|Wed Sep 6, 2006 - 6:50 AM EDT - By Dieter Bohn|
The new Treo 700wx, available now from both Palm and Sprint, is similar in almost every way to the Verizon-exclusive Treo 700w. Running Palm's customized version of Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC edition, it's an advanced smartphone that will meet nearly every user's needs.
If you're new to Windows Mobile, you absolutely should start with Michael Ducker's excellent 700w review from January 2006. Since the 700wx is mainly an upgrade to the 700w, much of this review will be detailing the differences between the two devices.
After a heady month of internet rumors, the Treo 700wx has finally hit the store shelves. I've been using it for a week now and I've come away largely impressed. Impressed enough to buy one of my own - I have the early-contract termination fee from Verizon to prove it. Sprint may have lost out on getting the exclusive rights to sell a "Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Edition" Treo first -- but they appear to have the last laugh now.
By and large, the 700w fared poorly in comparison to the 700p in the technology-commentariat. I had always thought that it had gotten a bad rap. But at TreoCentral we were generally pretty impressed - the 700w didn't knock it out of the park, but it was a solid double. The real surprise for many of us long-time Treo users was how far along Windows Mobile had come while we ignored it for our user-friendly PalmOS devices.
"Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Edition" is a mouthful - I'll refer to it as WM5 from here on out. It's important to remember, however, that there's actually a lot of information packed into that mouthful - WM5 is a big step-up from previous iterations of Windows Mobile (and Pocket PC, WinCE, etc.) - and the "Pocket PC Edition" is especially important when considering the 700wx in the context of some of the latest competitors on the market, such as the Motorola Q. The Smartphone Edition of WM5 lacks some key features found on the 700w and 700wx such as a touchscreen and the ability to edit Office docs.
Having already broken myself in on WM5 with the 700w, I found myself eager to see if any of my original issues with the device had been resolved. Back in January, Ducker wrote:
Sure, there are some things that need improvement (more consistent 5-way support, less tapping to accomplish actions, threaded SMS... more on it later), but we have to remember that this is Palm’s first experience with Windows Mobile
Palm has definitely improved one or two things in the 700wx. And one improvement - discussed in the next page - is enough for me to whole-heartedly recommend the phone to the very same people whom I would have previously told to stay away from the 700w: power users. Beyond that, though, Palm kept the 700wx nearly identical to the 700w - a great device with some stuff to quibble about.
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