Treo 750 Review

3 of 5

The Palm Treo 750 is one the greatly anticipated Treo releases in quite some time. With the Treo 750v having been out for months in Europe, much has been written about the latest Treo model. Due to issues with FCC certification, the Treo 750 release was pushed back from early December to the first week of January. It also marks the debut of the first Windows Mobile powered Treo smartphone on a GSM network in the US (Both Sprint and Verizon use CDMA technology). The Treo 750 also marks the first Palm release to support 3G promising increased bandwidth up to 384 Kbps. The Treo 750 and all the new features come neatly bundled in a new form factor with an easy-to-grip rubberized coating. In this review, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the features of the new Treo 750. If you are interested in a particular section or feature, you can select from the table of contents on the right.


What’s In The Box

The Palm Treo 750 shipped with the following:

  • Palm Treo 750 smart device
  • Treo 750 Getting Started CD including Treo 750 User Guide, Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2 Connectivity Software, Microsoft Outlook 2002
  • Travel Charger
  • USB Sync Cable
  • Rechargeable Lithium ion 1200 mAh battery
  • Wired Headset

The Cingular Treo 750 comes with the following software preinstalled.

  • ActiveSync
  • Alarm Clock
  • Bubble Breaker
  • Calculator
  • Camera (pictures and video)
  • File Explorer
  • Good Mobile Messaging stub application
  • Internet Explorer Mobile
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile: Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes
  • Microsoft Office Mobile Suite: Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, PowerPoint Mobile
  • ModemLink
  • Picsel PDF Viewer
  • Pocket MSN
  • Quick Tour
  • Search
  • SIM Manager
  • SMS / MMS Messaging with chat view
  • Solitaire
  • Sounds Manager
  • Terminal Services Client
  • Voice Command
  • Windows Media Player
  • Wired Car Kit Support
  • Xpress Mail

Form Factor

The Treo 750 features a striking resemblence to the recently released Palm Treo 680. The antenna is now internal, so gone is the chunky antenna stub that was so familiar of the Palm Treo family since the days of the Treo 600. Internalizing the antenna also gives the appearance of a smaller smartphone.



The Treo 750 shares the same curved back as the Treo 680 which has cut down on the size of the phone. When compared to a Treo 700w/p, the difference is easily noticeable both from visual perspective and when holding the Treo 750. Rather than enter the battle for the “thinnest smartphone”, Palm has delivered a small smartphone “just feels right”. The sides of the Treo 750 also curve inward and I found this offered a way to get a good grip on the phone.


Rubberized Finish

Rubberized coatings seem to be all the rage when it comes to smartphones. Gone are slippery surfaces, replaced with a rubberized coating that will hopefully result in less Treos hitting the pavement. The finish on the Treo 750 is a metallic navy blue

(one must wonder if this was intential given the color of the BlackBerry)

. If you have the opportunity to see the Treo 750 at retail, I’ve found that when you scratch the surface lightly with your fingernail, you will be more apt to recognize the coating. It is also very noticeable when you compare with a previous generation Treos (Treo 700w/wx,Treo 700p,Treo 650).

Treo 750 color

The Treo 750 sports a metallic blue finish.


The Treo 750 weighs in at 5.4 ounces versus 6.4 ounces for the 700p and 5.5 ounces for the Palm Treo 680 making it the lightest Treo to date.

miniSD Card

miniSD represents another first for the Treo 750. The Treo 750 uses miniSD which is a smaller format. For those considering upgrading, you will not be able to use your SD cards on the Treo 750. According to Palm, they officially support miniSD cards up to 2GB cards. The miniSD is accessible from the right hand side of the Treo and is protected by a door that easily snaps in and out. Although the cost of removable media has gone down, it is refereshing to know that your data card is protected against accidents. Based upon comparable memory expansion products available in the Everything Treo Store, you’ll find a slight increase in cost for the new smaller miniSD card versus standard SD cards. The

Dane-Elec 2GB Secure Digital Card retails for $39.95 compared to $44.95 for a Dane-Elec 2GB miniSD





The Palm Treo 750 features a QWERTY keyboard. I immediately sensed a very tactical feel while typing on the Treo 750. It is very responsive and the feedback generated by the keyboard was great. I have small hands, but had one trouble with one-handed operation. Those with big hands who prefer to type with both thumbs, might find the keyboard a bit cramped. Those are the trade-offs to have “true one-handed” operation versus a larger or wider keyboard. Personally, this is the best keyboard I’ve used on any mobile device.

