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Palm & Cingular Launch Treo 750

As expected, it’s official and news of it all over Planet Treonauts, the thinner, sleeker and lighter five-band 3G Windows Mobile Treo 750 has finally arrived to US shores with Cingular as its first carrier.

General Features

Treo 750 Launch

While the recently launched Treo 680 is targeted at a general consumer audience the Treo 750 has been specifically designed with the business customer in mind with:

  • Email: Out-of-the-box email solutions with Cingular Xpress Mail and push email with Direct Push technology and Good Mobile Messaging
  • Compatibility: Windows Mobile meets IT requirements and provides broad set of solutions
  • Business Applications: Cingular, Palm and partners offer a suite of applications to deploy FFA, SFA, CRM, VPN/security with access at faster speeds
  • World phone on global network: Tap into international 3G networks in 61 countries

Additionally, Cingular’s BroadbandConnect service allows the Treo 750 to benefit from:

  • Simultaneous voice and data with 3G/UMTS available in more than 160 U.S. markets and internationally in 61 countries
  • Faster web browsing, rapid email and attachment downloading, quick access to corporate databases and business applications
  • View streaming video, send large files, or download music on the spot
  • Quickly navigate web pages using Internet Explorer Mobile on the large, color touch screen

Software Features
Furthermore, as with the Treo 700w|wx Palm has brought some truly unique enhancements to the Windows Mobile 5 platform including:

  • New messaging application adds threaded chat and single inbox for messaging!
  • Today Screen enhancements, such as “dial by name,” web search, one-touch dialing with photo speed dials, and call management
  • Stay on top of voicemail with on-screen, VCR-like icons, such as rewind, delete and fast-forward controls for easy navigation
  • Ignore a call and quickly compose a text message -- such as “In a meeting” or “Can’t talk right now” -- by selecting the “Ignore with text” option
  • Add unique ringtones, photos, or videos to your contacts so you know instantly who’s calling

Hardware Features
Separately, the new compact design of the Treo 750 features an internal antenna, soft-touch finish, and contoured edges to make it comfortable in the hand.  Like all Treo smartphones, the 750 also has a full QWERTY keyboard for easy messaging, a 1.3-megapixel camera, a bright 240x240 touch screen and support for Bluetooth stereo headsets.  The built-in 60MB of user-available storage can be enhanced by using the miniSD slot to add memory cards of up to 2GB – great for storing data, photos, music and video.

Business Productivity Features
With Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition, users get a desktoplike experience on their Treo 750, including access to mobile versions of Windows Media Player 10, Internet Explorer, and Outlook applications in addition to the ability to view and edit Microsoft Word and Excel files and view PowerPoint and PDF files.  The Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) is available out of the box with the Treo 750 and includes Direct Push Technology, which gives users connected to a Microsoft Exchange Server fast, automatic wireless updates of their email, calendar items, contacts and tasks.  It provides added security features for IT administrators, such as over-the-air password policy enforcement and remote wipe for lost or stolen devices. MSFP also gives users over-the-air lookup of a company’s Global Address List (GAL), providing employees with quick access to colleagues’ email and contact information.  The Treo 750 offers mobile professionals other corporate email options, including streamlined access to Microsoft Exchange or Domino/Notes using Good Mobile Messaging or personal email with Cingular Xpress Mail.

Cingular’s UMTS-based technology natively supports simultaneous voice and data, allowing users to download email or browse the web while making a phone call or checking voicemail. Cingular’s 3G service is available currently in more than 160 major metropolitan areas.  Outside of Cingular’s 3G coverage area, users can seamlessly connect with Cingular’s nationwide EDGE wireless data network.

The Palm Treo 750 initially will be enabled for UMTS with a free upgrade, scheduled to be available later in 2007, to Cingular’s supercharged HSDPA technology.  UMTS/HSDPA is a global standard and natural 3G evolutionary path for GSM providers with 142 UMTS networks in 61 countries currently available.

For the frequent business traveler, Cingular also offers the TeleNav GPS Navigator solution (sold separately) so users of the Treo 750 can get turn-by-turn voice and on-screen GPS directions directly on their device for use when driving or walking.

