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Top 10 Treo Accessories

Treo Accessories Top 10One of the most frequent type of emails that I get is from Treonauts struggling to find the top Treo accessories and asking me to recommend the best options.

Although I have written multiple accessory guides in the past such as Treo 680 Accessories Guide; Treo 680 Case of Cases; Andrew's Essential List; Essentials: Getting the Right Gear for your Treo and Accessories Not In The Box… A Guide For New Treonauts the fact is that with the daily release of new accessories and also new Treo smartphone models there will always be a need to regularly update my recommendations.

In this particular instance, given that I have literally hundreds of accessories for review in my office I started to think about what my absolute “Top 10” Treo accessories might be – those that I just could not do without – and explain why I find them to be so essential.

Overall, I find that my accessories list falls under the five categories below:

Power & Sync (Cables, Chargers, Cradles, Batteries, Adapters)
There’s no doubt that keeping my Treo as close to fully charged anywhere and at all times is one of my top priorities and the accessories in this category are by extension also my most frequently used ones.

Treo Power Accessories

  1. The SPE ExtraPower+Sync USB Retractable Cable is quite possibly the “best value” accessory that I own.  It’s small, light, durable and ensures that my Treo is always recharging and ready to HotSync plugged into my laptop’s USB port.
  2. I also have both a small and light Palm Wall Charger as well as an SPE ExtraPower Car Charger – basics to have at home/work and in the car.
  3. More often than not one battery is just not enough and this is why I keep a spare battery for every Treo model that I own so that one is always charging while the other is in use.
  4. Naturally, I need something to charge all of my batteries and currently the only two accessories that can do this are the Palm Cradle Kit (my preferred option at home/work) and Seidio’s Portable Battery Charger (my preferred option when travelling because of its small size and light weight – albeit it does not now work with Treo 680 batteries which is making things a little harder these days…).
  5. Finally, given my regular international trips one of the accessories that has quickly earned top marks is the World USB Charger+Plug Adapter which I use to power both my laptop and Treo.

Protection (Cases, Screen Protectors)
Generally speaking your Treo will withstand daily use well if you look after it with just a little care.  Having said this, I have come across many Treo smartphones that are so badly ‘bruised’ that I often wonder exactly how people manage to inflict so much damage to it – typically it’s because they don’t use a case and simply put their Treo ‘naked’ in a pocket or bag ready to be scratched by keys or other items.

In my case, save for a tiny scratch here and there all of my smartphones are in pristine condition and I have no doubt that this is due largely to the fact that I don’t let my Treo go anywhere without a case.  My favourite options here are:

  • The SPE PocketPouch is probably my “Top 2006 Treo Case” – I absolutely love it.  It’s ultra-thin and ultra-light with a high quality fine grain leather and it’s the case that I use most frequently.  I know that some Treonauts have complained that it lacks a ‘snug’ fit but personally I have found that by having my Treo somewhat loose inside makes it far easier to retrieve one-handed when I receive a call.

The one thing that the SPE PocketPouch lacks is a belt clip and therefore when I want to wear the Treo by my side I use:

  • Side Cases
  • Holsters
    The universal SPE SafeGuard Holster – specifically designed to fit all Treo models and to provide superior scratch protection thanks to its all-rubber interior – has rapidly become the most popular and bestselling Treo case.  A great choice in this category.
  • Skins & Hard Cases
    I have personally never been a big fan of skin cases but there is no denying their popularity for all Treo models including the 680 skin, 700 skin and 650 skin (a 750 skin will also become available shortly).  Additionally, if you’re looking for a hard case I can highly recommend the SPE SliderCase for your Treo 700 (hopefully also available soon for other models).

Finally, it’s all too easy to scratch your screen but just as easy to protect it with a high quality Treo Screen Protector.

Entertainment (SC Cards, Card Reader & Stereo Headset)
I listen to music on my Treo probably as frequently as I make calls if not more often.  I have made it my preferred portable MP3 player (no iPod for me) and I personally find it a joy to use.  Additionally, I also have a ton of movies and TV shows saved to watch while on the go.  There are three accessories that I find absolutely essential for both music and video:

  1. As many large SD cards as I can afford.  I currently have over 20GB of storage spread across multiple 1GB, 2GB and 4GB SD cards but now that the Treo 680 also supports the new 8GB SDHC cards I’ve ordered three of these to limit the number of cards that I have to carry with me.
  2. There’s no point having all these SD cards if I can’t easily transfer files to and from my PC.  For this the SanDisk MobileMate has proven to be one of my most trusted companions – it’s small, rock solid and hasn’t let me down once.
  3. Evidently I don’t want everyone to have to listen to my music or movies and therefore personally choose the Seidio 2in1 Retractable Earbud Headphones which again have proven to be a terrific invesment and because they include a microphone I can also make and receive calls while listening to music.  Also, if you prefer to use a standard 3.5mm headset you’ll just need the SPE Stereo Adapter.

Communication (Bluetooth Headsets)
If you spend hours making and taking calls on your Treo on a daily basis and/or if these calls typically last more than a few minutes you will without a doubt immediately see the advantage of using a wireless Bluetooth headset – not only will you not have to strain your arm holding the Treo to your ear but you’ll also be able to free both your hands to do something more useful such as taking notes or taking the wheel of your car…  My top BT headset choices are:

  • The Jabra JX10 is probably the single best designed BT headset available today as well as the smallest, lightest and the one with the most complete kit including the ability to charge your headset on the go via USB.
  • I have been a big fan of the Motorola H700 and its innovative “PowerFlip” design which turns the headset off (instead of standby) to extend battery life and it can also be charged via USB.
  • The Palm Wireless Headset has been a bestselling accessory since its release.  It offers good value, performance and can easily be recharched using the standard Treo wall charger.
  • A recent find, I found the Jabra BT125 to offer excellent value and a very high quality build.

