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Treo 680 Accessories Guide: Review Part 5


>>> Please view the complete range of bestselling Treo 680 accessories in our Treo Accessories Store for the most up-to-date listing of products.

While the Treo 680 smartphone is undoubtedly going to appeal to millions of new Treonauts the fact is also that a great many others will be getting one as an upgrade to their existing Treo 650, 600 or 700p. 

Evidently, combining this smartphone with the right Treo 680 cases and other accessories in our Treo Accessories Shop will be essential to your overall ‘Treo Experience’.  New Treonauts will come here looking to find out which accessories are best while existing Treonauts will be wondering which of the ones they already own they will be able to reuse.  I will try to answer both these questions (to the exception of Treo 680 cases) in this fifth part of my review below.

Treo 680 Accessories In The Box
As I pointed out in my Treo 680 Review Part 3: Unlocked GSM In My Delighted Hands Palm does include four accessories in the box:

  1. Mono corded 2.5mm headset
  2. USB HotSync cable (does not charge via USB)
  3. [Cingular Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger.  [EU Unlocked Treo 680 Version] Wall Charger (bulky & heavy) with four international plugs including Europe, UK and US.
  4. One Universal Screen Protector (which needs to be cut to size)

Upgrading What’s In The Box
A few Treonauts may find the above four accessories to be sufficient and only look to complete the set with a Treo case (also see my Top Treo Cases) while others will at least want to upgrade this basic kit to something much better so:

  1. I have never personally used a Mono corded headset but the most popular upgrade for this is the Jabra C250 ($14.95).  The next level up in the corded category are my favourite Seidio 2in1 Retractable Stereo Earbud Headset ($34.95) that has a built-in microphone, Call Answer/End button as well as volume control (ideal if like me you listen to music on your Treo regularly).  Going wireless without a cord at all has also become the preferred choice for most Treonauts with a Bluetooth headset such as the Jabra JX10 ($99.95), Palm Compact Wireless Headset ($49.95) or Motorola H700 ($69.95).  Additionally, I highly recommend always to have one or two 2.5mm Stereo Adapters ($5.95) to be able to use any existing standard 3.5mm headset that you might already have.
  2. In my opinion having a USB cable that can only HotSync is a complete waste since an identical one can Sync AND Charge ($15.95) or even better go with my favourite and bestselling Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) which is the smallest and lightest solution that you’ll find (it should probably be voted “Best value for money Treo Accessory”). 
  3. Treo680ChargerThe included Wall Charger in the box is not bad per se and you will always be able to use it as a spare one at the office or at home but if you plan on travelling frequently with your Treo the bulk and weight of it (104g for Cingular and 179g for the Unlocked inc. plugs) is just ridiculous considering that the SPE Compact Wall Charger ($12.95) weighs only 48 grams.
  4. The very last thing that you want to happen on your Treo is for its screen to become scratched and it therefore makes every sense to always have Screen Protectors ($15.95) at the ready.

Please note that existing owners of any of the Treo accessories listed above will be able to continue using them with the Treo 680.

Enhancing Your Treo 680 Experience

1. Power: The standard battery on the Treo 680 is 1200mAh compared to 1800mAh on the Treo 650 and 700p.  Although this has not affected the rated 300 hours of Standby Time (see Treo 680 Comparison Chart) the Talk Time of the Treo 680 however is 4 hours compared to a standard 5 or 6 on the Treo 650 (6 to 7 hours with its Extended Battery). 

You will therefore want to 1) ensure to keep your Treo 680 charging as frequently as possible and 2) get a spare battery as soon as they become available [ETA is mid-Dec.].  I will recommend four charging solutions:

  1. Treo680CradleAt your PC: If you’re frequently on the move, use the Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) which plugs into your USB port that I mentioned earlier.
  2. At work: Use the Retractable S&C Cable above, the SPE Compact Wall Charger and/or get a cradle such as the Palm Cradle Kit ($39.95) which will also double as a spare battery charger.
  3. Treo680CarAt home: Use the Wall Charger provided in the box and also consider buying the above Palm Cradle Kit if you decide to buy a spare battery.
  4. In the car: You’ll always want to have a car charger such as the SPE Compact Car Charger ($12.95) if you’re frequently on the phone while driving or simply need to top-up your power.