Customer Service Features: Palm Setup Help Desk
A new program to support the launch of the Treo 680 and Treo 750 with:

  • Free end-user setup support within 90 days of purchase
  • Get customers up and running quickly to help avoid returns
  • Customers are alerted to this service with in-box materials: the Getting Started Guide and the Welcome Sticker

Pricing and Availability
The Treo 750 will be available Jan. 8 for consumers and businesses at Cingular Wireless retail stores, its website and through Cingular’s B2B sales organization.  It will be available for $399.99 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate.  A variety of monthly data plans will be available, including unlimited plans starting as low as $39.99/month.

Preview
I will naturally take the time to review this latest addition to the Treo family more closely this week but all I can say for now is that the Treo 750 is probably the first Windows Mobile smartphone that has even remotely come close to make me consider switching from my still preferred PalmOS – not a small thing.

Treonauts are always looking for something new


Posted by Andrew on January 7, 2007 at 10:35 PM

Treo 750

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Comments

1
by bizinatch | Jan 8, 2007 9:29:31 AM

Why in the world are the Cingular stores in my area telling me today (and I live in PHILADELPHIA) that they are not getting the device until the END of January? Also, I called Cingular corporate and they are telling me that the device is not even in their system. WHAT GIVES?

2
by Robert | Jan 8, 2007 10:25:53 AM

I'm curious about the UMTS to HSDPA upgrade. I assumed that this was just a speed issue. Is there other functionality related to HSDPA that a user will not get with UMTS? Most importantly, will Direct Push work efficiently with UMTS before the upgrade?

3
by Greg | Jan 8, 2007 11:18:39 AM

Bizinatch,

The folks in stores aren't all on the same page. I had someone tell me they expected the 750s at the beginning of February. Then I went to a store a few miles away and they pulled one out of the back room and rang it up for me.

4
by Julie | Jan 8, 2007 2:14:14 PM

Everyone at cingular, both the corporate and local stores, say the treo 750 will not be available until the end of January! Has anyone else actually purchased a 750?

5
by Scott | Jan 8, 2007 2:39:15 PM

Yes, I purchased mine this morning, from a Cingular corporate store. They had two in stock. Can't get any work done, been fartin with my new 750 all morning.... weeeehheeeee.

6
by greg | Jan 8, 2007 3:40:07 PM

i live in ft lauderdale florida and i called about 10 cingular stores from miami to palm beach and none of them have the phone or have any information about it. not even the palm store in miami had the phone and they said they are not getting it until the 20th and that cingular will receive it 2 weeks after that. it's something different from everyone you speak to yet someone claims to already have the phone? that's a little hard for me to believe. i even called a cingular and palm store in nyc and got the same run around. so thats 2 major cities in this country that know and have nothing.

7
by Michael | Jan 8, 2007 4:12:20 PM

Sounds like quite an upgrade but I'm a Mac OS user -- when will we see something comparable for the Mac? Also, the Treos need to incorporate WiFi. My old Tungsten had working WiFi and I don't want to buy some clunky third-party, add-on sled or fool around with a hack. I love being able to get highspeed downloads using a phone company's network but I also want the option of tapping into the growing network of WiFi hot spots in this country (inlcuding at home and in my office) and around the world. Which also means being able to use Skype and similar VOIP -- internet phone services. Sorry Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile et al but consumers don't want to be imprisoned by your proprietary systems. We want technology that gives us the freedom to travel and communicate utilitizing the most appropriate technologoy wherever we are and whenever we need it on whatever platform we deem to be appropriate. We also expect these technologies to compete for our business by offering world beating service, great prices and features to die for. Competing by setting up barriers that keep us from wandering outside the corporate walls is not what consumers want and the prize will go to those companies that recognize and cater to this impulse.

8
by Ben | Jan 8, 2007 4:38:01 PM

I'm incredibly disappointed, I was really hoping that they would announce the 750 with the choice of palm os or windows mobile. I had spoken with a few cingular representatives and they all told me that I would have a choice of operations systems. Looks like i'm going to switch to nokia or samsung as there's no real point in buying a treo without palm os and the 680 isn't UMTS/HSDPA :(

9
by Cloudscout | Jan 8, 2007 5:25:45 PM

I was able to get my Treo 750 last week. I spent the weekend playing with it and have a few complaints (although they are somewhat minor).

