I had a telephone call scheduled with representatives from Palm earlier this week; leading up to it I was hoping that it would concern one of the worst-kept secrets in the Windows Mobile world: the Palm Treo 800w. Sure enough, the day of the call I received advance press materials letting me know that not only would the call concern the Sprint Treo 800w, but that I would soon be receiving a review loaner. True to Palm’s word, I received the 800w on Friday; unfortunately I was at the ranch all weekend and wasn’t able to open it until tonight.
In the meantime, the embargo I am under was broken by Sprint themselves over the weekend when they posted all the details on this device as well as the option to order it. Ah well, I haven’t breathed a word about my loaner until now.
I received the full retail version (no plain white boxes here), and so what you see is what you’ll get if should you purchase one.
Under a layer of paperwork, a mobile phone recycling bag (does no one eBay anymore?) and an ActiveSync CD, are the Treo 800w, the 1150mAh Li-Ion battery, a USB/microUSB cable, a microUSB AC adapter, and a headset.
The Treo 800w measures exactly 4.40″ long x 2.27″ wide x 0.70″ thick, and it weighs 4.9 ounces.
The 800w has a 2 megapixel camera with 2x digital zoom and video capture. There is no LED flash, but there is a tooth-check mirror. The speaker is also located on the rear.
The stylus is the non-telescoping stick type; since the Treo is mainly meant to be used one-handed and in combination with the keyboard, the stylus should only be needed every once in a while.
The front of the 800w features a unique new button cluster under the 2.5″ (diagonal) 320 x 320 screen. Directly underneath are two slightly camouflaged soft key buttons. Clockwise from the far left are the Phone / Talk button, the Start button, an OK button, the Power / End button, the email / inbox button, and the Calendar button. In the center is a four-way navigational pad with a large center-select button. The QWERTY keyboard seems to be slightly better than the one I had on my 700wx; the thumbboard buttons are easy to key on, and although they don’t offer much in the way of tactile feedback, they are easy to accurately key upon.
On the top of the device there is a ringer on/off switch and a new one-touch WiFi on/off button. Yes, as you have no doubt already heard, the 800w has 802.11b/g WiFi.
On the left side, there are Volume + and – buttons, and directly below is a user-customizable button. I’ll most likely set “mine” to eReader or MemMaid.
On the right is a microSD slot; the 800w can accommodate up to an 8GB SDHC card. Further down is the Infrared port.
On the bottom is a microUSB port, which means a new connector if you are upgrading from previous versions of the Treo or a previous Windows Mobile device that used miniUSB.
The microphone is located on the lower left of the thumbboard, next to the Shift button.
Here is the 800w next to an Apple touch and an O2 Atom Life; the phone is surprisingly compact, and definitely a manageable size.
I’ll be testing the Treo over the next month or so, I’ll be back with further impressions soon. In the meantime, here is the official press release…
Palm and Sprint Introduce the Treo 800w Smartphone
Latest Windows Mobile Treo from Sprint Provides a Fast, Feature-rich, Out-of-the-box Experience
SUNNYVALE, Calif. and OVERLAND PARK, Kan., July 14, 2008 – Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) and Sprint (NYSE:S) today introduced the Palm® Treo™ 800w, Sprint’s newest smartphone with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Designed for business users who depend on their smartphones for high-speed productivity on the go, the Palm Treo 800w operates on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network(1) and comes out of the box with support for EV-DO Rev. A data speeds, WiFi for data and GPS capabilities.(2)
The Treo 800w is Palm’s most business-friendly phone yet. IT departments can simplify infrastructure and lower costs with a direct connection to Microsoft Exchange Server, giving users up-to-date email, contacts, calendars and access to other productivity applications. Palm designed the Treo 800w for easy-to-use mobility with a full QWERTY keyboard, five-way navigation and one-touch buttons to the most-used applications, making it a smartphone people want to use.
EV-DO Rev. A, WiFi for Data and GPS
As Sprint’s first smartphone to ship immediately with EV-DO Rev. A network support, the Treo 800w offers customers the ability to quickly browse the web and send and receive emails – even those with large attachments – at broadband speeds. The vast majority of Sprint’s Mobile Broadband Network has been upgraded to EV-DO Rev. A technology, providing Treo 800w users blazing-fast speeds on the nation’s largest mobile broadband network (based on covered square miles). The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network (inclusive of data roaming) reaches more than 246 million people, 16,022 cities and 1,506 airports and brings customers instant gratification so they can work fast and on the go. With EV-DO Rev. A, peak network download data rates increase to 3.1 Mbps and peak upload data rates increase to 1.8 Mbps; average download speeds improve to 600 kbps to 1.4 mbps and average uplink speeds increase to 350-500 kbps.
Palm’s WiFi hardware and software innovations make it easy to get online fast and manage network connections and power usage. The one-touch WiFi button provides a clean, uncluttered WiFi experience that gets Treo 800w users rapidly connected at home, in the office or in WiFi hotspots.(2) It includes 802.11b/g WiFi and built-in Internet Explorer Mobile, which means faster, more secure access to web-based data.
With integrated GPS and Palm software enhancements, the Treo 800w smartphone offers maps, point-to-point directions and point-of-interest (POI) searches for locations such as restaurants or stores.(3) POI search is available directly from the Today Screen and is integrated with contacts, giving customers one-touch access to the places they want to go. Treo 800w also supports Sprint Navigation for turn-by-turn directions as well as other popular third-party location-based services applications.
Robust Business Productivity Features
Companies looking for more control, centralization and security will find the Treo 800w an attractive choice. It connects directly with Exchange Server 2003 SP2 or 2007 and works within a company’s existing Microsoft infrastructure, eliminating costly middleware or the maintenance of additional servers. The Treo 800w extends business capabilities by providing a familiar Microsoft Windows experience while on the go to keep employees productive. With thousands of applications available for Windows Mobile, businesses can extend mobility beyond email to optimize business processes whether in sales or out in field.
