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Treo 800w - First Real Picture!

After months of blurry spy shots we finally get to see the first “real” Treo 800w picture below – one which actually closely resembles the very first image leaked back in October last year with a smartphone apparently smaller than previous Windows Mobile Treo models and slightly larger than the current Palm Centro.

Treo 800w smartphone

At first sight, I have to admit that the looks of this new Treo 800w are somewhat underwhelming and certainly not indicative of a (much needed and highly anticipated) complete shell design overhaul by Palm – I was expecting something completely new and now discover that up to 80% of the shell is actually more of the same.  Everybody agrees that the Treo line needs to “grow up” quickly but Palm appears to only have taken baby steps in this direction.

Treo 800w & Treo 750

Sure, the Treo 800w offers minor improvements over the previous Windows Mobile Treo 750 (above) with a slightly smaller form factor, flat instead of raised navigation keys, a repositioned front microphone and a few other minor details such as a USB port (which will likely mean the need for new Treo accessories).  However, for a device destined to become a high-end business smartphone the looks of the Treo 800w are decidedly “childish” and somewhat outdated.  I keep looking at this Treo 800w picture wondering “Is that it?!”…

Treo 800w & BlackBerry Bold

For example, this week RIM announced the release of its impressively designed and aptly named BlackBerry Bold smartphone (above) – a device that the Treo 800w will be coming up head-on against in the highly competitive corporate market.  Here again, based on looks alone at this stage I have to admit that I would much rather be walking around with a Bold in my pocket than an 800w.

Having said this, balancing an uninspiring shell design, the saving grace for Palm and the Treo 800w is the fact that the company has at least intently focused on significantly improving what’s inside this smartphone with a number of high-end specifications including among others: built-in 802.11g WiFi, an autonomous GPS, a 2 megapixel camera, an EvDO Rev. A radio and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR as well as being powered by the latest version 6.1 of Windows Mobile.

Overall, without having had the opportunity to actually hold the Treo 800w in my hands it’s still hard to categorically bash the shell design.  Therefore, at this stage I would simply say that I am disappointed by its looks while remaining very excited by the high-end specifications that it will offer.  We’ll just have to wait and see if the combination is enough to win the hearts and wallets of the millions of Windows Mobile fans out there…

It is anticipated that Sprint will be the first carrier to launch the Treo 800w on July 22.

[Image via Shadowmite]

Treonauts always stay real


Posted by Andrew on May 16, 2008 at 08:28 AM

Treo 800w

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» First real photo of the Treo 800w from Mobility Mind
Andrew of Treonauts has gotten hold of a photo of a real Treo 800w. Honestly, it doesnt look that impressive. The Treo 800w looks like a hybrid between the Centro and the Treo 500w. While its good that Palm is experimenting with diffe... [Read More]

Tracked on May 16, 2008 11:59:04 PM



Comments

1
by RichC | May 16, 2008 12:02:46 PM

As someone who started with a Palm Pilot many years ago and who has been wondering just what will be replacing my business oriented Treo 700p, I am very disappointed seeing the new 800w ... at least displayed side by side with the Blackberry Bold. I can't imagine many new smartphone shoppers will select this Treo when the new Blackberry, gen-2 iPhone and many slick look-a-likes are coming to market at the same time. Beauty and brains are equally important when competing for buyers.

For me, "form does still follows function" ... BUT the humble styling of the 800w side by side with competitors is a turn-off. If Palm is planning to survive, they had better work on attracting new customers with at least the "look" consumers are expecting. Even existing Palm Treo 'enthusiasts' are going to have a hard time swallowing antiquated design unless there is something on the horizon worth waiting for -- at least this disappointed Treo enthusiast.

Thanks for the honest "first take" on the 800w Andrew, I don't think we are alone.

2
by Alex | May 16, 2008 12:04:14 PM

IT ALL MAKE ME SAD ! :-( SO THE GREAT TREO 800 IS A TREO 680 ON A NEW CASE ? SO IT HAVE A NEW OS OR PERHAPS WINDOWS 6.1. STILL IT LOOKS THE SAME. I THINK THE RIM 9000 WIN THIS ROUND. SO SAD ! I BEING A PALM FAN SINCE THE MID 90.

WOULD THE PEOPLE AT PALM. INC. PLEASE PLEASE

BRING OUT WITH SOMETHING NEW . DIFFERENT . BETTER ! THE TREO CENTRO IS A GREAT STEP INTO THE RIGHT DIRECTION BUT THIS TREO 800 SEEMS LIKE A STEP BACKWARDS.

I WONT WASTE MY TIME EVEN LOOKING AT IT. TO MY OPINION TECHNOLOGY IS NOT MOVING AS FAST AS WE WANT WITH NEW PRODUCTS. PALM IS TOO SLOW TO REACT AND IT GOING TO COST THEM CUSTOMERS. I ALREADY TRADED ONE OF MY TREO'S FOR MOTO Q9H AND THE SAD THING IS... I AM HAPPY WITH IT.