1) You can no longer turn the device off without going to the Today screen first. If you hit the End/Off button, it takes you to the Today screen first. If you hit it a second time, it then turns the device off. You can hit Function+Off which will lock the keypad and then it will turn off after a second or two without taking you to the Today screen first, but this seems kind of clumsy to me.

2) Still no one-handed operation for BubbleBreaker or Solitaire. You have to use the stylus for these.

3) You can't get to the new SMS/MMS application without going through the Start Menu or adding its plugin to the Today screen. Okay, that's not entirely accurate, if you get an incoming message, you can hit the button to view it or you can hold the center button down on a contact in your speed-dial list to send them a message, but you can't just open the application by hitting the "Messaging" soft-key anymore as you could on the 700w. In fact, the "Messaging" soft key has now been renamed "E-Mail".

4) The data connection icon does not distinguish between GPRS and EDGE or between UMTS and HSDPA. It merely says "G" for GPRS or EDGE connections and "U" for UMTS or HSDPA connections. At least, that's how I understand it from the users manual. Here in the Minneapolis area, we haven't been blessed with HSDPA yet so I'm stuck with EDGE (and the "G" icon that accompanies it). By contrast, the Samsung Blackjack does distinguish between data connection types. It shows "G" for GPRS and "E" for EDGE. I don't know for certain if it distinguishes between plain UMTS and HSDPA, though.

5) When I insert a Mini SD card, it displays the typical, "Do you want to search for media files on this card" message. Even if I say "No" to that, it still opens the Windows Media Player application.

10
by clee | Jan 8, 2007 5:32:58 PM

Hi Andrew,


I'm not sure if you have already discussed whether or not the GSM 750 will be offered with the Palm OS. This is the most ideal configuration for me and would like to know your thoughts on whether or not this will be offered in the near future, now that the hardware is available in the US. With the announcement today, I find it exceptionally hard not to go out and buy the 750(w), but would be willing to hold off for a while longer if I knew for sure the Palm OS was coming soon.

Thanks,
Chinoy

11
by Flavio | Jan 8, 2007 6:02:59 PM

"Sounds like quite an upgrade but I'm a Mac OS user -- when will we see something comparable for the Mac?"

Michael,

I am not sure if you mean sync capabilities. If that's the case, you can use the Missing Sync software to sync between Windows Mobile and Mac OS.

12
by Aaron | Jan 8, 2007 6:09:04 PM

I don't understand why the Treo 750 doesn't at least have WiFi. I've been a mostly happy Treo owner since the 650 came out, but my Cingular 8525 arrives in the mail today. Adios Treo.

13
by SIMON | Jan 8, 2007 6:14:03 PM

does anyone know if there will be an unlocked version of the treo 750?

also what is a umts upgrade? you mean you have to upgrade the rom or something to support umts? i figure umts support was built in and will switch between edge or umts when available?

14
by Cloudscout | Jan 8, 2007 6:38:23 PM

I went through the trouble of listing my complaints, I suppose it's worth mentioning the good things about a Windows Mobile Treo...

Palm's modifications are not merely cosmetic. I have attempted to "get into" other Windows Mobile-based devices. I've owned a bevy of smartphones over the years running PalmOS and various incarnations of Windows Mobile.

The PalmOS phones were my favorite for quite a while until the Treo 700w... although I did try the Treo 700p when Verizion released it but I switched back to the 700w for a number of 'usability' reasons. Unfortunately, the 700w's usability was significantly hindered by it's paltry 32MB RAM. I had no interest in switching to Sprint just to get a RAM upgrade so I waited for the 750.

Last week, the Cingular rep delivered one to me. I've been quite happy (aside from the complaints I mentioned in an earlier comment here). I've seen a number of comments like Aaron's here in recent months regarding the lack of WiFi on Treos compared to several other offerings and while I can see WiFi as a benefit, it was by no means a deal-breaker when weighed against the other benefits Palm brings to the table with their WinMo Treos.

