Thursday, February 02, 2006

Palm Treo 700w

Back at you Motorola: The new Treo 700w.
Now Treos have been doing the QWERTY thing for a long time, and this device may not be as thin, but it's certainly gonna be a tough fight between the Motorola Q and the 700w.
What the Treo would usually have in its favour is the massive Palm fanbase, but on this occasion, Palm have done something inconceivable - they're releasing a device running their competitor's (kind of) operating system.

Yes, the Treo 700w runs the same operating system as the Motorola Q - Windows Mobile 5. One of the main disadvantages of 700w is the screen size - a miniature 240 x 240 compared to the Motorola Q's 320 x 240. (just in case you didn't know, the defacto standard for Windows Mobile devices is currently 320 x 240, and has been for years.) And this means that if you plan to install and use a lot of software, many games and applications may not run, or be unusable with this screen resolution.

Dimensions-wise, I'd say the Q comes up trumps again. The Q is obviously much thinner, but has a slightly larger face than the 700w - but not much bigger. The killer is the weight, and that's a big issue for many. The Q weighs in at 115g, where as the 700w clocks in at a hefty 180g - over 50% heavier!

The one thing the Palm may have over other phones, is that it runs EV-DO, so that if your network supports it (none do in the UK right now), you can have speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps. (I can't figure out whic revision of EV-DO the 700w is). Also, the battery life is usually excellent on Treos - for the 700w Palm reckon about 4 hours talk-time, 15 days standby, but real-world usage often slashes the ideal testing stats. The processor is a reasonable speed, but nothing special (Intel Xscale 312Mhz), the RAM is what you'd expect - 128Mb Flash (for music, videos, documents etc) of which you can actually use 60Mb, and 64Mb ROM (I think you can stuff about 25Mb in here, and this is where you want to put your applications - the ones that work that is...), and it has a 1.3 mega-pixel camera, Bluetooth and infra-red.

Verdict: Motorola Q kills the 700w dead in almost every respect. Where the Treo would once be the obvious upgrade choice for Palm fans, this model steps into a market where all the competitors have been doing the Windows Mobile thang for a lot longer, and by now have reputations. The screen cripples some features that for many would be the sole reason for buying the handset. I think I know where Palm are aiming however - the office professional. And lets face it, the only device really threatened by this handset is the Blackberry. For anything other than basic office functions, there now exists a better device.


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