Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PalmOne Treo 680 Review

I've been a long time user/fan of the PalmOS platform and I've been using my Palm Treo 680 for approximately 2 years. My previous PalmOS based smartphone was a Palm Treo 650. Before that, I was using a Treo 600 and prior to the Treo 600, I was using a Handspring VisorPhone.
One of the reasons why I purchased my Treo 680 is because I had purchased/found a lot of programs over the years that I wanted to continue using. Even though my Treo 650 was not broken, the Treo 680 had dropped in price and I found that the amount of memory was limited in my Treo 650 (~32MB on the Treo 650 as opposed to ~64MB on the Treo 680).

The Treo 680 is a PDA with quad band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands) GSM phone functions. In terms of the carrier's data network, the Treo 680 supports GPRS and EDGE. It does not support 3G nor does it support WiFi. Out of the box, it does not have GPS capabilities but with the proper software and a bluetooth GPS module, the Treo 680 can be used as a GPS.

The Treo 680 runs the PalmOS version 5.4.9. The processor is the XScale processor and the display is 320 x 320 (~64K colors). It comes with approximately 64MB of non-volatile internal memory. It has an SD slot (on the side) which supports SD cards and SDHC cards up to 4GB. The camera is capable of taking pictures 640 x 480 in size with a 2x optical zone. In my opinion, the picture quality is not very good but I generally don't use my cellphones to take pictures unless absolutely necessary.

I find the PalmOS to be relatively stable and most users can find almost any program that they want (provided that the PalmOS hardware supports that feature). For example, if you are looking for a stock program that updates via the internet, your PalmOS hardware must be capable of accessing the internet.

The Treo 680 comes with the built-in standard PalmOS PDA programs (Contacts, Datebook/Agenda, Tasks, Memo/Notes, WorldClock, etc.). It also includes an MP3 playing program called pTunes Basic v3.09 as well as an Microsoft Office compatible program called "Documents To Go Ver 8". If you want to use the MP3 playing program and regular headphones, you will need a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter. There are also other programs including an internet enabled web applications like"Web" (which is the built-in PalmOS browser) and a built-in e-mail program. The Treo 680 synchronizes with a PC via a special PalmOne proprietary USB cable or via bluetooth. Certain built-in programs as well as third party programs have conduits which when the user performs a synchronization with a computer, the program will also access the internet to get the information (ex: stock quotes, RSS feeds, e-mail, etc.)

What I like about the Treo 680 is the abundance of programs available for it. I've collected quite a few programs over the 8 years that I've been using the PalmOS platform. I have various multilingual dictionaries, games, etc.

What I find lacking about the Treo 680 is that it doesn't have wi-fi. This means that the only way to access the internet is to use the cellphone service provider's data service since some providers (such as Rogers) lock the ability of using bluetooth to access internet via their customized firmware.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

No comments:

Post a Comment