Palm Treo 755p Review
Proving that you can improve upon greatness, the folks at Palm take their latest and greatest U.S. model smartphones, the Palm Treo 680 and Palm Treo 700, and make them even greater. The new Palm Treo 755p is a Sprint smartphone, operating on the EV-DO network, a 3G network. The absence of the once-trademarked Palm antenna and the addition of easier-to-grip soft-touch paint are both welcome touches.
One of the most welcome improvements with the 755p is a longer battery life, finally correcting a problem all too painfully familiar to users of prior Treo models. This latest Palm Treo also includes Sprint Mobile Instant Messaging which, unlike earlier Treo models, gives you access not only to MSN Windows Live Messenger but to Yahoo! and AIM as well. Sadly, however, users must pay extra download speaker-independent voice-dialing as a third-party app and controlling conference calling functions are still annoyingly prohibitive.
Truth is, Sprint imbues the Palm Treo 755p with a whole slew of new built-in features that Palm users have never been able to enjoy like this before, including Sprint TV, On Demand news, TV listings, and maps, and the Sprint Store. Beyond Sprint TV, however, Palm offers far too little in the way of multimedia features. That may be because the Palm Treo line has always seemed to be targeted at the business user, but even jet-setting corporate types enjoy music and movies now and again.
Call quality is still excellent, as are the feature-rich PDA capabilities. Treo’s typically easy dialing features remain the same in this new model, with convenient contact integration. The 755p also retains all of the great messaging features of earlier Treo models, including the ability to send vCards, thread your chats, and use Sprint PictureMail. The Treo 755p also adds a bunch of new built-in software apps to the usual breed of PIM productivity programs in any Garnet OS device, such as VersaMail, Documents to Go 8, Bejeweled, GoogleMaps, Palm’s web browser (Blazer 4.5), and PocketTunes.
As for tactility, on the plus side the keys on this model’s keyboard are domed and therefore both easier to use and less cheap-looking; on the downside they’re even smaller than those of the earlier models (and they were already pretty small!).
The Palm Treo 755p supports hands-free Bluetooth with dial-up networking and OBEX file-transferring enabled. The 755p also features a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera with an increased shutter speed and an otherwise average set of features. The one problem with the digital camera on this model, as with most Palm Treo models, is that the lens sits in an awkward place on the back of the phone where users are likely to accidentally cover it up with their fingers. Oh well, maybe they can improve on that next time.
While other Palm smartphones seem to be designed for people first making the shift from cell phone to smart phone, the Palm Treo 755p seems geared finally towards those people already familiar and quite comfortable with the technology, looking to get an extra bit of ‘oomph’ out of their next smartphone.
With the Palm Treo 750, users get the same vast functionality of the earlier Palm Treo models in a more compact package. The design of the Palm Treo 750 is thinner and lighter weight than earlier Treo models, with the long-awaited and much-appreciated absence of the bulky and unnecessary antenna. About time!
Beyond that, the Palm Treo 750 is much the same as its predecessors, with excellent call quality an external memory card slot (though this time for miniSD cards), and support for EDGE and Bluetooth wireless networks as well as UMTS. While the Treo 750 does support 3G networks, though, it does not have Wi-Fi, nor does it yet support HSDPA.
One of the most notable feature of the Palm Treo 750 is built-in Windows Mobile technology, which basically puts the “smart” in Palm smartphones. And of all the functions that Windows Mobile technology provides, quite possible the best are its email and messaging functions. If you’re looking to use your smartphone for email then a Palm Treo may be just the thing you need. SMS on the 750 is easier than ever, with a new built-in threading app, and although MSN is currently the only Instant Messaging service on the Treo, it works well enough.
Windows Mobile also integrates Microsoft Office into the Palm Treo 750, giving users access (albeit pared down) to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint documents and features. This latest incarnation of Microsoft Mobile also adds markedly improved calendar and agenda features to the Palm Treo 750. And the built-in Internet Explorer browser never ceases to be as powerful as it is familiar.
Unlike the Palm Treo 700, which was built for Verizon, the Palm Treo 750 is a Cingular phone (now AT&T). The Treo 750 has a reset button, which some its predecessors lack. Also unlike some previous models, the battery charger cannot be plugged directly into the sync cable, although both can still be plugged in and operating at the same time. The back of the Treo 750 features a speaker and a digital camera with a self-portrait mirror.
As with the 700 models, the IR port – the infrared beam that Palm owners use to transmit data wirelessly to one another – is on the side of the device rather than the top, where it’s always felt more natural to use. But maybe that’s being nitpicky.
Welcome improvements with this latest in the long line of Palm Treo models include support for WMA and MP3 ringtones and video alerts, along with built-in Voice Commands for Windows Mobile (previously requiring a separate purchase and install).
A step backwards for Palm with the Treo 750 is conference calling, which is actually harder to access and use than it was on the Palm Treo 680, for example. What’s truly disappointing about the Palm Treo 750, however, is its glaring lack of multimedia capabilities. Beyond A2DP support (who even uses that?), there’s really nothing here in the way of media features.