Treo 800w Rejoins the Smart-Phone Feature-Set Pack - Page 2

With its 333MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 2431 processor and 128MB of program memory, the Treo 800w may be underpowered compared with many platforms available today. However, the unit's MicroSD card slot allows for add-on storage of up to 8GB, and in tests I found the device to be snappy and responsive under most circumstances, with Web browsing being the most notable exception.

The slate-blue Treo 800w is slightly thinner and lighter than the last new Treo for Sprint that I reviewed, 2007's Treo 755p. The 800w measures 4.41 by 2.28 by 0.73 inches and weighs 5 ounces, compared with 4.4 x 2.12 x 0.84 inches and 5.64 ounces for the 755p.

The Treo 800w uses the same 1150 mAh battery found in Palm's consumer-class smart phone, the Centro, a seeming downgrade from the 1600 mAh battery that came with the Treo 755p. The Treo 800w makes adequate use of the smaller battery, as Palm rates the 800w's battery for 4.5 hours of talk time or 200 hours of standby time (compared with 4.2 hours of talk time for the 755p).

My battery tests showed that the 800w falls slightly short of those expectations-running out of juice after 3 hours and 58 minutes-leaving Palm's new flagship device lacking compared with the iPhone 3G and Nokia e71, according to similar tests eWEEK Labs has run recently on both.

Palm standardized on a common connector type, as the power cord, synchronization cable and headset all connect via a MicroUSB connector, which leads to my biggest gripe with the Treo 800w. While I've come to expect that I can't use any of the cabled accessories that worked with previous Treos, I cannot abide the fact that I could only connect one accessory at a time. In other words, I could not use the cabled headset while charging the phone. Users who want to charge the Treo 800w while using a headset will have to turn to a Bluetooth headset (not included) or they will be out of luck.

However, Palm has done what it can to provide a richer audio experience for Bluetooth users, as the Treo 800w supports Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP-and therefore stereo sound-for Bluetooth headsets that are similarly capable.

Available only for the Sprint network at this time, the Treo 800w retails for $600, but with various instant and mail-in rebates plus a two-year service commitment, the device can be acquired for around $250.