Treo 750 keyboard

Those familiar with Windows Mobile Treos will recognize the L-R menu buttons, dedicated call/hang-up buttons, OK button and Windows Start button. The call/hang-up buttons are now wider. I found this to be a welcome change due to the frequency of their usage. In addition to the primary buttons, the left and right soft buttons also backlit. I also found an interesting feature of the Treo 750. The backlit actually times out if you do not touch the keyboard after a prescribed amount of time. I suppose this has a minimal, yet positive effect on the battery-life of the Treo 750. Select any key or touch the screen and the keyboard will once again become backlit.



The Treo 750 features a square screen with a resolution of 240×240. Whether navigating through the device or viewing the Today screen, there is little difference when intially compared to the 320×320 display of the Treo 700p. The drop-off for the Treo 750 occurs when view photos, video or even web browsing. Images that were vivid and sharp on the Palm Treo 700p looked drab on the new Treo 750. The limitations with regard to resolution on the Treo 750 lie with the Windows Mobile OS.


The Treo 750 features a 1.3 megapixel camera with a 2X zoom. You can also set an option for ‘burst’ which takes a rapid succession of pictures. Within camera, it also allows you to switch to video mode. Not sure the need, but you can also set a timer. I guess if you’re the type for self-portraits, this would be useful. Photos taken with the Treo 750 were a pleasant surprise when compared to the 700p camera.

Treo 750 photo

Treo 700p photo


Of the above photos, the first photo was taken with the Treo 750 and the other using the Palm Treo 700p which also sports a 1.3 megapixel camera. No adjustments were made to the images. As you’ll see the Treo 750 produced a vibrant image and the Treo 700p images looks dull in comparison.


According to representatives from Palm, the Treo 750 is “very close” to achieving certification for Bluetooth 2.0. Officially, it supports Bluetooth 1.2. The Treo 750 does support A2DP

(Advanced Audio Distribution File)

and allows you to listen to music and calls using a Bluetooth stereo headset. This is the first Treo to offer A2DP support.

Processor and Memory

The Treo 750 uses a Samsung 300 MHz processor. The Treo 750 is very peppy and you get an immediate response when navigating the phone. It also features 128MB of memory of which 60MB is accessible by the user. On the Treo 750 I received, there was 62.53MB free before putting any data on the phone. A little over 49MB of memory was dedicated to “program memory”, with 31.79MB available at the intial boot up.

The Familiar Reset Button

Left out on the Treo 680, there is a reset button on the Treo 750. Like your desktop PC or Mac, it is inevitable that you will come across a time when a reset is in order

(think of it as rebooting your computer)

. Palm has moved the reset button to the miniSD slot. No more removing the battery cover to reset your Treo. Pop the cover on the miniSD slot and the tip of the stylus reboots the Treo 750. Having done my fair share of Treo resets, I welcome this move to the miniSD slot.

Other Notable Features

Like the Treo 680, the stylus has changed with the Treo 750. It’s also lighter than previous styli. Ringer and vibrate switch remain on the top of the device and the Treo 750 uses the same interface for both sync cable and charger as previous Treo models. For those who still use IR, the Treo 750 comes equipped with an IR port.

It should also be noted that while the Treo 680 and Treo 750 share similarities in form factor, they do not share the same manufacturer. The Treo 680 is well built, but I felt the Treo 750 overall has a better build quality. This could be a result of materials more so than the manufacturer, but worth noting.

For most, the predominant feature used on any smartphone will be the phone itself. During my tests, callers were asked to provide feedback on the sound quality of my voice. The feedback was positive using both the phone and speakerphone. I had no issues with the quality of sound for the callers when using the handset. I did experience crackling when using the speakerphone at high volumes.


Making Calls

Being a smartphone, there are several options to make outgoing calls. Using the dailpad on the QWERTY keyboard will instantly start the dialing process. When dialing a long-distance number

(and adding a 1 at the beginning of the number)

, the Treo didn’t know to add a ‘-‘. For example, if I were to dial NY state directory information, the number would be 1-212-555-1212. When entering into the Treo 750, it starts as 121-2555. At times, I wanted to be sure I was dialing the correct number and this was difficult with the layout of numbers being dialed. A workaround would be to use the dialer. Unlike Palm OS Treos where the dialer is predominant, you have to navigate the right soft menu button to access the Dial Pad. Oddly enough, when using the dialer, the resulting number patter is correct, 1-212-555-1212. If I had to venture to guess, the reasoning behind the issue with dialing in the today screen is the “contacts lookup”. Not a major issue, but one that I felt should be noted.

