Treo 750 Travels Far and Wide

Review: Palm's new smart phone is well-suited for those who travel internationally.

Palms new Treo 750 is a smart phone of many firsts—its the first GSM Windows-based Treo available in the United States and the first Treo to use Cingulars UMTS/HSDPA-enabled BroadBand Connect 3G service. Its also the most widely usable Pocket PC-based device on the market.

Announced on Jan. 7, the Treo 750 runs Microsofts Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition operating system. While its just making its North American debut, the smart phone has been available in Europe from Vodafone Group since September.

The Treo 750 became available in January from Cingular Wireless for an estimated street price of $400 with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate. This price requires a $40-per-month (or higher) voice plan and a qualifying data plan.

The Windows Mobile platform is not as intuitive as the Palm operating system, found on devices such as the Treo 680 and the Treo 700p. However, the Treo 750 will be a welcome addition in enterprises standardized on Microsoft products such as Exchange Server.

The Treo 750 is particularly well-suited for organizations that have salespeople who frequently travel internationally. GSM is used by Cingular and T-Mobile USA carriers here in the United States, but it is more commonly used in Europe and Asia. And, as a five-band world phone, the Treo 750 runs on high-speed UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) (850/1900/2100) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900) networks.

Palm officials told eWeek Labs that an upgrade to HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) will be available for the phone in 2007. When that happens, the Treo 750 will be usable in Japan, where carriers operate HSDPA networks.

We tested the Treo 750 from our offices in San Francisco—where Cingular has a 3G network. Compared with Treos on EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) networks, the Treo 750 offered faster Web browsing and e-mail attachment downloads.

Powered by a 300MHz Samsung processor, the Treo 750 has 128MB of flash memory, with 60MB available to the user. Palm officials claim that the phone will offer as much as 4 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time.

The Treo 750 measures 4.4 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches and weighs 5.4 ounces—a full ounce less than the Treo 700wx, which also runs Windows. (The 700wx does not run on GSM networks and is not a world phone.) Part of that weight reduction can be attributed to the 750s internal antenna, a feature Palm introduced late in 2006 with the Treo 680.

As with other recently released Windows-based Treos, the Treo 750 is saddled with a 240-by-240-pixel screen resolution, instead of the 320-by-320-pixel resolution sported by its Palm-based siblings. During tests, the screen was bright enough, but we prefer the screens on the Palm-based Treos.

With the Treo 750, Palm replaces the Secure Digital card slot with a MiniSD card slot—a move intended to reduce the thickness of the device, according to Palm officials. Users who are upgrading from older Treos will need to purchase a new card—not an expensive proposition, but a hassle nonetheless. The device also has a 1.3-megapixel camera that captures video with 1,280-by-1,024 resolution.

The Treo 750 does not support Wi-Fi, but it does have Bluetooth 1.2.

Senior Writer Anne Chen is at