Palm Treo 680 Review Part 2: Form-Factor Design
As I mentioned in my Treo 680 Review Part 1, the single most important upgrade/purchase consideration for me has been one of design – the slick shape, slimmer look, lighter weight and now antenna-less body all combine to make the 680 the most beautiful PalmOS Treo that I’ve owned to date and the one that very much feels best both in my hands and in my pocket.
This second part of my review will therefore focus exclusively on the form-factor – the ‘shell’ – of the Treo 680 which is now available to buy from $199 with Cingular or pre-order the Unlocked GSM model from Palm for $399 in one of four colours.
Treo 680 Form-Factor: Dimensions & Weight
According to the official Palm specifications for the Treo 680 (see our Treo Comparison Chart) the only size difference between this smartphone and the Treo 650 or Treo 700p should be its depth – 2mm thinner with 21mm instead of 23mm.
However, I was really puzzled trying to figure out why it was that with only 2mm difference the Treo 680 felt _so_ much better in my hands than either of the previous two models so I decided to take some macro shots of the smartphones side-by-side and also measure all dimensions from top to bottom for myself. My findings were quite rewarding…
While it is true that the thickness as measured from the centre side of the screen between the Treo 680 and Treo 700p is indeed 21 and 23mm respectively I found out that there were other significantly larger differences in size or thickness elsewhere.
As you can clearly see from the image as well as this Comparison Chart above, the overall size and thickness of the Treo 680 is quite a bit less than we previously thought – it’s almost 20% thinner at the bottom compared to the Treo 700p. Additionally, because each side of the Treo 680 has a groove (to provide you with a firmer grip) of about 1mm its width is also smaller than on the Treo 650.
The overall effect of this slimmer, antenna-less and lighter (157g instead of 178g) Treo 680 is naturally that it feels even better in your hands than the Treo 650 and as I’ve stated before makes the Treo 680 the first truly pocketable PalmOS smartphone to date.
In my opinion, the new form-factor design alone should give existing Treonauts a reason to upgrade but just in case it’s not quite enough I’ll provide you with even more reasons in the next parts of my review this week…