Treo 750 dialer

Accessing Contacts can be done in a variety of ways. Selecting the right soft button or simply type the first few letters of either the first or last name. This worked for either individuals or companies. Accessing the Start menu is yet another path to Contacts. As you can see, in Windows Mobile there are many choices or paths to a desired function and it simply becomes a matter of preference.




When missing an incoming call, the Treo 750 will show a pop-up tab within the Today screen that shows the missed calls. After the Treo 750 goes back into sleep mode, powering up removes this reminder. In its place, I was greeted with a change in the Today screen where the left menu normally resevered for ‘email’ had changed to ‘Missed Calls’. Pressing the left soft menu button revealed the tab with a nice list of my missed calls. I would have like to have seen the list upon powering up the Treo 750, as the menu button can easily be missed. I should say there is also an icon at the top of the screen with an exclamation point as a further reminder that you’ve missed a call. The list the Treo 750 generates offers very good detail including caller name

(if available in your contacts)

, phone number, date and time. It also gives you an option to View List, which is another name for the Call Log.


Photo Speed Dial

Like the Treo 700w/wx, one of the great features of the Today screen is the ability to easily add Photo Speed Dials. I have a few contacts that I call regularly, so the built-in Photo Speed Dial really impacts my use of the phone. No shuffling through contacts or scrolling through Favorites. The ability to simply turn on the Treo 750 and touch the photo of the contact I’d like to call is a powerful and useful feature.

Treo 750 photo speed dial


Call Log

Accessible through the right soft menu, the call log allows you to sort by incoming, outgoing, missed or view all. With most of the menu options, there are shortcuts. Pressing menu followed by the letter ‘a’ provides a short cut to the call log. If you find yourself using a particular feature, these shortcuts can save you time. Selecting the menu screen also allows you to quickly add a number to Contacts.

Designed with the business user in mind, the Treo 750 come with a robust software bundle making this smartphone a very capable handheld computer. In certain situations, the Treo 750 can act as a replacement for your laptop.

Microsoft Office

Intended for business audiences, the Palm Treo 750 comes with everything you need for a mobile office. Word Mobile and Excel Mobile allows you to open existing documents, edit and create new documents. With PowerPoint Mobile, you are limited to viewing existing presentations. No conversion is necessary when opening any of the above file formats. While in Excel, using the 5-way navigator allowed for easy reading and movement within the spreadsheet.

Piscel Viewer

Picscel Viewer allows you to view full PDF files on the Treo 750. Again, no conversion is needed to view PDF documents. Piscel Viewer uses a ‘tap-and-drag’ gesture to zoom in or out of a document. I found it difficult to get an optimal setting without going back and forth. In order to initate the ‘tap-and-drag’, you must be near the middle of the screen. Once in zoom mode, dragging the stylus to the bottom results in the image getting smaller. Conversely, dragging upward causes the zoom to take place. While zooming in and out, the text gets blurry, so you have to guess when you believe you reached a suitable zoom level for reading the document. After a few minutes, I did get familiar with the process. That being said, I would have preferred to have zoom levels in percentages in the options menu.

Treo 750 PDF viewer


Pictures and Videos

Pictures and Videos encapsulates a few apps into one. The camera icon is a shortcut to access the Camera application. From within this application, you can play a slideshow, send a photo using any of the messaging options or set an image as a Today background. The slideshow feature is very limited, not allowing you to select specific photos or add music.

Other Notable Applications

Tasks are included and will sync with Outlook using ActiveSync. It features support for categories, sorting capabilities, priority levels and enables you to set reminders. You can also add notes to each task. Windows Mobile comes with Windows Media offering support for a variety of media formats

(WMV, MPEG-4, MP3, AAC, AAC+, and WMA) and streaming video. With a good set of stereo headphones (Bluetooth Stereo headphones are supported) and a miniSD card filled with MP3 files, the Treo 750 can double as a serviceable on-the-go MP3 player. Where Verizon offered a few options for streaming sites, doesn’t provide you with any preset favorites. Instead, Palm suggests third-party application, sold separately. MobiTV (requires monthly subscription) recently announced availability for Windows Mobile 5 and offers the best selection of programming. During our review of MobiTV

with the Treo 650 using EDGE, playback suffered from severe buffering. The increased speed of UTMS should be sufficient for streaming.

The Treo 750 features a robust suite of applications for Internet and communications. With support for UTMS, the Cingular Treo 750 is promoted as a 3G phone, offering speed improvements over the EDGE capable Treo 680. We tested the Treo 750 against two EVDO capable devices, the Palm Treo 700p and Moto Q smartphone. The tests were conducted using mobile speed test. Several tests were done for each file size and I took the best results for each phone. Results for individual phones varied, but comparisons between the three remained consistent.