3
by Sorian | May 16, 2008 12:51:54 PM

I am sorry, but it looks like a Centro shell, with a few tweaks. Keyboard curved , silver buttons matching keyboard curve, 2 new buttons near the bottom of the screen, and a cutout area near the ear speaker.

4
by Frank | May 16, 2008 1:08:02 PM

Maybe not as exciting as some would like, but the addition of internal GPS is a huge step forward for me.

What's the feedback on the Windows OS? Right now i would think anything is an improvement on the Palm OS, but...

5
by Rick | May 16, 2008 1:13:25 PM

i have seen the Treo 800w and this is not it. this design has been rejected and will not be released. the final product is very very impressive. trust me.

6
by Corey | May 16, 2008 1:14:43 PM

Well, what a disappointment! I have stood by Palm when people told me that they were becoming outdated, that their software system is way behind and the mere look of the phone was just as described childish and basic. So knowing that there was a new Treo coming out, I was excited about it and holding off on abandoning Palm because I knew the new Treo would be impressive, especially with the specs such as GPS, WiFi, etc.
When I saw that pic, my heart sank. I was expecting a mix between a Centro and an iPhone. Something with a flush screen would be amazing. Something totally different would be amazing, but dammit they do it again. Same phone, different interior. I must say that when the new iPhone comes out, I think that is what I will be switching to. So far, they are the only ones keeping up with modern demands...well, the new Blackberry looks awesome too but I need a touch screen. Oh well Palm, looks like you lost another one...

--
Corey

7
by BaDZeD | May 16, 2008 1:37:06 PM

Is this the final prototype? What happened to "Charcoal Black"?

8
by PiggyGirl | May 16, 2008 4:19:48 PM

Next to the BB it looks like a dinosaur. It isn't nearly as clean looking as the Centro, or the 750. If this is the best Palm can do then the Centro will be my last phone from them.

9
by Raymond | May 16, 2008 5:10:02 PM

In general, I agree with your review, but look at the screen size of the 800w compared to the Blackberry Bold. I'd rather have an uninspiring pda with a larger screen. And, how many of us take our fairly nice-looking Treos (I have a silver 680) and make it safer but uglier with a skin?

10
by greg | May 16, 2008 5:11:44 PM

I switch to a Blackberry from the Treo about 9 months ago. I had used the Treo for over two years, but just continued to see it slide relative to new and better competition. I loved my Treo, but in end, its a 20th century design in the 21 st century. Besides, my BB doesn't reboot itself in the middle of calls. A very nice to have!

Palm can't be serious about beating the competition. It's design, its OS are now at least 3-4 years behind. They'd better start stepping up or their customers will just move on. Like I did.

11
by Marc | May 16, 2008 5:47:52 PM

It's very sad that Palm paid so little attention to the aesthetic aspects of this device. The 800w looks to be a great technological improvement over previous Windows Mobile based Treo's but I doubt it will compete well as expected with the newly announced BlackBerry Bold. Rimm is clearly addressing both the technical and the aesthetic aspects of their devices.
From a technical standpoint, it appears that the features of the Bold and the 800w are going to be very similar. They both will have wi-fi, GPS and support for high density removable media. This may leave many consumers opting for a Black Berry Bold based on its appearance.
This really isn’t the time for Palm to be falling behind in terms of design. With Rimm “boldly” charging forward with new stylish devices (sorry for the pun) and with a host of new smartphones on the market from Motorola and Samsung, Palm really needs to watch its step.

12
by Jack | May 16, 2008 8:37:34 PM

Rick, I hope you are right. As an owner of a Centro, and also liking its looks, the above image IMO is a clear step back in design. It may be power packed with new features, but if RIM and Apple and others can make a great device that looks cool, then why can't Palm?

13
by sean | May 16, 2008 10:32:35 PM

I wish everyone would stop bitching. I sell these things for a living. I thought everyone would be excited about getting all of the things that they have been longing for. Camera, wi-fi, BT2.0, GPS. If you had to sell Blackberries on a day to day basis you would see that if that stupid trackball goes out you are screwed and their software isn't that stable either. Secondly, I am glad that Sprint is getting the first one. That way, when they come out with better colors for the other carriers we can get them. I too wish for a treo that is a little "Cooler" but for a company that has an outdated product they sure have sold a ton of centros even though they don't have half of the features that some of the others do. The realistic approach is that they will put out a final product that will be great. Funny how palm is the first company to offer smart phones in various colors yet they are always chastised for being behind.

14
by Blake | May 16, 2008 11:27:05 PM

@ sean

You fail. I understand everyone has to earn a living, but selling this phone would be depressing. Don't even try to rag on a BB and compare their stableness to a Palm. That's about as weak argument as they come. Palm should edit the contents of their packages:

Included In Box:
Frequent resets that we don't care to fix.*

*But hey, don't you like your choice of colors?

15
by John Whorfin | May 18, 2008 12:02:17 AM

Crap.

16
by Rickey | May 18, 2008 2:02:10 AM

Another minor upgrade from Palm...I guess we just all have to pray and wait for the Palm Nova is going to be a good suprise next year!

17
by Dave | May 18, 2008 11:11:49 AM

Any idea when the new Palm based software is to come out to replace my 700p? The 755 didn't seem that much of an upgrade to trade the 700 in.

