palmOne has just taken the wraps off what has to be the most anticipated new smartphone of the season: the Treo 650.
It has been known for some time that palmOne has been preparing an updated version of its Treo 600, and a good number of details and pictures of this device have slipped out over the previous months.
More than anything else, though, these rumors seem to have served to whet people’s appetites for this upcoming device. Possibly this is because the next-generation Treo fixes what most people saw as the most significant limitations of the Treo 600.
Many were unhappy about the Treo 600’s 160-by-160-pixel screen. The next model will have a screen with four times this resolution: 320 by 320 pixels.
In addition, the new model will include Bluetooth wireless networking, which the current one lacks. People have been asking for this feature mostly so they can use Bluetooth-enabled headsets.
Unlike its predecessor, the Treo 650 will have a swappable battery.
It will be 4.4 inches tall, 2.3 inches wide, and 0.9 inches thick (113 by 59 by 23 mm) and weigh 6.3 ounces (178 grams).
Like the Treo 600, the upcoming model will have an SD slot. Unfortunately, this smartphone will not be able use the palmOne Wi-Fi SD card.
The new model’s built-in camera will be capable of taking both still images and video. Maximum resolution for photos is 640 by 480 pixels for photos or 352 by 288 pixels for videos.
Step Inside the Treo 650
Despite the fact that PalmSource finished up work many months ago on a new version of the Palm OS, called Cobalt, the Treo 650 will run the previous version of this operating system, which is called Garnet. palmOne’s latest device will run Palm OS Garnet 5.4.5 on a 312 MHz Intel XScale PXA270 processor.
It will have 32 MB of RAM, about 23 MB of which will be available to the user. Unlike other smartphones, the Treo 650 will use a type of memory that holds information without a constant flow of power, just like a memory card saves pictures when not connected to a digital camera. The flash memory in this device will maintain its data, even when its battery is exhausted.
The Treo 650 will come with a full collection of software, including palmOne’s VersaMail 3.0 email application, a web browser, and DataViz Documents To Go 7.0, which allows users to view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. They can edit Word and Excel documents, but not PowerPoint presentations.
When and Where?
While both GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and CDMA/1XRTT versions of the Treo 650 are expected to be available in the coming months, the people who have been eagerly awaiting this smartphone will be disappointed to learn that palmOne has not yet said when this is going to happen.
Rather than being an announcement that the Treo 650 is actually shipping, today’s soft launch has been timed to coincide with the CTIA tradeshow, which is kicking off in San Francisco.
However, this smartphone is expected to start hitting the U.S. market next month. palmOne says it won’t be available outside the United States until next year.
Pricing for the Treo 650 will be determined by the wireless carriers that offer it, not palmOne.