There is also an all-in-one USB solution for Wall+Car+PC which is achieved by combining the Mobi Products DuoCharger ($14.95) and the Retractable S&C Cable ($12.95) – a combination which is particularly useful when you want to travel light.  Additionally, if you travel internationally frequently I can highly recommend the World USB Adapter ($24.95).

Treo680SDCard2. Data: There’s no doubt that one of the greatest joys using my Treo 680 daily is that it has the capacity to use external SD Cards of up to 4GB (8GB will hopefully available by the end of the year).  I have stopped counting but I probably have over 20GB of storage spread across numerous SD cards which store my music, movies, photos and business files.  Naturally, in order to transfer files from my PC to my SD card I personally always use my MobileMate SD Card Reader ($19.95) but the Mobi Products Mini Reader ($14.95) has become extremely popular as well.

3. Protection & Care: Aside from the screen protectors I also always have a cleaning cloth in my pocket such as the 3M Microfiber ($4.95) to rid my Treo of dust and dirt as well as the finger and facial oils that regularly accumulate on it.

Treo680GPS3. In The Car: Regular readers will already know that I am completely hooked on GPS navigation with my Treo (see Travelling With A Treo GPS In My Pocket).  At present I have only managed to get my TomTom Navigator 5 GPS Bundle ($249.95) to work with my Treo 680 but unfortunately the Palm GPS Navigator 2 with TomTom 6.0 ($289.95) software currently appears to be incompatible. 

The TomTom GPS Navigator 6 Bundle ($249.95) has also just been released but I will not be able to tell you until next week if it works with the Treo 680.  Additionally, I recently reviewed a new GPS service called Telenav that works over-the-air (OTA) and costs $9.95 per months but still requires a separate GPS receiver.

Whether you decide to use a GPS solution with you Treo or not I also highly recommend that you install a vehicle mount such as the bestselling Arkon CM910 Vehicle Mount Kit ($29.95).

Treo680Keyboard4. Unusual Extras: Other Treo 680 accessories available to a few Treonauts who need to meet special needs include Bluetooth Keyboards (from $99.95), Bluetooth Speakerphones (from $49.95), the Solio Solar Charger ($79.95), an FM Transmitter ($39.95), Cassette Adapter ($12.95) or even the Neuros MPEG-4 Recorder ($139.95).

Incompatible Treo 650/700p Accessories
The very good news for existing Treonauts is that there are actually very few if any accessories that are incompatible with the Treo 680.  Only the Treo 680 battery and stylus are different and because of its slimmer and antenna-less form-factor there will also be a great many of the existing cases that will not fit (I will review compatible Treo 680 cases shortly).

Treo680SkinCaseOn this front, as I mentioned before in a few weeks you will have the option to purchase additional spare Treo 680 batteries and styli as well as new cases that have been specifically designed for it (such as the newly released S680 Skin Case).

Finally, you can easily view all the accessories that are currently compatible with the Treo 680 by simply using the pull-down “Select Your Treo” menu at the top right corner of the screen at the Treonauts Accessory Shop.

Treonauts always have the right gear

Posted by Andrew on November 30, 2006 at 01:05 PM

Treo 680 Review , Treo Accessories Guide

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by josh | Dec 1, 2006 2:52:01 PM

hmm, it erased part of my msg above...from the home screen, go to "Prefs" and then go to the ''network'' item listed inside. the rest is in the post above.

by Rob_G | Dec 1, 2006 3:11:30 PM

I have taken my Treo 680 through 10 charge and discharge cycles and agree with everyone about the battery life. I made a 7-minute phone call today and my battery went from 100% to 95%. That would be 2 hours and 20 minutes of talk time if the phone is judging it’s battery life perfectly. I used to charge my 650 every other day, but I am at 20 to 30% by the end of the day and I don’t even have a data plan! If I had to choose, I would want to keep the poor battery life and the thinness. I do, however, plan on buying a high capacity battery the second one is released because I want it all, form and functionality.

by Rob_G | Dec 1, 2006 4:35:30 PM

My Copper 680 just shipped!

by Anne | Dec 1, 2006 5:57:56 PM

I am wondering about the streaming audio capacity of the 680. I've tried to get live radio off radio sites on my 680- and while I can listen from my laptop, I keep getting a 'can't connect now' message from my 680. Is this not possible on the 680? (If not, a major bummer, because that's one feature I was looking forward to enjoying.)

