Treo 680 Accessories Guide: Review Part 5
>>> Please view the complete range of bestselling Treo 680 accessories in our Treo Accessories Store for the most up-to-date listing of products.
While the Treo 680 smartphone is undoubtedly going to appeal to millions of new Treonauts the fact is also that a great many others will be getting one as an upgrade to their existing Treo 650, 600 or 700p.
Evidently, combining this smartphone with the right Treo 680 cases and other accessories in our Treo Accessories Shop will be essential to your overall ‘Treo Experience’. New Treonauts will come here looking to find out which accessories are best while existing Treonauts will be wondering which of the ones they already own they will be able to reuse. I will try to answer both these questions (to the exception of Treo 680 cases) in this fifth part of my review below.
Treo 680 Accessories In The Box
As I pointed out in my Treo 680 Review Part 3: Unlocked GSM In My Delighted Hands Palm does include four accessories in the box:
- Mono corded 2.5mm headset
- USB HotSync cable (does not charge via USB)
- [Cingular Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger. [EU Unlocked Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger (bulky & heavy) with four international plugs including Europe, UK and US.
- One Universal Screen Protector (which needs to be cut to size)
Upgrading What’s In The Box
A few Treonauts may find the above four accessories to be sufficient and only look to complete the set with a Treo case (also see my Top Treo Cases) while others will at least want to upgrade this basic kit to something much better so:
- I have never personally used a Mono corded headset but the most popular upgrade for this is the Jabra C250 ($14.95). The next level up in the corded category are my favourite Seidio 2in1 Retractable Stereo Earbud Headset ($34.95) that has a built-in microphone, Call Answer/End button as well as volume control (ideal if like me you listen to music on your Treo regularly). Going wireless without a cord at all has also become the preferred choice for most Treonauts with a Bluetooth headset such as the Jabra JX10 ($99.95), Palm Compact Wireless Headset ($49.95) or Motorola H700 ($69.95). Additionally, I highly recommend always to have one or two 2.5mm Stereo Adapters ($5.95) to be able to use any existing standard 3.5mm headset that you might already have.
- In my opinion having a USB cable that can only HotSync is a complete waste since an identical one can Sync AND Charge ($15.95) or even better go with my favourite and bestselling Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) which is the smallest and lightest solution that you’ll find (it should probably be voted “Best value for money Treo Accessory”).
- The included Wall Charger in the box is not bad per se and you will always be able to use it as a spare one at the office or at home but if you plan on travelling frequently with your Treo the bulk and weight of it (104g for Cingular and 179g for the Unlocked inc. plugs) is just ridiculous considering that the SPE Compact Wall Charger ($12.95) weighs only 48 grams.
- The very last thing that you want to happen on your Treo is for its screen to become scratched and it therefore makes every sense to always have Screen Protectors ($15.95) at the ready.
Please note that existing owners of any of the Treo accessories listed above will be able to continue using them with the Treo 680.
Enhancing Your Treo 680 Experience
1. Power: The standard battery on the Treo 680 is 1200mAh compared to 1800mAh on the Treo 650 and 700p. Although this has not affected the rated 300 hours of Standby Time (see Treo 680 Comparison Chart) the Talk Time of the Treo 680 however is 4 hours compared to a standard 5 or 6 on the Treo 650 (6 to 7 hours with its Extended Battery).
You will therefore want to 1) ensure to keep your Treo 680 charging as frequently as possible and 2) get a spare battery as soon as they become available [ETA is mid-Dec.]. I will recommend four charging solutions:
- At your PC: If you’re frequently on the move, use the Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) which plugs into your USB port that I mentioned earlier.
- At work: Use the Retractable S&C Cable above, the SPE Compact Wall Charger and/or get a cradle such as the Palm Cradle Kit ($39.95) which will also double as a spare battery charger.
- At home: Use the Wall Charger provided in the box and also consider buying the above Palm Cradle Kit if you decide to buy a spare battery.
- In the car: You’ll always want to have a car charger such as the SPE Compact Car Charger ($12.95) if you’re frequently on the phone while driving or simply need to top-up your power.
There is also an all-in-one USB solution for Wall+Car+PC which is achieved by combining the Mobi Products DuoCharger ($14.95) and the Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) – a combination which is particularly useful when you want to travel light. Additionally, if you travel internationally frequently I can highly recommend the World USB Adapter ($24.95).
2. Data: There’s no doubt that one of the greatest joys using my Treo 680 daily is that it has the capacity to use external SD Cards of up to 4GB (8GB will hopefully available by the end of the year). I have stopped counting but I probably have over 20GB of storage spread across numerous SD cards which store my music, movies, photos and business files. Naturally, in order to transfer files from my PC to my SD card I personally always use my MobileMate SD Card Reader ($19.95) but the Mobi Products Mini Reader ($14.95) has become extremely popular as well.
3. Protection & Care: Aside from the screen protectors I also always have a cleaning cloth in my pocket such as the 3M Microfiber ($4.95) to rid my Treo of dust and dirt as well as the finger and facial oils that regularly accumulate on it.
3. In The Car: Regular readers will already know that I am completely hooked on GPS navigation with my Treo (see Travelling With A Treo GPS In My Pocket). At present I have only managed to get my TomTom Navigator 5 GPS Bundle ($249.95) to work with my Treo 680 but unfortunately the Palm GPS Navigator 2 with TomTom 6.0 ($289.95) software currently appears to be incompatible.
The TomTom GPS Navigator 6 Bundle ($249.95) has also just been released but I will not be able to tell you until next week if it works with the Treo 680. Additionally, I recently reviewed a new GPS service called Telenav that works over-the-air (OTA) and costs $9.95 per months but still requires a separate GPS receiver.
Whether you decide to use a GPS solution with you Treo or not I also highly recommend that you install a vehicle mount such as the bestselling Arkon CM910 Vehicle Mount Kit ($29.95).
4. Unusual Extras: Other Treo 680 accessories available to a few Treonauts who need to meet special needs include Bluetooth Keyboards (from $99.95), Bluetooth Speakerphones (from $49.95), the Solio Solar Charger ($79.95), an FM Transmitter ($39.95), Cassette Adapter ($12.95) or even the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder ($139.95).
Incompatible Treo 650/700p Accessories
The very good news for existing Treonauts is that there are actually very few if any accessories that are incompatible with the Treo 680. Only the Treo 680 battery and stylus are different and because of its slimmer and antenna-less form-factor there will also be a great many of the existing cases that will not fit (I will review compatible Treo 680 cases shortly).
On this front, as I mentioned before in a few weeks you will have the option to purchase additional spare Treo 680 batteries and styli as well as new cases that have been specifically designed for it (such as the newly released S680 Skin Case).
Finally, you can easily view all the accessories that are currently compatible with the Treo 680 by simply using the pull-down “Select Your Treo” menu at the top right corner of the screen at the Treonauts Accessory Shop.
Treonauts always have the right gear…