Palm Treo 680

Palm Treo 680The quad-band GSM Palm Treo 680 features an MP3 player, a VGA camera and 64MB RAM.

Palm Treo press release excerpt

Additional Features

The Treo 680 smartphone has an internal antenna and slim form factor, making the device smaller and sleeker than its Treo predecessors in the United States. It has a full, easy-type keyboard, perfect for writing SMS messages and emails, and an optimal 320×320 vibrant color screen for viewing web pages, photos, media and more.

All-in-one, Smarter Phone

The Treo 680 smartphone has a unique phone user interface that further simplifies Treo innovations, such as the ability to respond to calls with a preset text message and add new phone numbers to existing contact information, and three-way calling. The Treo 680 also has integrated email and web capabilities, so users can stay in touch with colleagues and friends. The messaging application on the Treo 680 displays text-messaging conversations as “threaded chats,” similar to IM, so users can see their entire conversation with a particular person. The Treo 680 smartphone also can be used as an MP3 player and has an integrated digital camera, camcorder and video player.

Additional Features

The Treo 680 smartphone offers many additional features, including the following:

* Added memory: The Treo 680 smartphone includes 64MB of user-available storage, nearly three times the memory of the original Treo 650 smartphone. Customers can add up to 2GB of storage with expansion cards for those large music or video files (sold separately);
* Enhanced email and messaging: Exchange ActiveSync will now synchronize not only calendar and email, but contacts as well; SMS and MMS capabilities have been improved for a better user experience;
* Improved web browser: The Blazer 4.5 browser is superfast due to its smarter caching rules and includes alternate modes for viewing web pages optimized for the device or as a regular web page;
* Enhanced multimedia: Customers can use the Treo 680 smartphone to stream music, play MP3s and manage and share photo albums;
* Built-in dial-up networking (DUN) capabilities: Customers can use the new smartphone as a wireless modem via Bluetooth(R) wireless technology to connect to a compatible Bluetooth enabled laptop;
* Documents To Go: Customers can view, edit and share Microsoft Word and Excel documents on their Treo 680 smartphones in addition to viewing full-featured Adobe PDF files and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations; and
* Bluetooth 1.2: Customers can connect wirelessly to other Bluetooth enabled devices. The Treo 680 has improved car-kit and headset support, and support for multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections.

Palm Treo 680 Reviews

MyTreo.net reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, ” Compared to my Treo 700p, my initial impression was that even though the rear speaker on the Treo 680 appears to be larger, it seemed to be weaker for low frequencies. Other the other hand, it seemed to provide a bit clearer overall sound when I was playing music with PocketTunes. Either way, the back speaker on any Treo is better than nothing but it won’t be winning any awards. While I was using PocketTunes to test the quality of the rear speaker, I also used this opportunity to see if the Treo 680 suffered from the same stuttering problems many people have encountered when using PocketTunes on the Treo 700p. I was able to switch between PocketTunes, the Launcher, Documents to Go (but did not open a document), the Calendar program, the Phone program and a few others without any skips or pauses in the music being played by PocketTunes. There also weren’t any pauses when the Treo 680’s screen automatically turned off after the specified sleep interval, nor when I awakened it.”

PCMag reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “if you use more advanced features such as multimedia, the Palm OS and the EDGE network show their age. The Treo 680 doesn’t multitask, except with the PocketTunes MP3 player. The network stack sometimes times out and claims it has no connection. Kinoma’s new streaming video player performs very poorly, rebuffering every 30 seconds or more often on both audio and video tracks. You can’t even play music over wireless headsets. And no, you can’t add a Wi-Fi card.”

LaptopMag reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “Palm says that you should be able to stream audio and video, but when we tried playing a video on CNN.com, the browser got stuck, and we couldn’t navigate to another site until we reset the device. If you want some entertainment on the side, go with the included Pocket Tunes application (for playing MP3s). You could spring for the Kinoma Media Player 4EX ($24.99), for streaming flash-based movies, or MobiTV ($9.99), for watching 50-plus channels of live TV, but we wouldn’t recommend either option given the slower throughput of Cingular’s EDGE network.”

