We finally can put all the rumors to rest as the Palm Treo 755p is real and has arrived on Sprint's doorstep looking all dapper in burgundy and midnight blue. Replacing the older Treo 700p, the 755p not only sports the two new, fresh colors, but it also features the slimmer design like its GSM cousin, the Treo 680, and brings a collection of small but notable enhancements. Google Maps for Mobile and Microsoft's Direct Push Technology now comes preloaded on the device's ROM, and it finally offers an instant-messaging app that supports all the three major IM clients.
The Treo 755p certainly isn't a major overhaul of the 700p. There's still no integrated Wi-Fi; it runs the same Palm OS 5.4.9; and the smart phone is looking just plain frumpy compared to today's sleek QWERTY devices. In other words, Palm is lagging in innovation. That said, the Treo 755p delivers on the performance and productivity front. We experienced excellent call quality, reliable e-mail delivery, and made good use of the PIM tools. Add to that the EV-DO support, ease of use, and new apps, and you get a solid device. The Palm Treo 755p will be available through Sprint for $279.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts--a tad pricey, in our opinion--starting May 14. For our review, we took a look at the burgundy Treo 755p.
The Palm Treo 755p comes from the same mold as the Treo 680, but gets a new paint job for its Sprint debut. Whereas the GSM Treo 680 is available in graphite, copper, crimson, or arctic white, the 755p comes in a more understated burgundy or midnight blue that may be more suitable for business users hoping to add a bit of personalization to their smart phone. Though we didn't see the latter firsthand, we were quite fond of the burgundy color. It's beautiful and classy whereas the crimson model just screams, "Hey, look at me!"
The 755p does away with the external antenna and shaves off a bit of weight and depth to make it a sleeker device than the Treo 700p. Like the 680, the smart phone measures 4.4 inches by 2.3 inches by 0.8 inch, but is just a smidge heavier at 5.6 ounces (compared to 5.5 ounces). Though the 755p features a soft-touch finish and has a solid construction, it's definitely thicker and bulkier than other full QWERTY devices such as the Samsung BlackJack and the RIM BlackBerry Curve, so it will make for a tight fit in a pants pocket, and the weight difference is quite evident.
Of course, many users are willing to put up with the extra bulk for the benefit of a touch screen. Like previous Palm-based Treos, the 755p boasts a 2.5-inch TFT touch screen with a 65,000-color output and 320x320 pixel resolution. Not only are text and images bright and sharp, but the ability to enter data, launch apps, and navigate the device via the touch screen is a big advantage.
You can operate the Treo with the set of navigation buttons below the display. You get Talk and End keys, a four-way toggle with a central select button and shortcut keys to the phone app, calendar, messages, and home page. You can program the four shortcut buttons to open different apps in the Preferences menu. Furthermore, by pressing the option key with the same controls, you can launch another user-defined program; so in effect, you get a total of eight shortcut keys.
The Treo 755p's full QWERTY keyboard is a bit cramped, especially when compared to the Motorola Q or even the Cingular 8525. The buttons are smaller and the spacing between them is tight, so they may give users with larger thumbs more difficulty. However, we've noticed that with some time you do get acclimated to the layout and learn to type quickly and accurately.
On the left spine, there's a volume rocker and a user-programmable launch key (by default, it activates the voice recorder), while the right side holds the infrared port and miniSD expansion slot. The camera lens and self-portrait lens are located on the back of the device, along with the speaker and stylus holder. Finally, there's a silent ringer switch along the top edge, and the bottom of the Treo 755p has a 2.5mm headset jack and multiconnector port.