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Review|Palm Treo 750v

Ok I probably shouldn't have bought this PocketPC phone so soon but I couldn't help it. Anyway I've been lusting over the Treo form factor for ages and finally gave in. The 750v is the first palm device running WM5 that I could use (the 700w and 700wx are EVDO). I must say I'm really impressed with the palm customizations to WM5. I'll get to those later. I sold my S310 and got the Treo to replace it. I wonder what I'll buy to replace the TyTN? Or I could hold on to the TyTN a bit longer... However 2 PocketPC phones seem like overkill to me. Anyway let's go on to the review.

Specifications:
Samsung® SC32442A at 300Mhz
64Mb RAM + 128Mb ROM
1200mAh Li-Ion Battery
240 x 240 sub qVGA TFT Touchscreen Display @ 65K Colour
Front facing QWERTY Thumb board (backlit)
Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP
Infrared
miniSD expansion
1.3 megapixel camera with 2x digital zoom
mono rear mounted speaker
External ringer on/off switch with vibrate mode
Quadband GSM [850/900/1800/1900Mhz] /Triband UMTS [850/1900/2100]
2.5mm jack
Windows® Mobile 5 AKU 2.3
Weight: 154 grams
Dimensions: 113mm x 59mm x 21mma

Packaging and Contents:

[Here's the Box]

[Extra Plugs, Wired Stereo Headset, CD and User's Manual]

[USB to palm connector for data and sync]

[AC Adaptor for Charging]

[Treo 750v + Stylus]

Around the Treo:

[Treo 750v at the front we see the QWERTY keyboard and the 240 x 240 touch screen]

[Dpad up close]

[The QWERTY keyboard]

[The backlight is ├╝ber bright!]

[Top side we see the external ringer on/off switch really handy for silencing the device ASAP]

[Bottom side we see the 2.5mm audio in/out jack, data sync port and power port]

[Left side we see the volume buttons and WMP button, you can re-assign the later]

[On the right side of the device is the IR port and Storage Card slot covered by a plastic flap really simple solution to jumping memory cards]

[Here's a closer look at the flap]

[Once opened we see the soft reset hole and the miniSD slot]

[On the back of the device we can see the mono speaker, 1.3MP camera and the self portrait mirror as well as the battery door cover]

[a closer look at the speaker/camera assembly]

[Battery Door Removed]

[1200 mAh Li-Ion battery]

Screenshots

[Under Settings>About>Version we see that the 750v has AKU 2.3]

[Under Settings>About>Phone we see the Software Version and Firmware Version]

[Heaps of Memory Available to the User, Screenie was taken after a Hard Reset]

Palm Customizations:

[palm today screen customizations]

The palm customizations to the OS are both impressive and intuitive thus making the device highly user friendly. I really like the lookup function integrated to the today screen it makes looking for contacts easy as pie [just type in a number or letters and the application looks thru your contact database]. The intelligent dialer app works really well especially for a phone edition device. Palm also included a picture speed dial application and customizations to the voice mail system. I had the opportunity to use the speed dial application on my previous PPCs (they were ripped from the palm devices ages ago). It's a great utility but the limited screen real estate would suffer more if I left it activated. I don't use voicemail so I can't comment on it. Palm also customized the soft keys for the today screen the default is Email for the left soft key and menu for the right softkey, it has links to wireless manager, contacts, dial pad, speed dial, preferences really thoughtful of palm to expand this softkey's functionality. The customizations don't end on the today screen. Palm included it's very own messaging application for sms and mms. What sets it apart from the default messaging app is it threads messages [read: Chat style] again this was ripped from the palm devices so I have had some experience with it in my TyTN. It's a joy to use especially for an sms junkie like me. Palm also added a key lock function better than the default, you have the option to disable the touch screen whilst on call. Palm also added a last call log to the Dial button [different from the Call Log] so when you press Dial Button [Green] you have the last 9 persons you called. You can also Ignore an incoming call with an SMS real handy if you can't take a call. MS Voice Command version 1.5 is included in the ROM, one of the cooler voice command apps around and with a list price of around USD 40, I'm glad palm decided to have it built-in. Also included is Picsel Viewer to view PDFs. Palm also has user definable button shortcuts included. Great work from palm on all these additions to the default OS which really adds to usability of the device.

