Way back in the fall of 2004, Palm's Treo 650 was the first Treo model to ship with a user-replaceable battery and a non-volatile file system, or NVFS, and what a leap forward that was. Check out that Wikipedia page for a fascinating look at the evolution of Palm's devices, albeit after a somewhat troubled start. Now ALL of Palm's current lineup use NVFS, and all current Treos have batteries you can swap in and out in seconds.
But if you owned earlier Palm or HandSpring phones and handhelds, you'll remember well that sinking feeling of being away from your charger as the device screamed at you when its sealed-in battery sank to a dangerously low level of charge. Not only did you have to hurry up and finish whatever you were working on so you could turn the device off until you could get to a charger, but if you ran the battery "dry" and didn't re-charge soon enough, you ran the risk of losing all your non-ROM programs, settings and data, since those older machines used volatile RAM that lost everything if the battery conked out.
Although I rarely use them any more, I have a Visor Prism and a Tungsten E in my collection of handhelds and while they're "retired" and not my primary pocket pals anymore, (in fact, I hardly ever use them).. I still have to remember to drag them out now and then and re-charge their batteries, lest I lose every program or piece of information I ever installed on them. What fun.. NOT!
So the 650 was a huge leap forward, as Palm's first truly mature all-in-one PDA and cell phone, incorporating other power-hungry features such as Bluetooth, a much brighter, higher resolution screen, and many other advancements, it was necessary to design in the combination of a battery you could easily swap out for a freshly charged one, and NVFS, to keep all your data and programs intact if its battery completely drained. Peace of mind is a good thing.
But the more power a mfr packs into a device, the more that device's owners want to wring out of it. To support the 650, and cash in on its popularity, a huge aftermarket of power-related accessories spewed forth from more companies than I can even name.
Then last year, along came the next generation Â– the Treo 700 series, designed with new higher speed radios to take advantage of the different cell carriers' new high speed networks. Well guess what.. give someone a smart phone with near DSL speed and open up the whole world of streaming audio and video from the net, and what do you think people are going to do with it? Hungry power users got power hungry, and now with increasingly higher capacity storage cards, hundreds of Bluetooth devices (headsets, GPS receivers, you name it).. and especially high speed data technology like EVDO, 700 owners are pushing their Treos into do-everything workhorses that were just a futuristic fantasy a few years ago.
And yet, despite all of this newer technology, and its ability to stream live music and even video over the air at speeds that turned them into full-blown "Swiss Army Knife" entertainment, productivity, and information devices, the 700 shipped with exactly the same 1800mAh battery as the 650.
Well I think you can see where this is going. The more you ask a Treo to do, the more you rely on it to deliver for you, the more juice you're gonna need to do it. No matter how many AC or DC charges, cables, or cradles you own, there are going to be times when you just plain forget to bring one with you, or you're simply somewhere where there's no wall outlet or car cigarette lighter to jack into and re-charge. Sure, you can carry a spare, charged stock battery around with you; I always have one in a pocket.
But another solution to this dilemma of running out of juice just when it's least convenient is a higher capacity battery.
Sniffing around TreoCentral's store, we find a few choices, such as SME's 2200mAh battery, and Seidio's slightly beefier 2400mAh battery, both of which give you at least 33% longer lasting power than your stock battery, and yet still maintain exactly the same size as the original, so no physical modifications to your 700 are necessary.
But if you want to throw caution to the wind, if you want absolutely the highest capacity battery (as of this writing) you can stuff into a 700, and if you're willing to throw a hefty $54.95 out there for it (about the price of a car battery!) Seidio's new, monster "Ultra Extended" 3200mAh battery is what you want.
This battery's a beast!
This mammoth new battery, let's call it the "UE" for short, is the first Treo battery that because of its huge capacity (a whopping 77% more power than the stock battery, and 33% more than even Seidio's own 2400mAh extended battery) is so hefty, it actually requires a specially designed replacement battery door to hold it in the Treo.
To fit into a 700's battery compartment, the length and width of the "UE" obviously had to be the same as its lesser brethren, but to pack this much more juice than a stock battery into the same space, the "UE" had to be made thicker, fatter.. choose your adjective.
For those of you who demand the specs, here ya go:
Standard 1800mAh battery
Weight: 1.5 oz, or
3/8" or 10mm thick
Seidio 3200 mAh "Ultra Extended" battery
2.25 oz, or
1/2" or 13mm thick
Here's the standard, stock Palm 1800mAh battery in my 700p with its door off:
And here's a shot of the "UE" in the same 700p:
Take a gander at the two batteries side by side:
As you can see, there's just no way you're going to get the "UE" to stay put in a 700 with the stock battery door, so when you buy it, Seidio packs it with two replacement battery compartment doors, each featuring a 3mm rectangular bulge to accommodate it:
Why two doors? Well the Treo 700s are CDMA phones, designed and branded for either Sprint or Verizon, and each one's casework is a slightly different color, so with your "UE" you get a dark blue-ish Sprint door and a dark gray Verizon door. Each door also features Seidio's handy stylus reset hole and as you can see, the Sprint door is a perfect fit and color match on my Sprint 700p.
Seidio's Ultra Extended battery and door packaging is not exactly what I'd call "lavish." The battery comes in a plain little clear plastic shipping holder, each door in a Mylar baggie, and the three are shipped together in a Ziploc bag. There are no instructions of any kind and I received two of these sets Â– one from TreoCentral's store and one directly from Seidio. They were identical.
You don't really NEED any instructions since installation couldn't be simpler. Pop off your 700's battery door, take out the battery, plop in the "UE" and snap on the appropriately-colored door for your 700 and that's all there is to it.
Both batteries came to me with about a 50% charge already on them, so they were good to go right out of the box.
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