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Palm Announces the Treo 680

Palm Treo 680Palm has announced the Treo 680 smartphone today at a press conference at DigitalLife in New York City. The Treo 680 is a Palm OS powered GSM/GPRS/EDGE smartphone. The 680 features a internal antenna and a hardware design similar to the Treo 750v. Palm has not yet announced carrier availability or pricing details.

The Treo 680 is powered by Palm OS Garnet v5.4.9. It runs a 312 MHz Intel processor and has 64MB of user available storage memory and 64MB of SDRAM. The screen is a 320 x 320 pixel color touch-screen display. The 680 features a full size SD slot for memory expansion. It has a slimmer 1200 mAh rechargeable battery for up to 4 hours talk time. Bluetooth v1.2 wireless and IR are included as well as a VGA digital camera.

Treo 680The phone is a GSM/GPRS/EDGE Class 10 device and has a internal quad-band (850/900/1800/1900) antenna that is said to feature improved TIS/TRP performance and better RF reception than the Treo 650.

It has dimensions of 2.29" x 4.40" x 0.8" inches (58.4 x 111.8 x 20.3 mm) and weighs in at 5.5 ounces (156g).

An unlocked version of the Palm Treo 680 will be made avaiabe with four different color options exclusively from Palm.com or Palm Cafe retail locations. The colors include graphite, copper, article and crimson and will come with a free 30 day music bundle from Yahoo Music Unlimited.

The Treo 680 will ship with improved and easier to use software. It also ships with many of the same improved apps found on the Treo 700p, such as built in Pocket Tunes, audio and video streaming and voice memos. The phone app has been completely reworded with a new five tabbed interface, integrated contact and a simplified favorites list. VersaMail 3.5 is included and is now simply called "Email." In addition the latest version of Blazer includes a number of speed and caching improvements to the browsing experience. Documents to Go v8 will also be included for Microsoft Office and PDF compatibility.

While no official pricing or carrier availability has been released, at the press conference Palm CEO Ed Colligan remarked that it would be available "next month or so" and would be "competitively priced."



Palm Treo 680 colors

In the coming weeks and months, carriers around the world will announce additional product details, availability and exact pricing. Palm's aim is to expand both geographically and demographically with this new product. Colligan said he expects the new smartphone will be available via 20 or more carriers around the world by the end of the company's fiscal year, June 1, 2007. Palm believes this product will appeal to price-sensitive feature-phone owners who want a more capable mobile-computing device.

Update: Read the Palm Treo 680 review.

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Step Back Pretenders

LiveFaith @ 10/12/2006 1:44:53 PM # Q
Step back P910, E61, HTC wannabees. The FrankyG beast is now in the house. Outside of Palm forgetting to include the little handle on top, this is the bomb!
Killer clipboard limit, huge memos, etc. The bar has been raised!

Pat Horne
RE: Step Back Pretenders
JPT|X @ 10/12/2006 2:15:54 PM # Q
it is about time Palm started marketing its AV freatures-at least they seem to be promoting mp3 capabilities here.

I don't get why they don't market this (and, hopefully a future zire 73 or TX2) as a video ipod killer.

RE: Step Back Pretenders
Surur @ 10/12/2006 2:33:18 PM # Q
Sarcasm never suited a holy man...

Surur

They said I only argued for the sake of arguing, but after an hour I convinced them they were wrong...
Hey!! I made associate writer at PDA247. Come see my nattering over there!!
www.clieuk.co.uk/wm.shtml

RE: Step Back Pretenders
hkklife @ 10/12/2006 3:06:01 PM # Q
Sigh....anything less than 320*480 is insufficient for my (and likely many other mobile A/V afficionados as well) needs. Why can Palm not realize this?

I'd put up with something a bit larger than the TX (but not quite LD sized by any means!) if it meant a huge capacity battery and wi-fi/cellular data connectivity. Forget voice....I want something that I can watch movies on, listen to my tunes, and check e-mail and do light web browsing anywhere regardless of wi-fi hotspot availability.

Palm should have been pushing mobile media functionality HARD since 2002 (release of the T|T). Back then the iPod was Mac & Firewire only and Palm could've spent a few $ on good quality amp/headphone jack and something better than RealPlayer for playback software and done pretty well.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Step Back Pretenders
dagwud @ 10/12/2006 4:07:56 PM # Q
Sigh....anything less than 320*480 is insufficient for my (and likely many other mobile A/V afficionados as well) needs. Why can Palm not realize this?

