CTIA Fall 2005
Treo Secrets Samsung D307
Monday's big news didn't turn out to be quite as big as we had hoped. It's not that the announcement of Treo running Windows Mobile isn't groundbreaking, because it is. After all it was important enough to merit the presence of three very powerful CEOs on one stage. But we sure would have felt like it was more exciting - more news-worthy - if Palm, Microsoft and Verizon had been forthcoming with more details.
Very early into the presentation, before Ed Colligan, Bill Gates and Denny Strigl could congratulate each other on their coup, we were told something along the lines of "all we will be saying today as far as specs is that the new Treo has an Intel processor and EV-DO. Also, there is no official name for this model yet."
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Later, during the extensive question and answer period, we learned that Windows Mobile Treo would be out on Verizon "early, early next year," and then would probably be available from other major carriers (i.e. Sprint) in the second half of 2006 - implying Verizon has a six month exclusive on the smartphone. We were also told that the phone will come out on additional 3G networks (such as UMTS and/or HSDPA) in the second half as well.
Although we still don't have full specs on the new Treo, persistence paid off. We have confirmed that the screen is 240 x 240 pixels - the same as on HP's mobile messenger series. It also has a camera and an SD card slot, just like its predecessor. It won't have Wi-Fi.
Palm has also added a few neat software tweaks that they demoed briefly. One is a photo-speed-dial feature on the home screen, and another provides a visual interface for any voicemail system. The final tweak they demoed provides a one-click option to reply to a new missed call with an SMS message (handy during a meeting, etc.)
We can also tell you Palm OS fans out there that you can breathe a sigh of relief. Palm will definitely bring out new Palm OS Treos next year too - most likely in the same new form factor.
So what do we think about the Treo that shall not be named? Well it's hard to say since we couldn't actually play with a working model yet. But it will be very interesting to see how it sizes up against the Motorola Q, which is due out around the same time.