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Chasing Treo: The Moto Q

Yesterday the web was abuzz with Motorola’s announcement that it plans to release a new smartphone – the Moto Q – sometime in Q1 of 2006.  Evidently, officially announcing this product a full 6 to 9 months before its intended release appears to be designed to undermine both our Treo and the Blackberry against which the Moto Q plans to compete.


As I posted last month, the Moto Q (previously referred to as RAZRberry or Franklin) will have four main design differences with our Treo 650 according to Motorola’s press release:

  1. It has no external antenna
  2. It is half the thickness (11.5mm versus 23mm)
  3. The screen is smaller (320x240 versus 320x320)
  4. It will be about 30% lighter (115gm versus 178gm)

Additionally, the anticipated hardware differences will include:

  • Dual, stereo-quality speakers
  • Mini-SD instead of SD memory card slot
  • 1.3MP camera instead of 0.3MP

Lastly, the Moto Q (pictured below side-by-side with our Treo 650) will be running Windows Mobile 5.0 instead of the PalmOS.


However, although this Moto Q is certainly one of the best looking of any Windows Mobile smartphones that I’ve seen to date, the fact is that once you’re past all of the hype surrounding it only its thickness and weight are real differentiating factors.

Moreover, one must consider that the Moto Q will not be competing against our Treo 650 but instead against our next-generation Treo 700.  Aside from the thickness and weight of the Q, the future Treo 700 is likely going to surpass it in all other design and hardware respects.  In both cases however we’ll have to wait until early next year to find out exactly what these new smartphones hold in store for us.

Finally, as seasoned Treonauts know, the single most important issue in developing a successful smartphone and delivering a superior user experience is the seamless integration between hardware and software – an area where our Treo 650 still excels and outshines all others.

A future contender? [Treonauts]
Motorola to take on BlackBerry, Treo with new Q phone [Chicago Sun-Times]
Moto Q [Motorola Press Release]
The Motorola Q vs. the Treo 650 [Engadget]
Treo Zen Preview [Treonauts]

Treonauts are leading the race

Posted by Andrew on July 27, 2005 at 12:55 PM

Treo Killers?

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by Charles (Singapore) | Jul 27, 2005 11:48:07 PM

What Treo700?
Seamless integration between hardware and software?

It is one thing to like the Treo650 because it was the best (IMHO) smartphone 6 months ago, but it is another thing to bet on what is going to happen end of 2005.

As far as H/W and S/W integration goes, the only thing I see is the stylus-free navigation, something that Microsoft has since then understood is important.

The Treo650 obviously has major issues in SW/HW stability, plus issues with reception and sound quality (that maybe be due to bad QC, but that's even worse).

The Motorola has a smaller screen and lesser resolution, and that makes it not so good; but that's it, the rest is talk, conjectures and crystal ball reading.
There is no Treo700 announced.

by Brian | Jul 28, 2005 12:30:17 AM

Does it have a touch screen? I haven't heard anyone tell me it does.

by Cripple | Jul 28, 2005 9:45:25 AM

I think the Moto Q is more of a Blackberry competitor than a Treo competitor. I mean it looks like a Blackberry device with the keyboard layout. It also runs Windows Mobile smartphone, which is different to Pocket PC. So there will be a few stability and version issues still to iron out.
Palm are very secretive about their product releases and are usually very good at keeping to release dates. They won't announce a release date unless they are pretty confident of keeping to it. Although it frustrates some people, I respect their honesty and integrity.

by Cripple | Jul 28, 2005 9:48:54 AM

Looking at the brief flash intro on the Motorola site, there is a quick picture of the top of the Moto Q. And it doesn't look like there is a Stylus silo. Maybe it is not a touchscreen?
Also, gotta be concerned about the battery life from such thin device.

by oog | Jul 28, 2005 10:33:11 AM

I don't see what's so unusual about announcing a product six months early. Seems to be a pretty standard practice these days. But geez, calm down. Even if it IS better than the 650, you can still enjoy yours just fine. It's not a contest. And what's with the dorky "our Treo" stuff? Do Treonauts want to feel like they belong to a cult? Otherwise, really nice site.

by GeorgeJ | Jul 28, 2005 12:25:43 PM

I like the form factor of the treo as it works so well one handed. Either driving or walking while carrying something else this is essential. As you get wider like the moto or blackberry it becomes more of a two handed (two thumb) device.

by Duane Aubin | Oct 13, 2006 2:10:31 PM

What I fail to understand about any of these so-called Treo killers is that there is so little 3rd party software available, whereas the ability to customize your Treo to meet your individual lifestyle with 3rd party apps is without equal.

If you are a doctor, or engineer, or journalist, or butcher, baker, candlestick maker...whatever it is, there are people out there developing apps just for you....on the PALM OS.

This kind of functionality, in addition to the superior PIM itself, is a whole lot more than a "cool phone I can txt my friends on."

As far as I'm concerned, NOTHING competes with my Palm OS, and the convergence of the phone in the Treo makes it my choice, pure and simple. Is my Treo perfect? Nope, not at all.

But, there is no alternative, for me, that I can see, yet.

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