But the DID realize this. And thus they gave us the Lifedrive, which had all sorts of little "quirks" and didn't sell so well. And thus was proved Palm's self-fulfilling prophecy that the traditional PDA is dead.

But, and I'm obviusly not the only one who feels this way, I think thumbboards are inefficent and a waste of space. Offer a Treo with virtual graffiti instead of a thumboard, and I'd buy.

--
PalmPilot Pro (1997) -> III (1998) -> Vx (1999) -> m500 (2001) -> m515 (2002) -> ???

RE: Step Back Pretenders
LiveFaith @ 10/12/2006 8:28:29 PM # Q
New product announcement, and still all we can talk about is what Palm shooooooould be doing. At least I lied and acted like Palm is going somewhere. :-)

Let's see, how many years has it been now since anything substantial advancement in mobile tech came from Palm? This is like waiting at a redlight that never changes.

OT: Surer! Put your Windows CE programming down for a moment and read your Bible a little. Remember how Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel with some wicked sarcasm? I aint no Elijah, but you use the shoe that fits.

WASSSSSSUUUUUP FrankyG!!!!!!!!!!
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/12/2006 9:34:55 PM # Q
Yo, FrankyG! Wassup! Break me off a piece of that sh*t, Dawg!



- The Voice of Ebonics (TVoR's streetwise twin)

RE: Step Back Pretenders
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/12/2006 9:42:03 PM # Q
Remember how Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel with some wicked sarcasm?

And remember how The Voice of Reason taunted the False Prophets in Sunnyvale with some even more wicked sarcasm?

1 Jeffs, Chapter 18 Verse 27:

When it was noon, TVoR taunted them: "Call louder, for he is a Chief Technology Officer and may be meditating, or may have retired, or may be on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."

http://www.palm.com/us/company/corporate/executive.html#jeff

TVoR
(The TRUE Prophet)

***********************************************************************

Palm is in a Catch-22 with the pricing of the Treo 680:
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 10/13/2006 4:27:29 AM # Q
Most of Palm's profits come from the Treos.

Smartphone sales are not taking off the way Palm had hoped.

If Palm prices the Treo 680 too low it will parasitize the sales of other more expensive models and quickly kill Palm's profits.

The Treo 680 is best considered to be the replacement for the Treo 650. No more, no less.


How underwhelming - over 3 YEARS after Handspring finalized the Treo 600 we STILL haven't yet seen any significant improvements in the Treo lineup.


TVoR

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So is it really just a TREO 650 with an internal antenna?

SeldomVisitor @ 10/12/2006 1:56:23 PM # Q
Inquiring minds wanna know!

RE: So is it really just a TREO 650 with an internal antenna?
vixensjlin @ 10/12/2006 4:21:40 PM # Q
with a smaller battery!

RE: So is it really just a TREO 650 with an internal antenna?
ChiA @ 10/12/2006 7:59:08 PM # Q
Infra-red is mentioned in the text but there's no label for it on Palm's pics of the device; I hope Palm simply didn't cut and paste from the 650's specification...

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. Aaron Levenstein
RE: So is it really just a TREO 650 with an internal antenna?
mikecane @ 10/12/2006 8:19:27 PM # Q
It has IR. People were greedily beaming Google Maps onto their Treos!

RE: So is it really just a TREO 650 with an internal antenna?
SeldomVisitor @ 10/13/2006 7:52:00 AM # Q
Yesterday during a Forbes interview at the show, Colligan said the TREO 680 "had the power of a TREO 650":

-- http://www.forbes.com/video/?video=fvn/tech/ab_palm101206&partner=yahootix

about one and a half minutes in.

Reply to this comment

Treo 680

bquin @ 10/12/2006 1:58:22 PM # Q
how does this differ from the 700p? Will it compete with the 700p?

still no wi-fi!

Bquin
...laughing at a world too absurd to take seriously...

RE: Treo 680
rmhurdman @ 10/12/2006 2:40:51 PM # Q
I don't need a phone, I need a handheld. In the future, to upgrade my T|C, will I need to buy an unlocked phone without activating it and call it a handheld? Will I have to pretend to talk on it so that people don't make fun of me?

