30 Days with my Treo 680

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 08:48 AM with 0 comments

Last month, after much thought and dragging friends through my thinking, I bought a Palm Treo 680 smartphone. It coincided with my switch to T-Mobile. It has been a good month using the phone, and here is my feedback and rants about the device.

My decision to buy the 680 is built on my 10+ years of using a Palm handheld device, including the Treo 600 I had for the last 2 years. Though not multi-threaded and simple in the minds of many, I like the Palm operating system, or whatever it is called these days. Oh, and I should say that I did purchase the phone, and it was not given to me and I am not writing this in return for the freebie.

Here’s what I like best about the 680:

  • I lock my device, and when you power it on, you see the date and time, which is why I turn it on half the time.
  • The nub antenna, an ugly mainstay of other Treo models, is gone.
  • The SD card slot is on the side with a protective cover, meaning it won’t pop out when I lightly tap the phone.
  • When I switch it to silent mode, the phone vibrates to confirm.
  • I was able to buy an unlocked phone (directly through Palm) which means I can use it anywhere in the world no matter the provider.
  • As it runs the Palm OS, I was able to charge the battery, HotSync it and all my information was there with no problems, though I did backup the Palm database folder on my PC just in case of problems.
  • I can hear much better on it than on my old 600.
  • It supports video, unlike the 600, and its quality is ok for quick video clips.
  • The cradle charges a spare battery.

And here’s what I am not a big fan of on the 680:

  • Low battery life, which is drained quite a bit by Web surfing and Bluetooth. Get a spare battery and charge it in the cradle.
  • The email program does not allow you to change the font sizes and is small for my aging eyes.
  • The red or hang-up button is used quite a bit, especially when unlocking the phone, however it is a tiny button for something that is used a lot.
  • The green or dial button is NOT used much, especially as you can start a call without it, and just sits there.
  • There is no reset button, a long mainstay of the Palm, and you have to yank out the battery to reset the device.
  • The earphone jack is still on the bottom, which means you can’t charge the phone in the cradle and use an earpiece.

These are a things with which I am indifferent:

  • Bluetooth – I've received mixed reviews over the Bluetooth earpiece from people I talk with, but I bet the first time I print from the device I will be happy.
  • The model number – 680. Why? Palm went from the 600 to the 650 to the 700, then back to the 680. It does look a lot like the 750 which is available outside the US – is it the same?

Overall I like my phone, a vast upgrade from my old one, and I recommend it to anyone who does not need CrackBerry push mail and a nice looking, serious smartphone.

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