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Taking a Shot at Designing a Future Treo 710

Don't ask me why but every couple of months or so I get the urge to design my own Treo...

This latest design was prompted after a business meeting yesterday where I pitted my Treo 650 against my 'opponent's' BlackBerry 7290. 

I am glad that on the one hand I managed to get him to openly admit that there was simply 'no comparison' to the diversity and overall richness of applications that I could run and which he couldn't.  Win one.

On the other hand I was even happier when (without any prompting on my part) he pulled his 'other phone' out of his briefcase and placed it next to his BlackBerry and conceded that there was something to be said about having 'only one device'.  Win two.

Lastly though, I simply could not get him to agree that my keyboard on the Treo was as efficient for data input as his on the BlackBerry.  I got him to play around with the keyboard by typing text in a new memo and pointed out that it was also backlit which the BB isn't.  I in turn did the same on his BB and typed a few sentences but for the life of me I couldn't sense any difference in data input speed compared to my Treo (actually I thought that it was 'slightly' slower).  We agreed to tie on this one point.

I left the meeting somewhat annoyed with the whole keyboard issue as I would have preferred my Treo to come out as the winner on this point as well.  My mind set off wondering "How could the Treo keyboard be improved - if at all?" and I decided to put pen to paper or more exactly mouse to Photoshop in this case. 

My point of departure was a side-by-side comparison of the Treo 650 and BlackBerry (see below - exact proportions were kept) and their respective sizes. 

Treo 650:              11.3 x 5.9 x 2.3cm (Length not inc. antenna)
BlackBerry 7290:    11.3 x 7.5 x 2.2cm


Clearly the Treo is a significantly 'slimmer' device in width - 25% actually - and so I thought that there might be some room to 'stretch' it (below left).  I therefore expanded the body by 10% and also eliminated the antenna in the process (which can now more easily be stored within the casing).  Naturally by doing this I also increased the size of the keys proportionally while leaving the screen and the rest of the body completely untouched.  The result is a device that is still 15% narrower than the BlackBerry.

For comparative purposes, below I've overlaid both the Treo 650 (left) and BlackBerry (right) over the 'stretched' version.  While it is a little difficult to make out the outline of the Treo 650 you can more clearly see how even the stretched Treo fits comfortably within the width of the BlackBerry.

The previous design that we developed for a future Treo 700 was primarily concerned with increasing the screen size to 320x480 while retaining a full keyboard.  This latest design for a future Treo 710 now addresses the need for a potentially even more efficient keyboard.  We'll have to wait and see if any of these designs ever see the light of day

I'm naturally curious to know what your thoughts are.  Assuming for a moment that such a Treo model was available today and that for argument sake it had exactly the same specifications (aside from size obviously) and price as the Treo 650, would you buy one for its 'stretched' form factor alone?

A Possible Future Treo 710
Would you buy one?


Treonauts play to win not to play...

Posted by Andrew on March 3, 2005 at 11:28 PM

Treo Zen Preview

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by disgruntledBB | Jun 3, 2005 2:05:49 PM

Our Company went with the 7100 - we definately did not do enough reseach. We do not like them at all..coverage seems worse than our old motorola phones. We cannot find half the applications that we need for the 7100. HATE THE KEYBOARD!! as the smart-type is always changing what we really want! Desktop redirector sucks as we are not able to filter mail accurately enough and still get over 100+ emails/daily that we do not want going to the phones. Paying for the software/server is not in the budget for a small company of 4. As soon as we get the dough we're switching to the Treo!!

by Charity | Jun 7, 2005 6:53:49 PM

I really love my treo 650, I am defenitaly looking forward to seeing a newer version of the treo 650. my only complaint about the 650 vs the BB 7100 is that the BB delivers your emails directly into you handheld making it more convienant not having to download every couple minutes. this also gives fewer errors when recieving mail getting all you mail on time. Just something for Palm to think about.

by Andrea | Jul 11, 2005 10:00:35 AM

I prefer the current layout of the Treo. The only thing that really blocks me to buy is that I'm looking for a smart phone compatible with the UMTS (3G) network, that is now fully available at least in Italy. What do you think?

by Stephen | Jul 14, 2005 9:52:32 PM

I've gone from a Sony Ericsson t616 to a Nokia 3300 to a T-MO Sidekick II to a Palm Treo 650.

The Palm Treo has been the hugest disappointment for me. I didn't pay 598.04 for a phone that reboots 25-30 times a day (no, this is not an exageration) and requires a hard reset after receiving a voicemail.

Cingular said that they are allowing me to go through the replacement program (warranty exchange) in order to get a Blackberry + reimbursement, since the BB is far cheaper. However, I'm not sure if getting the 7100g is the best thing. I've never had a Blackberry, but all the reviews make it seem much better than the Treo.

Also, I didn't find the new Treo design too appealing (though I couldn't do much of a good job). Focus more on stability and actual features, not just on physical attributes and ease of typing (though easier typing would be so awesome). Don't make the Treo have the BB feeling of holding a piece of toast to your face.

If anyone else has problems with the Treo 650, please tell me what the problem you are having is at slemaire195 @ tmail . com ... as well as some recommendations.

by Ala | Sep 23, 2005 7:30:50 PM

I have enjoyed all your comments here. The verdict is... Motorola Q. Search for this one and you will be blown away with all the features, the size and compatibilty. It's coming on the market soon. My second choice would be 7100, the Treo 650 is heavy, bulky and lacks the best feature: push email, it really is for people who don't care for checking for their messages every 10 minutes, if it's there on the server I want to see it, that's it. Look for other companies installing the push email soon. cheers

by David | Jan 6, 2006 11:21:18 PM

I've been using the Treo 650 since March of 2005. I recently joined a company that insisted that I use the Blackberry for wireless email connectivity - I went with the BB 7290. The Treo wins the contest with superior functionality, applications, camera, video, MP3 player etc etc - It's a better device from a convergence perspective. The screen resolution is far superior and the web browser is far superior. I've installed Goodlink for Outlook push email and now my Treo equals the BB for email. Only downside is the keyboard - I find the BB keyboard to be much easier to use - less mistakes, better design, easier to type longer emails - The Treo keyboard needs to be redesigned. I find the BB to be too light/flimsy and enjoy the heavier, thicker Treo. I'm not a Microsoft fan and will not switch to the 700 windows platform.

by Yovan | Aug 29, 2006 4:28:22 AM

well if you look at the BB and treo side by side, you would see that BB wanted the keyboard to be bigger, putting more emphasis on the easiness to type. however palm wanted to pack treo with features, such as the camera, for instance, which obviously needed a bigger screen. and the keyboard didn't really pose much emphasis. but they still managed to do a pretty good job. i guess most of us have just evolved to the treo's smaller keyboard.


by Anthony | Sep 3, 2006 9:12:57 PM

just wondering if it was possible to buy the case for the black tie edition to replace my stock 650 case?

by osnel pierre | May 18, 2016 8:53:32 PM

Sent it to me there: P O Box 280 249 Queens Village Ny 11 428

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