First came the rumors of a budget smartphone from Palm. Then a list of rumored specifications popped up here. Now it's official. Palm has now formally announced the newest addition to its line of smartphones, the Treo 680.
So the rumors are true after all - but how accurate were they, really?
Most of the specs posted before were pretty accurate. Memory is pegged at 64MB user-accessible - slightly better tha the 60MB rumored - but no news of how much memory is actually onboard. Dimensions and weight were hardly significant - fractions of a millimeter and 3 grams off. In most people's hands, the difference won't even register.
What will register, however, is its color. The 680 will come in 4 different flavors: Orange, Strawberry, Coconut, and well - whatever flavor you can assign to gray. Officially though,
the four colors of the 680 will be Copper, Crimson, Arctic, and Graphite.
There's still no word on pricing, so we can't really determine what Palm defines as a "budget" smartphone. Personally, I hope it means under $300 (roughly PHP15k), but I know this is probably wishful thinking.
Rumor has it that Palm will be releasing the Treo 680 as a
low-end budget smartphone running the (beloved) Palm OS. Despite lacking many top of the line features (it is a budget PDA after all), it will retain the 320x320 display we've all grown to love. It boasts of a robust feature set, including a 3MP VGA camera, Bluetooth, WiFi, and 3G capabilities.
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I'd probably be one of the first in line to get this. I miss the Palm OS, and I would gladly give up my XDA iis. No Bluetooth? Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It has an SD / MMC slot at least, right?
It only has a VGA camera, you say? Who needs that when you carry around an 8MP dSLR everyday? Why? Hmm... I think that issue is meant for another post - or another blog even.
In any case, I can't wait for the Treo 680 to hit Philippines.
Ten years ago marked the birth of the first commercially successful PDA in the market -- the 5.7-ounce Pilot organizer.
I use the term PDA in the strict modern sense of course, because, let's face it, Casio had a commercially successful Digital Diary series prior to the Pilot. There's also the Zaurus, but then it wasn't exactly a commercial success. Ditto with the Apple Newton.
No, it was the Pilot that first made commercial mobile computing history. It was a true handheld computer, capable of running a wide variety of programs. It had a large touch-screen, was capable of recognizing scribbles, and it synchronized its data with your PC.
Ten years ago, I fell madly in love with this device. And when I got my Pilot 5000 at the tail-end of 1996, it was as if a part of myself fell into place. Right there and then, without reading the manual at all, I just knew how to use it. In fact, I practically started writing in Graffiti almost instinctively, and I only had to glance at the cue strip for the more esoteric symbols.
Over the years, I moved up to a Palm III, a Palm 505, and now to my Tungsten T|3, which is still going strong after two years. And I still have all the original data that I had from my old Pilot 5000 of ten years ago!
Today, I'm still dependent on my Palm for my organizing needs. All of my contacts find their way into its ever expanding address book, and I have grown dependent on its calendar for planning out my days (I have a horrible memory, so if it ain't on my Palm, then it don't exist). I have lost data only once -- and that was when I just arrived from Malaysia; I was running along the airport, and my Palm III popped out of my bag and landed corner-first onto the tile floor. But then the only data that I lost were the notes that I had from my trip.
Other favorite apps: DocsToGo, which allows me to bring along my most important docs and spreadsheets; Salling Clicker, a perfect little app which transforms the T3 into a Bluetooth-connected PowerPoint remote (complete with Lecture Notes and sneak previews of the next slides); and RealOne, which turns the unit into an emergency MP3 player.
Will I move on to a newer Palm unit? For now, no. My well-worn T|3 still does me fine, thank you. The Tungsten T|X was tempting at first, especially because it has Wi-Fi, but then I learned that it didn't come with a memo recorder. And danged if I would survive without a memo recorder!
Ten years later, Palm is still going strong, perhaps to almost everyone's surprise. In fact, it's most recent quarter saw Palm's revenues climb by a whopping 36 percent, primarily on the strength of its Treo 650 smartphone sales. So we'll still be seeing quite a lot of Palm (the hardware company, at least) for a very long time.
After almost a decade, I'm still a die-hard Palm user. And I'm looking forward to another decade of Palm use if I can help it!
To all you happy Palm users out there, Keep On Palming!