Rumor: Details on the Color, CDMA Treo

An anonymous source has come forward with full details on the the CDMA version of the Treo that Handspring will release before the end of June. Because it will run on Sprint's 3G network, it will have a much higher data rate than the current Treo models. It will have a 16-bit color screen. At this time it looks like there will only be a keyboard version available.

It will run Palm OS 3.5.2H on a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ processor. It has 16 MB of RAM, the same as the other Treo models.

The casing is 4.5 by 2.75 by 1 inches at thickest. It is a silver-gray color.

It has a built-in speakerphone and jog wheel. It does not include any type of expansion memory slot. It comes with a headset, and, of course, a stylus.

The currently available member of the Treo line, the 180, has a version with a built-in keyboard and no Graffiti area, and one that has no keyboard and depends on Graffiti for text input. The new one appears to drop the Graffiti option altogether

Of course, the main feature of this model is that it can connect to the new wireless network Sprint is expected to launch nationwide in mid-2002, providing faster connections and greater bandwidth for data applications.

The Treo will run at a theoretical max speed of 156 kbps, though the actual user speed will be something around 70 kbps or so. This is still much higher than the GSM version, which has a max speed of 14.4 kbps, and even faster than a landline modem.

The Screen
Like the other Treo models, Handspring reduced the size of the screen to make the entire package smaller. This screen about 2 inches on a side. The number of pixels hasn't been reduced; it is still 160 by 160.

It has a dual intensity (low/high) backlight, which implies that it is the same type of screen as on the Palm m130. With its backlight on high, the screen is roughly half as bright as a Prism.

Battery Life
The source doesn't have any exact details on battery life. But they said with roughly twelve hours on standby and occasional phone calls, the battery level remained close to 100%.

It comes with Blazer, Treo Mail, SMS, and the standard Palm OS built-in applications.

Last month, Sprint announced that it was working with Handspring to develop a CDMA version of the Treo. Sprint has paid to be the exclusive distributor of this model for an undisclosed period of time

At a conference call earlier this week, Handspring CEO Donna Dubinsky said that the CDMA Treo would be introduced during this financial quarter, which will be over at the end of June. She gave no details, though.

A non-CDMA color version of the Treo will also be released.

Related Information:

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Ho Hum

Beavis @ 4/19/2002 11:55:50 AM #
No Hi Res, Small Screen. Nothing special here.

RE: Ho Hum
joeberk @ 4/19/2002 12:01:27 PM #
Yeah - I mean, there's a million phones out there with the Palm OS and a 70K Internet connection.
RE: Ho Hum
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:01:37 PM #
This is a 2nd generation communicator, it must be SMALL, who cares of hires in a 2" display, come on!
If you look for big display and hires you don't need an integrated communicator, you need a communicating PDA, which is something different.

RE: Ho Hum
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:11:42 PM #
"Palm OS 3.5.2H on a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ processor"

That's the ho-hum aspect for me. But I'm sure this is being done to keep the cost low.

RE: Ho Hum
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 1:00:40 PM #
>> No Hi Res, Small Screen. Nothing special here. <<

More drivel from a pseudo-religious Sony fanatic. I suppose if Handspring doesn't release something that's a carbon-copy of Sony's stuff, then some people will inherently consider it inferior. Then again, if Handspring DID release a carbon-copy, they'd whine about how Sony did it first. You just can't win with some folks, which is why I simply pity them.

Perhaps "Beavis" should change his login name to "Butthead."

RE: Ho Hum
skoty @ 4/19/2002 1:05:16 PM #
Or maybe OS 3.5.2 is being used because Handspring's 3.5.2 has all the same major features at 4.1. When I say this, I'm referring to USB support and 65,000 color support to name a few.

