three and actually does MORE than it claims.
As for the rest, the digital camera and video both work better than my HP photosmart 812, even if I have yet to work out how to sync it with iPhoto; the built in training is better than the manual, which is bulky yet, ironically, short on detail and the MP3 player works fine. Set up, for once, was all done first time with no loss of temper. The only possible thing missing is a built in radio and I'm sure that, sooner or later, a piece of software will emerge that allows you to use the RealPlayer as an MP3 dictaphone.
Certainly, every other eventuality seems to be taken care of on the software front: it comes with edit-enabled Microsoft Office Lite (which can also be synchronised to your laptop), all of which means I can function without my G4; and everything from GPS to games is available as downloads from the (rather expensive) palm store - I invested in a dictionary, universal infra-red remote and some multi-game bundles. With regard to accessories, I found it a bit chunky to carry in a pocket so got a stylish belt pouch; the earpiece and speakers are both inadequate for music, but a simple adaptor was all that was required to use my existing ear-phones; screen protectors and a spare stylus are a must, my fingers are far too large to use the touch screen. Battery life is such that a car-charger and spare battery are not necessary. If you want multi-functionality on the go, the Treo 650 sells itself !