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Palm Reveals Treo 700p Smartphone

Mon May 15, 2006 - 12:01 PM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson


Blending PalmOS' ease-of-use with the hardware design of the Treo 700w, the Treo 700p smartphone features EvDO, Dial-up networking, improved multimedia functionalities, and more memory.

Pricing and availability for the Palm Treo 700p smartphone will be announced later by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.

Treo 700p Overview

  • Dual band CDMA 2000 EvDO radio
  • 128MB non-volatile memory (60MB user available); 2GB and up SD card support
  • Intel XScale 312 MHz processor
  • 320 x 320 color TFT Screen
  • Palm OS 5.4.9
  • 1.3-megapixel digital camera (1280x1024 resolution)
  • Built-in Bluetooth´┐Ż1.2 wireless technology (A2DP not available)
  • Extend EvDO speeds to your laptop using DUN
  • Innovative phone features
  • Enhanced award-winning Blazer 4.5 web browser
  • Rich multimedia capabilities for streaming music, video and more
  • Enhanced email -wireless access to Outlook, Yahoo!, AOL, and Gmail
  • Supports native Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and PDF viewing on the go
  • View Palm's Experience the 700p Flash Demo.

"The release of this Palm OS based product on the latest high-speed network technology is music to the ears of our dedicated installed base of Palm OS customers and clear validation that we intend to continue to focus on multiple platforms for our solutions," said Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer of Palm, Inc. "This flagship product the second new smartphone Palm will introduce this calendar year -- offers our world-class usability combined with a smarter phone, wireless email, built-in browser, and rich media capabilities all at blazing speeds on the EvDO network."

As the newest member of the Treo family, the Treo 700p smartphone combines the award-winning hardware design of the Treo 700w smartphone with Palm's innovative software that has shipped on approximately 3 million Palm OS based Treo smartphones worldwide.

Visual Hardware Overview

First PalmOS Based Treo on EvDO

Adding a fast data connection to the already efficient Palm OS platform speeds email, messaging and large attachment downloads, and dramatically enhances web browsing. The speed of EvDO also allows for an enjoyable experience when streaming multimedia content, and the Treo 700p smartphone ships with Palm's first built-in streaming application. The Treo 700p streams mobile content, such as live TV, movie clips and audio from radio stations, as well as training videos or company communications.

"With the rapid growth of next-generation networks and with burgeoning content becoming available, customers have soaring expectations for a high-quality mobile experience," John Hartnett, senior vice president of worldwide sales and customer relations for Palm. "By delivering products like the Treo 700p, we will continue earning the loyalty of consumers, mobile professionals and businesses large and small."

Built-in Dial-up Networking Capabilities

Treo 700p smartphone users can take advantage of broadband like EvDO speeds on their laptop computers by using the new smartphone as a wireless modem via USB or Bluetooth wireless technology.

This functionality may eliminate the need to purchase Wi-Fi or other connectivity services at coffee shops, airports and hotels. For the first time on any Treo product, this capability is available out of the box.

A bundled carrier-specific desktop application is needed , and an additional DUN plan may be required by the carrier.

60MB User Available Memory

The Palm OS based Treo 700p smartphone includes 128MB of memory, of which 60MB is user available. By using SD memory cards, currently available with 2GB of storage (sold separately), in addition to the 60MB of dedicated user storage, users have plenty of room to download and carry important documents and multimedia content. The dbheap is now up to 10 MB and the dbcache has a 18 MB capacity. 4GB SD Cards are supported on a limited basis.

Keyboard Layout Changes

One visible button hardware change from the Treo 700w is the transformation of the soft-menu keys (which PalmOS does not support) into dedicated send/end keys. This was done to increase the number of direct application keys (now Dialer, Calendar, Mail, and Home) and to limit the confusion for beginners.

Another change is that the drop-down menu key has been relocated to the bottom right corner of the keyboard (where is was on the Treo 600), replacing the secondary shift key. Because of these changes, users upgrading from a Treo 650 will likely accidentally turn the Treo off when trying to access the menu until they remember the new location.

