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Do You Really Need a New Phone: Palm Treo vs Palm Pre,Pro/apple iPhone

Updated on August 15, 2014

Do you really need a new phone? Palm Treo 680

Palm seem to have been given a new lease of life, both as a company and in the form of the new product line-up: The Palm Pixi, Pre and Pro smartphones are designed to compete with such stylish and wonderful machines as the Apple iPhone. I still have a Palm Treo 680, and while I like the look of these new ones (and I shall upgrade eventually) I do wonder if I should stick with the current mobile phone. After all it does everything I need: Internet access, it has a very useable keyboard a good touch-screen, but more importantly it has a stylus, which enables me to access and edit my spreadsheets and other documents on the go, which is almost impossible on an iPhone with my fat fingers.

"Apple has an App for that..." Apparently Apple invented the clever idea of Apps... No they didn't, they just marketed it far better than Palm did. Palm have been doing it for years and any Application written for a Palm device in the last decade or so will probably work on a Palm Tre 680 (and it will also probably be free)


Why not buy a sim-free Palm device and avoid a costly contract. They are also available very inexpensively second hand.

What is the Palm Treo 680?

This is a well thought-out device with a good touch sensitive screen and a surprisingly usable keyboard, even for people like me, with fat fingers. I have used Palm OS PDAs for many years so I have a lot of data and applications from previous devices that I want to maintain and I was keen to stay with the Palm OS operating system rather than switch to Windows at this stage. It was easy to move the Treo 680 from my Palm T5 without any loss of data. Now I only need to carry one device instead of a PDA and a phone. The stylus is a bit fiddly to use when compared to the chunky T5 one, but then the stylus is not needed as much given that the keyboard replaces the need for text entry with the stylus.

The Operating System: Palm OS

The operating system is easy to use and syncs without any problems to my old iMac (Mac OS X version 10.2.8) In the few months I have owned this phone it has crashed only a couple of times, which is surprisingly good. Palm OS however does not support 3G so the internet access is quite slow by the very latest standards, although fine for occasional use, so this is probably not an ideal device for someone who spends a lot of time surfing on the move.

Performance: Treo 680

Battery life is not as good as my old T5 PDA and it does need to be charged almost on a daily basis, but then that is to be expected with such a lot of functionality in a single device. The memory is of course non-volatile so running out of battery power is not a major issue and all of the data is backed up during the syncing operation anyway.

As a phone it is fairly good with reasonable reception and clarity. Over-all a very good substitute for two devices. There is a new trendier PalmOS phone available now, called the Centro, which has a very similar specification, slightly faster internet access and a lower list price. I prefer the styling of the older 680 model which looks more professional and is available for large discounts although that may mean it will be phased out imminently.

Summary: The best PalmOS smartphone

Summary: Palm Treo 680

Advantages: PalmOS, inexpensive smart phone with a great screen

Disadvantages: PalmOS, slow internet access, a bit fiddly

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    • profile image

      Angela5 5 years ago

      I love palm phones, pdas, and smartphones. I've got the pixi and LOVE it. But, I do miss the stylus and really miss the ability to beam and sync. It is definitely worth saving the 300 bucks on the current 'hot phone'.

    • tropicalmonsoon1 profile image

      tropicalmonsoon1 7 years ago

      Nice lens, I have one suggestion however: Maybe change using that same photo 3 times ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Technology has come so far in phones. Someday I will need to upgrade.

      Excellent lens Andy!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Oh my! It seems I just got my BlackBerry Curve and now I am being tempted literally daily with so many newer options. I'm still learning the special symbols/characters on my keyboard.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      My son needs a new phone. I use mine but I really haven't figured out how to "use" it.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 8 years ago

      It is amazing what phones are able to do now. I don't think you really need a new one.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      It looks like it would be a great phone plus.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have a Palm Centro and feel the same way - it has a phone, text messaging, web browsing, games, thousands of apps (most free), Facebook, Docs to Go, and more. It was cheaper than the new smart phones and works just as well.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Looks like a cool cell phone