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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 Martin Egholm | Dec 6, 2006 10:43:49 AM

An update on the battery situation. It has improved severely. It has now run for ~24h and its only down at 87%!!
Some things changed since my first discharge/posting:

- A second (!) recharge
- Having set network to manual
- Took out my 32 megs SD card
- Disabled "DateBk6 handles alarms"

And I guess bullet 1 and 2 has a lot to say - I was probably too quick to judge my lovely 680! :-)

by josh | Dec 6, 2006 7:47:32 PM

i'm not finding how to set the network to manual setting. can someone help out? thanks!

by wifiplanets | Dec 6, 2006 8:23:35 PM

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by Martin Egholm | Dec 7, 2006 5:30:24 AM

#52 - see posting #49 or just:


But I think I read somewhere that this is only possible with the "unlocked" version - that is, not the Cingular?! Anybody can confirm that?

by Matt Polack | Dec 9, 2006 11:02:31 PM

Just a quick comment re the usb cable in the box...

"USB HotSync cable (does not charge via USB)"

I've actually found that my usb cable that shipped with my Treo 680 here in Australia does indeed charge the Treo..(maybe it's because I'm using a powered USB hub??)

by Allan Hamilton | Dec 10, 2006 4:46:19 AM

Indeed, the Treo 680 manual says it will trickle charge through the sync cable but you should only do it if you are running your NB on mains power or it will help drain the battery....

by b.paul | Dec 10, 2006 2:05:31 PM

The Treo 680 is a great smartphone with improved functionality. I am like most recent owners of 680 VERY dissapointed with battery life.It simply leaks. If you ask me Palm rushed the release and expects Third Party battery manufacturals to release extended battery life.
1.Has palm made a deal with third party manufacturers?
Or perhaps they have an extened battery wating to be released by them. It will explain the heavy emphasis on getting extral battery and need for frequent charging in the User Guide and the reason for the lower release prize, because they will be getting the money back from Palm addicts who will be forced to buy the extral battery- "a God sent answer from Palm." It is a marketting antic.
2.If not when will a solution be provided?
3.For Smartphone released with a view to attract more new users, it is difficult to understand why more Non- palm addicts will be interested in a phone that runs out of life half the day.A decent phone / pda should be designed to last irrespective of usage till bed time when one should put the PDA to sleep as it were and wake up with it ready for the day. That was what it was with my 650 which often lasted 3 days.
Bad move with the battery. It is like having a computer without memory.

by Alex | Dec 10, 2006 4:04:31 PM

I have a feeling that the short battery life is, at least in some cases, connected to the fact that there is no way to disconnect from the Web. The Network option in Prefs says that you can "Disconnect" but when you click on it the conntection is NOT broken. Separately, my Network Option is set to Manual and the battery still lasts under a day. A day is an absolute minimum to me so I may have to return (sigh).

by 818Guy | Dec 14, 2006 9:06:51 AM

Looking at either the 680 or a Nokia e62. Question: why wouldn't Palm's own wireless keyboard work the the 680? I've called Palm and they said "no". I just don't get it. Any info would be appreciated.

Also, the BT keyboards found on this site do not work with the 680 - there are no drivers for it; at least what I've been told by the companies themselves...

by Kelly | Dec 15, 2006 1:24:04 PM

Where in Puerto Rico can I get an unlocked Treo

by New Palm driver | Dec 17, 2006 3:53:29 PM

I can't set the network to "Manual"
- Phone menu, Options, Select Network , and set to manual

I get into "Options", but I don't see the "Select Network" part. I have the Cingular version - does it mean it's never in Automatic?

by New Palm Driver | Dec 17, 2006 3:59:33 PM

Martin, how do you do the second recharge? Do you have to run down the battery twice?

And how do you disable "DateBk6 handles alarms"?

by New Palm Driver | Dec 17, 2006 4:04:40 PM

And finally, last battery issue with my 10-day old 680.

After the first 4 days battery no longer charges to 100%. I charge it overnight with included charger and now it only gets to 92%. This morning it only got to 83%!!

Only 7 more days left until total failure. :(
If anyone can squeeze 3200 mAh into the slim 680 case, I'm buying two.

Did anybody have does this problem?

by Dale | Dec 21, 2006 6:15:48 AM

I have had my TREO 680 for 3 days. I am also extremely disappointed with battery performance. It simply wont get through the day if I spend more than 30 minutes of talk time. I keep reading hoping for an easy solution, and occasionally there is a glimmer of hope, such as entry 51 from Martin (which sounds like a remarkable improvement!). I am trying all of the tips provided, but the number of negative entries has me worried.

by Barry | Dec 26, 2006 8:38:26 AM

I would REALLY like to have GPS on my new Treo 680 w/o the Telenav subscription. Can anybody tell me which GPS bundles that are available from Palm or a third party function with the Treo 680? Thanks.

