FCC Leaks Info on the Treo 270

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has posted information on Handspring's soon to be released color version of its smartphone, the Treo 270. As expected, it is essentially a Treo 180, except with a color screen. The only version mentioned on the FCC site has a keyboard and no Graffiti area; there is nothing about one that uses Graffiti.

The Screen
Unfortunately, the user manual doesn't give the exact type of screen. As often happen with the pictures submitted with FCC filings, the images are of low quality. The ones with the 270 tell nothing about how good the screen is.

The 270 allows the user to adjust the screen's color saturation and the backlight. According to the user manual, the backlight also shines behind the keyboard.

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.

Recently, someone came forward with leaked info on the not yet available CDMA version of the Treo, which also has a color screen. If the same one is used on both models, the screen will offer 16-bit color.

The Battery
From the time it was first announced, one of the greatest concerns with the 270 was how long its battery would last, as it includes both a color screen and a mobile phone. According to Handspring, when using the wireless functions, it will last about 3 hours of talk time or 150 hours of standby time. When used like a regular handheld with the mobile phone functions turned off, the battery provides about 1 week of normal use.

The 270 appears on the FCC site because the Handspring had to give the FCC details on the device in order to get permission to release it. When a device is approved, it is automatically posted on the commission's website. The same thing happened in the past with the Treo 180 and the Palm i705.

According to Handspring executives, the Treo 270 will be released sometime before the end of June.

Handspring first announced that it would release a color version of the Treo last fall when the 180 was announced. At that time, Handspring said it would cost about $600, though that could have changed in the past seven months.

Thanks to Mike Cane and Paul N. to the tips. -Ed

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Ed - I think you meant:

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 9:48:36 AM #
"As expected, it is essentially a Treo 270" I think you meant 180 [or whatever model the BW is]
RE: Ed - I think you meant:
Ed @ 5/15/2002 10:04:29 AM #
Yep, thanks.

News Editor

battery life

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 10:06:02 AM #
I wonder how they managed to get 3hours talk - 150 hours standby with a color screen when the 180 is rated at 2.5 hours talk -100 hours standby. Could this be due to the 270 running on CDMA network versus GSM?
RE: battery life
fkclo @ 5/15/2002 10:10:42 AM #
This is why Handspring speaks about a new screen technology, otherwise it would be extremely difficult to survive the power hungry wireless and colour features at the same time.

I cannot verify if this is true or not, but what I heard is instead of 16bit colour, the Treo 270 will have 4096 colour (12bit).

RE: battery life
Ed @ 5/15/2002 10:22:20 AM #
Sorry, the 270 does not use CDMA. It is essentially a 180 with a color screen.

Someone at Handspring (Jeff Hawkins?) mentioned a few months ago that the 270 was supposed to have some new type of color screen that used less power than typical color screens. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

We need to keep an eye on the FCC site for when the info on the CDMA version comes out, which should be soon.

News Editor

RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 10:32:30 AM #
Not only does it use less power than a typical color screen, it also uses less power that the current 180 BW screen. I did not see a mention of a battery change in the FCC docs so I am assuming the same battery is used in both models.

RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 10:40:28 AM #
i dont' believe the number until a lot of people tested it. I don't even buy test from PIC or PDAbuzz anymore, since Handspring wil send them (oh-there is a problem with battery in that model) unit.
RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 12:04:20 PM #
CDMA should actually be VERY soon FCC-wise, since Sprint is getting it first for the "3G" (hehe) rollout this july/early august.
-- J!
RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 3:35:37 PM #
RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 4:13:43 PM #

And 1xRTT is...?

RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 4:56:18 PM #
True, CDMA is not 3G. In addition, the upcoming Sprint upgrade's bandwidth is not quite 3G either, but I'll take the 144 KPS over what the current services offer any day. Its faster than a traditional 56.6 dial up, but not quite the speeds of a cable modem/dsl.
Palm_Otaku @ 5/15/2002 9:55:25 PM #
1xRTT is, maybe, 2.7G -)

Seriously, 1XRTT barely makes the "mobile" classification datarate specs (144kbps) under theoretical optimal conditions. Users will typically see 40-60kbps (better than dialup, but still...)