1) A remarkably intelligent keylock system. If you're already a Treo owner (PalmOS or WinMo) you might take this for granted. When you turn the phone off or let it turn off after whatever timeout you have specified, it locks the keypad... and unlocking it is as simple as turning it back on with either the Send or End button and then hitting the center button on the 5-way navigator. Other Windows Mobile devices do not have a keylock nearly this friendly. On the Blackjack, for example, there is no auto-lock. You can lock the keypad manually, though, by holding the end key for a few seconds. That's easy enough, but to unlock it again, you have to hit the power button on the top of the device (which is not designed for tactile location... it's flush with the surface of the phone). After you've hit the power button, you have to hit the left soft-key and then the asterisk button. Not an easy trick to pull off with one hand. Other non-Treo devices employ similarly clumsy designs.

2) Clever, convenient speed-dial. I personally don't use the picture speed dial system. That seems to clutter the Today Screen, but the regular text speed dials are a beautiful addition to what is ordinarily a grossly neglected patch of screen real estate. You assign a contact's phone number to a speed dial button and dialing them is as easy as selecting it with the 5-way navigator or tapping it with the stylus. If you want to dial a number for that contact other than the default you have programmed into the speed-dial, you press and hold the speed dial and it pops up a menu giving you the option of dialing their other numbers or even sending them a text message or email. Here's a point that I prefer on the PalmOS implementation... rather than holding down the button (which means a brief delay), you just hit the spacebar to bring up the menu of alternate numbers. Not sure why they didn't/couldn't do it the same way on WinMo, but it's a minor beef that is hardly worth mentioning since none of the other Windows Mobile based phones have anything remotely similar to this elegant speed dial solution.

3) Threaded SMS/MMS. If you aren't big into text messaging, this doesn't matter to you. If you regularly communicate with people via SMS messages, you'll wonder how you ever lived without threaded messaging. If you don't understand what threaded messaging is, think of it like Instant Messenger. Rather than having an Inbox and Sent folder storing your received and sent messages, your conversations with various individuals are kept as a chat log similar to what you would see in AIM or iChat or MSN Messenger windows. It really helps keep conversations in context, especially given the inherent delay in communication caused by slow typing on mobile handsets.

4) Private message notifications. If you happen to leave your phone sitting on your desk while your boss or coworker are looking over your shoulder, it might prove to be more than just a little embarrassing to have an incoming SMS message pop up on the screen from your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse announcing some kind of private information. If you set it to Private mode, it will only display an alert saying that you have a new SMS message requiring you to take some action before it will show the message itself on the screen.

Number 3 and 4 here are nice features. Numbers 1 and 2, however, are deal-breakers for me. Given the choice between a phone with WiFi or a phone with a usable keylock and speed-dial, I'll take the latter.

15
by Cloudscout | Jan 8, 2007 6:54:44 PM

I'm sorry I've been so long-winded here, but I have one more feature I need to mention. I forgot to point it out in my last comment because it's something I honestly take for granted.

The keypad itself.

I've had the PPC-6700, the Samsung i730 and the Samsung Blackjack.

I really hated the 6700 and the i730 because of the slider designs. You couldn't use either of them one-handed. Alright, MAYBE you could manage it with the i730 if you were particularly dextrous, but most people would find that anything other than the most basic functions required two hands. The Blackjack was an improvement, but the fact that it is a SmartPhone rather than a PPC device (combined with my earlier rant about keylock and speed dial) severely diminished its value to me.

The Treo has found an impressive balance between PDA and Phone. I hesitate to use the word "compromise" because they seem to have carefully avoided the need to compromise on almost everything. The only true compromise I have seen is something I forgot to mention in my first comment.

The 240x240 screen is an annoying limitation. I understand that Microsoft doesn't support the 320x320 resolution on Windows Mobile right now, but did Palm REALLY need to maintain a square aspect ratio for their Windows Mobile devices? Couldn't they have gone with a 320x240 landscape display like the iMate JAQ, Motorola Q or Samsung Blackjack?