by EWThompson | Dec 26, 2006 3:36:41 PM

to 818Guy, [deciding between E62 & Treo 680]:

until reading this series of comments I was set to [grudgingly] return my E62 for a 680. The main reasons were the extremely inadequate default calendar app on the E62, and the lack of a touch screen. I thought I'd be able to get past the touch screen issue, but when scheduling new appointments, having to enter/ bypass fields in a serial manner makes for too many button pushes. One other concern is the occasional sluggishness when going between applications. Other than that, I find the E62 to be a FANTASTIC smartphone. Obviously I'd like onboard wi-fi like the E61, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me. The hardware [top notch materials!], elegance of the interface [the screen is truly extraordinary, and the applications are extremely well presented], and top rank QWERTY keyboard combine to make the E62 a serious contender for all-in-one mobile device. As it stands, I think I will end up simply using my existing Motorola V551 along with my Palm TX PDA until a completely satisfactory smartphone comes along. I don't really care for the keyboard on Treos. Until reading about the battery issue, I figured I'd just get used to the cramped keys and try to focus on the bright spots [such as the gargantuan amount of quality 3rd party apps floating around for Palm OS]. But it really seems like Palm is content to roll out underwhelming "upgrade" phones so long as we keep buying them.


by EWThompson | Dec 26, 2006 3:49:51 PM

one more thing- the push email on the E62 [Blackberry connect] works like a charm. This is another area where, if I'm not mistaken, the Treo 680 falls short.

If only the Loox T830 were quad-band GSM, all would be good in my world.....

by Barry | Dec 26, 2006 5:36:40 PM

Andrew states:

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.

Does this mean I can get a Tom Tom GPS 5 Bundle and it will work? What about the Tom Tom GPS 6? I don't want to add a Data Plan plus the additional $10 per
month to my cingular service for a GPS service on my
handheld that won't even work when I am camping in
areas that are out of range of GSM towers.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciately.

by AJ | Dec 29, 2006 11:18:45 PM

My wife has been using her new 680 for two days and each time she removes it from the charger she is unable to turn the unit on. The only thing that seems to work is removing the battery (a soft reset?)This necessitates setting up the screen each time as well.

She is also experiencing the battery issues expressed by so many others. After the last charging/reset episode she only had 85% charge left.

Any suggestions on the failure to power on problem?

by John A. | Jan 4, 2007 4:21:32 PM

I found a real fix for my Treo 680 battery life problem.

My new 680 had the same disappointing battery life mentioned by others, but it's fixed now. My probelm led me to the web where I saw someone state that the problem is not a battery problem. The problem is a battery meter calibration problem. If you've noticed, your phone will work for a long, long time on little or no battery life showing. Don't believe the meter. To fix your Treo you need to recalibrate your battery meter and it's very easy.

Simply plug your phone into a wall charger while AND THEN do a soft reset by taking the battery out. Leave it out for a bit and then put it back in. Let the phone reboot. This soft reset WHILE PLUGGED INTO THE WALL, will reset the battery calibration. I did that yesterday, charged the phone all night, took it off the charger and have used it fairly hard today for 12 hours I'm still over 50%.

I did turn Beaming off yesterday too, but that's it. My Treo now shows great battery life, similar to what my 650 would show over this same timeframe. I ordered a larger battery and if theis keeps up I'll return it when I get it. It's such a relief and feels like an absolute miracle....try it!!!!! :-)

by John A. | Jan 4, 2007 4:25:10 PM

Oh, forgot to mention. The battery does take a few weeks of use to reach it's full capacity. But try the battery meter calibration mentioned above it really does work.


by BertSP | Jan 13, 2007 5:16:41 PM

You say that the 680 is compatible with Jabra JX10, is that a tested fact or an assumption. I found the 680 to be very picky about bluetooth. Palm will hide behind the fact that this or that model BT is not on their compatibility list. The new Motorola T305 car speaker which works fine with 650 comes garbled with 680. If you have tested the jabra jx10 w/680, and it works, I will consider it. Thanks

by Barry | Jan 18, 2007 5:37:59 AM

OK... if you are frustrated that the Palm GPS Navigator 2 with the Tom Tom 6 Bundle doesn't work with the Treo 680 without hacking one of the binaries on the SD Card, or if you are just fed up with Tom Tom maps being so out-of-date.

I highly recommend Garmin Mobile 10 or Garmin Mobile 20. The software looks the same thing they put in the NUVI units. The Mobile 10 can be carried with you while hiking/camping while the Mobile 20 has the
bluetooth receiver integrated into a the suction-cup
phone mount that will charge from a cigarette ligher
and chain the power to your treo with an add-on cable.

I got the Mobile 10 and have been playing with it for
a couple hours and was very pleased.

PLEASE NOTE: you need to download the latest update
from Garmin support for the "Mobile XT" software.
The latest version has some fixes for Treo 650 and 680.

by Rada | Jan 18, 2007 12:28:02 PM

It is NOT true that out of the box hot synch USB cable does not charge. I know because I just charged my 680 using the standard hot synch cable that came in the box. I guess one less things to buy... whew!

by Tamara | Jan 30, 2007 3:06:28 PM

I have a treo680 from Cingular. At first when I put my SD card in it worked fine. When I put it in again a second time the phone froze I couldn't even make or receive calls. Cingular blew it out with canned air and had me do a hard reset but it still didn't work. My phone is still under warranty so Palm is sending me a new one. But for now I have a loaner phone from Cingular, some crappy LG that has a mirror on the front. No comparison to my treo 680: (

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