In this chart, shorter is better and indicates a faster download time. As you’ll note, the Treo 750 struggled when compared to the EVDO capable smartphones. The Treo 750 can be upgraded to HSDPA, but at the time of the review, Palm has not indicated there will be a firmware upgrade. Should Palm release a firmware upgrade that enables HSDPA, you can expect these numbers to change for the better. At this rate, clearly this is disappointing when compared to other smartphones.

Treo 750 600k speed test

Treo 750 after 600k speed test

Instant Messaging With Pocket MSN

Included with the Treo 750 are applications that allow you to always stay in touch. Microsoft bundles Pocket MSN that includes MSN Instant Messenger and this is clearly one of the advantages to owning a Windows Mobile smartphone. With Palm OS based smartphones, you need to purchase a third party application for chat. MSN Messenger is a breeze to set up and chatting works nicely. The interface is poorly done, as you can do not have the ability to see the conversation without using up/down arrows at the top of the screen. Without using a stylus, this is less than optimal. While it is very functional, it will not win any GUI (graphical user interface) awards. It is free and does function quite well.

Threaded Chat-Style Messaging

Up until this point, little has been done by Palm to integrate some of their usablity when it comes to software. With previous releases, Palm’s thumbprint on Windows powered Treos was limited to the hardware design and the Pictures and Video application. One of the major complaints of Palm OS owners making the jump to Windows was the Messaging application. The messaging application included on the Treo 700w/wx did not “thread” the messages. Threading of messages results in a “chat-style” thread of messages allowing you to see the history or conversation that you have had with a particular contact. In contrast, non-threaded results in a extremely over-crowded and difficult to manage inbox. Luckily, the Treo 750 introduces Palm’s threaded messaging. It performs exactly like the Palm OS application and drastically improves on the ability to effectively manage SMS conversations. The application features 10 preset commonly used messages and you can add your own custom messages. For example, if you are in a meeting, you can easily select “In a Meeting”. You can send messages using a phone number or a contact name.

Threaded SMS on Treo 750


Outlook Express

Like the Treo 700w, the Treo 750 of course comes with Outlook for email. It features support for POP and IMAP accounts. Setting up email accounts was quite easy and uses the familiar Outlook interface. It will automatically insert addresses from your contacts making it easier to address your emails. For corporate users, the Treo 750 allows your Outlook corporate email automatically downloaded to the Treo 750. If you work in a business where you need to send pictures, you’ll find the Treo 750 excels at this function. It also supports attachments for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF’s. Palm has hard coded the left soft menu within the Today screen for email. While outside of the Today screen, access is through the Start menu. If there is any complaint regarding Outlook, it would be the lack of a progress bar. I would like to see the emails coming in along with a progress bar.

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent build quality
  • Thread SMS features chat-style text messaging
  • Sound quality using both microphone and speakerphone
  • New form factor combined with antenna-less design really provides for the lightest, smallest Treo to date eclipsing even the Treo 680
  • Improved QWERTY keyboard and call/hang-up buttons
  • Reset button more accessible through miniSD slot
  • Today interface still provides great overview of calendars,tasks, messages and easy calling options using photo speed dial
  • miniSD card cover protects against loss
  • Bluetooth support for A2DP allowing for Bluetooth stereo headphones
  • Camera produces vibrant images for 1.3 megapixel
  • Software bundle encompasses neccessary business applications and multimedia
  • WiFi support using third party miniSD WiFi card
  • Support for dial-up-networking


  • UTMS slow compared to EVDO
  • Speakerphone produced crackle at high volumes
  • 240×240 screen
  • Menu navigation can become cumbersome for certain tasks
  • WiFi not built-in
  • Mac support requires third party software

Treo 750 review


The Treo 750 represents the latest Windows Mobile based Treo smartphone from Palm and the first to be available on GSM networks in the US (Palm released the Treo 750vin Europe through Vodafone). In the Treo 750, Palm has delivered a smartphone that offers impressive design and build quality. The Today screen is an ideal interface for anyone managing a busy work schedule, while providing easy access to contacts. With an impressive software bundle and support for corporate email through ActiveSync, the Treo 750 is a smartphone for individuals looking for a mobile office. Overall, the Treo 750 is well designed business class smartphone, but one that still has room for improvement. Despite many new features, including support for A2DP, I was disappointed with the speed of UTMS relative to EVDO. The Treo 750 is upgradeable to HSDPA, however no update has been announced by either Palm or Cingular Wireless.

Pricing and Availability

The Palm Treo 750 is available in exclusively through Cingular Wireless. Prices start at $399 (after rebates with a 2-year contract).


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