Top 10 Treo Accessories
One of the most frequent type of emails that I get is from Treonauts struggling to find the top Treo accessories and asking me to recommend the best options.
Although I have written multiple accessory guides in the past such as Treo 680 Accessories Guide; Treo 680 Case of Cases; Andrew's Essential List; Essentials: Getting the Right Gear for your Treo and Accessories Not In The Box… A Guide For New Treonauts the fact is that with the daily release of new accessories and also new Treo smartphone models there will always be a need to regularly update my recommendations.
In this particular instance, given that I have literally hundreds of accessories for review in my office I started to think about what my absolute “Top 10” Treo accessories might be – those that I just could not do without – and explain why I find them to be so essential.
Overall, I find that my accessories list falls under the five categories below:
Power & Sync (Cables, Chargers, Cradles, Batteries, Adapters)
There’s no doubt that keeping my Treo as close to fully charged anywhere and at all times is one of my top priorities and the accessories in this category are by extension also my most frequently used ones.
- The SPE ExtraPower+Sync USB Retractable Cable is quite possibly the “best value” accessory that I own. It’s small, light, durable and ensures that my Treo is always recharging and ready to HotSync plugged into my laptop’s USB port.
- I also have both a small and light Palm Wall Charger as well as an SPE ExtraPower Car Charger – basics to have at home/work and in the car.
- More often than not one battery is just not enough and this is why I keep a spare battery for every Treo model that I own so that one is always charging while the other is in use.
- Treo 680/750: a Palm 1200mAh Extra Battery even though like many I’m still waiting for a higher capacity battery to become available…
- Treo 700p|w|wx: both an SPE Extended Battery and more recently also a Seidio 3200mAh Ultra Extended Battery which some Treonauts consider to be ugly because of the larger battery cover but which I have found absolutely fantastic to keep my Treo 700p powered for hours on end.
- Treo 650: as with the Treo 700 I very quickly stopped using the standard Palm 1800mAh and instead replaced it with two 2400mAh SPE Extended Batteries.
- Naturally, I need something to charge all of my batteries and currently the only two accessories that can do this are the Palm Cradle Kit (my preferred option at home/work) and Seidio’s Portable Battery Charger (my preferred option when travelling because of its small size and light weight – albeit it does not now work with Treo 680 batteries which is making things a little harder these days…).
- Finally, given my regular international trips one of the accessories that has quickly earned top marks is the World USB Charger+Plug Adapter which I use to power both my laptop and Treo.
Protection (Cases, Screen Protectors)
Generally speaking your Treo will withstand daily use well if you look after it with just a little care. Having said this, I have come across many Treo smartphones that are so badly ‘bruised’ that I often wonder exactly how people manage to inflict so much damage to it – typically it’s because they don’t use a case and simply put their Treo ‘naked’ in a pocket or bag ready to be scratched by keys or other items.
In my case, save for a tiny scratch here and there all of my smartphones are in pristine condition and I have no doubt that this is due largely to the fact that I don’t let my Treo go anywhere without a case. My favourite options here are:
- The SPE PocketPouch is probably my “Top 2006 Treo Case” – I absolutely love it. It’s ultra-thin and ultra-light with a high quality fine grain leather and it’s the case that I use most frequently. I know that some Treonauts have complained that it lacks a ‘snug’ fit but personally I have found that by having my Treo somewhat loose inside makes it far easier to retrieve one-handed when I receive a call.
The one thing that the SPE PocketPouch lacks is a belt clip and therefore when I want to wear the Treo by my side I use:
- Side Cases
The universal SPE SafeGuard Holster – specifically designed to fit all Treo models and to provide superior scratch protection thanks to its all-rubber interior – has rapidly become the most popular and bestselling Treo case. A great choice in this category.
- Skins & Hard Cases
I have personally never been a big fan of skin cases but there is no denying their popularity for all Treo models including the 680 skin, 700 skin and 650 skin (a 750 skin will also become available shortly). Additionally, if you’re looking for a hard case I can highly recommend the SPE SliderCase for your Treo 700 (hopefully also available soon for other models).
Finally, it’s all too easy to scratch your screen but just as easy to protect it with a high quality Treo Screen Protector.
Entertainment (SC Cards, Card Reader & Stereo Headset)
I listen to music on my Treo probably as frequently as I make calls if not more often. I have made it my preferred portable MP3 player (no iPod for me) and I personally find it a joy to use. Additionally, I also have a ton of movies and TV shows saved to watch while on the go. There are three accessories that I find absolutely essential for both music and video:
- As many large SD cards as I can afford. I currently have over 20GB of storage spread across multiple 1GB, 2GB and 4GB SD cards but now that the Treo 680 also supports the new 8GB SDHC cards I’ve ordered three of these to limit the number of cards that I have to carry with me.
- There’s no point having all these SD cards if I can’t easily transfer files to and from my PC. For this the SanDisk MobileMate has proven to be one of my most trusted companions – it’s small, rock solid and hasn’t let me down once.
- Evidently I don’t want everyone to have to listen to my music or movies and therefore personally choose the Seidio 2in1 Retractable Earbud Headphones which again have proven to be a terrific invesment and because they include a microphone I can also make and receive calls while listening to music. Also, if you prefer to use a standard 3.5mm headset you’ll just need the SPE Stereo Adapter.
Communication (Bluetooth Headsets)
If you spend hours making and taking calls on your Treo on a daily basis and/or if these calls typically last more than a few minutes you will without a doubt immediately see the advantage of using a wireless Bluetooth headset – not only will you not have to strain your arm holding the Treo to your ear but you’ll also be able to free both your hands to do something more useful such as taking notes or taking the wheel of your car… My top BT headset choices are:
- The Jabra JX10 is probably the single best designed BT headset available today as well as the smallest, lightest and the one with the most complete kit including the ability to charge your headset on the go via USB.
- I have been a big fan of the Motorola H700 and its innovative “PowerFlip” design which turns the headset off (instead of standby) to extend battery life and it can also be charged via USB.
- The Palm Wireless Headset has been a bestselling accessory since its release. It offers good value, performance and can easily be recharched using the standard Treo wall charger.
- A recent find, I found the Jabra BT125 to offer excellent value and a very high quality build.
Travel (GPS Navigation & Car Accessories)
Ever since taking my first GPS-aided Treo trip about 18 months ago I would now not dream of driving anywhere without my TomTom GPS Navigator software. Palm’s GPS Navigator 2 offers a terrific value package which in addition to the sofware and GPS receiver also includes a vehicle mount and car charger but I personally still prefer the original TomTom Navigator 6 Bundle even if it requires me to purchase a separate car mount (I particularly like the new iGrip Flexible Mount) and Treo car charger.
The only infuriating thing at the moment is that a bug prevents the latest TomTom 6 software from running on the Treo 680 (TomTom 5 works fine though). Palm and TomTom are aware of the issue and an updated version should be released very shortly.
Overall it really doesn’t take much to fully kit your Treo. Whether it’s to maximize its performance, protect it, optimize its use or enjoy its unique benefits you will hopefully find just the right accessory in my list to match your particular needs and budget.
Treonauts always have the most fun…