The 3G specification has three classes:
: mobile (i.e. moving vehicle) @ 144kbps
: pedestrian @ 384 kbps and
: fixed (i.e. with an antenna at work or home) @ 2Mbps

So don't let the marketing droids fool ya, it's NOT "3G"

RE: battery life
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 1:52:18 AM #
3G requires a minimum speed of 144kbps. So while Spint's upcoming 1xRTT network is theoretically capable of this technically making it a 3G network, the average speed will only be between 40-80kbps. Not quite broadband but I'll take it anyday over the current 14.4 or Voicestream's GPRS network.

What type of color screen....?

big_raji @ 5/15/2002 10:10:04 AM #
It's too bad there are no details about the screen technology.

Just by looking at the low quality pictures, it looks like it will NOT be a reflective screen. The picture with the screen powered off looks completely black.

I don't know about most people, but a cell phone is one of the only devices I regularly use either outside in sunlight, or in a car with sun shining in. I hope for Handspring's sake that this will be usable in these situations.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

RE: What type of color screen....?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 10:52:28 AM #
Handspring made it very clear when they spoke about the Treo 370 last year that the screen will be viewable both indoors and outdoors. Yiu can't have a cell phone that is not visible outdoors..you can get away with it with a pda though
RE: What type of color screen....?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:51:53 PM #
i bet it will be transflective, like the sonys and the m130.
RE: What type of color screen....?
ssummer @ 5/15/2002 2:12:31 PM #
When a handheld company actually comes out and says that their screen is NOT visible outdoors is the day my faith in humanity will be restored. Technically speaking, every handheld screen in creation is visible outdoors...

RE: What type of color screen....?
Bartman007 @ 5/16/2002 6:25:03 PM #
I hope they don't make the m505 mistake....

Three dirferent Units at FCC

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 10:11:03 AM #
@ Ed
have a look at

on Page 4 an 7 are different Treo Types
one with Grafity and another one with Keyboard.

RE: Three dirferent Units at FCC
big_raji @ 5/15/2002 10:18:56 AM #
The one with the grafitti area looks monochrome.

What's Wrong With This Picture?
RE: Three dirferent Units at FCC
Ed @ 5/15/2002 10:20:25 AM #
The first two are the 180 and 180g. I don't know why images of those are included. The 270 is the the ones with project name "Atlanta".

News Editor
RE: Three dirferent Units at FCC
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 3:33:43 PM #
the 180 and 180g are included in the pixs because Handspring applied for a new FCC certificate for all three models because a small but significant performance change has accured on the 180 and 180g.

2 inches on a side?

ahecht @ 5/15/2002 11:00:30 AM #
2 inches on a side sounds very small. That's only 2/3 the size of the display on the m505. I hope that that number isn't quite accurate.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 11:15:00 AM #
I think this to save battery, but what would be the effect on readability?

The m130 has bad readability on small fonts, combined this with lower contrast of tranreflective it would be disaster.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 11:21:04 AM #
This is the same size that the 180 is. Any Treo users want to comment?
RE: 2 inches on a side?
GregGaub @ 5/15/2002 11:43:55 AM #
I moved from a Vx (one of the biggest screens) to the Treo 180 (one of the smallest) with little difficulty, if any. In fact, it wasn't the size that was problematic, it was the contrast. With more of a gray background than green, the constrast is... different, than on the Vx. Though the Vx is renowned for having really good contrast, maybe I've been spoiled by it.
Anyway, the size of the Treo screen is not a problem for me, and I don't have 20/20 vision, either.
What's funny is that now when I look at a "normal" sized screen, the pixels stand out at me even more, and I really notice the space between the pixels and the pixels themselves because I've gotten used to the smaller and tighter pixels of the smaller screen.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
popko @ 5/15/2002 12:46:25 PM #
The readability issue is also different from person to person. For example, my dad, who will is in his mid 50s, have to use big font on his m500 in order to even see what's on the screen. I, on the other hand, have no problem reading with the "thin" fonts on my Clie.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:53:03 PM #
i don't think the transflective screens have bad contrast (if not being able to show full red/green means bad contrast, it is, but i don't think this is the case). anyway,

the screen size looks similar to that of the m130. to be honest, i didn't like the small screen of the m125, but when the screen is in color, the text is much more readable so color is a big advantage when the screen is smaller.

