|Mon May 15, 2006 - 12:01 PM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson|
Pricing and availability for the Palm Treo 700p smartphone will be announced later by Sprint and Verizon Wireless.
Treo 700p Overview
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.
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:
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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