The Treo 800w comes fully equipped with easy-to-use professional email. Microsoft Direct Push Technology is available out of the box and gives users connected to a Microsoft Exchange Server fast, automatic wireless updates from their email, calendar, contacts and tasks.(4) Users can download email attachments to view and edit Microsoft Word and Excel files, view PowerPoint and PDF files, and open ZIP files.
The Treo 800w is compatible with Microsoft’s System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008, which delivers increased security and easier smartphone management as well as access to information on the corporate network via mobile VPN. IT professionals can confidently manage large Treo 800w deployments the same way they would expect to manage PCs with a low-cost, reliable solution that fits seamlessly with their existing IT infrastructures.
The Palm Experience on Windows Mobile 6.1
“Palm is adding a unique stamp to the Windows Mobile experience with the Treo 800w,” said Stephane Maes, vice president, product marketing, Palm, Inc. “It’s an easy-to-use feature-packed smartphone that will keep users happy, empowered and productive.”
In addition to Palm’s WiFi and GPS enhancements, Palm innovations on top of Windows Mobile include:
• Today Screen enhancements — call, text, email, perform a web search and map a contact’s address, all directly from the Today Screen;(5)
• Dial from the Today Screen — enter the contact name, select the number and dial. Add text or picture speed dials for one-touch calls to family and friends, or use the physical or touch screen number keys to dial the number directly;
• Voicemail controls — VCR-like icons, such as rewind, delete and fast-forward, for easy navigation;
• Ignore with text — ignore a call quickly by sending a text message, such as “In a meeting” or “Can’t talk right now”;
• Superior phone and call management — dedicated mute, speakerphone, conference calling icons, or dial any number in an email or webpage, all with just one touch; and
• Palm ease-of-use features — hard buttons for email and calendar, a five-way navigation button and on/off ringer switch.
Exclusive Sprint Content and Services
“Sprint recognizes that businesses must stay productive and competitive with quick, always-accessible information and assistance for their own customers,” said Michael Hahn, vice president of device operations for Sprint. “With instant access to email, messaging services and the web on the nation’s largest Mobile Broadband Network, Sprint provides its customers the mobile tools they need to increase productivity and improve competitiveness now.”
In addition to the valuable business-friendly features delivered through Palm and Windows Mobile 6.1, new business applications are being created through Sprint’s newly launched Professional Developer Program and with tools such as the Titan platform for Windows Mobile 6.1 devices. A growing community of application developers who may previously have focused on desktop services are now finding it easier to generate services that can perform on both the desktop and mobile devices.
Treo 800w customers can leverage the speed of the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network to access Sprint content, including:
• Sprint TV® allowing users to watch live TV or video-on-demand with full-motion video or catch the latest news, sports, weather, entertainment and movie trailers on the go.(5) Choose from more than 50 live television channels and watch programs such as CNN mobile, FOX sports and E! Entertainment; access NFL Network and special programming via Sprint Exclusive Entertainment.
• Sprint Navigation delivers turn-by-turn voice-guided and on-screen driving directions, 3-D moving maps similar to an in-car navigation system or personal navigation device, as well as local search, intelligent traffic alerts and one-click rerouting.
• Pocket Express to retrieve customized, up-to-date web content such as sports, weather, news, money and movie information with the push of a button.
• Sprint IM extends instant messaging to the Treo 800w with access to Yahoo! Messenger, AOL’s AIM® service and MSN Messenger.(5)
Pricing and Availability
The Treo 800w is available today for consumers and businesses at Sprint Stores, online at www.sprint.com or www.palm.com, and through Sprint or Palm’s B2B sales organizations. It will be available for $249.99 after discounts and rebates with a two-year contract.
To receive the best value and experience the full capabilities of the device, customers must subscribe to a pricing plan offering unlimited data. Customers can choose from Everything plans for individuals ranging from $69.99 per month for 450 voice minutes and unlimited data or the Talk/Message/Data Share plans for families starting at $129.99 per month for 1,500 voice minutes (shared between two lines) and unlimited data. Sprint also offers its signature Simply Everything plan offering both unlimited nationwide voice and data services for just $99.99 per month. Customers may also choose one of Sprint’s Individual Talk Plans and add on the $30 per month Pro Pack to take advantage of data capabilities.
About Palm, Inc.
Palm, Inc. is a leading mobile products company, creating instinctive yet powerful mobile products that enable people to better manage their lives on the go. The company’s products for consumers, mobile professionals and businesses include Palm® Treo™ and Centro™ smartphones and Palm handheld computers, as well as software, services and accessories.
Palm products are sold through select Internet, retail, reseller and wireless operator channels throughout the world, and at Palm online stores (http://www.palm.com/store).
More information about Palm, Inc. is available at http://www.palm.com.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving nearly 53 million customers at the end of the first quarter 2008; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
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(1) Within EvDO Rev A data coverage area only. Actual data speeds vary based on network capacity and application design. Requires data services at additional cost. Coverage not available everywhere. See sprint.com/coverage for details.
(2) Within range of Wi-Fi hotspot using 802.11b/g wireless connection. Some Wi-Fi hotspots require fee for usage.
(3) GPS not available in all areas at all times. Requires an account and data services at additional cost.
(4) Microsoft Direct Push Technology requires Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with SP2 or Exchange Server 2007.
(5) Within wireless coverage area only. Requires data services at additional cost. Additional fees may apply.
Palm, Treo and Centro are among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned by or licensed to Palm, Inc. All other brand and product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or services of, their respective owners.