Palm Treo 680 First Impressions and Image Gallery

Palm Treo 680 First Impressions and Image Gallery

October 12, 2006

By: Christopher Meinck

Palm CEO Ed Colligan today announced the forthcoming release of a new consumer focused
Treo 680 smartphone. Everything Treo was on hand to provide an in-depth look at the new Treo smartphone. Click on any photo in our extensive image gallery to view larger.

Palm Introduces Treo 680

Palm Shifts Focus to User Experience

With the release of the Treo 680, it’s apparent that Palm is clearly focused on the Treo experience. The most frequently used application
on the Treo is the Phone application and Palm has made significant inroads to improving the user interface of this primary application. The new Phone user interface is acutally several apps built into one. As Palm expands into a broader consumer market, they realized the need to create a simple, easy to use smartphone. Gone are side-scrolling favorites, replaced with as simple top-down list of favorites. Moving through the various components of the phone application is as easy as selecting one of big tabs. If there was an underlying theme of the event, it was on Palm’s dedication to making the Treo 680 an easy smartphone to use.

Treo 680 favorites

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Doing More On a Treo

Along with the release of the Treo 680, Palm has forged partnerships
major online properties including Google, Yahoo, eBay and Flickr. One of the more interesting segments of the demonstration was Google Maps, one of the applications that will make it’s debut on the Treo 680. With Google Maps on the Treo 680, you’ll be able to check real-time traffic and even download satellite views. You can even select an area on the map and look up pizzerias or florists. GoogleMaps returns a listing on the map and selecting a pinpoint will bring up contact information. These partnerships will be promoted through Palm’s new ad campaign where the tagline is, "Not just a cellphone, a Treo".


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Color Me Treo

The four colors (graphite, crimson, artic white, orange) will be available at launch, but only through in the unlocked version. It’s surprising
the wireless carriers have not chosen to release any of the colored Treos. The colors are a breath of fresh air for a stagnant smarphone market and
sadly most will not have a chance to partake in the fun due to the premium required. With wireless provider subsidies, many consumers won’t have
the choice of the artic white, crimson or oranage when a similarly equipped graphite is half the price. It should be noted that Motorola’s RAZR initially
shipped as silver only through carriers and those same carriers now offer multiple colors.

Changes To The Form Factor

At first glance, it’s difficult to assess the improvements to the form factor. While not a significant departure from the familar Treo form factor, Palm
has made some noticeable improvements from previous generations. The new Treo 680 follows the 750v as the next Treo to have a built-in antenna.
Palm stated the reception has been improved from previous generation Treos. The battery is 1/3rd the size of the previous battery and you can feel
the difference in the weight of the device. The Treo 680 is noticeably lighter than the Palm Treo 700p. Placing the two Treos together, you’ll notice
the how the Treo 680 curves at the bottom of the phone.

First Impressions

Palm continues to refine the user experience and the Phone application is a significant improvement from previous generations. While there were no significant changes to the form factor, the new Treo 680 is lighter and feels much smaller than previous Treos. Rather than rush to deliver a super-thin phone, Palm has made subtle, noticeable changes without compromising the user experience or battery life. The new Treo 680 has
been tagged the consumer Treo, but should prove to be a worthy upgrade for Treo 650 owners looking for a slightly smaller phone, refined user interface and faster web experience through "smart caching". The Treo 680 is on par with the 700p from a feature set perspective, outside of the camera and support for broadband-like speed. The Treo 680 will support EDGE and ship with a VGA camera. The Treo 680 is fun, full-featured smartphone. It’s unclear whether this will be enough to penetrate a new consumer market that has yet to make the jump to smartphone technology.

Image Gallery

Select any photo to view larger.

Treo 680 vs Treo 700p
Arctic white and Orange Treo 680
Arctic White Treo 680
Compare size Treo 700p and Treo 680
Treo 680 white pic
Copper Treo 680
Side view Treo 680
Treo 680 dialer
Treo 680 Call Features
Graphite Treo 680
Treo 680 phone
Compare Treo 680 and Treo 700p
New Treo SD slot
Size of new Treo
Treo 680 favorites
700p and 680
Palm Treo 700p and Treo 680

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