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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 Kumar | Feb 2, 2007 4:53:38 PM

While I don't remember if the manual says anything about it, and you say that the USB synch cable does not charge the Treo 680, it actuall DOES. At least mine does.

by Kumar | Feb 2, 2007 9:54:40 PM

There are three things to do to make you battery easily last a full day. I have done them and my battery works for a full 16 hour day with heavy use. They are:

1. "Condition" your battery meter.
It has therefore emerged that the Treo 680 battery ‘meter’ – not the battery itself or the power consumption of the smartphone – is the real cause and Palm Technical Support has now provided a solution via a very simple ‘battery reset’ [Thanks for the tip Wanderer].
“If you encounter a poor battery life on your Treo 680 and you have to recharge very often even if not using the Phone function, the issue might have been caused by an incorrect first charging of the device.
Please follow the steps below to solve the issue:

1. Connect your Treo to a wall charger.

2. Remove the battery from the Treo and wait for at least one minute.

3. Remove the SIM card from the device and wait for another minute.

4. Put the battery back into the device (without the SIM card) then let your Treo charge for at least 4 to 6 hours and for this duration:
Do NOT press any key after reinserting the battery.
Do NOT switch your TREO On or Off either, it will do so automatically after a short time.
Do NOT enter the SIM card PIN if prompted to do so, just wait!
After this procedure, which can be performed and repeated any time, you will now dispose of the full charging capacity and the display of the remaining battery power will work correctly.”

2. Install the Battery Patch:

Palm has identified that the Treo 680 device can experience reduced battery life when the camera is used. The camera may continue to draw power from the battery when the device is in standby mode. Treo 680 users should install the Treo 680 Camera Update to address this issue. Patch for Cingular is at:


3. Optimize settings to reduce battery drain. Tips are at:


by wizard | Feb 5, 2007 4:05:49 AM

I charged my Treo 680 to full ie until the red led turned green and plugged out the wall socket power. checked the battery meter and it indicated 96%, plugged in power and charged it until green.plugged it out and checked battery meter was 98% called palm support was told battery is full and this was just a error in the battery meter. Support said the battery will stabalize after 1 month. Anyone else notice the issue with battery indicator ? already ran the camera update.

by Susan | Feb 9, 2007 4:35:54 PM

Does anyone know how to get Microsoft Office Calendar to sync with Treo 680? Everthing else will sync.

by Drew | Feb 24, 2007 8:48:10 PM

The USB cable that came with my Rogers Treo 680 charges the phone. You may want to double check this Andrew. BTW love your site!

by Roberto Aleman | Feb 26, 2007 5:20:04 PM

Treo 680 Firmware has a bug. It doesn't turn off the camera. It drains power even in stand-by mode. A patch is available and it works. The battery life is still short but it improves dramatically with the patch. The phone doesn´t flotates the battery it connects and disconnects the charger, that's why you don't get the full charge. Disconnect the charger plug it back in, led will turn red and will go back to green in a few minutes, then you'll have 100% (for a minute or two)

by Doug | Dec 11, 2007 7:15:17 PM

Different problem - Treo 680 displays red lite and red bolt when no connections are made. When the red goes green, the red bolt changes to blue (over the battery). Battery, when you tap the icon, shows either 100% or 98%,repeatedly till it dives several hours later. I've done hard and soft resets. Exchanged for refurb Treo 680 - set up without 3rd party software. Added 3rd party. Worked fine for roughly a month, then back to the same old thing

What now?

by Kelli | Jan 24, 2008 7:50:20 PM


So I sent my Treo 680 (Cingular branded)(Unlocked for T-Mobile) for repair as it seemed to not be working. I received an (AT&T branded) Treo 680 in the mail. I'm not sure if the new phone has been unlocked but when I insert my foreign T-Mobile Sim card, I don't get a "Sim not allowed" display. On my old phone, I purchased an unlock code and received that message to unlock it when I inserted my T-Mobile Sim Card. For some reason, this new phone doesn't give me the message and simply doesn't connect to a network. In the top left corner, all I get is "No Serice - SOS Only)

by Greg | Jan 25, 2008 11:29:58 PM

My battery life indicator is not working. No matter how low the battery is it always indicates 99% until it just dies. Then no matter how short or long the charge time it still indicates 100%. What can I do?

by Greg | Jan 25, 2008 11:31:48 PM

I forgot to mention it is a 680 Treo. About a month old.

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