By WALTER S. MOSSBERG
RECENTLY, THE PALM TREO has been the product of choice in high-end smart phones. The Treo can not only make phone calls, but also send and receive email, surf the web, play music, take pictures and handle Microsoft Office documents, with the aid of a small built-in keyboard. The latest Treo 700 models are more capable than most of Research in Motion's BlackBerrys, which many companies dole out to employees. But the Treos are fairly bulky and pretty expensive, often costing $400 apiece, depending on the carrier and the service plan.
Now the Treo has a new high-end competitor from Motorola and Microsoft that's much thinner and cheaper, yet promises to match it feature for feature. It's called the Motorola Q, and it's popping up in the hands of more and more power users, intrigued by its stylish looks.
I tested the Q, comparing it mainly with the newest Treo, the 700p. I loved the Q's hardware design and its price. At $199 (with a two-year service plan), it's half the cost. And while a little wider, the Q is just half as thick as the Treo 700p and more than one-third lighter. It's a heck of an engineering achievement by Motorola.