Posted on 25-Oct-2004 18:00.
Filed under: News
PalmOne is introducing the much anticipated PalmOne Treo 650, an updated version of its success smartphone device, the Treo 600. The company is keeping it small (11.3 x 5.9 x 2.3 cm or 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches) and light (178g or 6.3 oz), and added features missing on its fifth smartdevice attempt (remember the Treo 90 and Treo 180, Treo 270 and Treo 300?)
This new iteration gives users a better colour display, with 320x320 pixels (65,000 colours), and a faster CPU, with the new device based on an Intel PXA 270 CPU running at 312MHz. It still gives a small memory (23MB for user data, or 22MB on multilingual systems) but it's now of a type (NVRAM) that will not be lost if the batteries go flat. There's a SDIO expansion slot, so users can still add more memory by using SD or MMC cards. And PalmOne still uses the Palm OS 5.4, even though PalmSource started sending the Palm OS Cobalt 6.0 to developers in December 2003 (and released Palm OS Cobalt OS 6.1 in September 2004). When are we going to see the much touted "new smartphone OS" on these devices?
The removable Lithium Ion battery provides the user with up to five hours talk time or two weeks on standby. The new Treo 650 comes with Bluetooth supporting the Serial Port profile, Headset profile and Handsfree profile. The device still supports infrared.
PalmOne worked on a redesigned keyboard, making it easier to use, with all keys being easily accessible, and a five-way navigation pad for enhanced single hand operation. IT also includes keys for specific phone operations (Phone and End), and keys to access applications and menu. The software now allows dial-by-name, a feature that will show contacts from the PhoneBook application filtered by a sequence of keys pressed by the user, like predictive input text allowing for fast dialing. The built-in camera is now a better 1.3mpixels (VGA resolution), with 2x digital zoom, and users can send and receive SMS and MMS.
With the bundled Dataviz DocumentsToGo 7 users can edit Microsoft Office documents, including Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel documents directly on the Treo 650, while the software gives read-only access to Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
The device comes in different wireless flavours, including quad-band GSM/GPRS (with EDGE support) and CDMA 1xRTT (dual band 800/1900MHz, with gpsOne support). It also acts as a speakerphone, and supports speed dial, conference calls and Caller Id.
The recently announced agreemente between Microsoft and PalmOne shows up for the first time, with a new version of e-mail program that uses the ActiveSync protocol to support over-the-air synchronisation (OTA) with a Microsoft Exchange 2003 server, including push e-mail characteristics. It means the device will be receive a notification when new messages arrive, and will then receive the messages in a transparent way, without user intervention.
The company says mobile operators will announce availability of this model before the end of the year.