Verizon Powered Palm Treo 755p Review
I have written reviews of just about every current Treo on the market. I looked at the Verizon Powered 700w on pocketnow.com, the Sprint Powered 700wx on pocketnow.com, and the Cingular (now AT&T) Powered Palm 750 here on Gear diary. I also wrote a couple of follow-up articles on the 700w on pocketnow (Good Night Sweet Treo…or Not, and Over the Air Synching Issues Investigation) that really stirred things up. However, problems are problems, and if they need to be resolved, I’m not necessarily going to hold back.
I’ve been using the 755p for a little bit, and honestly, while the device is a good, solid device, there are some contributing factors here that you need to be aware of. Carrier issues aside (I think Verizon’s rate plans, and other wireless services products are over-priced and, in some cases, outrageously expensive); many previous Palm users may be looking at this device and wondering what the 755p gets them, over say, the 700p or any other Palm Powered Treo Smartphone. Let’s take a look and see what the 755p provides…
Out of the Box
The contents of the review box I was sent was very minimal. The 755p came with the following:
- Verizon Powered Palm 755p
- 1600mAh Battery
- USB Sync cable
- AC Adapter
- Wired Headset
- User Guide
- Getting Started CD
- Assorted Coupons
Picture of Box Contents: USB Cable, Documentation AC Adapter, 755p and Wired Headset
Comparison – 700wx, 755p and 750
I’ve been compiling these specs for a while now. I used the following table in the Treo 750 review; minus the spiffy coat of paint:
|Device (no cover)||Size (inches)||Weight (grams | ounces)|
|Palm Treo 755p||4.40" x 2.30" x 0.84"||160 | 5.64|
|Palm Treo 750||4.37″ x 2.28″ x 0.87″||154 | 5.40|
|Palm Treo 700p||4.40" x 2.30" x 0.90"||180 | 6.40|
|Palm Treo 700w/wx||4.40″ x 2.30″ x 0.90″||180 | 6.40|
|Palm Treo 650||4.44″ x 2.32″ x 0.91″||178 | 6.28|
|HP iPAQ hw6515||4.60″ x 2.79″ x 0.82″||165 | 5.82|
|HP iPAQ hx6945||4.65″ x 2.80″ x 0.71″||180 | 6.33|
|ETEN Glowfiish M700||4.62″ x 2.32″ x 0.77″||165 | 5.82|
|E-TEN Glowfiish X500||4.44″ x 2.34″ x 0.61″||146 | 5.14|
|Motorola Q||4.33″ x 2.52″ x 0.45″||115 | 4.05|
|i-mate JAQ||4.80″ x 2.79″ x 0.86″||160 | 6.40|
|i-mate PDA2k||4.92″ x 2.81″ x 0.71″||210 | 7.40|
- Palm Operating System (5.4.9)
- All–Digital, 1xRTT/1xEV–DO
- BroadbandAccess Connect capable
- Fast Mobile Web browser
- Built–in organizer (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Memos)
- 128MB (60MB user available)
- Bluetooth® 1.2 wireless technology
- MP3 Player with Palm® Pocket Tunes™
- Memory Slot for miniSD™ Cards (up to 4GB)
- Send, receive and respond to email remotely
- Wireless Sync Capable
- Download, view, and edit Word and Excel® compatible files with Documents to Go®
- Rehearse PowerPoint presentations and consult important PDF files on the go
- 1.3 megapixel digital camera (2x zoom) with Video Capture
- 320 x 320 color TFT touchscreen
- 5–Way Navigator
- Backlit QWERTY Keyboard
- Hearing Aid Compatibility = M3/T4
- SAR: 1.46 W/1Kg at ear; 0.33 W/1Kg on body
- Battery Usage 1600mAh: Up to 264 minutes talk time / Up to 240 hours standby
Interestingly enough, the 1600mAh battery WILL power my Treo 750; but the battery cover won’t fit after the 755p battery is in. What’s even more interesting is that my 750 will use ALL the Treo batteries I have, even the 1800mAh batteries I have in my Treo Trip Kit, indicating that the only thing keeping me from using them in my 750 is the damn cover. (The 750 comes with a 1200mAh battery that dies mid way through the day.) I need to try the 1800mAh batteries on the 755p to see if they will work and have its battery cover fit.
PalmOS Then and Now
This is the sorriest state of affairs I have seen in a long time. I am NOT speaking of the OS, ok? I don’t want to get into an argument with anyone over the benefits of PalmOS vs. Windows Mobile. That argument is old and dead; and I’m not even going to go there. If you like PalmOS, I think that’s great. If you like WM, I think that’s great. You need to pick the OS that works best for you. However, the fact that the CURRENT VERSION of PalmOS hasn’t seen any major upgrade or improvements since 2004 is really tired and sorry. Unfortunately, it takes a toll on this device.
Don’t get me wrong, the 755p is a nice device; but its got the same ol’ sorry version of PalmOS that I was using on my Tungsten T3 back in the day (I may be off, by a minor version number or two; but it was definitely version 5.x, Garnet). That’s pathetic, and inexcusable. Verizon is charging a great deal of money for this device (see the MSRP, below), and for that amount of cash, I really think I deserve something a HECK of a lot more innovative, and well…FUN.
The iPhone, for example, only costs $50 bucks more, and you get, I think, a better overall experience with it than you do with the Verizon Treo 755p. Its way beyond time for Palm to step up here and provide an upgrade to their OS. Way past time…
If memory serves correctly, the biggest problem that Cobalt had was compatibility with Garnet and earlier versions of the OS. At this point, I’d say kick those worries to the curb. Not many people are going to care at this point. If they have to buy new software to go with a new device with a new OS, I think they’ll be ok with it. after waiting 3+ years for an upgrade to the OS, people aren’t much going to care (at least I don’t think so). I think they would much rather see new devices with a new, supported, innovative, state-of-the-art mobile OS than vaporware that is supposed to run all the old stuff as well as be an upgraded OS…but again, that’s just me.