18
by Dcancun | May 18, 2008 12:30:00 PM

Will it be available for Verizon Wireless? CDMA 3g?

19
by Doug | May 18, 2008 8:26:06 PM

This is a rumor, nothing yet is fact. It's fun to read all sorts of opinions on something that doesn't exist. Well done!

20
by random9q | May 19, 2008 5:12:42 AM

@Andrew: I'll agree that it looks unimpressive, but...

@Rick: Hope y'r right, but...

Did you notice that the BB Bold is so glaringly a "me too" design when compared to the iPhone that, in its own special way, it has that "I'm a knock off!" charm? (Read: lack of charm?) I don't like either design. HTC Touch is a better example of a true competitor to iPhone's "design first" looks, having actually outdone iPhone in small form factor. (But, notably, to the point of being potentially even more awkward at entering text. There's a reason I go for the thumbboard designs.)

By now, there are so many *GOOD* looking designs out there that the field is actually quite crowded and it will be really difficult for Palm to distinguish its design without looking like something that already exists. If it looks like the BB Bold, I'm gonna cringe. Anything that screams "I'm a Knock-Off!" actually sends me more in the direction of the original. (And I'm not planning on an iPhone, either.)

I'm considering getting off the upgrade treadmill, though, for at least as long as my 700p hangs on. I recently got disgusted with constantly buying new stuff just to have it be new while the old stuff still meets and even exceeds my actual needs. A 700p looks clunky compared to the iPhone. It still looks space-age compared to the dinosaurish Franklin Planners I see half my office dragging around, takes about 1/10th their volume or weight, and I'm getting sick of quibbling over the last few ounces when so many of these same people around me carry various WinMo smart phones and don't even use 1/1000th of their potential. And I even just rediscovered the eReader software, another reason to love having a smartphone. Not as large a screen as a Kindle, but again why quibble over the particulars when it is working for me for now?

I just want to see Palm survive long enough that I have a Palm OS device to replace it with when it finally goes kaboom. That's my stake in the discussion. And towards that end, I hope that they find a design that people actually like.

21
by random9q | May 19, 2008 5:18:36 AM

PS @Dcancun: For the Treo 650, 700p, and 755p Verizon was damn near about six months behind Sprint in releasing the equivalent model. We're getting close to seeing a track record established, so I'd assume until news proves otherwise that six months ought to do it. In other words, start looking mid-January, unless Verizon changes its vetting rules for devices on its network.

22
by john | May 20, 2008 9:43:17 AM

Think we are missing the boat here. How many other full windows (not smart phones) are out there with wi-fi, gps, touch screes and a physical keyboard (besides Blackberry). If the demographic is the business user then this is a good model. A virtual keuboard doen not work in the business world. One handed operation or two thumbs is what peopel want to crank out those emails. Try doing that on a virtual keyboard. Palm needs to create three verticles, business user, technical consumer, low-end consumer. windows mobile, physical keyboard for the business user. Windows or new Palm OS with larger screen virtual keyboard for the high-end consumer, New Palm OS for the low-end consumer.

23
by Jack | May 20, 2008 12:00:09 PM

John:

I disagree with one of your points. I would consider myself a high-end consumer, and I use primarily my Centro, but sometimes my Treo 700p if I need the extra battery life. I don't want a touch screen keyboard. I love to communicate via text, and I can type very quick and efficiently with my two thumbs in a physical keyboard. The problem with your list is the business class devices may not have the multimedia capabilities that more consumer based devices have. I want it all, and my Centro for now comes as close as I've gotten. If they can add WiFi, stereo bluetooth, and GPS next year with the new Palm OS, in a design more pleasing to look at than the above, then I'm in for the new device.

24
by Robert George | May 20, 2008 12:01:33 PM

I'm sad to say after being a loyal supporter of Palm products for more than a decade (from IIIx to Vx to Zire to Treo 650 and 680), I recently decided to end that relationship.

After two years with my 680 -- and nearly half that time encountering various problems with it -- I purchased a Samsung Blackjack II (I decided to wait until Apple fixes whatever bugs will inevitably be found in the iPhone 2.0). I've only had it a few days and I'm already thrilled with it. Its built-in software is already far beyond anything that the Treo has. Accessing the Net on its 3G wireless network is so effortless that it makes me wonder why I took so long.

In any event, Andrew, thanks you for the wonderful Treonauts site and newsletter. It has been helpful over the years. Sadly though, until Palm/Treo comes up with a real leap forward in its technology -- and the 800w isn't it -- I will be looking in from the outside.

25
by serge | May 22, 2008 9:41:09 AM

I told you many times the CEO of Palm and his obsolete gang of designers and programmers should have been fired long time ago... I was faithful to Palm during 10 years, and I was hoping and waiting a full smart machine endlessly.... Finally I bought an expansive Nokia E90 ( which has everything you may dream about ). Despite the fact that I am a Mac user with many Mac at home and office... I am not convinced by the present Iphone. And regarding the last Palm it is a simple pity…
It may tell you how much I feel
Bye bye buddies ...

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