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Treo 500 In My Hands In London!

Following my post yesterday (see Treo 500 – The Thinnest Treo Yet), I have just returned from attending the official launch of the Treo 500 at a Palm press event in London earlier today and I can tell you from the start that I have been VERY impressed with this new Treo – it is beautifully designed, feels very solidly built and is extremely slim and light (only 120 grams). 

Treo 500 In My Hand!

Furthermore, to be honest even the best images of the Treo 500 that we have seen to date don’t really do this latest Palm smartphone any justice and you really need to be holding it in your hands to appreciate just how well built the device truly is.  Even if these images much more clearly show that the Treo 500 isn’t quite the ugly duckling that many had thought it would be you’ll be even more impressed when you get a chance to play with one as I had the opportunity to do today…

Treo 500 Black

It was actually very hard to leave the press event without a unit in my hands but Palm assured me that I will get mine delivered tomorrow when I’ll get the opportunity to share more of the very clean and appealing new user interface that Microsoft and Palm developed exclusively for Vodafone which plans to launch it at the beginning of October and will be FREE on many price plans.

Treo 500 Buttons

Another few things that I can tell you is that the Treo 500 sports a completely new power and HotSync cable now via a mini USB connector (below right) which means that many new Treo accessories will be required.  Also very strangely and very sadly there is no mute button at the top of the device…  Then there’s the new 5Way navigator which works extremely well (smooth and fast) while all the flat buttons actually make the Treo 500 look even slicker since they extend smoothly from the screen.

Treo 500 Connector

The official Treo 500 specifications, features and benefits include:

  • All-in-one smartphone with messaging, email and web
  • Full keyboard for fast and easy typing
  • Automatic delivery of Hotmail/MSN, Yahoo!, and Gmail, email as it arrives1
  • Large, high-resolution screen (320 x 240)
  • Internet Explorer Mobile full-featured browser
  • Access to Google Maps and eBay
  • Vodafone live! for news, sports, and entertainment on the go
  • 3G/UMTS network
  • Planner with address book, calendar, to-do lists, and more
  • View Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF files
  • Windows Media Player Mobile for music and videos
  • 2.0 megapixel camera with 2.5x digital zoom captures video too
  • 150MB of memory (256MB total), expandable with microSD expansion card
  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard software
  • Microsoft Direct Push technology for delivery of Outlook® email1
  • Bluetooth v2.0 wireless technology
  • Device available in two colours: glacier white and charcoal grey
  • 1200mAh battery (below) with 4.5 hours talk time and 10 days standby

Treo 500 Battery Door

Treo 500 Front Back

Treo 500 White

Overall you will have gathered that I am extremely impressed by the Treo 500 – a smartphone that felt absolutely fantastic from the moment I laid my hands on it and is very cool indeed.  I would have been even more overjoyed if it had been running PalmOS but at least this gives me even more high hopes that the forthcoming Palm Centro (due to be released by Sprint within the next two months) will manage to please the young crowds that this device is clearly targeted at. 

Trio of white and grey Treo 500 images via Gizmodo

Treonauts are always ready for something new


Posted by Andrew on September 12, 2007 at 06:09 AM

Treo 500

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Comments

1
by BT | Sep 12, 2007 6:39:08 AM

2
by RichC | Sep 12, 2007 8:14:14 AM

It's growing on me ... I'll withdraw my previous comments until I have a chance to play with it.
:-)
But on a side note, all one has to do is watch the 'how to' video clips over at Apple about using the iPhone to get a little envious. Even though I'm still not ready for a virtual keyboard ... it didn't look all that bad. Looking forward to giving it a personal test.

3
by Andrew | Sep 12, 2007 11:15:05 AM

RichC - I have had an iPhone to test since its release and although it is without a doubt a beautiful device I still cannot get over the need to have a physical keyboard like that on my Treo which is both considerably easier and faster to use - particularly when wanting to use only one hand.

Cheers, A.

4
by Alayan from Hungary | Sep 12, 2007 11:30:58 AM

- No touchscreen? A HUGE backstep.
- WinOS? It's just so sad seeing Palm drowning.
- 'Large' screen is not large, it's actually smaller.
Andrew, you've stopped being objective.

But hey, it's just your blog.

5
by Jmore | Sep 12, 2007 11:35:51 AM

Andrew, I totally agree with the keyboard...but the ease of use with pretty much everything else on the iPhone (almost) makes up for that one flaw.

As a Mac-user, I'm more worried that Palm seems to be favoring the Windows platform more and more. As a media professional, I would really like an iPhone-like screen to show off my work on the go. And as a human being, I'd like them to at least TRY and make it look purdy. =)

6
by Andrew | Sep 12, 2007 11:45:16 AM

Alayan - you have to compare oranges with oranges. The Treo 500 is NOT meant to replace the Treo 750 or other high-end Treo but instead aims to compete with similar non-touchscreen Windows Mobile devices plus also appeal to an entirely new and much younger demographic. As more people get to play with the Treo 500 I have no doubt that their conclusion will be the same as mine - it's a terrific device and extremely appealing when offered for free by Vodafone in Europe.