The bonus tab in MyTreo, on the device, offers the following software downloads to enhance your device experience. You can download these apps directly to your device:
Free game from Astraware
Free game from Handmark
Free book reader from eReader
- Pocket Express
News, Sports and Weather – Free
Movie show times, 411 Directory Search, Street Maps & Driving Directions, etc. (14 in all) – Premium services $6.99/month or $69.90/year
- Palm Files
Free file manager from Palm
14 Day Trial of live traffic updates from mxdata Limited
- Voice Dial
Free voice dialing from Voice Signal
The software here is nothing new, really. This is some of the same software that I have seen on other devices in the past year or so. It is nice, however, that Palm gives you a way to download and install directly to and from the device.
The software CD included with the device allows you to go to the Palm website to download the following (additional) software titles:
Free e-Mail client for your device that will sync with Exchange or Domino servers
- Audible Player
Free digital media player
- Documents to Go (Both Mac and Windows Versions.)
Documents To Go Professional allows you to use Microsoft® Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files on the 755p. You will need your device serial number off your 755p to qualify for the free software download)
Getting VersaMail on my 755p, for me, wasn’t easy. I am going to be blowing the Windows Vista side of my MacBook Pro soon, and I didn’t want to complicate my Windows life right now trying to get the beta version of Palm Desktop for Vista working. Instead, I put the Mac version on the Mac side of my MBP, and got VersaMail installed there. As soon as I’m done with this review, though, off the whole thing goes. I can’t stand Palm Desktop. I have never liked it or the method of "HotSyncing." I am, for better or worse, a Windows Mobile guy.
Usually in a section like this, I would show you all sorts of screen shots from the device and talk about the software and how I interacted with the device. I’m not going to do that here. This is a Palm 5.x Garnet Phone device, and if you’ve been reading this site, The Gadgeteer, or any other site where any Palm phone reviews have been done in the last 3 or so years, then you know exactly what this phone can and cannot do.
pocketnow.com did a very good comparison of the 700p and the 700w here. Brandon also did a blog series on the 700p that you can see here. Little to nothing has changed since the 700p, so I’m not going to take the time to reinvent the wheel here.
In actual use, I found the phone to be quite reliable. I work in the AON Center in downtown Chicago (at least I do until just after the First of the Year…), and getting a cell signal in this building can be a real challenge. Sprint and T-Mobile customers need not worry about forgetting your cell phone at home. You aren’t going to get a cell signal anywhere in this building anyway. Verizon and AT&T (in that order) have the best signal. I have a Blackjack, and while this one is better than the one I recently sent back due to the "recall antenna issue," the 755p still got a better signal in all points in this building. That is in no small fact due to Verizon’s awesome signal penetration.
After four Treo reviews over a two year period, I think I know a bit about Treo’s. I don’t know of anyone else who has as much review experience with these devices than I do (other than, perhaps Judie or say, Jason Dunn…).
The 755p is perhaps the most boring phone I’ve laid my hands on this year. There is NOTHING new, fun, exciting or even compelling about it. With the same old version of PalmOS on it as I saw back in late 2004, existing Palm users, including those that are using the 700p, have absolutely NO reason to jump to the 755p. You’re going to end up with the same phone experience you have now, minus the stub antenna. Again, no reason to upgrade; and its the same price as the 700p.
Obviously, this is meant to replace the 700p; but Verizon is offering both of them at the same time, which makes NO sense what-so-ever…
Attention Palm! This is a wake up call.
You need to get it together and offer us something new. I am so tired of hearing about "new" Palm devices that don’t offer anything new other than a model number. The current PalmOS is old and TIRED. I am SO tired of hearing about new phones running some flavor of Garnet. Give us something different! The software offered on both WM and Palm platforms gets the job done, but is a bit on the bloated side, and doesn’t offer us anything new or fun. While the WM OS modifications make for a decent phone experience, after two years, its hardly the cutting edge anymore, and I would like to see something new from Palm on that Platform as well.
Color me spoiled if you will, but the Treo’s used to be the PDA-shizzle. Time was, you could always count on Palm to give you something cool. Now, not so much. Their form factors are out dated. The only thing new with the 755p is the lack of the stub antenna. Ohhhh! There’s something of a no brainer… and again, no reason for anyone with a current (especially PalmOS) Treo to upgrade or change their device.
This is the quickest device review I have ever done. Usually, I like to use a device for 45-60 days before I start shooting my mouth off. Good reviewers allow the "honey moon" phase of a new device experience to pass before they start looking critically at a device and the way that it functions. With the 755p, however, its a little different. As I said, I’ve looked at (now) 4 different and recent Treo’s over the last couple of years. The only thing different here is the OS; and its the SAME OS I used on my T|3 a few years ago. Nothing of note is new or has changed in my mind. Nothing in the phone or device experience jumped out at me and grabbed my attention. It was a big snooze-fest, and a huge disappointment.
The phone..? Sure. Its a good phone. Solid, dependable, easy to use…but then again, that’s basically a given and nothing (again) to get excited about. Unfortunately, the 755p is using an outdated OS and outdated application software. I’m not certain its worth $349.99, either. AT&T has the Treo 750 for $199 (after a $150 mail in rebate), so that’s your call.
MSRP: $349.99 (2 year Contract Price, with $100 Online Discount)
What I liked: As always, the newer Treo form factor, the 320×320 screen (you can really see a difference between the screens on the 750 and the 755p)
What needs improvement: PalmOS and its lack of updates (sheesh!); High VzW price tag for this device, compared to its GSM counterpart (750) from AT&T.