Palm – Treo 750v review

3G Windows Mobile phone PDA with unique features
Photo of Palm – Treo 750v
£free to £122 depending on contract

Palm’s Windows Mobile Treo was announced about a year ago in the US as the Treo 700w. It has taken a long time to get to the UK but it is here at last, looking slightly different and available exclusively from Vodafone, in the short term at least.

The difference in looks amounts to the abandonment of the dreadful external antenna that characterised the last Treo to be available in the UK, the 650. Apart from that the US and UK devices look very similar, in blue and silver livery with a bank of large control buttons sitting between screen and miniature ‘qwerty’ keyboard.

The 3G Treo 750v is an odd mix of strangely old hat and nicely new-fangled features. On the old hat side of things the Bluetooth is merely 1.2 rather than the faster 2.0 standard and there is no Wi-Fi, which is something we are increasingly used to seeing in Windows Mobile Pocket PCs.

There is a camera for stills and video, though at 1.3-megapixels this too feels a bit behind the times. And there’s no front-facing camera for video calling.

The screen, too, seems a tad under-specified, delivering at 240 x 240 pixels. It is OK but no more than that, and a higher pixel count would have been nice. This is especially true because the square format screen displays less information than traditional tall format Windows Mobile Pocket PC screens.

On the other hand, the Treo 750v has a generous 60MB of free internal memory and a miniSD card slot for expansion, some neat additions to the Windows Mobile operating system and great one-handed usability.

The ability to put photo contacts on the main screen (the Today Screen) and then speed dial to them could be really useful for those few people you call a lot. For the main bulk of contacts, you just start to type their names until they appear in a dial window, then choose which of their numbers to call. With nearly 2,000 contacts in our review handset it took about three seconds to find someone this way.

Also handy is the Google search bar on the Today Screen. Tap in a search term and the handset knows it needs to go onto the Web and deliver results in Pocket Internet Explorer. Viewing SMS messages in ‘chat thread’ mode might also prove useful to those who text a lot.

Keyboard-equipped Windows Mobile connected Pocket PCs tend to be a bit on the large side, and the Treo 750v is in line with the average here, weighing in at 154g and measuring 111mm tall, 58mm wide and 22mm thick.

Company: Palm

Contact: 08700 700 191

What the Treo 750v proves is that a developer can take Windows Mobile and do things with it that its rivals have not. It is a refreshing change to see this kind of innovation in a Windows Mobile device - it might spur others to think more broadly.