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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 Doug | Oct 12, 2006 5:16:03 PM

So what is the max size of the SD card for this, 2GB or more?

by Rome | Oct 12, 2006 5:36:32 PM

folks, this phone will be available in the U.S. in the next month or so. The middle of 2007 is for ALL the 20+ carriers worldwide. I suspect Europe will come on board pretty soon too.

by Ifte | Oct 12, 2006 6:23:40 PM

Let me know why shouldn’t I be disappointed with 680 and to some extent with 750 too?
**Same OS?
It’s like I am using windows 98 again and again
**No Wi-Fi?
Why should I miss Skype, MSN Messenger, download music where-ever Wi-Fi signal is available?
**VGA Camera?
You got to be kidding me. No comments!!
**No Built-in GPS? Not even in 750? Who doesn’t have wireless internet at home? You get Wi-Fi at school, university, work, home, airport, coffee shop, and even in train.
Have you guys seen HP IPAQ 6915 or 6955? No? You should. I am not promoting that device, but because they have implemented WiFi and GPS both with reasonable battery life. I might not use it all the time, but it feels good that I have the option and I don’t have to carry around an additional receiver to use it with Treo. With $600 or less IPAQ even add one desktop cradle.
**No Windows Mobile like Graffiti? How about some MS Mobile soft instead?
How much you paid for a Graffiti soft to use on Treo? Guess what, it free with Windows Mobile. Not to mention theirs one is ever better in terms of responsiveness.
**64 MB of accessible memory?
Well, I guess you can always add some extra with some $$$.
I have used Treo 650 for long time. Like the form factor, but its time to move. The amount of money we spend on Treo’s adds up at the end of the day. Palm had their market share because no other manufacturer, other than Blackberry, had a good product in the smart phone segment. How about now? HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Blackberry, HP IPAQ, to name a few, are in this smart phone business. Palm has to abandon their OS 5.4 and then? The answer is Windows Mobile or Symbian. Now the big question is, how palm would differentiate their product in the Windows Mobile segment? You know where I am going with this? I thought so. Thanks Everyone.

by paul | Oct 12, 2006 6:24:06 PM

Is it known when the 680 will be sold here in Europe? I'm asking this, 'cause there aren't any news on palm europe site...

by James | Oct 12, 2006 6:27:43 PM

This is a pretty decent BUDGET phone. Both my parents are in need of a replacement for aging palms and this might well do good for them. Basically I only see a few differences to the 650, more memory, BT1.2 presumably with BT headphone support and a lack of the ariel which is a big plus to many people. I'm a 650 user and I would love to see a wifi Palm Treo prefereably with a new OS. If this thing is cheap enough though I will just ebay my 650 and get this for the time being.

What I would really most like to see is a wifi card to go with this Treo then Palm can't make up their BS about it effecting battery life and it keeps the 680 as a budget model.

by AYeager | Oct 12, 2006 6:49:34 PM

I called my local Cingular store today. Of course no on-sale date or price points - but they did mention the 710p and 710w future release as well. A link to my blog post about it is here:


by whenegar | Oct 12, 2006 7:42:18 PM

I called Cingular today and asked a rep when Cingular is getting the 680. After fumbling around for 15 minutes, she said she'd asked a manager, who said they would not be carrying it at all. To my mind, this just proves that it may be a while, because obviously she and her manager were clueless. In addition to the leaked cingular-branded 680 pic on the palmgear site a few weeks go, the main palm site today includes a 680 screenshot showing Cingular's Xpress mail icon in the application list:

by Jnetty | Oct 12, 2006 8:05:09 PM


Usually customer service and tech support are the last know things, just got announced today. It will probably start the sell and they still won't know until someone finally calls them for setup or questions about it.

by Lush | Oct 12, 2006 8:14:46 PM

Honest to god.....what's wrong with Palm? Seriously? Anyone? These would've been great features 18 months ago. And still no Wifi? Palm = truly clueless. I'm going with a Blackberry.

by Matt | Oct 12, 2006 8:25:41 PM

Re: Ifte

Ummm.. Who wants to use Windows Mobile? Not me. I use PC's AND MAC's everyday... and poor little ole' Microsoft doesn't play nice with Mac's.

