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Talkin’ Treo – v102006

Fri Oct 20, 2006 - 9:56 AM EDT - By Annie Latham

Week ending 20 October 2006

In the world of Treo, what do you do for an encore? Take the week off? Not a chance.

Though this week was relatively quiet compared to all the excitement of last week’s Treo 680 announcement, there was quite a bit of activity.

The focus seemed to split between putting the new devices in perspective, Palm’s global expansion, and Bluetooth headsets… For some reason, a whole lot of folks were thinking “blue” this week.

So let’s talk Treo!

Palm News

One thing that was overlooked during last week’s big 680 announcement was the new marketing campaign Palm is launching. According to this TechWeb story, “Smart posters with plasma screens and cellular radios built in are being embedded at about a dozen bus stops in major U.S. cities.” Apparently, people will be able to send SMS messages to get information on local weather or pizza locations.

I’m not exactly certain what makes this unique to Palm. Seems to me that Yahoo! did a similar bus stop campaign in San Francisco a while back. I think the takeaway here is Palm’s stepped- up effort to reach out to consumers.

By the way, Palm just hired Y&R as their new advertising agency of record. The Palm bus stop campaign was the work of their predecessor.

Where in the World is the Palm Treo?

The Treo hit so many countries this week, I thought I was watching an episode of Alias, not press releases off the wire from Palm. Their global expansion extended into Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Talkin’ GSM Treo Reviews

The Treo 680 coverage continued this week:

PC World

Pictures from Digital Life

He likes it, Hey Mikey!

Brighthand’s First Look at the 680

Swan Song for Palm OS?:

“The 680 comes into its own on the business side of things, giving corporate users access to email on the go. The Treo series has developed a reputation as an alternative to the BlackBerry, but the question remains whether the change to a Linux OS will affect users and application compatibility. According to Palm, the 680 will be available before Christmas.”

1SRC Impressions of the Treo 680

“For all the work that Palm has done, the current crop of Treos are still cut from the Treo 600 mold. Many people in the Palm community have suggested that if Palm really wants to move into the consumer market space, they are going to have to make a radical departure from the current design.” offered an interesting side-by-side comparison between the Treo 680 and the Treo 750v.

Talkin’ Treo 700wx

Meanwhile, back in the Windows Mobile world of Treo, there were a couple of 700wx-focused stories:

Palm targets RIM with new Treo

Review: Treo 700wx - Awesome but Not Perfect

John Holland at wrote:

”While the 700wx addresses the memory problems of the 700w, the antiquated screen is still an issue for me. WM5 is an excellent OS, but requires more “clicks” to navigate than the Palm OS on the Treo 700p. Using the 700wx, I also missed the dedicated Calendar and Email buttons on the 700p. The Treo 700wx is probably best suited for business users who use Exchange and depend on seamless integration. For most other, users I believe that the Treo 700p is by far a better choice.”

Recent TreoCentral Guides, Reviews & More

CalorieKing Handheld Diet Diary for PalmOS - By Jay Gross

CalorieKing’s Handheld Diet Diary for Palm OS lets you record everything you eat and the exercises you do using the company's huge food and exercise database. It then tracks your weight over time.

“It’s a thorough program backed up by a helpful and friendly website with many valuable tips for dieters. The program isn’t magic. It can’t turn off food cravings (ice cream!), switch off hunger, or reverse your frustration with that nasty four-letter word, “diet.” It is supportive, to be sure, but dieting is dieting, and you have to supply your own motivation, and will power. Plenty of each.”

According to Jay Gross, “To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in. It’s that simple and that difficult at the same time.”

TreoCentral reviewed two more headsets this week: The super-stylin’, Motorola H700 (D-G edition) and the Anycom HS-777.

Motorola H700 Headset - By James Hromadka

The Dolce Gabbana gold Bluetooth headset is sure to get heads turning. James writes:

“I was very impressed with the Dolce Gabbana H700 Headset ($129.95). Its clear audio and diminutive size makes it a great headset for everyday use. If you know someone that has a DG RAZR phone, this headset will complement it nicely. If you don't care about fashion or are more price conscious, the Gray H700 ($69.95) is an excellent, less pricey choice.”

Anycom HS-777 Headset - By Mike Overbo

It ain’t heavy—it’s my headset.

The HS-777 Bluetooth headset ($44.95) has a monster battery for a headset - (330 mAH -- for reference, the Treo 680 and 750v use a 1200 mAH battery). Interestingly enough, this heavyweight is deceptively comfortable, says Mike Overbo in his review:

“Overall, the Anycom competes well in its price range. It doesn't sound quite as good as the Samsung WEP 200**, my favorite headset in the $50 range. I haven't found another headset that does though, and you certainly don't get 12 hours of talk time out of the tiny Samsung. If you are looking at a more popular headset such as the Jabra BT250v, you might do just as well checking out the Anycom HS-777; you'll certainly get more for your money. If you need to talk on a headset all the live-long day, the HS-777 is a surprisingly comfortable and long-lasting option.”

