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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Palm Treo 700p

1. Overview

Palm logoWe have been waiting for the arrival of the Treo 700p for some months now. Now, I can safely say that it is a reality since it is right here in the palm of my hand. In this review I will examine what is new compared to the previous Treo 650, what has changed and whether this Treo is worthy as an upgrade or new purchase.

Overview:

700p

The official specs from the Palm website are as follows:

Product information

  • Wireless: CDMA 800/1900 MHz digital dual-band EvDO and 1xRTT
  • Phone features: Personal speakerphone, Hands-free headset jack, Microphone mute option, TTY/TDD compatibility, 3-way calling
  • Memory: 128MB / 60MB nonvolatile memory available to user
  • Processor: Intel® XScale™ 312MHz
  • Expansion: MultiMediaCard/SD/SDIO card slot
  • Battery: Removable, rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, 4.5 hours talk time, 300 hours standby
  • Operating System: Palm OS® 5.4.9
  • Camera 1.3 megapixel, Still image capture resolution 1280 x 1024, 2x digital zoom, Video capture resolution 352 x 288, Automatic light balance (non-camera version also available)
  • Size/weight: 4.4" x 2.3" x 0.9" (111 mm x 58 mm x 22.5 mm) 6.4 ounces (180 g)
  • Communications: Bluetooth 1.2 wireless technology, Infrared (IR)
  • Display: 320 x 320 color touchscreen with support for 65,536 colors
  • Keyboard: Built-in backlit QWERTY keyboard, plus 5-way navigator

What's in the Box?

According to the Palm website, the following are included:

What's included in the box

  • Palm Treo 700P smartphone
  • Rechargeable battery
  • AC charger
  • Headset
  • Stylus
  • USB sync cable
  • User documentation
  • Software Installation CD

Included software

  • Blazer web browser
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Camcorder
  • Camera
  • Contacts
  • Documents To Go
  • HotSync® Manager
  • Memos
  • Messaging
  • MyTreo
  • Palm Desktop software
  • Phone
  • Pics&Video
  • Pocket Tunes™
  • Quick Tour
  • Security
  • Tasks
  • VersaMail®
  • Voice Memo
  • World Clock

I found the included hardware and software to be a bit skimpy. I would have preferred that Palm include a Car Charger, a Bluetooth Headset and an SD card; after all, we are paying over $400 for this thing! The lack of a screen protector and a case are, almost unforgivable.

What' s New:

The new features of the 700p include the upgrade of the OS to Garnet Version 5.4.9, the upgrade of the camera to a 1.3 megapixel camera as opposed to a .3 MP VGA camera, Bluetooth 1.2 (instead of 1.1,) a memory boost to 128MB with 60 MB user accessible and the use of Sprint' s Powervision EvDO High speed network. I' ll deal with each new change in the appropriate context within the body of this review.

The function buttons at the top of the keyboard area are also different on the 700p. There is now a dedicated Green and Red button for placing and ending phone calls. The "home" and "menu" buttons on the 650 are no longer on top of the D-pad. The menu button has been moved to the lower right of the keyboard itself and the home button is now where the "Red" button used to be on the 650. I found it was very easy to get used to these changes.

Design:

650 -750 side by sideThe Treo 700p looks just like the 650 at first glance. Then, after a closer look, it looks just like the 700w with a different button configuration. The edges are rounded on the 700p. The case is a very nice Charcoal Grey with Chrome faceplate and highlights. The rocker switch on the left hand side has been replaced with two buttons for adjusting volume up and down. The small button under those two now activates the included voice recorder.

The Display is a gorgeous 320 x 320 screen that is much clearer than the 700w which is 240 x 240. The D-pad is now "squared off" as are the buttons on the keyboard. It felt to me, like there was "more real estate" on these buttons making them easier to use and type on.

The "silence" button is still on the top but now, when you move it from sound to silence it vibrates once to confirm this. A nice touch. Everything else looks just like the Treo 650 except the "Access Powered" logo on the back is obviously new.

It is the "Feel" of this new device that is hard to explain. In my hand, it feels smaller and lighter than the 650. I re-read the specs but then I asked my wife to look at  it and she confirmed that it just seems smaller and easier to "pocket." The curved edges make it easier for me to hold and more comfortable in the hand.




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