Travel (GPS Navigation & Car Accessories)
Ever since taking my first GPS-aided Treo trip about 18 months ago I would now not dream of driving anywhere without my TomTom GPS Navigator software.  Palm’s GPS Navigator 2 offers a terrific value package which in addition to the sofware and GPS receiver also includes a vehicle mount and car charger but I personally still prefer the original TomTom Navigator 6 Bundle even if it requires me to purchase a separate car mount (I particularly like the new iGrip Flexible Mount) and Treo car charger.

The only infuriating thing at the moment is that a bug prevents the latest TomTom 6 software from running on the Treo 680 (TomTom 5 works fine though).  Palm and TomTom are aware of the issue and an updated version should be released very shortly.

Overall it really doesn’t take much to fully kit your Treo.  Whether it’s to maximize its performance, protect it, optimize its use or enjoy its unique benefits you will hopefully find just the right accessory in my list to match your particular needs and budget.

Treonauts always have the most fun


Posted by Andrew on January 31, 2007 at 02:32 PM

Treo Accessories Guide

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by Rob_G | Jan 31, 2007 4:32:49 PM

I see you ordered some 8GB SDHC cards. Can you please post a detailed review? I am waiting to take the plunge tell I see a review from you so I don't get stuck with something incompatible.

by dmm | Jan 31, 2007 7:00:16 PM

I've been using one with my 680. Works great! Now I'll have to find a reader or three...

by treo4819 | Jan 31, 2007 8:58:46 PM

You mentioned that the 680 supports the use of 8GB SDHC cards....what other Treos support this format? Or, more specifically, does the 700p?

by Impact | Feb 1, 2007 1:10:21 AM

There are several 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapters out there and I've worked with 2 of the same kind that have failed me. Would these corded ones be better than the kind with 0 cord? The short stubby ones? I used corded ones but I kept the Treo and adapter in my pocket all the time. I think I messed with the interior wiring because of this. What would be the best solution for an adapter?

by Andrew | Feb 1, 2007 10:59:49 AM

Rob G: I'll definitely write a review about using the 8GB SDHC cards with my Treo 680 soon.

I can share a couple of things in the meantime: 1) you will need to buy an SDHC compatible card reader (I got the SanDisk MicroMate) and 2) don't try using Card Export II with your Treo 680 and the 8GB card (it may crash your USB).

treo4819: currently only the Treo 680 supports 8GB SDHC cards. Having said this there is a hack (which I have not yet fully tested) via a small PRC file called "SDIO-sdsd.prc" which can be installed on a Treo 650 or Treo 700p which apparently enables these smartphones for SDHC.

Impact: I've been very happy with the corded stereo adapters and recommend these over the short ones.

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by AndrewB | Feb 1, 2007 3:57:59 PM

Andrew- I recently purchased a 4GB Dane Elec SD Card and it seems to not be recognized in my Treo and also severyly slows down my brand new Sony Laptop when I insert it into the drive. I cant seem to get any response from Dane Elec's Tech Support. Is there something I should be doing to get this to work properly? Thanks!

by Bryan | Feb 2, 2007 10:26:22 AM

Has anyone had problems with the window mount for your TREO? This is my first winter using it and it sticks, but falls down once I place my Treo in it.

by Brent | Feb 2, 2007 1:47:13 PM

I recently purchased Card Reader from Mobilestream and now consider it a must-have accessory. Now I can carry portable PC apps on my SD card in my treo and run them on a host computer without leaving any data behind. For instance, Opera@usb lets me run my favorite web browser from my card thru my Treo on a borrowed computer, save my sessions and bookmarks and preferences, and take it all with me when I'm done. Sweet! Now I just need a portable version of Palm Desktop or equivalent. Any suggestions?

by hfolmt | Feb 2, 2007 2:20:57 PM

Brent "For instance, Opera@usb lets me run my favorite web browser from my card thru my Treo on a borrowed computer, save my sessions and bookmarks and preferences, and take it all with me when I'm done."

Are you saying that you are running opera from your treo? Or the sd card from your treo has the opera@usb software on it and you use that at another computer. Please explain how you use it.

by wes | Feb 5, 2007 8:45:20 AM

do not buy the palm brand hard case. the clip does not hold on to your belt or pants and it will fall off. it just fell off when i was walking this morning and my phone went sliding out on the concrete. needless to say i was not happy and i smashed the case.

by Dustin | Feb 10, 2007 1:11:02 AM


Just got a Treo 700wx which THANK GOD has Sprite Backup installed. If you have a Treo & don't have Sprite's Backup installed, this is a must have-

THeir site http://www.spritesoftware.com/

by Alisa | Feb 19, 2007 2:33:42 PM

Can anyone recommend a case for my Treo 680 with the extended battery cover? I have a skin case but it is bulging and looks a little strange.

by pete | May 31, 2008 12:03:04 PM

Just bought "magicjack" and need a cable to plug into my 650 and the other end goes into the magicjack, which means, it has to be a regular phone plug. Anybody has any info?

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