** The Samsung WEP 200 was reviewed by Mobile Burn (see below)

News & Reviews from Elsewhere in the Treo Community

This story from the new website looked very interesting. They evaluated the image and video picture quality produced by four high-end smartphones: the Motorola Q, Nokia N80, Palm Treo 700p, and RIM BlackBerry 8700.

Check out the story's comparison charts. At first glance, it appears that the Treo 700p performed poorly, but make sure you read what was tested and how it was tested.

Review: Mobi Products DuoCharger:

Andrew writes:

”Overall if you need to power your Treo and/or other accessories from a wall outlet at home, work and/or when traveling as well as in your car then reducing the number of chargers and adapters to carry by using the new DuoCharger 2-in-1 USB Wall & Car Adapter will undoubtedly prove extremely appealing to you. In my case at least, this is one accessory that has been categorically been added to my top Treo accessories list.”

Review: Samsung WEP 200 Bluetooth Headset

This review just goes to show you that Bluetooth headset evaluation is very subjective. Michelle Ruhfass writes:

“Sometimes less is not always best. In the case of the Samsung WEP200, this attractively small headset had sound quality issues that I cannot ignore - probably owing in part, at least, to its small size. You can only fit so much technology into a limited amount of space. Samsung really needs to consider adding a noise-reduction DSP to their Bluetooth headsets to help minimize noise and improve the overall audio quality. Due to its poor sound quality and the seeming lack of noise reduction, I can't recommend this headset. Even with a reasonable manufacturer's list price of US$89.99, I think you should put your money elsewhere.”

Review: Plantronics Explorer 340/350 Bluetooth Headsets

Brendan Cartledge states:

”Overall the Plantronics Explorer 340 Bluetooth headset has some brilliant features and has the makings of a great headset, but falls short (in) a key area - comfort. For just US$35, the Explorer 340 does represent very good value for money. The additional US$15 for an Explorer 350 (US$50) may be worth it for the extra accessories that accompany it. The main weakness of this headset is carried over into its up-market counterpart though, and that is the simple fact that it is not comfortable for extended periods. For many users, this is a major factor when deciding on a Bluetooth headset. The other areas of this headset were very good, without being excellent, but because comfort is a major contributing factor when deciding on a Bluetooth headset, the Plantronics Explorer 340 can only earn itself a rating of Recommended.”

Note: Don’t forget! TreoCentral has a new, very convenient way to compare Bluetooth Headsets.

Game Review: Astraware StarPop

Kris Keilhack states:

”Overall StarPop is a very nice diversion for gamers and non-gamers alike. The fantastic audiovisuals and addictive play control on StarPop can serve as a model to other game developers. The only area where this title can be faulted is in terms of its pricing and limited replayability for the hardcore gamer. The suggested MSRP of $19.99 might be a bit high for the casual gamer; however being able to occupy both parent and child can be priceless to some parents! Viewed in this light, the price is quite agreeable and offers better value and quality than is expected of a ‘lightweight’ title such as this. If Astraware continues to make continued advances beyond their standard puzzle with innovative titles such as StarPop, the Palm OS gaming world will flourish and set inimitable standards in the process.”

DataViz announces Documents To Go 9 for the Palm OS platform

This week, DataViz announced Documents To Go 9 for the Palm OS platform. Documents To Go is a mobile office suite which allows users to create, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as well as view Adobe PDF files on a mobile device. Version 9 has many new enhancements with the most significant being the addition of InTact Technology™ which ensures that ALL file formatting is kept “intact” when editing and e-mailing office files on a handheld or smartphone.

A review of Documents To Go 9 has already been posted by Matthew Miller in his Mobile Gadgeteer column.

Endnotes & Ponderables

Blue Jeans and Retro Bluetooth…

Slashphone reported Levi Strauss Europe and Modelabs Group just announced an exclusive licensing agreement to design, produce, market and distribute a range of mobile phones and mobile phone accessories for men and women under the Levi's brand label in 2007. Can you see it now? A blue jean phone?

But this one is the best!

The folks at ThinkGeek have designed a “Retro Handset”that connects to your cell phone via Bluetooth technology.

Per their website, “Now people will think you're really crazy talking into an old-time handset connected to... nothing. Oh, and speaking of nothing, there's nothing out there quite like this handset because this product is a ThinkGeek original design, only available here.”

The Retro Handset will set you back $39.95.

That’s a wrap!

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