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Treo 680 Accessories Guide: Review Part 5

Treo680Accessories

>>> 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:

  1. Mono corded 2.5mm headset
  2. USB HotSync cable (does not charge via USB)
  3. [Cingular Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger.  [EU Unlocked Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger (bulky & heavy) with four international plugs including Europe, UK and US.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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”). 
  3. Treo680ChargerThe 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Treo680CradleAt 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Treo680CarAt 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.
  4. 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).

Treo680SDCard2. 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.

Treo680GPS3. 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).

Treo680Keyboard4. 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).

Treo680SkinCaseOn 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


Posted by Andrew on November 30, 2006 at 01:05 PM

Treo 680 Review , Treo Accessories Guide

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Comments

1
by forgot | Nov 30, 2006 1:38:16 PM

Woohoo! Waiting on those 8G cards!

2
by Rob_G | Nov 30, 2006 2:00:58 PM

Does the 680 support SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity)? My understanding is this new standard is not backward compatible.

3
by Andrew | Nov 30, 2006 2:08:46 PM

Rob - I don't yet have an SDHC card to test but I will let you know when I've had a chance to test one.

Cheers, A.

4
by Josh S | Nov 30, 2006 3:05:47 PM

What about Wifi cards?

5
by Andrew | Nov 30, 2006 3:34:33 PM

Josh - WiFi cards do not work on any PalmOS Treo smartphone - only the Windows Mobile Treo 750w.

Cheers, A.

6
by John | Nov 30, 2006 3:49:57 PM

andrew;

i got my treo 680 last friday and i set my "background" as one of the pictures that came with the phone. (you know, like one that palm had on it) and i woke up the next morning and all the palm pictures got erased??! Can you explain that? am i the only one that has had that happen?! thanks.

7
by austin | Nov 30, 2006 4:02:41 PM

Andrew,
Do you know if Cingular will be releasing another Treo like the 750 Lennon anytime soon? If they are going to release it is it going to be palm software or windows? I want to upgrade mine and Ive been waiting but I dont know if I should wait longer or just buy a 680. Any suggestions?

8
by Andrew | Nov 30, 2006 4:12:41 PM

austin - Palm will not be releasing a PalmOS Treo 750 anytime soon. Cingular will release a Windows Mobile Treo 750 within the next two months though. If you need GSM and prefer PalmOS then I'd definitely recommned the Treo 680.

Cheers, A.

9
by Austin | Nov 30, 2006 4:15:08 PM

Thanks Andrew,
I just want to say I love your website and visit it everyday hoping to see a Treo 750P. haha Keep up the good work!!

10
by Mark | Nov 30, 2006 4:59:53 PM

I know your comment is an estimated 4 hours of battery time on the new Treo 680. But I'm not seeing anything close to that. I have had the Treo 680 for 6 days now and have used a total of 74 phone minutes - 48 incoming/outgoing calls over the 6 days - averaging 1.54 minutes per call. I have noticed that the battery drains very quickly, going from full charge to 20% or 30% left after what I would consider a few calls. Like today so far, I placed and received 9 calls plus probably 10 minutes of other "palm usage" time, the battery level is down to 49% (after charging overnight). Yesterday I had 16 calls plus palm usage and when I plugged it into the charger last night, the 680 was at 28% charge left. Note: my other "palm usage" the past two days has been mostly looking up phone numbers and several calendar entries - not much.

It's looking like if I get a call, like a business conference call, that would last for 25 or 30 minutes, I'm going to run out of power - a lot less time than the 4 hours claimed. Which raises a concern for me.

I'm going do try a couple of tests in the next few days to see how the battery life really stands up.. Has anyone else seen this or am I the lucky one with a bad battery?

Cheers!

11
by Bill, Esq | Nov 30, 2006 5:07:47 PM

Mark:

The battery on the 680 sucks. It's almost (but not quite) as bad as the battery on my old moto Q. The battery drains very quickly. With moderate usage, the battery might last one full day. I cannot wait for a 3rd party extended battery to be released. Hopefully, the extended battery will only be heavier (and not thicker) than the standard battery.

12
by Kenyanaut | Nov 30, 2006 5:28:26 PM

Guyz,

The good thing about the 680 is that you can use all the chargers you previously used with the 650. Personally I have only had the 680 not charging for a couple of hours each day. I use my 650 charger at work, my 650's car charger when driving and the 680's charger at home. For those upgrading from a 650, I suggest you do this for now until a TP vendor like Seidio or SPE releases an extended battery, which I believe will be a best seller much like an aftermarket stylus will me.