So many visitors to this site don't seem to get that Handspring's 3.5.2 has everything 4.1 has (except for maybe that nifty drawing pad!). In fact, it has the "fast lookup" capability in Address Book that 4.1 doesn't have.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

RE: Ho Hum
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 1:06:16 PM #
This is what makes me NOT want to buy a smart phone. Small screen on small device. Who needs it ? Better have Sony CLIE + Bluetooth MS (belive me, after a week with hi-res screen you will never want to switch back to lo-res 160x160) and Sony Ericsson 68i phone (expensive solution) or with Ericsson T39 phone (budget solution). Small light phone + large convinient display on Clie. Bluetooth connection to GPRS phone, what means always on link, SMS messaging, and all this without even touching your phone.
RE: Ho Hum
Rolando @ 4/19/2002 1:32:23 PM #
>>(belive me, after a week with hi-res screen you will never want to switch back to lo-res 160x160)

I don't know about that. I have a Sony, and while hi-res is nice, I could live without it. I use it to look at family photos and to see my weekly view in Datebk4 and that's about it. It's nice to have, but almost a luxury for me.

I love my Sony, but I love the whole thing (jogdial, memory stick, hi-res, etc.). The jogdial, or something like it, is the part that I just couldn't do without anymore. That and some sort of card to do backups and load extra apps.

Sure, the Treo screen is a little small, but it's got some sort of "jog thingy," right? The only real missing item is some sort of memory card to load extra apps and do backups.

No graffiti

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:01:30 PM #
Still amazing that one would force consumers to work without something as simple as graffiti.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:07:15 PM #
I had the same opinion, i used a Graffiti Treo for a month then i switched to a keyboard version: you will never switch back to Graffiti ever!!
Believe me, this keyboard is simply amazing!


RE: No graffiti
joeberk @ 4/19/2002 12:08:41 PM #
A lot more people know how to use a keyboard - even a small one - than who know how to pick up Graffiti.

Don't get me wrong, I like Graffiti, but I had the patience to pick it up - the general consumer won't.

RE: No graffiti
OrionNE @ 4/19/2002 12:30:46 PM #
No Memory expansion.. No Graffiti.. Looks like I will be getting a Palm M515 and bluetooth enabled phone.

I am dissapointed.

RE: No graffiti
Rolando @ 4/19/2002 1:41:26 PM #
Maybe instead of an add on "thumb keyboard," someone could come up with a snap on grafitti area?

RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 2:29:13 PM #
Maybe they are going to opt for a soft graffiti area instead of a hard one. Nothing would be more frustrating while browsing in color than to have to keep scrolling because of a graffiti area. If I were product manager, this is the way I'd go.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 3:35:11 PM #
I dont think think we will see expansion lsots on Treo until the second generation units are released. Perhaps the Treo 360?

BTW I am one of those who switched from Graffiti to keyboard too...with no regrets. Now I am annoyed that I have to use graffiti to write on my Prism.

RE: No graffiti
robrecht @ 4/19/2002 5:01:05 PM #
I couldn't get used to using the thumb keyboard on the Treo.

Thanks, Robrecht
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 5:17:03 PM #
I agree that the keyboard is amazingly easy to use. I thought it would be much harder, but it actually is very very usable. I'm much faster at typing on the keyboard than I ever was with grafitti. I'll never get a grafitti PDA again.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/20/2002 4:39:14 AM #
Graffiti is what made PalmOs great.
I will never trade in my Treo 180g for a
270 with keyboard, I will for a 270g.

Graffiti is idiotic
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/20/2002 2:41:58 PM #
Forcing consumers to learn a weird alphabet which requires you to carry a reference card until you learn it is idiotic. And to add insult to injury, you can only use Graffiti two-handed, and it is much slower than the Unistroke alphabet it is based on. The Palm succeeded despite Graffiti, not because of it.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/21/2002 3:01:45 AM #
I hope the color GSM version of the Treo will have Grafiti even though Sprint's color CDMA version seems it won't.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/21/2002 8:13:43 AM #
It would be better to have a soft grafiti area that would display large numbers (to push with the finger) when used as a phone.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/21/2002 8:23:42 AM #
How do you deal with fingerprints on the screen that way?
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/21/2002 10:54:12 PM #
Easy, get a screen protector like WrightRights.
RE: No graffiti
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/22/2002 9:40:12 AM #
My $.02. Personally, I prefer Grafitti. I have a RIM 857 (keyboard) I use for work (they pay for it :D), & a Palm IIIxe (grafitti) that I own. Since I have experience with both given the choice, I will take grafitti.