Alright, I'll shut up now. For a little while, anyway.

16
by Julie | Jan 8, 2007 7:25:20 PM

Why doesn't anyone at Cingular know the 750 is available? I want one and I can't find anyone to sell me one!

17
by Aaron | Jan 8, 2007 7:33:45 PM

Cloudscout - Only time will tell for me with switching to the 8525 from a Treo. I will miss having the keyboard accessible one handed while driving. From my very limited use of the 8525, I do feel that the 8525 is easier to type on though when using two hands. I like threaded messaging very much and hope the 8525 supports that but it is by no means a deal breaker for me.

WiFi is important to me because it is more readily available in some places than 3G (like all of Mountain View and soon to be SF courtesy of Google).

The screen resolution is better on the 8525. The 8525 has a Blackberry style click wheel which I never understood why the Treo didn't have.

I can only hope that the bluetooth works better on the 8525 than the Treo. My experience with Treo's bluetooth stack was a constant struggle.

The speed dial you mentioned is nice, but not a deal breaker for me as I'm looking forward to voice dialing.

For me I just feel that Palm lags behind the competition in so far as the latest features. It also took me three Treo 650s (fortunately under warranty) before I got one that was problem free. I hear that the 8525 and Treo are both manufactured by the same company though (HTC). So we'll see how that goes.

Aaron

18
by Duncan | Jan 8, 2007 10:10:44 PM

Aaron and Cloudscout,
Thanks so much for the banter. I am severely torn between the 8525 and the 750. I have been a loyal "Treonaut" for something like 4 years and I thought I had my mind all made up to get the 750, but then I kept researching.

Cloudscout, I hadn't thought about the keyguard on the treo. Glad you continued to type comments :-) I wonder how many other Treo conveniences I have been taking for granted.

Aaron, please repost with your experiences with the 8525 as you live with it for a coupe more days. The camera, BT 2.0, screen and wifi are all very intriguing, but I'm very interested how an ex-Treo owner will adjust.

To all those looking for a 750 at their local stores... phone calls will likely not net you one. In my experience unless you walk into the store and talk to someone face to face, they won't even listen to your question.

Thanks again guys,
Duncan

19
by Cloudscout | Jan 9, 2007 12:05:57 AM

Aaron, you're absolutely correct. Two-handed typing on the 8525 (as well as it's other side-slider brethren) is definitely easier than typing on the Treo. But one-handed operation is more important to me in my situation. Obviously, this is something that will vary from person-to-person and I hope the 8525 meets your needs (I'm the King of Wireless Buyer's Remorse).

Truth be told, I still have my old PPC-6700 and I use it just as a PocketPC device from time-to-time with its WiFi connection, although I intend to eBay it in the near future (my apologies for using "eBay" as a verb).

Since Duncan has expressed interest in my blather, I'll take that as an invitation to ramble some more.

Another benefit to me with the Treo 750 is that most of my accessories are still usable. I was disappointed when I had to give up the accessories from my Treo 600 when I upgraded to the 650, but was happy that the 650's accessories still worked with the 700w and 700p. Sadly, the battery in the 750 is not the same as in the 650 or 700 series but the cradles and chargers are all compatible.

One fact that I was unsure of before actually getting my hands on a 750 is that even though the battery for the 750 is physically thinner, you can still charge a spare 750 battery in the same cradle as the 650 and 700 batteries. I like having the option of keeping a spare battery charged at all times. Too often I forget to charge my phone for a couple of days and I'll notice my battery dying just before I'm about to leave for lunch. Rather than leave the phone at my desk to charge, I can just swap batteries and go.

This was absolutely necessary when I was testing the Blackjack since the battery only lasted a little over a day. Samsung apparently realized this and included a second battery and a charger that could charge the battery by itself as standard bundle items with the Blackjack.

Something nice about the 8525 is that you can charge it with a standard USB cable (the same kind you use to pull pictures off your digital camera) and I believe a cradle is available to charge a spare battery independently.

If you're more likely to use the device as a PDA, the 8525 has a lot of benefits including a 30% faster CPU, higher resolution screen, larger keyboard and WiFi. It also has a better built in camera.