a better screen would suck juice at a very high rate, so users have to bear a somewhat less bright screen because the other way it would be like the ppc-smartphones, which have to be charged several times a day, just like our ancient mobile phones.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 2:06:16 PM #
there is no transreflextive out there that can do 1:200 contrast or so like TFT and the highest quality are being used by their own manufacturer product, ie. Sony, Sharp, Nec.

and B/W LCD actually have bigger grain and less gap compare to color. That's why you see m130 screen fuzzy on very small fonts.

RE: 2 inches on a side?
Palm_Otaku @ 5/15/2002 10:09:02 PM #
The Treo 180 is about 2 inches on a side, whereas the m505 (for example) is about 2 1/4. I think the screen is a very good one with relatively crisp contrast - I just wish they'd used the "old-style" backlighting!

FWIW, my Treo replaced a Nokia 8290 and I just can't see ever going back to a "dumb" phone. The Treo isn't perfect, but it's SOOO good :-)


I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 12:02:33 PM #
Does anyone know if the new Treo will work on Verizon Wireless network ?
In the NY metro area, Verizon has the best service.
RE: Carrier
mtg101 @ 5/15/2002 12:22:39 PM #
Does Verizon have a GSM network in your area? If it does, then the Treo will work on it. Whether they offer the Treo discounted with a contact is another matter of course...

RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 12:38:36 PM #
Verizon is CDMA, so the Treo 270 is out. [AFAIK, the only GSM provider in the New York area is VoiceStream.] And Sprint apparently signed with Handspring on as the only CDMA provider to offer the Treo (at least for the duration of that contract...?).

RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:01:37 PM #
You may want to consider VoiceStream, I'm switching to them today and getting a Treo. They currently have a 3000 minute *anytime* plan for $59.99 (it's hard to find the details, but they DO have it).
RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:03:35 PM #
At the moment a hace a Voicestream phone. However, their service dosen't come close to Verizon. I feel it the most, when I travel in the NY suburbs.
So think twice before switching to Voicestream.
RE: Carrier/Sprint PCS -vs- Verizon
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:25:07 PM #
Actually, I think the Handspring deal with Sprint for the 270 CDMA is non-exclusive, but gives Sprint the right to bring the model out first since they are doing some co-development. If you are looking for the 270 on Verizon, you'll have to wait until the Sprint temporary exclusivity expires. Hopefully at that point you'll be paying a little less for the model.
RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:55:35 PM #
"3000 minute *anytime* plan for $59.99"

I've seen this, too, and it sounds great -- except it has no roaming included. So if you plan to use the phone outside of your home calling area much at all, this probably is NOT a good plan. (Unless you can add a roaming package to it for a flat rate, but I believe you'd have to pay per-minute roaming charges on this plan. Am I wrong?)

RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 3:12:27 PM #
How can I know the time period of Sprint-Handspring deal ? Will it last just a few months or even more ?
RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 4:49:08 PM #
Don't know. The press release indicates that they are pretty chummy since there is some joint development, branding and marketing. Personally, I also live in suburban NYC and have the Sprint service. IMHO, its as good as the Verizon service my wife has.

Sprint/Handspring Press Release:

RE: Carrier
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 6:21:38 AM #
The 3000 anytime plan:

Yes, no roaming included, thanks for alerting me! It's apparently their only plan which is regional. It does cover 7 states in my area, but I ended up with a different plan to get the no-charge roaming.

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