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Treo 680: Finally A Treo For Everyone

This post will be updated following Palm’s unveiling of the new Treo 680 today and I will write a more in-depth review tomorrow Friday even though you will undoubtedly already have been able to tell that I am extremely excited about this latest addtion to the Treo family – one which will become my preferred smartphone as soon as it is released towards the end of this month...

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Details and specifications for the Treo 680 are now available at Palm’s website.

The most beautiful picture of the day for me…  I love the fact that Palm are releasing the Treo 680 in multiple colours for their “Unlocked” model while each carrier will choose their own individual colour(s)…  Click on the image for a full size picture.

Treo 680 All Colors_resize2

I am equally super excited by Palm’s new partners which include no less than online heavyweights ebay, Google and Yahoo! as well as blog leader TypePad/Six Apart and photo king Flickr (part of Yahoo!) – for now the only big one missing in my opinion is YouTube…  These kinds of mega-partnerships are exactly the type of deals that I have been waiting for and these sample ad campaigns below should give you an indication of how attractive the Treo 680 will become…

You might recall that I had previously written about my strong belief that both Google and Yahoo! may very well decide to launch an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) and obviously the Treo would be the ideal smartphone for them to have.  We’re probably still a little while away from seeing this but it’s certainly not too far-fetched…

Experience the Treo 680

Please click on the image above to view a short tour of some of the many experiences that the Treo 680 offers.

Treonauts are always enjoying themselves

Posted by Andrew on October 12, 2006 at 11:42 AM

Treo 680

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by e | Oct 12, 2006 2:26:55 PM

Details are already up on www.palm.com. No pricing though.

by uiucryan | Oct 12, 2006 2:29:38 PM

by Patrick | Oct 12, 2006 2:34:07 PM

This thing is garbage. I will keep my Treo 650 for now and wait for the 750

by e | Oct 12, 2006 2:36:34 PM

Yeah, it doesn't look like a great product. Basically a slightly improved 650.

by e | Oct 12, 2006 2:38:04 PM

eh? Still no MP3 ringtones?

by Patrick | Oct 12, 2006 2:41:41 PM

I was hoping for the past couple weeks that they would be releasing the 750 here. They say that 680 is for a new crowd of people who want a less exspensive phone. I have seen 650's for as little as $50. A big savings over the 680 seeing as it is the same phone.

by Tim Garcia | Oct 12, 2006 2:44:01 PM

LOL... to the dorky Palm geeks: yes, it's a basically slightly improved 650... but the point of the 680 isn't wow the tiny %age of the market that goes for high-end $500 bleeding edge mini-PC phones, but to simultaneously target several other markets, incuding people who are buying Blackberry Pearls, or Motorola Qs, and even people not currently buying smartphones at all, but would at the right price for the right features. This will be priced well and will sell well -- mark my words. The only retarded thing Palm did on the 680 is lack of MP3 ringtones -- this is a really BASIC feature of even much lower-end phones.

by liveswithmom | Oct 12, 2006 2:46:08 PM

mid-2007 release date? Why announce a phone today that you don't plan on selling for 6-8 months? Perhaps it gives diehards a way to fineagle a 750 out of Europe...

I've been plodding away with my 650 since its release and have been dying to upgrade for a while now. I guess I need to start looking forward to Cingular's i607 release...

by Chris | Oct 12, 2006 2:53:55 PM

still no wifi. compare these specs with e.g. a Nokia E70 or so ... These specs would be great for a small clamshell form factor that would allow me to bring along my calendar and addresses without really using it much to enter data. I hope the phone volume is at least more useable than on the 650. The only reason I haven't jumped ship is that I am too lazy to transfer all my data from palm desktop.

by Jnetty | Oct 12, 2006 2:54:45 PM

Yeah no MP3 support is no good. If palm wants more people to buy it, they need MP3 support to get all the cool kids to buy it and put their favorite ring tones.

I think I might still get it to replace my 650 that is starting to act out. Hopefully it will be like $199 on Cingular soon..

by e | Oct 12, 2006 3:01:43 PM

@ Tim Garcia:

While I agree that Palm doesn't need to wow existing Palm users, they definitely need to add some wow factor against existing devices. The Pearl (and maybe the Q) are MUCH better looking devices. Palm hasn't improved the look of the Treo in 3 years or so.

I'm guessing that Palm's decision to not use a 1.3 MP camera was to ensure they didn't cannibalize their existing sales of higher end Treos. Bad decision, cause I'll just get a Pearl or a Q, which have all of the required features.

by Patrick | Oct 12, 2006 3:02:05 PM

I am really considering getting the Cingular 8125 until the 750 is released.

by ThinkDifferent | Oct 12, 2006 3:20:54 PM

As a longtime Treonaut I'm both pleased and disappointed with this announcement. Pleased because the "cool" factor and potentially lower-point might lead to a slew of new Treonauts. Yea! Dissapointed because it means nothing new for the Treo 650 and 700 community. (Been there, done that.) Sigh!

by ThinkDifferent | Oct 12, 2006 3:23:35 PM

Comment above should have read "potentially lower price-point". Sorry.

by Tim Garcia | Oct 12, 2006 4:09:49 PM

I don't know, e... I know it's certainly subjective, but I don't think the Pearl or the Q are much better looking than the 680. I also find the Pearl to be a compromise on the keyboard -- better than a completely-non QWERTY keyboard but still not as easy to use as a real QWERTY kb. I consistently recommend Treos to people who are heasvy text message users because of the keyboard and threaded chat feature, but the price point is a bit of an issue for some folks (something the 680 addresses) and the bulk is something folks balk at, as well. So, the 680 is still bulkier than a Pearl, but it has a real KB and the touch screen is missing on the Q, and it's slimmer and more pocket friendly than a 650 for a better price.

by Steve | Oct 12, 2006 4:15:43 PM

Why is there STILL no wireless?!?! The argument by Palm that "wireless drains batteries" is BULL SH**. If that's the case, allow the Palm OS device to use an optional wireless card, and we'll see how many wireless cards fly off the shelves. We all know the real rea$on... Stop being a slave to all the carriers!!!

