The insanely meager amount of integrated memory was a big sticking point on the Treo 650, and Palm heard you. The company increased user-accessible memory from 22MB to 60MB (128MB total); plus, you get an SDIO/MMC expansion slot that supports up to 2GB media. It also helps that the Documents to Go 8 suite, which allows you to edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents and view PowerPoint presentations and PDFs, is now included on the device's ROM.
Beyond work documents, the Palm Treo 700p has robust e-mail capabilities, which include VersaMail 3.5. Not only is it compatible with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, but it offers contact synchronization in addition to your e-mail and your calendar. You can get push e-mail capabilities through Good or Sprint's Business Connection, and there's also out-of-the-box support for Yahoo, AOL, and Gmail accounts. We had no problems setting up our test Treo to receive and send messages from our Yahoo account.
The Palm Treo 700p runs Palm OS 5.4.9, so you get all the usual PIM functions: calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, and so forth. However, we're wondering if Palm OS 6 will ever see the light of day. During our initial meeting with Palm, we got the impression that the company was in no hurry to upgrade. Just how committed is it to this OS? As far as phone features, the 700p offers a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, three-way calling, speed dial, and the "ignore with text" feature that was first introduced in the Treo 700w. Although it supports photo caller ID, the 700p doesn't have the photo speed-dial function found on the Windows-based device.
Finally, we come to some of the Palm Treo 700p's entertainment features. The Treo 650's VGA camera has been swapped for a 1.3-megapixel camera with 2X zoom. The device comes with ScanR software, which enables you to take a picture of a whiteboard, then put the writing from the board into a Word document. You can record videos with sound and create slide shows with music and audio commentary. Also, the 700p now comes with PocketTunes 3.1 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.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Palm Treo 700p in San Francisco using Sprint's network, and call quality was solid. We had no problems hearing conversations, and though our callers reported a slight hint of an echo, they said that overall, the sound quality was excellent. Audio quality diminished slightly when we activated the speakerphone, with the voices sounding tinny, but it wasn't anything distracting. Plus, volume was adequate, even in noisy environments. Pairing the 700p with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth Headset was a breeze; we were up and running in less than a minute. Palm also said it will release a special version of the Plantronics Discovery 640 Bluetooth headset.
Surfing the Web on the Palm Treo 700p was a relatively good experience. Download speeds weren't mind-blowing, but the support for Sprint's EV-DO network definitely made a difference, as even graphics-intensive sites such as CNET.com loaded quickly. We also watched an episode of Fox's Prison Break on the 700p, and we admit it's cool having the ability to watch TV on a palm-size device, but the picture was way too pixelated to enjoy the experience. Also, the sound became muffled when we laid the device on a table; to get the best results, we suggest using the wired headset. It's nice, however, that when you're in a data session, you can accept calls. Then when you hang up, you can resume your data session automatically.
The Palm Treo 700p is rated for 4.5 hours of talk time and up to 12 days of standby time. In our tests, the 700p beat that by half an hour.