Cheers, A.

7
by Sanjiv | Sep 12, 2007 12:12:05 PM

The Good:
- Its thinner
- Can't beat the price. Even IPhone users would drool over this price.
- Better digital Camera
- Better software on it
- Good Screen resolution

The Bad:
- Still no Palm OS support for it
- Its thin but not thin enough (Look at IPhone's eye Candy, Nowhere near that)
- MicroSD but no SD card backward compatibility (I can still live with that though).
- New Accessories (I can live with that as there is mini USB hotsync which I actually like better than the previous hotsync connectors)

The Ugly:
- No Touch screen? Come on whats up with that?
- Speculating that there is still no Voice dialing via a blue tooth headset.

8
by Greg | Sep 12, 2007 12:13:03 PM

I'm probably in the minority who sees the switch to a touchscreenless device as a good thing. I'd rather be using my d-pad to operate the device than the stylus anyways, and I think Windows Mobile Standard 6 is going to do that a bit better than Professional did.

9
by Dave H. | Sep 12, 2007 12:37:55 PM

As a company, aren't you supposed to have a flagship product that attracts a lot of attention? This phone attracts more cobwebs than attention. It doesn't stand out either in its price class and has no features that distinguish it from phones that are already out. It's just a copy of existing hardware from other manufacturers. It has no must have features, uses a cumbersome operating system and isn't as thin as existing products.

And as for "attracting the young" that's just nuts. Why would any teen or 20's buyer want a dull phone when they can have an iPhone? I own a Treo but this phone leaves me cold.

10
by Andrew | Sep 12, 2007 12:57:50 PM

Dave - I'm sorry but I disagree strongly with your view.

I believe that Palm has an excellent opportunity to successfully market the Treo 500 at a younger demographic with this new smartphone - particularly with Vodafone's and Microsoft's full marketing support across Europe.

Also, as others have pointed out, not everybody wants or can afford a $400 iPhone and in this respect the Treo 500 will be extremely competitive (particularly in the European market where Windows Mobile is well established).

Cheers, A.

11
by karibOS | Sep 12, 2007 2:53:47 PM

eh... still not interested...

12
by Patrick Terry | Sep 12, 2007 3:38:04 PM

...but when are they going to come out with a new Treo for adults.

I don't want to open my laptop anymore.

13
by ebzster | Sep 12, 2007 3:43:05 PM

How different is the TREO 500 from the Centro? If it's one and the same then I'm wondering why the sync cable is using the mini-usb instead of the standard treo cable?

I was able to play with the Centro a couple of weeks back and the sync cable I used was the standard treo cable.

14
by What's in a name? | Sep 12, 2007 3:43:18 PM

You've replied 3 times on this issue Andrew, I haven't seen you do that in a while...did Palm slip you your “cut” in an envelop under one of the tables at this press event today? Or do you get your money tomorrow when they deliver your Treo 500? Joking (kind of).

The 500 does look "sturdy" and it looks like “Treo minimalism” at its best. Now that I have given my thoughts on the 500…

…You come up with some great rebuttals to your readers criticisms, however it still does not answer the main question that true Treo lovers seem to have...where’s the new flagship like Dave just asked? Yes, Palm can go after the kiddie market with this, but where’s the new toy for the adults-don’t you want to keep the people with actual purchasing power happy? It seems like everyone else are taking steps forward while Palm takes small steps back (or side stepping at best). Are we going to get a Treo 340 for the infant/early learning market before the next Treo step forward? Apple successfully challenges Palm on the overall concept of a smartphone and all Treo can come back with is the 500? Granted, the iPhone just arrive a couple of months ago and Palm might need time to gather themselves to answer this challenge, but I just don’t get the sense that Palm is even concerned. I hope I’m wrong…..

15
by Rome | Sep 12, 2007 4:18:26 PM

what's in a name, your response is simply rude and totally un-called for. Didn't your mother teach you better?

You can disagree with Andrew all you want, and I will defend your rights to do so. But you can not question a man's integrity without any shred of evidence just because you don't agree with his view.

Andrew is right on with his market segmentation analysis for the Treo 500. I am sure that a great majority of people out there would love to have a Lexus LS sedan but this doens't mean that Toyota should stop making the Corollas.

16
by Eric | Sep 12, 2007 4:57:36 PM

It looks good, and I know that photo's on the web gives you a wrong impression. As with the Treo 750, it is smaller then on photo's. But I think that this Treo may not use the name Treo, because it has not the Treo looks. If this photo was shown with no link to Palm and someone said 'this is a Sony Ericsson, look at the layout of the hardware buttons' (really, look at Sony Ericsson K810i, K770i, v630i, etc!), everyone would believe him. So this is the Centro 500v for me. Not a new Treo.

