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Treo 680: Palm Unveiling Next Week?

I’ve just received my very own Treo 750v which Vodafone began selling without much fanfare this week in the UK and other European countries and which I will review in the coming week. 

As I wrote the first time that I laid my hands on the Treo 750v in Los Angeles a few weeks ago I am _absolutely_ smitten by the new slightly smaller and lighter antenna-less form factor.  It may ‘only’ be an evolutionary design change but it feels so good in my grip that I hardly want to let go of it for even an instant…

The fact is that although my GSM Treo 650 (pictured below next to my new Treo 750v) has served me more than extremely well for nearly two years it is undeniably true that I have been biting my nails waiting for a next generation PalmOS GSM Treo smartphone to be released. 

While CDMA customers in the US have been spoiled with the Verizon Treo 700w and Sprint Treo 700wx (both running Windows Mobile) as well as the PalmOS Treo 700p a significant number of Treonauts on GSM networks such as Cingular have had zip to get excited about to date.  Perhaps this is now about to change…

The first indication that a new entry-level GSM Treo 680 was ‘imminent’ came as a hidden image of this smartphone appeared on Palm’s website and Ed Colligan the company’s CEO announced that “The fourth new Treo smartphone is coming soon for worldwide distribution”.  The second indication were some (unconfirmed) specifications of the Treo 680 appeared claiming that it would have:

  • Palm OS 5.4.9
  • Radio: GSM/GPRS/EDGE (GSM 850/900/1800/1900)
  • Intel XScale 312MHz processor
  • 128MB (60MB user accessible) non-volatile
  • Bluetooth 1.2 (Support for Bluetooth stereo headsets)
  • Polyphonic MIDI, MP3, WAV & video ringtones (w/ vibrate mode and external ringer on/off switch )
  • 0.3 megapixels - VGA Camera
  • Standard SD card slot
  • Removable 1200 mAH Lithium-ion Battery (Talk time up to 4.5 hours – Standby time 10 days)
  • Size 111mm x 58mm x 22mm
  • Weight 154 grams (5.4 ounces)

Basically, aside from the lower resolution camera, SD card and obviously the operating system it looks like the Treo 680 will have the same look and feel as the Treo 750v but will retail for half the price (estimated).

While this set of specifications and price will undoubtedly prove appealing to a whole new set of Treonauts there is equally no doubt that other ‘high-end’ Treonauts are clamoring for a new Treo smartphone that provides them with the same EVDO high-speed wireless data connectivity as the Treo 700p|w|wx but unfortunately there has been absolutely no indication whatsoever that either a GSM Treo 700p or Treo 750p will become available anytime soon…  Additionally others are claiming (unconfirmed) that the PalmOS cannot technically handle HSPDA connections (high-speed data over GSM networks) which might further put a damper on things…

For now at least, the last clue to a forthcoming Treo 680 came as Palm earlier this week announced further price cuts of the Cingular Treo 650 (down to $199 with a 2 year contract) and unlocked GSM version (reduced by $100 to $549).  In the past such price cuts have always been indicative of another smartphone being released shortly so let’s keep our fingers crossed to see what Palm has in store for us next week…

Treonauts always expect to get the best

Posted by Andrew on October 5, 2006 at 12:48 PM

Treo 680

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by Howj | Oct 5, 2006 1:07:59 PM

As long as I can use a SD wi-fi card with 680,don't care about "coming soon" 750 anymore....

by dmm | Oct 5, 2006 1:38:40 PM

Seeing as no previous Palm OS Treo has used a WiFi card (except with major hacking that disables the cellular data connection) and there's nothing yet to indicate the 680 will be different, I'm not getting my hopes up on WiFi...

by Scotty | Oct 5, 2006 2:14:57 PM

When you do your review of the 750, please get a hold of a miniSD wifi card and let us know if it works!

by Treofrog | Oct 5, 2006 6:46:31 PM

IT looks like a Blackberry horrible and fugly.

by George | Oct 5, 2006 8:01:11 PM

Andrew, is it possible to unlock the 750V and use it with a North American GSM Operator?

by Robogeek | Oct 5, 2006 11:34:33 PM

Well... I'd obviously rather have a GSM Treo 750p, but I'll settle for a 680 if I can get an unlocked one for less than $500 that'll work with T-Mobile. PLEASE, PALM, PLEASE!!! We've waited long enough for a GSM Palm OS replacement for the aging (now practically ancient) 650, and I'm thisclose to leaving the platform for the Pearl or something if you don't get off your ass in a hurry.

by sam | Oct 6, 2006 1:03:29 AM

http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/66/87/ if yo ugo heare you can get wifi ii did it with my 650 its the best its worth it evrey penny all my buddys did it to with me do it

by femaad | Oct 6, 2006 8:09:27 AM

i agree with robogeek. if only there were a GSM 700p or a GSM 750p....PLEASE!!!!

by Jnetty | Oct 6, 2006 9:25:28 AM

I don't know if i'm going to jump into the 680 version. I was hoping that the same version as the Vodaphone version would come out in the U.S., but 0.3 camera yuck! lets a 1.3pixel. Also EDGE on Cingular is still really slow.. need something faster.

by chris | Oct 6, 2006 9:52:45 AM

I wouldnt mind the .3mp camera if it took pictures as good as my 650 (which is way better than my 700p). Im just hoping that an antenna less/palm version will come out for verizon. 240x240 is horrible, and WM is not my fav.

by Lush | Oct 7, 2006 3:54:35 PM

I've been waiting over a year for a Palm that will meet my needs - phone, non-Windows OS, WiFi (a must since I can get email at the hospital or on campus) and something that is reliable (EVERY person I know with a Treo 650 complains of all the crashes). Can anyone here tell me why I should continue to wait on Palm or if I should just get something like this:


Much appreciated.

by Kunjan | Oct 8, 2006 5:10:22 PM

I just hope it has EDGE, and it works with TMO, as long it has EDGE, i dont care if I have WIFI or not.

by Falconxp | Oct 9, 2006 2:08:11 PM

In the Netherlands the 750v is sold unlocked (haven't tested it yet) in the vodaphone shops. Bought 1 in The Netherlands with a contract because reception from vodaphone in the Netherlands is better than the other GSM providers. The 750v is thinner and smaller then my qtek 9100 from work.

by dbs | Oct 9, 2006 10:30:27 PM

I did a review of the 650 trying to do bluetooth stereo operation, and I have to say it was pretty sad. Constant crashes, unstable stacks. Pitiful. Is there any indication that the 680 or the 750 have fixed all the problems with Bluetooth?

My review is on planet-geek.com.

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