Handspring Shows the Treo 600
updated Handspring has unveiled the Treo 600. The new model features a smaller, more phone-like design with a full QWERTY keyboard and digital camera. The Treo 600 combines a phone, and Palm OS 5-based organizer with messaging, email, and web browsing features. It is expected to become available this fall worldwide.
"In product design, making things smaller often makes the product better because it forces designers to break through old design ideas. Treo 600 truly is a breakthrough for smartphones," said Jeff Hawkins, chairman and chief product officer for Handspring. "Our team was very creative in shrinking the product to an impressively small size, while at the same time making it more powerful and easier to use. As a phone and a data device, Treo 600 delivers the best of both worlds."
The Treo 600 runs Palm OS 5.2.1 with a 144 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor. It will have 32MB of RAM and a SD/MMC/SDIO expansion slot. There is also a Five-way navigation dial for one handed operation. ZDNet reports that the device will use a 160x160 pixel color screen.
There will be two versions for each type of wireless network, CDMA 1XRTT and GSM/GPRS. The Treo 600 has a built-in digital camera (640 x 480 VGA), so you can take and send pictures or connect a face to a phone number with picture caller ID. It will also feature a dual speaker architecture for high-quality phone and system audio.
The Treo 600 has dimensions of 4.41 x 2.36 x .87 inches, and weighs 5.9 oz (GSM)/6.2 oz (CDMA). It will have a large capacity 1800 mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion battery for up to six hours talk time (GSM); or up to five hours talk time (CDMA); and about two weeks organizer use for both versions.
Treo 600's keyboard design makes dialing the phone and sending messages and email easier than before, even with the significantly reduced size of the product. A unique domed key shape and carefully crafted layout makes typing fast and simple. Each key on Treo 600 has more surface area than those on existing Treo products, and letters and numbers have been enlarged for better readability. In user testing for speed and accuracy of text input, Treo 600 performed on par with RIM's Blackberry keyboard and significantly faster than Graffiti handwriting recognition, found in most Palm OS handhelds, and T-9, the text input method found in most mobile phones.
Pricing is not known but is expected to be in the $400 - $500 range, with the actual price determined by the each carrier. Treo 600 series products are expected to come at a price premium relative to current Treo offerings, and Handspring plans to offer a compelling upgrade incentive for owners of current wireless Treo products. The phone will be available though Handspring's web site and Sprint PCS in the US and Orange SA throughout Europe in the fall. Other carriers are expected to be announced later.
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