Palm, Vodafone launch slinky Treo 500v
Palm and Vodafone have, as expected, just announced the Treo 500v, a 3G smartphone aimed at the YouTube and MySpace generation and which sports Palm's curvy new handset design in iPod-like white and black versions.
Palm's Treo 500v: iPod-inspired?
The handset - codenamed 'Otto' - is based on Windows Mobile 6 Standard and, as per the recent leaks, incorporates a two-megapixel camera - with a 2.5x digital zoom - on the back. But despite being a 3G UMTS handset, there's no front-mounted cam for video calls. Alas, it's not an HSDPA device, so no fast downloads.
The rumours had pointed to 150MB of built in Flash memory, and they were proved correct, though that's the user space - the handset has 256MB of Flash in total. The 500v also has a Micro SD memory card slot. It has Bluetooth too - version 2.0 with EDR for faster data transfers, and with "mono and stereo headset" support.
Palm's Treo 500v: the details
The 500v's screen has a full 320 x 240 resolution - other Windows Mobile Palms have 240 x 240 displays - but is capable of showing only 65,536 colours, putting it behind the smartphone curve.
Palm's Treo 500v: the menu screen
The handset comes with all the usual Windows Mobile apps for viewing Office documents, checking email, surfing the web, watching video and listening to music. However, Palm has built on the standard WM Today screen with a new front end of its own that provides a slide-along top-of-the-screen menu bar for easy access to applications and phone functions.
The new design measures 11 x 6.2 x 1.7cm and weighs 120g with the 1200mAh removable battery on board. Palm claimed the device rates up to four-and-a-half hours' talk time and will run on standby for ten days.
Vodafone said the 500v will be given away for free with certain airtime packages. It didn't say how much the phone will be otherwise.
A 'Blackberry-Killer'-Killer then, i.e. the Nokia E61i, with a better OS, and looking less fugly. But, wait, what's this... one has to join Vodafone? Not so sure about the proposition... dataplans way to pricey.
When will there be a new Palm OS GSM device?
I echo Rob Haswell's comments. My 650 is showing its age now. Palm seem to have forgotten about their GSM users that are loyal to the Palm OS. The 680 is no upgrade for the 650 - the 680 has a different target audience.
They have only released CDMA versions of the 700p & 755p - why?!
They've been talking about a new Linux based Palm OS for what seems like forever, and now the best esitimates are that this won't be ready until next year :-( As long as my 650 keeps going though, I will wait...
Branching out a bit.
Really, this is something they're long overdue for. This isn't for the same user as their traditional Treo models. This is going after the the same market segment as the Q and Blackjack (and to an extent Blackberry). There's a lot of people out there who really don't care about a touchscreen, high-speed data, or PDA functionality. What they DO care about is messaging, and a QWERTY keyboard is a must. Along with it go a compact size and a low price.
Too little, too late
No touch screen
No 3pm camera
Just like all the other WM6 Smartphones
Keeps them afloat but...
I don't really have a problem with Palm making these crap devices because it'll keep them in business, but I desperately want a new PalmOS Treo as my 650 is well past its use-by date!
If it breaks I will probably cry.