Review: Palm Treo 700wx Improves on 700w For Sprint

By Troy Dreier | Posted October 18, 2006

When did Palm's Treo get so big? It used to be a slim, elegantly designed smartphone that you could slip in a shirt pocket. That isn't the case for the 700wx — in fact, it's surprisingly large.

Palm Treo 700wx
The Palm Treo 700wx
(Click for larger image)
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Other than its size, the Treo hasn't changed much, of course, but other smartphones have. Mobile workers who demand a Windows device can find several devices that take up far less room and perform nearly as well. But don't count the Treo out just yet. This upgraded version of the 700w works with Sprint and improves on the original with more storage space and push e-mail included.

The greatest improvement to the 700wx over the 700w (offered by Verizon since early this year) is its doubled application storage space, up from 32MB to 64MB (which gives you 44MB free, due to the installed apps). That means you can store more on your Treo and it will perform more quickly, even with power-hungry applications.

Beyond that, the few changes are mainly for the power users. Push e-mail is now standard out-of-the-box when used with Microsoft Exchange 2003 servers, so there's nothing more to install. This Treo also supports Bluetooth Dial-Up Networking for working as a modem for a notebook.

One of the main reasons to choose the 700wx over slimmer smartphones is the touch screen, which makes selecting items and inputting data much faster. The screen hasn't changed with this release, though, and is still a 240 by 240 pixel LCD of only moderate brightness.


Click here for a larger image.

The Windows Mobile OS has been tweaked slightly to work with a Palm device, but doesn't feel as natural on the Treo as the Palm OS. If you really need to have Windows for your work, then this Treo is a good choice, but otherwise we'd recommend the simplicity of the Palm OS in the 700p, also offered by Sprint

The Start page can look a little strange at first, since it varies a little from the traditional Windows look, but you'll grow to appreciate it. It provides quick access to both phone and PDA functions, so there's no need to jump back and fourth from the phone area to the PDA area. You can also take photos of your frequently called contacts and make visual speed dialing buttons that appear on the Start page.

Using Sprint's high-speed EV-DO service, we got quick results when downloading e-mail or browsing Web pages. While we wouldn't confuse its speed with that of a desktop PC, it's still nicely fast. We were also happy with the quality of calls over the Sprint service. We tested the phone around Manhattan, and always got good call quality with no dropped connections. The phone's battery is rated to last a decent 4.5 hours of talk or 360 hours of standby.

The new Treo comes with the standard Windows mobile bundle, which includes pocket Office applications, a PDF viewer, and a pocket version of MSN. The Treo also includes a 1.3 megapixel camera. Since this Treo is the same size and uses the same connector as the last version, it can use the same peripherals. Sadly, though, our test unit didn't come with a protective case.

While Verizon customers might be unhappy about it, the Treo700wx for Sprint delivers improved storage and performance. If you've been waiting to buy a 700w, but didn't want to make the move from Sprint to Verizon, this is the time.

Adapted from smartphonetoday.com.

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