Well, having been denied the B2B release, I got an inspiration! I figured that if the 650 was slated for a Monday retail release, then many stores would have taken delivery of their 650 stock on Friday. I called around yesterday and found one local store that had them in stock and was willing to sell one to me.

It took a long time to get served by the reps, and then almost as long to get the phone activated, but it was well worth it. The first phone they brought out had a large screen scratch, so I checked the second one carefully. Pristine. Slapped a screen protector on right then and there.

I am very impressed with this device. So far, I have the following apps installed with absolutely no problems at all: Cachemate, KSDatebook, FlightStatus, Battleship (the original Pilot 1000 game), HMaki, Rally 1000, Sol Free, Word Pop, Word Wiggle, Adobe Reader, Audible, eReader, Handmark Express, Java VM, Converter, Percent Table, PhysConst, SC-103PU, Docs to Go (Word, Sheet and Excel), Graffiti Anywhere, Launcher X, KBLightsOff and KLeycaps 650. A few of the apps are on a 512 MB SD card, and I have 8.58 MB free on the unit. All of these are the apps I used on my Clie TH-55. Speaking of which, the screen on the TH-55 is gorgeous and large, but the smaller 650 screen is still better. With the screen at half-brightness, I can use the danged thing as a flashlight to light the ROAD ahead. The speaker is LOUD!!!!, the keyboard decent (going to take some getting used to, but KeyCaps is really excellent). I got the Intellisync mail up and running easily, and the web browsing, though nowhere near as fast as my RR connection at home, is still plenty fast to do what I have to do. I have Bloglines.com set up for my RSS feeds, so I don't have to install another piece of software onto the Treo. I even did a total PC makeover...reformatting the hard drive, reinstalling XP clean to get rid of any trace of the Sony Clie software that might make the Treo crash.

I don't need all of the other fancy software that is out there to do what I need. I wanted this phone for instant access to the internet to check things wherever I am. This phone makes that possible. I still have a bit of a learning curve to master the wireless features of this phone, but so far I have been able to figure everything out without RTFM. PalmOne...HOME RUN, baby! This is the best PDA I have ever gotten my mitts on...and I have owned many many many PDAs. Palm Pilot 1000, Palm Pilot Personal, HP 200LX, Zoomer, Psion 5, Psion 5 MX, Diamond Mako, IBM Workpad C3, Visor Deluxe, Sony Clie 610N, Clie SJ33, Palm Zire 71, Clie TH-55 and now this Treo. I love this Treo. I guess I am not as nitpicky about tiny details as most, but my needs are a lot more straightforward and I don't need fancy ringtones or a voice recorder or other such features.

If all you want is a phone that is a good phone and also keeps all of your PIM (interesting new look to some of the PIM apps), email and web access, this is as good as it gets. I don't know what the Samsung i730 will bring, but I actually lost interest in it when I got my new, shiny, solid Treo 650 yesterday.

Go get 'em!!!

Mark