New Treo Makes Up for Lost RAM

Review: Palm's Win Mobile Treo 700wx doubles ram of predecessor, but display disappoints

Palm has released the second iteration of its smart phone loaded with Microsofts Windows Mobile operating system. The Treo 700wx is almost identical to its predecessor, with one major exception—a much-needed boost in RAM.

During eWeek Labs tests of the previous Windows Mobile-based Treo—the 700w—a shortage of memory available to programs caused the device to crash often.

So we were happy to see that the new Treo doubles the amount of memory allotted for program usage—from 32MB of RAM on the Treo 700w to 64MB on the 700wx.

Released on Sept. 3, the Treo 700wx is a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) phone. Palm has yet to announce when a Treo 700- series smart phone will be available in the United States for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks, which are more common in Europe. The company did, however, announce in September the Treo 750—a sleek smart phone that also runs Windows Mobile 5.0 but has no external antenna. The Treo 750 will be available for European Vodafone customers.

The Treo 700wx can be purchased from Sprint Nextel for $499.99 with a two-year service agreement. With a one-year Sprint Nextel contract, Palms new smart phone will cost $549.99. Without a calling plan, the Treo 700wx is priced at $649.99.

The Treo 700wx runs Microsofts Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system and includes the Microsoft Messaging and Security Feature Pack, which features Direct Push Technology for the automatic wireless synchronization of e-mail, calendar, contacts and tasks.

During tests, we found the Treo 700wx to be more responsive and slightly faster than the Treo 700w, but we still found the Palm OS-based Treo 700p to be more functional.

Still, the Treo 700wx is worthy of consideration at organizations dedicated to building a wireless platform on Windows Mobile or that have client applications built with Microsofts .Net Compact Framework.

The Treo 700wx, which is powered by a 312MHz Intel XScale processor, requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP Service Pack 2 with a USB port. The Treo 700wx has 128MB of flash ROM, with 64MB of ROM dedicated to user storage. The Treo 700wx also comes with an SD (Secure Digital) slot for memory expansion.

The 6.4-ounce Treo 700wx measures 5.1 by 2.3 by 0.9 inches. The device has a functional and good-size screen, but the resolution was disappointing: The Treo 700wx still lacks the crisp color display found on its Palm OS-based Treo siblings—instead of a 320-by-320-pixel color display, the Treo 700wx is saddled with a 240-by-240-pixel resolution.

The Treo 700wx sports a 1.3-megapixel camcorder capable of 2x digital zoom and video capture. We found the picture quality to be exactly what one would expect from a mobile phone.

Like the Treo 700w, the Treo 700wx offers Bluetooth 1.2 and an EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) radio. We experienced good data transfer rates while using the device, but we are still waiting for the ability to turn the Bluetooth functionality off with the press of a button.

Palm claims the battery life between charges is up to 5 hours of continuous digital talk time. We werent able to completely drain the battery during the time we had to test the Treo 700wx, but the estimated talk time is a half-hour longer than the talk time estimated for the Treo 700p. Also, since the Treo 700wx has flash memory, users wont lose data in the event a battery dies.

IT managers looking for a mobile device that road warriors can use in lieu of a laptop will like that the Treo 700wx has enhanced attachment viewing. Using the smart phone, we were able to download, view and edit files in Microsofts Word, Excel and PowerPoint Mobile. We also were able to view PDFs with the included Picsel Technologies Picsel PDF viewer.

Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

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