Let's discuss the hardware for a bit. The screen is crisp and clear, the resolution is sub qVGA (240 x 240). This is the first square screen PocketPC I've used and surprisingly it's not that bad. Most my applications work on the 750v. Of course some apps have to be scrolled... Call me weird but I find it better to scroll than to look at blurred non VGA aware apps that I experienced on my Exec. Now this review won't be complete without discussing the keyboard. Having used various devices with QWERTY keyboards I had a lot of expectations. I must say I'm happy with the button layout. The buttons are well shaped and have good tactile feedback they are a bit on the cramped side as compared to the other keyboards I've used. Now this has good and bad points. The bad is that cramped keyboards a prone to more mis presses. The good is that I can reach all of the keys and I can input data one handed something which I haven't been able to do on the other keyboards I've used. On my third day of using the device I am still getting used to the layout and feel of the buttons but I confident I can get used to it soon. The back light on the keyboard is tied to the brightness of the screen. IR and Bluetooth are included, IR just plain works [didn't use it as a remote though] and Bluetooth has support for A2DP, I'd say A2DP performance is average, had a few skips here and there but no major lags. Let's discuss WiFi (or to be more accurate the lack of it), palm has left out WiFi not surprising as it's customers (read: the telco) want us to spend for data. I thought the omission of WiFi would be a deal breaker but suprisingly it is not. There are after market miniSD WiFi cards if you really need it but that'll obviously occupy your miniSD slot. UMTS performance is network dependent the following are speed test results for the SMART network. Tested using 600K test at http://text.dslreports.com I've also tethered the 750v to my notebook as a dial up modem and I get 230Kbps, I may try the HSDPA hack that is floating around online and see if there is a significant speed boost.

[UMTS 1]

[UMTS 2]

[UMTS 3]

[UMTS 4]
I feel that WAN is much more useful than WLAN especially for people who are on the go. That being said if WiFi is a necessity you may want to look elsewhere. The 750v has palm's proprietary connector for sync and another port for power. The sync cable doesn't charge the device a first for me since all of the previous devices I've owned in the past sync/charge thru their ports. The AC adapter is a bit on the large side but the kit I got (Voda UK) has interchangeable prongs for most territories, nice! Speaking of power so far the device is performing well for a UMTS PDA phone with a full charge lasting close to 2 days with regular use [SMS, a few calls, a few games, surfing]. The miniSD slot is hidden under a door along with the soft reset hole. The great thing about the slot is that it's covered this makes it harder to loose mem cards. Speaking of mem cards, I tried a Kingston 2Gb card which got fried on it's first day. I am unsure if this is device or peripheral related but the longevity of this device with me hinges on the miniSD card slot working well with high capacity cards. I use my devices as my PMP so this is essential I will update you on how this issue plays out. [edit: just got myself a 2Gb Transcend miniSD card yesterday and so far it is working ok I hope this issue has been resolved]. The camera located at the back is nothing to write home about. It will do for MMS, don't leave your DSC if you need nice pics. The rear facing mono speaker is a bit on the soft side. palm used a 2.5mm mini jack for audio out/in via a supplied wired headset. IMO this is a better solution than HTC's ExtUSB initiative. The 750v also includes a External Ringer switch featured in most Treos which allows for easily putting the device into Vibrate mode. Quite useful for silencing the device.

Pros:
Good Weight and Size
Nice QWERTY keyboard
Quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE + Tri-band UMTS

Cons:
240 x 240 Resolution
No WiFi
Speaker is not loud enough

Some Comparison Shots:

[In hand]

[In hand 2]

[palm 750v vs HTC TyTN]

[palm 750v vs HTC TyTN 2]

[palm 750v vs HTC TyTN ~ opened]

[palm 750v vs HTC TyTN ~ opened 2]

[palm 750v vs West Lights Carton]

[palm 750v vs West Lights Carton 2]

[palm 750v vs West Lights Carton 3]

[palm 750v vs CAPDASE Aristo StylusPen]

Comments

  1. I forgot to mention palm also added a web search today plug-in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review Bean! I would buy a 750v if I wasn't still using my Treo 650. Palm really does know how to make mobile devices super easy--you should try playing with a 650 or 680 one time because it seems to me it's equally user-friendly as the 750. Of course, the lack of 3G may be a big issue and the stubby antenna is kind of annoying, but the point is I still think the Treo series offers best smartphone experience.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The reason I won't go palm is because I'm so used to WinMo. Besides palm isn't developing it's OS anymore I heard the 680 still has OS5-Garnett[?]. The 680 looks exactly like the 750v it just runs pOS, it's cheaper since it doesn't have UMTS, you should get one when your 650 dies on you. Hehehe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Carlo: I got my unit at Greenhills. You can also check online at www.palm.com.uk and www.expansys.com.hk the unbranded [no voda or cing branding] 750 is available for pre-order already.

    ReplyDelete

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