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Treo 750v

Tue Oct 10, 2006 - 2:18 PM EDT - By Douglas Morse

More on hardware

The front of the 750v

The business side of the unit is similar to Treos-past. A 240x240 pixel screen takes up the most space. The keyboard is the familiar smile shape with white text on black background, reversed for the number pad. There might be a slight change to the shape of the keys, but not enough to make a difference. The keyboard is a little stiff for my taste, but is quite solid with a clear click when you press the key. As has been the case with all modern Treos, the keyboard is backlit and not blinding like the first Treo 650 iteration. I have noticed that the keyboard backlight goes off within ten seconds if you don't use the keyboard -- no matter the lighting conditions. Although I can find a timeout setting for the screen backlight, I have not yet located a way to change the keyboard backlight behavior.

The 5-way navigator itself has a more "severe" design: squarish and high-ridged. In fact, I found my thumb had a nice indent after scrolling with it for a while. The main buttons follow the now-familiar WM5 Treo layout. On the outer left is the green phone button which pops you right into the Today screen where you can look up a contact or make a call. Next to it is the Windows key which wakes up the phone and pulls down the start menu. To the right of the 5-way we find the innocuous ok button. It gets a lot of use: closing window after window, though it can’t wake the device up. The red phone icon can turn on or off the screen or - by holding it down - turn the phone itself on or off.

The large button above to the left is context sensitive while the one on the right is almost always set to the menu. Overall I find the setup a bit cluttered for my tastes, more on that in a bit. Neither of these action buttons can actually turn the phone on either and this is irksome.

On the Inside

Now let’s take a peek inside. The 750v runs on a snappy Samsung 300 Mhz processor. There is a four-fold increase in (storage) memory from the 650 up to 128MB, of which 66MB is available to the user. Program memory is 49 mb and with 9 programs running I still have over 10mb free. As Dieter noted in his review of the 700wx, the new memory configuration allows a large number of programs to be open simultaneously.

We get Bluetooth 1.2, though Palm added support for wireless stereo headsets and DUN. It pairs easily enough, but due to technological limitations (running Windows under parallels and not having a number to dial for an ISP) I can't test any further, alas.

The battery is now slimmer and is rated for 4.5 hours of talk. Subjectively, I get a good amount of use out of the 1200 mAH battery. The manual tells us that the battery is best kept charged up, so unlike batteries of yore, it should not be run down.

Underneath the battery is the SIM slot. As a long-time Sprint customer, I had never dealt with a SIM until coming across the pond. ‘Locked’ and ‘Unlocked’ phones were a mystery to me. The 750v is locked into Vodafone's network. You can always use a Vodafone SIM in another Vodafone phone, but to use it in an Orange phone, that phone would probably need to be unlocked. In other words - 750v users will have to stick with Vodafone for the time being. To use my Treo 750v on a GSM network at home, such as Cingular, I’d have to pay ₤20 (40 dollars at the current exchange rate) to get the phone unlocked.

Assuming, that is, that Vodafone would unlock it. For now, don't hold your breath. Vodafone has temporary exclusivity on the 750v and all contracts are through them. The exclusive may just be for Vodafone's markets, though that is unclear. According to the glossy Vodafone Business Magazine, they have a three month exclusive on the Treo 750v.

The phone boasts more radio acronyms than I care to get into here. Suffice it to say it is quad-band and runs on all the major European networks at 3G broadband speeds for data. It should also roam fine on GSM networks across the US.

(Editor's note: I'm also not a fan of TISOA (The Implacable Spread Of Acronyms), but Mike Overbo's Gobbledygook Demystified article helps. The 750v's data capabilities include EDGE, UMTS, and HSDPA via a software update, but it will be up to the carriers to allow HDSPA.)

Accessories in the Box

The unit ships with an excellent array of accessories. My favorite is the multi-power adapter which allows easy swapping of US, European and British connectors, which are all included. The USB sync cable is wholly separate from the power adapter, though doesn’t charge the unit on its own. In addition to syncing, this cable also allows you to tether your computer to the Treo and use the Treo as a modem.

The 750v package also comes with stereo earbuds for talk and music. Now there is no need to run out and buy a silly adapter or headphones just to get up and running with MP3s. There is the usual quick start guide, a not so quick start guide, and then a very extensive user’s manual on the included CD.

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Product Info
> Name Treo 750v
> Company Palm, Inc
> Battery Removable 1200mAH Lithion Ion, up to 4.5 hours talk time GSM, 2.5 UMTS
> Operating System Windows Mobile 5.2 PocketPC Edition
> GSM Bands 850/900/1800/1900
> UMTS Bands 850/1900/2100
> Phone features speakerphone, hands-free, mute, TTY/TDD compatible, 6-way calling
> Processor 300MHz Samsugn
> Memory 128mb, 60MB for user storage
> Expansion miniSD card slot
> Screen 240x240 touchscreen
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
> Available

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