(Having never had a smartphone or BB before, I am ecstatic to be in a meeting downtown and on the subway and checking my email - that's the best!)

by Ken | Dec 1, 2006 7:14:25 PM

This is disappointing to hear about the battery. The whole reason why I gave all of my import phones were due primarily to the short life of the battery capacity. I certainly hope that this will not be the case with the Treo 680.

by Eric Walker | Dec 1, 2006 10:11:47 PM

Off topic a little, but does anyone know if the 750 will come in multiple colors like the 680 when it's released?

by Justin | Dec 2, 2006 12:09:29 AM

Additional Battery Information:

We may be looking at some serious false advertising by Palm regarding the battery standby/talk times.

How can the battery be 33% less capacity (1800mAh on the 650 vs. 1200mAh on the 680), and yet they advertise the same standby time and 1-2 hrs less talk time? It appears that the phone's radio may be doing too much communication with the network. 300 hours standby is 12 days! I can actually watch by 680 battery go down 1-2% in 15 minutes without even using any features except bluetooth being on.

Another thing, has anyone else had this happen? I charge the 680 overnight, and before I pull the charger at 8am in the morning, the battery reads 100% and the green light is solid. IMMEDIATELY upon pulling the charger plug, the battery now reads 93%-96% and starts going down from there!!! This is unbelievable. I know there could be some issues with the power manager that could cause incorrect or unstable readings, but this coupled with the poor battery life is just too much. By 9am without any calls the battery is at 80%.

My opinion is that with a 33% smaller battery the unit shouldnt be having this poor performance.

I have a feeling that there could be some software issues here, and I encourage everyone experiencing poor battery life to call Palm and let them know what is happening. Their quote of 300h standby / 4h talk time is either false advertising or they have some serious battery issues to work out.

I am probably going to return my unit and wait for either a firmware update, or a rev. 2 unit that may address these issues.

Funny thing is, I really do not use the phone that much, and my battery is done by 7pm. What is a power phone user supposed to do? You cannot charge the phone all day. And whats worse is all its takes is one long unexpected phone call when youre caught without the charger and then you're done.

I love the Palm OS, and have had a Treo 180, 270, 600, 650, and now a 680, and I must say that the Treo 680 has been for me both the most anticipated and the most disappointing unit so far. I hope Palm can come up with something.

The CEO should be ashamed, and if anyone from Palm reads this forum or others, they better investigate this situation. Dont be surprised if within 30-60 days there is a breaking story about an update or fix similiar to the magnitude of the Treo 650 memory issue.

by Andrew | Dec 2, 2006 6:32:05 AM

Justin - I am sorry to say that I find your complaint about the battery somewhat unfounded.

For clarification:
1) The 'Standby Time' is rated at a 'best time' of 300 hours (on all Treo smartphones) with the Phone off and only the PDA functions on.
2) The 'Talk Time' is rated at a 'best time' of 4 hours with both Bluetooth and Wireless Data switched off.

Having said this, some reviewers have actually been able to beat the 4 hours of rated talk time by up to 1 hour more. Evidently everyone will have a slightly different battery performance depending on usage.

No part of the battery life should make a Treonaut not consider the Treo 680 - it is an absolutely terrific device.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by T. J. | Dec 2, 2006 9:53:32 AM

Just ordered the unlocked 680 and want to switch to T-Mobile when I get it. Is it compatible with their MyFaves plan? If it is it would make the switch to T-Mobile a lot easier.

by Remo | Dec 2, 2006 10:16:25 AM

Andrew....can you please provide links to the reviews where users are beating the 4 hours or rated talk time by up to 1 hour more? Our company just cancelled an order of 1000 units of Treo 680s due to reading all the negative press on battery life (plus I think our manager believes Palm is still in the dark ages with their NO WiFI policy that baffles pretty much everyone).