17
by What's in a name? | Sep 12, 2007 5:01:41 PM

Rome....cool your jets, fanboy. It was only a joke. Did your mother ever teach you not to be such a tight-ass? Although I was joking for the most part, jokes do stem from something...in this case it stems from my assessment (and many other readers) that Andrew sticks up for Palm a little too much sometimes. No one said anything about stop reaching out to the smaller markets, but even Toyota (and every other company) upgrades its top choices...its called staying competitive. As I said before, it doesn't look as if Palm is interested with their track record since the 650 (or even the 600).

I thank you for defending my right to disagree, I mean, that's why we all post here...but don't cry because I wrote a joke to Andrew and not about you (or your mother)...

18
by Blake | Sep 12, 2007 5:02:59 PM

Rome: What the heck are you talking about?? I totally agree with What's in a name?. He wasn't questioning his integrity. I totally noticed the 3 posts as well. That is something Andrew hasn't done in a LONG time. I read his blog daily and he is making quite a fight for the Treo 500. If that's where Palm thinks it can rebound and make some cash, good for them. If they're wrong, hopefully they can recover.

19
by Dana | Sep 12, 2007 5:07:15 PM

It seems strange that when the sexiest phone out there is "all about the touchscreen", Palm would go touchless. On the other hand I think that Palm just doesn't get the rest of us. How long have I been waiting to tag ToDo list entries with multiple categories? Over a decade.

That said, at least the Treo family HAS a todo list! I cannot fathom buying an iPhone because it has no todo list, doesn't sync its Memo pad to the computer, has a non-user-replaceable battery, and doesn't handle outstanding subscription music services like Rhapsody. Throw in a real keyboard and the Treo does it for me!

20
by ivy | Sep 12, 2007 5:31:22 PM

IMHO, there is no market sub-segment such as "smart phone for the youth". Any one interested by a smartphone and who can afford to pay for a mobile 3G dataplan prefer (and can afford to pay for) an up-to-date device. Take example on the Apple iPhone, everyone says it is highly priced but already 1 millions iPhones are sold in just some months. I am sure no car manufacturer will never think of marketing a low cost / low end sport car to the mass, it's simply incompatible.

Now consider any other mobile manufacturer (Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, HTC), each one of their new devices presents a step forward. Only Palm persists in their strategy to go backward, or to stay still at best (but this means it is regressing since others continue to progress).

Palm had a big potential to be an "Apple like" company in the mobile/smartphone market. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on developing innovative device/software with high margin, it wastes its energy trying to catch an hypothetic mass market which does not exist.

21
by Rome | Sep 12, 2007 6:07:02 PM

Is it really a joke? Then why the "(kind of)"? Even you admitted in your post that some of your accusation (that Andrew was doing a payola) was true.

My parents have always taught me to never question or even joke about a man's integrity and honesty, unless I have concrete proof in my hands. If that makes me a "tight-ass", so be it.

Perhaps you parents taught you differently.

22
by Rome | Sep 12, 2007 6:11:34 PM

>>>I am sure no car manufacturer will never think of marketing a low cost / low end sport car to the mass, it's simply incompatible.<<<

You'd better not ask Lee Iacocca, becasue he will ask you if you have heard of a low-end sports car called the Mustang that he introduced back in 1964.

23
by Treyster | Sep 12, 2007 6:13:09 PM

I'm a Treo user from the UK. I thought I'd take a chance on the Palm 680. It specs were a lot weaker than the competition - which isn't the iPhone or the Blackberry by the way. I took the chance as it was a little different from the usual 'NoSEMo' offerings.

I regret my choice as I've had nothing but trouble with it - crappy camera, poor battery life, unstable software etc. Before I bought my Treo, I came up with a wish list of what I'd like to see in a smart phone device.

The truth is that the 500 pretty much nails it for me. The comments on this post are way off, in terms of demographic appeal. The UK market is mature and segmentation isn't always cut and dried for example teens in the UK are starting to rock Blackberry Pearls. Business men are into the cheap basic Nokia's . I'm a successful professional and the Treo 500 appeals to me more so than the 680.

I always buy SIM free so the only hold up in getting a 500 is to wait for it to become available through the Palm store or stand alone retailer.

24
by Rome | Sep 12, 2007 6:16:03 PM

Blake, you wrote:

>>>Rome: What the heck are you talking about?? I totally agree with What's in a name?. He wasn't questioning his integrity. I totally noticed the 3 posts as well. That is something Andrew hasn't done in a LONG time.<<<

So this is proof enough that Andrew is taking money from Palm??? Because he posted 3 times in this thread on his own blog???

25
by What's in a name? | Sep 12, 2007 6:52:10 PM

Once again Rome, your only looking at pieces of my comments; i said in my last comment: "jokes do stem from something...in this case it stems from my assessment (and many other readers) that Andrew sticks up for Palm a little too much sometimes." Ultimately, I don't believe Andrew is on Palms payroll (maybe >wink-wink<), its just that Palms "crap" never stinks with him...and niether with you obviously. Even more obvious is the fact that you are a little more sensitve than most since you want to combat everyone here (unless you really are Andrew under a differnt name, hmm....) so I'm through with you (and your mother).

On to more constructive discussions, I believe Ivy's comments describe the '500' situation best.

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