Has anyone seen the Sony UX 190? Wouldn't that be way cooler than a Treo, even if it ran ALP?

RE: Treo 680
eke @ 10/12/2006 4:10:12 PM # Q
This sucks. No new handhelds. Now would be a perfect time for Apple to create an IPOD/PDA hybrid.
RE: Treo 680
Timothy Rapson @ 10/12/2006 5:33:20 PM # Q
I am with RMhurdman. I need a camera and 320 by 480 pixel screen, but I don't need a phone. I need all the rest this has and I want it in a model that is <5x3x.6 inches. Also need to pay less than $350.

RE: Treo 680
Perfekshunist @ 10/12/2006 7:45:29 PM # Q
Speaking of Apple, Palm's current offerings remind me of Apple's Macs about ten years ago. They were numerous models with designations like Performa 6100, 6200, 6300, 6320, etc. (like Treo 600, 650, 680, etc.). There were a lot of different models, but they were all very mediocre - each had its own quirky set of crippling missing features. The MacOS they were running was getting long in the tooth, like the current PalmOS. Those were the dark days of Apple, before Steve Jobs came back, trimmed the product line, added new hardware technologies, and introduced the concept of industrial design.

I was a diehard Mac fan since the original 128K Mac, like I've been a devoted Palm fan since the original Pilot. I stuck with the Mac even through those dark days (although I did buy a Dell during that time), and I intend to stay with Palm as long as I can. I am growing more curious about what Windows Mobile has to offer, though.

Anyway, I'm happy again to be a Mac user, and I'm hoping the day will come when Palm gets its act together as well. Alternatively, I'm hoping (against hope) that Apple will soon offer a PDA of its own or else give the iPod more usable PDA features.

Like others who've posted here, I don't want a cell phone built into my PDA (or vice-versa). If I ever decide to go that route (a Treo), I'd want nothing less than a 320 x 480 screen with a virtual graffiti area and no thumbboard.

I'm actually reasonably happy with my TX. I like the full-time 320 x 480 display over the slider of the T3, the battery life is far better than I ever got on a T3, and the built-in wifi sometimes comes in handy. What disturbs me the most about the lack of new handhelds is that third-party software development for Palm handhelds has pretty much come to a screeching halt. The only new Palm software these days seems to be heavily geared toward Treos.

I guess I'll have to start stocking up on TXs.

RE: Treo 680
Perfekshunist @ 10/12/2006 8:12:11 PM # Q
Oh yeah - and Jobs brought us a completely revamped Mac OS, OS X. Doesn't that sounds familiar - waiting (and waiting) for a completely new, built from the ground up OS?

RE: Treo 680
meeksomebody @ 10/12/2006 10:44:25 PM # Q
You'd be looking for Jeff Hawkins here. He plays a parallel role to Stevie

RE: Treo 680
Perfekshunist @ 10/13/2006 12:24:58 AM # Q
You're right! I'd forgotten about him. What are the odds that he'll sign on again for $1 a year in salary? Now THAT would be interesting, to bring him back to Palm and see what he does with the company.
RE: Treo 680
SeldomVisitor @ 10/13/2006 7:50:59 AM # Q
> ...I'd forgotten about [Jeff Hawkins]. What are the odds that
> he'll sign on again for $1 a year in salary? Now THAT would be
> interesting, to bring him back to Palm and see what he does with
> the company.

Oooohhh...subtle...giggle.

Reply to this comment

Internal Storage / SDRAM?

Patrick @ 10/12/2006 2:02:19 PM # Q
I understand this Internal Storage / SDRAM distinction as it applies to WinMob, but I haven't seen it applied to PalmOS devices before. What does the SDRAM do for me that the "Internal Storage" can't?

RE: Internal Storage / SDRAM?
Eternal_Visitor @ 10/12/2006 3:31:31 PM # Q
uunder PalmOS 5.4.X, the memory structure is very similar to Winmob, with flash memory storing the applications and SDRAM being used to store data being used.

RE: Internal Storage / SDRAM?
vixensjlin @ 10/12/2006 4:22:42 PM # Q
Does anyone know the HEAP ram/dbcache size of Treo680?

RE: Internal Storage / SDRAM?
Ryan @ 10/12/2006 5:51:39 PM # Q
I suspect it would be about the same as the 700p as they both share the same memory sizes here... so somewhere around a 10MB dbheap and a 18 MB dbcache capacity.
Reply to this comment

Presentation...

surfmaniac @ 10/12/2006 2:17:16 PM # Q
Was low key but impressive. If the pricing structure is right, this could be a BIG seller for these guys.