New Phone features

The phone dialer application has seen some minor changes. Similar to on the 700w, you can now ignore a call with a text message. This is great if someone calls when you're busy; simply send the call to voicemail and respond with a discreet SMS. You can also send a text message after you miss a call by selecting the onscreen Send Text button in the missed call alert.

After you end a call (with caller ID) that's not in your Contacts list, you can choose to save that number to an existing contact in your Contacts list or create a new contact with that phone number.

The Treo screen dims on an active call rather than turning off, and the phone will now vibrate when you switch the phone into silent mode using the silent switch. Great when you are at the movies and forget which way to slide the switch for silence!

Another long overdue feature is the ability to create personalized ringtones for all callers in your address book - not just the ones in your favorites

Improved Blazer Browser

A streaming audio and video client is now built-into Blazer. You can view streaming video (WMV including MPEG4, H.264, and others) and listen to radio on the go with support for Internet radio and podcasts. Live TV is available for a fee through Sprint TV.

The Blazer Browser is now also faster due to smarter caching rule, and the EvDO connection makes content-heavy sites easily viewable. The browser has improved Javascript support, which increases the number of sites viewable on the device.

Supercharged Multimedia

In addition to the new streaming support, the Treo 700p smartphone now includes a 1.3-megapixel camera and camcorder, offering four times the resolution of a VGA camera. To organize and share photos, the new album application makes it significantly easier to create and manage photo and video albums. Once albums are created, Treo 700p smartphone customers can use the slideshow application to add music, audio captions and transitions. The new album browser is a lot faster than the previous version.

Other new features include the ability to send photos on the fly - no need to switch from the camera to the MMS or email application, and to save a photo to a contact directly from an album.

The Treo 700p includes Pocket Tunes from NormSoft for playing music files. The new application, with an easy-to-use Palm-customized user interface, offers customers more options for sorting music and making play lists. Syncing directly with Windows Media Player is now supported, however to play DRM protected online store purchased music (Microsoft's PlaysForSure technology only) an upgrade to Pocket Tunes Deluxe is required.

Enhanced Messaging and Email

The email and messaging clients have been enhanced on the 700p. Microsoft Exchange's ActiveSync now supports contact sync in addition to email and calendar. However, no Direct Push functionality is available or planned.

The MMS client has seen some UI improvements, including improved address lookup functionality.

Other VersaMail 3.5 additions:

  • Improved Addressing - As you begin to address an email, the VersaMail application displays matching entries from Contacts that you can quickly select. VersaMail software also remembers email addresses and domains to which you've previously sent email. You can also save incoming email addresses directly into Contacts.
  • Sort button on main inbox page - sort by subject, sender, size, or date.
  • AutoSync can be scheduled for any combination of mail, calendar, contacts
  • Improved Scrolling - press and hold down button to page-scroll

Full PDF and Office support

Full PDF support is now included through DataViz Documents To Go Version 8.0, which also offers native support for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Voice Memo Application

New voice-memo application, which can be used to create custom ring tones, add voice annotations to photos or simply record a memo.

In-box Treo 700p Smartphone Applications

A CD in the Treo 700p smartphone box includes extra applications - some free, others for a fee - such as VoiceSignal, for users who want voice dialing, and Avvenu, for those who want access to their home- or work-computer files while on the go.

A secure VPN software client is provided by anthaVPN. Anyone with downtime could appreciate games from Handmark (Solitaire) and Astraware (Bejeweled), while those with a commute may find Palm Traffic to be a useful application. For book-lovers, the CD also includes Palm eReader as well as software from Audible Inc. for listening to audio books.

Still no WiFi, A2DP support

Palm does not plan on supporting WiFi SD Cards for the Treo 700p, as they claim the EvDO network is fast enough offer a similar experience. Bluetooth Stereo A2DP support is not available natively either. This will certainly disappoint many of TreoCentral's reader.

Hands-on experience and detailed review

TreoCentral had a chance back in January to use the Treo 700p for a limited amount of time; unfortunately not enough for a detailed review. Expect our full detailed review closer to the shipping date.

Discuss the Treo 700p in our new 700p sub-forum.

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