Kenyanaut

13
by leakylegsrider | Nov 30, 2006 6:51:04 PM

My usb sync cable charges too

14
by Brian | Nov 30, 2006 7:22:56 PM

The battery life sucks here too. It is very sad. My Treo 600 would go for most of a week at a time if need be, I had drained my 680 from 100% -> 2% in a single day (albeit with a good bit more data usage than on the 600.)

I also find my USB sync cable charges. I'm using the sync cable for charging at home and the charger at work. I'll probably pick up a car charger as well because the battery life is that bad.

On the plus side, the reception does seem improved to me. I have been able to place and receive phone calls as well as browse the web (slowly) in the basement where I work. It has always been very hard to get a usable signal down there in the past.

I'm also still struggling with Versamail. I have been unable to sync to my work's OWA/OMA server or to GMail reliably. I'm afraid I'm about to toss in the hat on it but I don't really want to pay 40-60$ for a usable piece of mail software.

15
by Kyle | Nov 30, 2006 9:38:05 PM

Andrew, how about a comparison of the software/feature differences between the unlocked and cingular versions of the 680?

16
by doug | Nov 30, 2006 10:48:03 PM

Andrew, love the website! Many, many thanks for this series of reviews on the 680. I finally gave in today and ordered mine from Cingular... waiting impatiently now! Thanks again for running the site - I've bought many things and find your reviews on target...

17
by Doug Boehme | Dec 1, 2006 1:43:41 AM

Reports from some of the lists state that SDHC does not work with any of the existing Treos.

18
by | Dec 1, 2006 1:46:49 AM

TREO 680 BATTERY LIFE - I am having the same battery concerns expressed here, in fact I actually exchanged my battery for another today in hopes there would be some improvement. But so far there does not appear to be. My 650 could go 2-3 days and still have 20% charge before I recharged it, the 680 doesnt appear to be able to make it past 1 day. (same usage: some calls, music, games, text msgs, little or no internet) Even my Treo 600 had better battery life. This is really disappointing. I feel like Palm, in 2 years since I bought my 650, has done almost nothing to improve the Treo. I still bought one, mainly due to the form factor and the 4GB SD capacity, but other than that, not much has improved in 2 years? Even though I love the Palm OS and my Treo, I cant help but wonder if Palm has fallen too far behind their competitors. Unless they have an outstanding surprise Palm OS device (Treo 800?) coming out by mid-2007, I'm afraid they may be toast, and may lose me to another operating system, albeit reluctantly.

Another thing I've seen in the 4 days of 680 ownership has been a lower quality signal, and more loss of coverage than my 650. Could the antenna make that much difference?

Anyway, The battery situation is really a letdown, and I may return the device within the next few days.

Anyone else have anything to add about the battery, Andrew, what has your experience been?

19
by Jenny | Dec 1, 2006 4:40:18 AM

I have also seen exactly the same with the battery - 1 day of not charging 100 -> 30% (no phone calls made). This is shocking and nothing like the 300 hours I was expecting. This is my first treo, my tunsten c had a bigger screen and lasted days even weeks without a charge. Also I have tried a 4GB card (ORA memory) and it did not work in the treo. If anyone does know of a make that works I'd love to know.

20
by Andrew | Dec 1, 2006 6:41:47 AM

Jenny - as I state in my review I currently use the Dane-Elec 4GB SD Card and it works perfectly fine on my Treo.

http://shop.treonauts.com/content/accessories/7-124--1052.htm

Cheers, A.

21
by Andrew | Dec 1, 2006 6:48:08 AM

BATTERY: As I point out in my review, while there is no doubt that the talk time on the Treo 680 is lower than the Treo 650 I firmly believe that the battery offers more than adequate performance for one full day. Regular charging and a spare battery will undoubtedly keep you talking for hours more.

In my opinion any battery concerns is a very small price to pay for the much improved form-factor of the Treo 680. As I've mentioned before it's all about making certain compromises.

Cheers, A.

22
by alex_mayorga | Dec 1, 2006 10:21:53 AM

Enfora compatible????

23
by josh | Dec 1, 2006 10:55:33 AM

how do you disconnect from the web on the treo 680? there is not a ''disconnect'' link on the menus like on the 650. any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks!

24
by Remee | Dec 1, 2006 2:15:59 PM

You know, I was looking for that myself last night, then had this sudden realization: "Duh... you have UNLIMITED data now, Renee"! I will see if I can figure it out for you, however.

25
by josh | Dec 1, 2006 2:46:36 PM

aha! i found it! to disconnect from the web it's kinda like going thru a maze, but it works. if you are connected, and want to disconnect, you have to go to the home screen, and go to . next go to the item. from inside there you can disconnect the web. kinda weird they dont just offer the disconnect drop down button from the blazer tab. if anyone else finds anything easier, let me know!

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