RE: Presentation...
jackpipe @ 10/13/2006 1:33:07 AM # Q
Yes, the pricing is the the real thing.
Palm must already have an idea about pricing, and are guageing sentiment from the launch as to whether to go high or low on the price.
Palm: hint. go low. you always go too high. Try playing the game of creating great products at great value, rather than the marketing game of squeeze-the-customer-the-hardest that you've been playing the last 5+ years.

Reply to this comment

This sucks

TrafficGeek @ 10/12/2006 2:20:12 PM # Q
Farewell Palm. I've been with you since Day one (US Robotics Pilot 5000!). But this is the 21st century. I'm walking since you still can't spell WiFi.

It's been a fun ride!

US Robotics Pilot 5000 -> 3Com Palm III -> Sony Cile N710C -> Sony Clie T615C -> Palm LifeDrive

RE: This sucks
TrafficGeek @ 10/12/2006 2:23:33 PM # Q
Oh and I forgot to mention...

-No HSDPA,
-No BT 2.0

...the only thing you got right on this was yanking out the protrusion.

US Robotics Pilot 5000 -> 3Com Palm III -> Sony Cile N710C -> Sony Clie T615C -> Palm LifeDrive

RE: This sucks
hkklife @ 10/12/2006 3:13:03 PM # Q
Don't forget the GLARING lack of a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. They are touting multimedia on this one but with no way to get the audio out of the device easily & conveniently (wired or otherwise)!

At LEAST it has fullsize SD and IR and a very solid software bundle. If the pricing is right (if, if if) and the damm thing's rolled out in a timely fashion, it could indeed be a big seller and a nice send off/swan song for Palm OS. *sniff*



Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: This sucks
joad @ 10/12/2006 8:59:09 PM # Q
quote: "Don't forget the GLARING lack of a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. They are touting multimedia on this one but with no way to get the audio out of the device easily & conveniently (wired or otherwise)!"

I guess Palm decided that with the massive abundance of decent 2.5mm headsets, earpods and other ways of getting all that multimedia goodness out of the device it would just be absurd to include a 3.5mm jack.

I mean - who's heard of a 3.5mm jack being used for *audio*? Didn't they go out with 8-tracks, or wax cylinders or something? Thankfully Palm didn't waste precious space with such a legacy port and went with the industry standard 2.5mm jack so people can make great use of the included PocketTunes and other great features of the device.

...oh, you mean to tell me that 3.5mm is really the standard...? Nevermind.

RE: This sucks
costein @ 10/13/2006 12:44:14 AM # Q
@ TrafficGeek

Actually it seems to have BT, since the little icon next to the radio signal is a bluetooth icon.
Besides they couldn't shun BT headsets for the handsfree law in cars in Europe.

RE: This sucks
Bagnall @ 10/19/2006 7:54:12 AM # Q
Lack of WiFi kills this as an option for me. At least they put a full size SD slot, so we wouldn't have to throw away all our memory cards etc. Also would have liked to see a version with no thumbpad in favour of a 480*320 screen. Where is your foresight Palm?

Reply to this comment

Ugly as Sin Colors

Gekko @ 10/12/2006 3:27:03 PM # Q

Where's Black, fools?

Crimson and Copper over and over
Crimson and Copper over and over
Crimson and Copper over and over
Crimson and Copper over and over

RE: Ugly as Sin Colors
Colormeweb @ 10/12/2006 5:15:28 PM # Q
Thats the first thing I thought when I saw the colors. Then I realized that they will eventually come out with a special edition "black tie" version.

RE: Ugly as Sin Colors
joad @ 10/12/2006 9:05:47 PM # Q
Don't worry about the colors - the visual design department seems to be where most of Palm's R&D money has evaporated since buying out Handspring.

RE: Ugly as Sin Colors
mr_yellow @ 10/13/2006 5:04:22 PM # Q
My god, my eyez... ze goggles, zey do notzing!

RE: Ugly as Sin Colors
Gekko @ 10/13/2006 6:00:25 PM # Q

It's like an 80's Acid flashback for The "Reverend" Pat Horne and MikeCon -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeEe2jrnDX4



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