There are many of us that desperately want to like Palm, but they give us so many reasons not to. Clearly, you love Palm no matter what they do or what they produce. I think we're all fanboys of something and that's ok, but where are the truly great smartphones?

by Andrew | Dec 2, 2006 10:36:15 AM

Remo - I absolutely do NOT "love Palm no matter what" as can for example be clearly seen in my "Phone Application Review" http://blog.treonauts.com/2006/11/treo_680_review_1.html

Please also remember that some comments by third-parties here may not always reflect a 'true' picture as there are evidently a great many people who would like to see Palm fail and will continue to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

I think that before cancelling any order your manager should either base his decision on my earlier battery comment or buy one new Treo 680 for himself and test the reality of this.

Cheers, A.

by DC | Dec 2, 2006 12:03:16 PM

Got my 680 on Wednesday from Cingular. Love it so far. Re charging options, The USB cable that came in the box appears to charge my 680 too. Which is nice.

by Remo | Dec 2, 2006 12:03:56 PM

Andrew, I read your review and see how you mention being frustrated with the phone app, but then you say you "categorically love it". And then there's the fact that you own how many Treos? A bunch, right? It's cool though. Like I said, we're all fanboys about something (I'm a total apologist for Apple and LandRover and six different guitar makers).

As for him trying the 680 before canceling the order, he did. That was the final straw. He got the same type of battery life that everyone here is reporting (as well as other sites). He said it was unacceptable and cancelled.

By the way, you didn't provide the links to back up your data. Can you do that, please? Thanks. I know we'd all be interested in reading what you've read.

by Andrew | Dec 2, 2006 3:15:36 PM

Remo - from CNet's review of the Treo 680:

"The Palm Treo 680's battery is rated for 4 hours of talk time and 12.5 days of standby time. Despite the smaller battery, we were still able to get 5.2 hours of talk time on a single charge."

Cheers, A.

by Remo | Dec 2, 2006 7:09:51 PM

Thanks for the link. I wonder how they eeked out that much time. I'm still seeing lots of posts like these though:


by Eric W | Dec 2, 2006 8:17:29 PM

How does the 680 and 750 fit into Palm's hardcase? I like that case, but if the 680 is thinner it might bump around in there too much...

by Andrew | Dec 3, 2006 6:28:55 AM

Eric - the next part of my Treo 680 review will address the compatibility of my favourite cases.

Cheers, A.

by Elise | Dec 3, 2006 12:37:29 PM

BATTERY update - I posted some previous comments about the battery life (or lack thereof)on the 680. The battery life is actually improving a bit now that I've owned the 680 for a week (and still loving it). I spoke to my local Cingular store and the rep did say that it takes a few days for the battery to come up to speed. I had no choice but to upgrade since I dropped my 650 and the screen burst (and I lived with a screen full of black blotches for a month until the 680 release). As soon as the extended battery is available, I will buy one and I'm sure all will be good. So hang in there everyone who is basing the choice of purchase or not purchase solely on the battery life. The Treo 680 is fantastic!

by linoox | Dec 3, 2006 2:18:11 PM

Please don't get me wrong and I love treo theoretically. But after hearing so many 'frustrating' experience of poor battery life, I'm pretty disheartened to get one myself. What's the point of going 'mobile' when you have to attach the device all the time to the charging outlet? I have a nokia symbian phone right now and the experience is the same. It could only last for a day even with simple usage whereas I use to remember the old nokia phone could last 3-5 days without charging. With all this wonderful innovation, why can't we move forward with better mobility experience including extended life? I don't want to lug around with an extra battery or a charger just because I want to go to a party after work or simply hanging around at your friend's place overnight. If Jack Bauer uses Treo 680 - dang!

by Andrew | Dec 3, 2006 3:22:34 PM

linoox + others: As I have pointed out repeatedly here I'm not seeing a battery 'issue' of any kind aside from the basic one that the Treo 680 talk time is lesser than that on the Treo 650 (something we've all already known for a while).

I hope to put this entire battery matter to rest later this week after running various tests under different conditions in one of my posts.

In the meantime, having used a Treo 680 for nearly two weeks I categorically do not feel that the battery life should be considered a reason not to buy it.