If I don't see a new Palm OS and wireless next year, I'm moving over to WM. Ever since Palm bought Handspring, they have gone from being innovative to playing catch-up.

by Howjdoin | Oct 12, 2006 4:21:33 PM

Steve.I totally understand your frustration,but if I were you I would not keep my hopes high about wireless,look at 750v it's supposed to be big hit for europe and still no wi-fi,since it's not a new technology there's no excuse on that side too,I think carriers do not want to promote wi-fi phones.I am waiting for 680 and hoping smo will do same thing they did for 650 so we can use wi-fi cards for 680 too.

by liveswithmom | Oct 12, 2006 4:28:48 PM

No wireless because carriers would rather charge $$$ for using their slow networks. Can you imagine the implications of Joe User being able to surf without paying by the minute?! Worse than cats and dogs living together.

However if you want to get your mitts on the THE coolest phone gadget, check out the SGH-i600 (http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2006/09/05/samsungs-sgh-i600-an-hsdpa-and-wifi-smartphone-at-last/)

That's supposed to support wifi (downside is no 850 band support, but I live in SF and don't need that). Supposed to release before Christmas so save your pennies

by js | Oct 12, 2006 4:31:31 PM

This is an upgrade for the 600, but offers little if anything over the 650. This is good news for me as I have been holding out to upgrade my 600. 320x320, GSM, and bluetooth does it for me along with the speculated affordable price, slimmer no antenna design. I imagine the target (mass) market will also be happy with the device.

I think I read of a unlocked retail push from Palm's web site. Guess the no locked contract 600 folks will need to decide on a 650 or 680....I'd probably have to take the less costly route.

I understand all the color logic except the orange...maybe ideas from Orange and/or Cingular? Was hiping for the rubberized black case.

by liveswithmom | Oct 12, 2006 4:32:33 PM

BTW, before I start getting fur piled with "this is a Treo forum!" I'll say this: I own a Treo 650 and I have been patiently waiting for an upgrade. I'm disappointed in the 680, would have hoped for a US version of the 750, and am exploring other options coz I ain't getting what I want: slim QWERTY phone that has WiFi... I'm tired of my brick...

by Dave | Oct 12, 2006 4:36:17 PM

I must be in the minority here because I think this is a decent upgrade from the 650. As I said on another forum, I'm wondering the following things:

1. Have they fixed the poor headphone jack issue with this new Treo?

2. Have they increased the DBCache size issue with this release (probably not since it's still using OS 5.4.x)?

3. Are all accessories still compatible that were compatible with the 650 (most importantly the Seidio Extended Life Battery)?

If the answers to these questions are positive ones, then I will likely upgrade because I have a really crappy audio jack in my 18 month old Treo 650, I really like the orange version of the 680, and I could use the added 32 MB of storage on the device.

by John | Oct 12, 2006 4:42:49 PM

I've got to say that I am not all that disappointed either. I'm not that into using wifi on my phone. I do want more user accessible RAm, and if this is cheap enough, it's better than the 700.

The hidden SD slot is great so you don't lose your card.

I am a little confused by the lag between announcement and release, though.

by Duane Aubin | Oct 12, 2006 5:12:42 PM

There's a detail worth considering... quoting from the website, "Not to mention your contacts, calendar, photos, and songs. Sounds like a lot. And it is. But everything's so easy to learn that you'll actually use it, which makes it anything but a typical phone."

A lot of my friends are addicted to the Crackberry, but try to plan a get-together, and they're double and triple booking their time because they don't actually USE the Blackberry for anything else than txting/emailing.

Unfortunately, people tend not to appreciate the Palm data management value of a PDA. For those who are phone/txt/email-oriented, this new Palm 680 may help them bridge over to leverage their handheld for MORE.

Again, the design/functionality of the Blackberry doesn't encourage its most loyal users to even think about trying to do more. With the new Palm 680, it's expected to bring people who otherwise wouldn't have tried a Palm in on the phone/connectivity thing, and then once comfortable on the platform, if they try the calendar, memos, etc...they might like it, and then graduate more fully into the Palm community.

Most of the recent Treo upgrades are insufficient to get me to bother considering letting go of my 650. I will continue to await a truly higher level of functionality (rather than just shallow form) before I move on up. In the meantime, this unit isn't for me, and at least Palm is pretending it is. I'm ok with that.

by Jnetty | Oct 12, 2006 5:14:53 PM

umm its like been 3 hours after the Palm Meeting. When is this going to get updated. I mean i been to the other sites already, but I would like to read treonauts personal opinion.

by ron LaPedis | Oct 12, 2006 5:15:11 PM

Hey folks, 64mb for user storage is pretty cool. No matter how much card space you have there are some programs that must run in memory to do their thing (Snappermail, Epocrates, Worldmate). That alone makes me pretty happy. 2007 does NOT make me happy.

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