CNET reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes about the smartphone’s music capabilities: “for entertainment, the Treo 680 comes with PocketTunes preinstalled on the smart phone, so you can enjoy your favorite MP3s. If you crave support for other music formats, such as WMA/PlaysForSure, you’ll have to upgrade to the Deluxe edition ($34.95) of PocketTunes. You also can stream music and videos from the Web, and for a limited time, if you purchase the 680 directly from Palm, you get a 30-day free trail to Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go and Yahoo Music for Mobile.”

MobileTechReview reviews the Palm Treo 680 and talks about the smartphone’s music capabilities: “Consistent with other Treos, the Treo 680 offers PocketTunes (version 3.0.9) for your MP3 pleasure. That’s the same version as the Treo 700p and is one of the best MP3 players for Palm OS devices. You can read our reviews of MP3 players for Palm here. PocketTunes has playlist, repeat, shuffle, artist and is skinnable. You can keep the tunes playing even when you shut off the screen or launch another application, and if a call comes in while music is playing, PocketTunes will gracefully stop the music when you pick up the call and resume once you’ve finished it. The Treo 680 has a stereo 2.5mm audio jack but you only get a mono headset in the box. Using the optional Treo stereo headset with the 680, the sound is quite good with loud volume (again, not as loud as the Treo 700p which can be too loud), good range and strong bass. Music through the built-in speaker is decent as well.”

PalmInfoCenter reviews the Palm Treo 680 and has this to say about the smartphone’s media capabilities: “Pocket Tunes is included on the device for MP3 digital audio and music playback. Owners will have an option to upgrade to Pocket Tunes Deluxe for WMA/PlaysForSure support to subscribe to online digital music stores. Pocket Tunes works well and has robust support for playlists, background play and sorting through artists and tracks on SD cards. The 680 also has some of the nice streaming media features that debuted on the 700p. Both video and audio streaming over the Internet is now built in. You can access many common live radio and video streams. For instance, you can navigate to npr.com in the web browser and click on the ‘live audio link’ the media player will launch and start streaming NPR’s live radio feed to the Treo. You can also visit a some movie preview websites such as Netflix.com and watch the streaming movie trailers.”

ITReviews reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “More plusses come in the fact that we really like the Versamail e-mail software, the music player and Documents To Go app which lets you create as well as view a range of different document formats. The handset is Quad-band too, so it should see you through your international travels. But we can’t help feeling that the Treo 680 is a bit of a stop-gap rather than anything particularly new.”

Brighthand reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “Sound quality is adjustable using the graphic equalizer and bass boost functions, but I found that they were not needed with most songs. The playlist functionality is excellent. Compared to the 700p, there is not a lag when running Pocket Tunes in the background while using other programs except with those programs that connect to the Internet such as Web and Email. For those programs, there is a slight pause when trying to download something large when the music is playing. This is noticeable, but not at all a deal breaker.”

Pocket-lint reviews the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “It’s a sort of cheaper, less punchy, version for those still wanting to use the Palm OS and not really fussed about having 3G connectivity to surf the web or download your emails. … features include a built-in camera with a maximum still image resolution of 640 x 480 pixels compared to the 750v 1.3-megapixel digital camera, Pocket Tunes rather than Windows Media Player 10 Mobile for music and video, Bluetooth connectivity but no Wi-Fi, 64MB of memory expandable to up to 2GB with memory cards via the Mini-SD expansion slot. ”

TreoCentral has a first impressions review of the Palm Treo 680 and writes, “The back speaker and camera have moved and look totally different on the 680. The same goes for the battery door button. I like the speaker and it sure sounds great! I got the free Mobile Music Pack with my Palm Treo 680 which includes a music software CD, a Palm stereo headset, and a Palm 1GB memory card. I put some tunes on the Pocket Tunes app and man alive did they ever sound great coming out of that back speaker! And they sounded especially great with that Palm stereo headset!”

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