There’s a lot that I like about the Zire 72, but without a doubt the thing I like best is the Bluetooth implementation. Anyone who’s had to setup dialup networking on an iPAQ will know just how frustrating Pocket PC can be. Getting a Pocket PC device to use the correct dial string is a bit of an arcane art, which doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times you do it. But with the Zire it’s so simple that I had to go back and do it a second time, just to make sure.
For a company that wants to use Wizards to setup everything, Microsoft could learn from the Bluetooth setup included in the Zire 72. The step by step guide makes it easy to select the phone you’re using and decide if you want to use GPRS or GSM dialup. After that it’s just a case of entering the phone number and your login details and off you go. I also have to say that the Web Pro Internet browser is a joy to use, and far better than the Internet Explorer on my iPAQ. Even loading up an image heavy page like the TrustedReviews home page was no problem for Web Pro. It took a little time over GSM, but it loaded the whole page with all the images intact, even the adverts.
Although there’s no email client in ROM, you do get a copy of VersaMail on the CD. This is a neat little email client that worked flawlessly. Once again, it’s an absolute breeze to setup, and I was downloading my email to the Zire 72 in no time at all. If there is one issue with VersaMail, it’s that it doesn’t disconnect from your ISP once it’s downloaded the mail. Using my iPAQ I can click “send/receive” and it will get and send all my mail and then hang-up the phone connection. With VersaMail I had to disconnect the connection manually, which could leave you with a hefty mobile phone bill if you forget. I suppose that it’s not an issue if you’re using GPRS, but I still find it more cost effective to use GSM dialup networking to get my email since the cost of the call will be part of my free monthly minutes.
In the box you’ll find the Zire 72, a USB cable and a power adapter. palmOne has thoughtfully also made the power adapter configurable to use different plug types, and supplied international plug fittings. This is a great idea, since it means you don’t have to carry a travel adapter with you when you go abroad. Also in the box is a quick start manual, and a software suite for both PC and Mac. I have to say that the documentation is a little flimsy. I searched through the PDFs on the disc trying to find out how to hard reset the Zire 72 but could not find the information I needed. Eventually I found a reference to the hard reset function and was told that I had to read the online manual for information on how to perform a hard reset. I honestly don’t see why this information can’t be included on the CD along with everything else.
Other than the manual issue, everything on the CD loads and configures with consummate ease. If there’s one thing that really shone through with the Zire 72, it’s how easy it is to use. Even though I haven’t used a PalmOS device for a while, I picked up the Graffiti2 character input instantly.