A virtual grafitti area included WITH a keyboard would be ideal. I understand how some people would prefer a keyboard. Not everyone is going to agree on this point. One is no better than the other.

Of course, depending on how Xerox's case against Palm turns out, this may end up being a moot point. Whatever happens, I'll adapt.


E-mail capabilities

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:49:38 PM #
Sprint's 3G sounds great, but the real question is how will the Treo take advantage of it? Will the Treo have always-on e-mail? Will Sprint offer an unlimited data option for e-mail and web browsing?
RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 12:53:20 PM #
I agree with your question--this will be a MAJOR issue for me. It's not worth it to use wireless internet/e-mail if the service is outrageously expensive. Sprint has excellent coverage in my area, so that's not an issue, but cost definitely IS.

I'm seriously considering this unit. I can see myself possibly using a Treo for phone and basic PIM, then getting maybe a Fujistu mini-notebook for those times when I want portable word-processing, etc. The "coolness" of word processing on my Palm is wearing thin on the 3" screen (hi-res or no hi-res), and I don't see it improving on PPC. I'm not claiming that the rest of the world will see things this way, but I at least hope enough people want the Treo to keep it afloat.

RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 2:31:47 PM #
If Sprint PCS comes out with a bad pricing model it will not be solely linked to the Treo, but to all 3G items they sell. I can't see them having a pricing model for a one unit and not another. If they price using one of those dumb per KB models the only escape is not to buy a different handset, it's to switch to a carrier that charges you a flat fee for unlimited usage or by the minute.
RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 3:10:44 PM #
My guess is that Sprint will offer some really high priced low usage data packages. I think it will take them a few tries before they get a reasonably priced option. They always try to make the early users pay for the whole system. :)
RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 4:03:19 PM #
Sprint should offer an unlimited data package for a set monthly fee. Here are some starting points: $39.99 per month (what Palm charges for its unlimited plan on the i705). Or, $39.99 per month (what VoiceStream charges for its unlimited plan on the new Blackberry 5810). Hmmm, perhaps Sprint should charge $39.99 per month for unlimited data on the Treo...

RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 8:14:47 PM #
If Sprint are to call it 3G, the data rate should me much higher (up to 2Mbps). This is NOT 3G. Read the link for more information:

Slowly, but certainly, the US will come to agree on a standard... I hope.

RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/20/2002 1:32:09 PM #
Many of you are not aware of two points

1) Verizon already offers true 3g Data Services over CDMA called 1xRTT. Think of the redline area on an RPM gauge, Verizon's service is at the very start of the redline and the 1xEVDO (your 2mbs) is towards the middle. Yes GPRS (which is data only, you still use GSM for voice), from the GSM world is 2.5g and that is because the bursted rates for Voicestream, etc is well below 144kbs!

2) People on the existing service who are paying $39.95, should get unlimited. Mainly because they are getting information over an 8k analog control channel. The effective throughput to your Palm 7 or other device would be about 2k of throughput. WOW
So you are asking Sprint, Verizon and others to offer their HIGH speed data for the same price, forget it. It is sort of like this, when DSL came out, it wasn't the same price as Dial-up!

RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/20/2002 1:33:33 PM #
I have a friend at Ericson who has explained to me (and many of their corporate clients/partners) on numerous occasions that the theoritical '2 Mbps' toted by 3G proponents will in no way be available to consumers of ANY cellualar service provider. They 'overload' cells (overload isnt the right word - 'top-up'?)to insure maximum use of infrastructure. In other words, they make more $$ by sharing bandwidth amongst users. And you can't blame them: all evidence suggests that they have way over-invested in 3G and internal studies by companies such as Ericson suggest its going to take many years to make their money back and even then, only if their 'best case scenario' predictions of adoption come true AND they charge considerably more then current services (ie:not the 39.95 mentioned above). People don't seem to realize how much this industry has put its head in a noose because they were counting on a continuation of the 'good times' from a couple of years ago.

My friend at Ericcson (he is a business manager there)put it this way('off the record'): 'Even if the best case predictions for growth came true and people continued to adopt 3G at the nescesary rate (forgetting that asking people, especially north americans, to pay the extra rate that service providers need is a major barrier), in order for these companies to just break even in the next 10 years, it would require an acceleration in the move away from print media service (to online services)at such a rate as to bankrupt the print media industry. And thats the best case scenario....'

They haven't called 3G the 'largest corporate gamble in modern history' for nothing.

RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/20/2002 4:23:18 PM #
Sorry to break the news to you but the FAQ's at handspring say:

Q. What version of GPRS is the Treo communicator going to use?
A. The Treo communicator will support GPRS Class 2, which will provide two channels down and one channel up (otherwise know as "2+1").

That means that the Treo will only reach a theoretical top speed of 28.8 kbs

Considering that the "4+1" Motorola V66 phone I have theoretically does 56.6 kbs, yet only reaches about 40 kbs, the treo will probably hit a top speed of ONLY 20 kbs.

RE: E-mail capabilities
cyruski @ 4/21/2002 7:25:07 AM #
40kbps must be the limitation of your provider, or the limitation of the base stations in the area, or the limitation caused by the environment. i mean, you don't always get lower speeds than advertised.

if you measure the connection speed on you treo which uses the same exact provider with v66, same location etc, you have to get 28kbps.


RE: E-mail capabilities
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/21/2002 1:39:16 PM #
Either way, that makes for a poorly designed unit. Why would you make it half a fast as it could be? I wonder if they will be doing the same with the CDMA model. Just because the service can do 144K does not mean the device will be capable.

Ed, to my knowledge...

Fzara2000 @ 4/19/2002 1:04:21 PM #
Ed, you made a typo.

"It has a dual intensity (low/high) backlight, which implies that it is the same type of screen as on the Palm m130. With its backlight on high, the screen is roughly half as bright as a Prism."

That I believe is wrong. the M130 is the one with the slider contrast level thing. The m515 has the option to put the backlight on 'low' and 'high'.
I'm not completely sure on this however.


RE: Ed, to my knowledge...
Ed @ 4/19/2002 1:10:24 PM #
While its true that I've made many a typo in my day, this isn't one of them. If my source is correct, the color Treo operates more like the m130 than the m515.

The m130's backlight has two settings, High and Low. Holding down the Power button toggles between these. The only time the backlight is off is when the handheld itself is off. There is no slider at all.

The m515 actually has three setting. High, Low, and Off, controlled with a slider bar.

According to the source, the Treo's screen can only be toggled between High and Low. It can't be turned off unless the Treo is off.

News Editor

RE: Ed, to my knowledge...
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 1:12:20 PM #
It'd be a VERY bad idea to implement such a bad screen as the m130's screen. And you're right about which is which. Reflective TFTs are the way to go, anyway.

Ceterum censeo, Graffiti esse delendam... I think thumbboards are a much better way to enter information - for a smartphone anyway. Still like my Nokia Communicator best - no stylus at all. :)

RE: Ed, to my knowledge...
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 1:38:11 PM #
What are you talking about?

The screen on M130 is very good, I mean, for typical
PIM, (not for game), did you see a true M130 by yourself?

RE: Ed, to my knowledge...
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/19/2002 2:21:54 PM #
What I'm curious about is the statement that it "is half as bright as the Prism?"

Not saying it's wrong, but I've never seen the Prism screen up close. That having been said, "half as bright" doesn't sound too good.

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