First Thoughts – Palm Treo 700p

by Reads (13,890)

We’ve got hands-on with Palm’s newest release, the much anticipated Palm Treo 700p. Read on for the preview.

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Hardware-wise, you could easily mistake this thing for a Treo 700w save for a few little details: the Sprint logo in the upper right, the new “Access Powered” emblem on the back of the case, and the changes to the button layout in front. Where the Windows version had its softkeys, the 700p has its Send and End buttons. The spots where these were on the 700w now play host to Phone and Home buttons. Other than that, it’s physically identical to its Windows-based sibling. Same styling, same construction, same everything, right down to the battery.

That resemblance disappears once you turn it on, though. The 700p has a much sharper screen, with nearly 85% more pixels than the Windows Mobile version. The screen is the same size, just with more pixels packed into it, yielding a crisper look.

The software side of the device isn’t much different from its Palm OS predecessor, the Treo 650, save for a few more preloaded programs and a few small refinements. Nothing major, but the icons that occupy the upper right corner of the main launcher are a little different. The signal icon now has a maximum of five bars instead of four.

Bluetooth users rejoice, as dial-up networking is enabled by default on the 700p. I haven’t been able to try it out on EV-DO yet, but the capability is definitely there. It does not, however, support Bluetooth headphones, at least not out of the box.

For some reason, the directional pad on my 700p seems stiffer and less responsive than on the 700w that I had. Odd in the extreme, since they’re the same basic hardware. Maybe it’s just my device.

Overall, my first impression of the 700p is that it’s the Treo 650 plus more memory and EV-DO, which is basically what hard-core Treo users have been begging for since the 650 originally came out.

Don’t go away, though, since this is just the beginning. Within the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you a complete breakdown of the 700p, from EV-DO performance to software stability to battery life. See you soon.

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