Cheers, A.

by Brian | Dec 3, 2006 4:19:21 PM

I am following up because I don't want people to be scared away from at least trying the 680. Personally, I still find the Treo 680's battery performance weak compared to past Treo's. It is certainly manageable as long as you aren't using the data network all day long but it is definitely a handicap. Let me repeat; I don't feel that it kills the phone but it is a handicap. The problem can be managed by having an extra charger or two. I will also keep an eye out for the extended battery (whether I buy one or not is still up in the air as cost is always an issue.)

Overall I find the 680 to be far preferable to my 600, even with the weak battery. I also find the form factor to be MUCH nicer than the 600/650/700's. Give it a shot and try it for yourself. Everyone else's comments here are just opinions and some people obviously have biases or incentives that will play in.


by Reen | Dec 4, 2006 11:38:02 PM

I typed in "Treo 680 battery sucks" in Yahoo search and found this site. It is *almost* a relief to know that I am not the only one experiencing this problem. I have had my Treo 680 for exactly 1 week and I am VERY disappointed in the battery life. It sucks. I made one 5 minute phone call today and by 3pm I had 40% charge in the battery. What would happen if I was using the internet or listening to music? Geez... I paid big bucks for this and I am paying big bucks for monthly service and for what? I could have just kept carrying my Tungsten and kept using my Samsung flip phone. The whole idea of getting a smart phone, to me, was to eliminate the need to be carrying aroung a bunch of equipment. Now I have to buy a bunch of charging equipment, an extra battery, or an aftermarket battery? I'm hoping I can take this thing back and get a refund, but I already sent in my rebate form from Cingular. Am I screwed or what? I was hoping to become a Treonaut, but maybe I should be a Treo-not!

by Martin Egholm | Dec 5, 2006 11:09:55 AM

[Battery sucks] Oh yes, this has got to be the biggest disappointment ever. I read these postings while waiting for UPS to deliver. So I got a little ancious, but were calmed by the "manageable" and "not kill the phone". However, having received the phone yesterday, I'm not so sure anymore.

I left it on my desk yesterday evening at 11 pm, fully charged and with the phone (and screen) turned off. Eight hours later - without having used it for anything - it was drained to 52%!
So, I didn't have the time to charge it, and have been attending a conference all day. At 2 pm - the phone died. No surfing, no phoning (it was turned on at 7 am), and only 4 text messages later. No gaming, no camera, nothing...
That is 15 hours or nearly no actions! Come on!

Hopefully they'll come up with a software update within short time - otherwise I'll go back to my PalmV and my Nokia (both lasting for week(s))...

by Fred | Dec 5, 2006 12:00:27 PM

A comment about battery life: If you read the thread over at mytreo.net (http://mytreo.net/forum/index.php/topic,42982.0.html) you'll see that you can greatly improve it by setting the network to 'manual' from 'automatic'. Also, if you turn off the infrared and bluetooth, you should get much better results.

On another note, Andrew, when you write your review on cases for the 680, can you distinguish between which ones are specifically for the 680 and which it will happen to work with. I see a lot of cases in your Treo Shop that are supposed to be for the all the models from the 600 on up. I don't understand this when the 680 is a different size from the others.


by Cristina | Dec 5, 2006 3:07:14 PM

Hi Guys:

This is my 1st time as a Treonaut, I've been a Compaq iPaq user for 6 yrs so I chose w/ Cingular the 8125. And right after the 1st few days I was going nuts with all the issues already pointed on several reviews (mostly sluggishness). LUCKY enough I was never such a big fan of Palm OS (this was my 1st pda in '99) then moved to ipaq) unitllll the 680 was released, it got me as client! I just got it last Dec 2nd (in Puerto Rico sale began the 1st) and I'm in love. NOW- has anyone set their Exchange account in VersaMail for Corporate email yet. I called Cingular and they just bounce me back to my IT dept.- which is clueless since the 680 itself is totally new and my IT dept is Blackberry oriente- ANY HELP!?? I've changed so many settings and it's still not working. POP3 is not an option for my company's LAN for security reasons. Well txs and keep on Treanauting!

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