If your focus is voice functionality, I think the Treo has the 8525 handily beat with it's attention to detail in the area of one-handed use and quick pocketability.

Now, another device to keep an eye out for is the forthcoming Samsung SCH-i760 (not to be confused with the SGH-i760 which is just a rehash of the current i730). It has the best of both worlds. You get the side-slider like the 8525, but you get a full 12-key phone keypad on the front. It's all wrapped around a Windows Mobile PocketPC OS and comes complete with BT 2.0 and WiFi (b and g).

But, again, these are all going to lack the two deal-breaker features for me; the Treo's keyguard and speed-dial functions.

20
by DaveS | Jan 9, 2007 12:36:38 AM

First a couple of notes on availability. I picked up my 750 at a corporate store on Saturday January 7th and the sales rep said they came in the previous day. I suggest anyone looking for one right away find a corporate owned store. Keep in mind that several Cingular only stores are still privately owned--sort of like a franchise.

I am not an expert on these devices by any stretch but what I have read seems to indicate that the Palm OS has some serious limitations in its current state. As of right now it can not multi-task and for some reason it is not capable of 3g (UMTS/HSDPA) speeds. Others seem to indicate that this OS has remained stagnant for some time and unless Palm, who recently took some control again is able to make some major improvements it does not sound like there will be a 750P (at least one that boasts 3G and multi-tasking, although they could still call something a 750P)--probably why the 680P came out after the 700P even though the 680 and 750 share the same form factor.

Also, from what I have read the upgrade from UMTS to HSDPA will only require a software upgrade--sort of like a refinement of UMTS--the UMTS ability encompasses the correct frquency but just can't go as fast as HSDPA.

Lastly, my GPRS connections are now faster than they were on my 650 at EDGE by a factor of about two, and oddly the UMTS connections speed test out at a similar speed. I expect HSDPA will be the big speed jump.

Again, I am no expert but this info. is what I have picked up reading various blogs here and elsewhere so no guarntees.

21
by Cloudscout | Jan 9, 2007 12:52:31 AM

How are you determining what data connection type you are using? From what I have been able to discern, the 750 does not differentiate between a basic GPRS connection and a higher speed EDGE connection. Likewise with UMTS and HSDPA.

As for the UMTS/HSDPA compatibility for PalmOS, I doubt it is related to the speed itself since the 700p sports EV-DO capabilities. I think it is most likely related to the lack of multi-tasking since UMTS/HSDPA allow you to maintain simultaneous voice and data connections. I suspect the current PalmOS underpinnings simply aren't up to the task (or 'tasks' as the case may be... ugh... sorry. Couldn't resist that one).

22
by Jared | Jan 9, 2007 12:52:44 AM

Just wanted to know some peoples opinions on plam os and windows mobile? I have a 650 and i've done warranty exchanges on it a few times because mine develops looping problems...even when there is no added applications. I want the new 750 because of the windows mobile...if it's a smoother running os. Can anyone give me their opinions? Thanks!

23
by Rome | Jan 9, 2007 11:21:39 AM

Jared,

Unless you really need the 3G speed, you may want to check out the new Treo 680. Palm has made significant improvements to the OS, and the phone is rock solid when it comes to OS stability. Not to mention that it is half the price of the 750.

24
by musubiman | Jan 9, 2007 1:22:22 PM

I just went to buy it from the Cingular store here in the San Francisco Bay Area (Burlingame location). They pulled one out from the back room and I had it in my hot little hands...only to find out that the 750 pricing wasn't yet in their computer and she COULDN'T sell to me...so alas, I had to leave it on the counter and back slowly away from the counter. The San Mateo store had the same issue. :(

25
by Mark | Jan 9, 2007 4:15:57 PM

Have owned a 680 since black friday was a replacement for an MPX220, Only fault I have with Palm and Cingular is poor customer support and lack of knowledge of phone. The inability of customer support people to listen. Also Palms 90day support unless U want to pay a fee for a yrs support. I'm hopping Motorola comes out in the next 2yrs with a smart phone non windows based otherwise my next phone is symbian based

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