So Palm OS is here to stay and still is a very decent OS. That's why people wait for the Treo 750/680

by Rome | Oct 12, 2006 9:08:51 PM

#34 Lush,

Can you name one Blackberry on the market today that has wifi? I guess not....good luck with your BB.

by Judy | Oct 12, 2006 10:01:52 PM

I was totally excited about the 680 until I read that individual carriers would be choosing the colour(s)... ack, does that mean Cingular is only going to be offering the bright orange one? Hell, that's worth going to an unlocked version right there.

On a more serious note, I am *VERY* excited about Palm partnering with Palm on the Treo. I already have my Palm address book and calendar synched with my Yahoo account through Intellisync. If they make this more seamless and applying to more applications thoughout the Yahoo'verse, my cup will indeed runneth over!

by Jon | Oct 12, 2006 10:52:59 PM

The 2007 release date is for the rest of the world. It's available in the US (unlocked and Cingular) MUCH sooner - November or earlier.

I'm pysched about the memory (yes, that should also mean more DBcache, fewer resets, thank you!) and the new UI. I dig googlemaps on my 650 and if that is the new direction for palm, things look up.

Disappointments: I was hoping for stereobluetooth built-in. Guess Audio Gateway will also go on this phone.

From WSJ and other sources, it appears to be $199 with contract. I'm looking at an unlocked myself.

by Lush | Oct 13, 2006 12:14:40 AM

Rome.....no, I can't name one Blackberry on the market with Wifi. Can you name one Treo on the market with Wifi? No? Really?

The Blackberry 8800 will have it. I've no idea when it'll be released or if Palm will release a Treo with Wifi before then, but I've lost most of my faith in Palm to do anything sensible.

Good luck to you as well.

by Kerem | Oct 13, 2006 12:37:39 AM

Andrew, as much as I appreciate your passion with Treos and enjoy visiting great dedicated site of yours, recently I started to feel that you are giving only certain angle about Treos and miss or exclude the failures or mistakes Palm company does in terms of their product strategies. You act as if soft propoganda of Palm company to generate interest but fail to convey the hard facts and voices of true Treonautes (well, at least welcome our comments, to be fair)

Palm, once upon a times being the leader in PDAs and PDA phones, is making big mistakes and being very sluggish in continuing to their success on more innovative, captive Treo models and features. Looking at current Treo 700 and 750, so called new models, they are absolutely basic derivatives of Treo 600, not even 650! Same frame, same thickness, same weight, same screen size, same functionalities! And, it has been 3+ years that Treos have not had a significant change, except here there such as keyboard, no antenna, camera resolution, etc.

In my opinion, these are not enough for all this time passed. In automotive, this is called ‘facelift’ which is basically same car but little changes in front look, lights, buttons!

As a current Treo owner, why would I spend money to buy 680 while I have 650 or spend big bucks to get a 700 or 750, if it will continue to give me the SAME THING with extra spices! Besides, Palm OS of these models are not out there.

People who love Treos have been expecting significant advancements in thickness, weight, screen size and screen optimization (because screen space is TERRIBLY wasted currently!), camera resolution, internal memory, Wi-Fi, and certainly availability of Palm OS at the same time. Palm company is lagging way behind now in the competition and terribly disappoints to please its current customers, in my opinion. At least, I am one of them.

by Andreas | Oct 13, 2006 1:40:18 AM

They better bring out a PalmOS Treo with 3G, WiFi, MP3 support and 3 MP camera with AF soon. I can't really see the advantages over the 650.
By the time Palm will release the 680 here in Europe Nokia will allready be selling the N95 (WCDMA HSDPA 2100, GMS, EDGE, WiFi (802.11b/g), 5MP camera with AF, video with VGA, integrated GPS, 120Mb internal memory, ...) with a notable smaller formfactor.

by Josh | Oct 13, 2006 2:48:47 AM

Ok, I want to weigh in. I think some of the people posting things to this site have lost sight of the big picture a bit here. Is Palm the most innovative company out there? No. Certainly not any longer. Are there slicker, smaller, smart phones out there? Yes. There will always be something newer, slicker, and smaller. That is the nature of the biz. What really matters in my opinion are evolutionary leaps. Most companies would be lucky to have produced one evolutionary leap in their entire product lifetime. Palm has had two: The original Palm, and then the idea (although credit for the second really goes to Handspring) to put a phone together with a palm in the Treo. Nothing anyone else has done, including Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices, have added anything significantly new to the package. Devices have gotten smaller, faster, more polished, etc., but nothing has truly advanced into another class of device. Palm is right up there with the top smartphones. Yes, the Treo is a little big. Yes, it is missing a few features, but the bottom line is that the Treo 650 I bought a year ago still rocks and is still the best, most useful technological tool I have ever owned. It can do just about everything I need it to. And with a robust offering of 3rd party software available to the platform, I can make it outperform (functionally at least) anything else on the market. Let’s be realistic here folks, the laptop hasn't changed in 10 years. The smartphone market is converging, and will in a few years become as steady and unevolving as the laptop. When you get close to the top of that technological asymptote, all any company can really do to sell more devices is to convince consumers that what they have isn't new, or trendy, or cool enough. Real power users have stopped trying to have the newest, shiniest thing, and have instead spent their time, energy, and money, maximizing and enjoying a really useful tool. The 680 is for folks who have yet to really realize just how useful and convenient is to have an organizer, a phone, and a web browser all together into one device that is small enough to keep with you all the time. It seems like a lot of you have lost sight of function over form.

by Josh | Oct 13, 2006 2:52:34 AM

(Continued)...The 680 is for folks who have yet to really realize just how useful and convenient it is to have an organizer, a phone, and a web browser all together in one device that is small enough to keep with you all the time. It seems like a lot of you have lost sight of function over form.

by Kocureq | Oct 13, 2006 5:31:20 AM

And by the way, Google has recently bought YouTube :]

by James | Oct 13, 2006 7:26:51 AM

Anyone notice the very nice Google Maps screen in Blazer on the ad in the article? It doesn't look like KMaps. Better version of Blazer? New Google map version for the Treo?


by Rome | Oct 13, 2006 9:49:51 AM


Yes, none of the Treos has wifi built-in, but the 700w/wx and 750v series will accept the wifi card. Plus I am not the one who is complaining that treos lack built-in wifi.

What I don't understand is that If wifi were so important to you as you had indicated, why would you want to go with a BB? You were complaining that treos don't have wifi built-in in one sentence, and the very next sentence you say that you want to go with the BB. Your logic escapes. Go with MDA or 6700 if wifi is what you want.

by James | Oct 13, 2006 10:09:29 AM

To answer my own question :


by e | Oct 13, 2006 10:18:26 AM

If the post about the price point being $200 on a contract is true, I'm not sure I see a big price advantage.

$200 on contract is about the same price as a Treo 650. Is that considered low-end? Meh.

Anyone got any estimates on what this thing will sell for at the Palm store?

by Fred | Oct 13, 2006 10:30:41 AM

Good call _e_

When do we see some official word on the price? And I mean for a "freed" model (unlocked).

by pforme | Oct 13, 2006 11:36:10 AM

Maybe Im not in the right spot at the right time, but when ever I needed wi-fi, it wasn't around. I went from a hp 2215, to 6700, to Q, 700w, and now to 700P. The FUNCTION is what is important to me and the P hits it dead on for me. I need productivity. As far as looks and size, I always thought the Q looked like a silver grahm cracker (ugly IMO). I think the current 700p is perfect size and you know its there so you don't sit on it or something. And like one post said, you can fine tune with the amount of 3rd party programs out there available way better than WM. Downside, it gonna cost some money, but that shouldn't matter if its doing what its suppose to do- help you make more of it!!! Anyways, Im new to the Palm OS, so Im not as familiar with all its quirks, but I love it right now!!!! What a night and day difference from WM.

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