Palm’s Treo 680: The smartphone for soccer moms

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Always liked PDAs and BlackBerrys, but never thought you were part of the crowd who actually uses them? Has Palm got a smartphone for you. With much hullabaloo, the company today unveiled the Treo 680, a model that does all the cool smartphone tricks but has a few man-on-the-street convenience features to win over John Q. Most obvious is the crowd-pleasing startegy of being available in multiple colors, including crimson and white (check ’em after the jump). And then there’s the quick links to stuff like Google Maps, which can bring traffic data right to your phone’s screen. That screen clocks in at 320 x 320 pixels, by the way — not bad for watching any MPEG-4 or streamed videos. You may also have noticed that the Treo’s trademark external antenna is missing on the 680, but Palm promises the reception the new internal one is said to be just as good.

Now for what the latest Treo doesn’t have: It doesn’t have a lot of internal memory, just 64 MB, but you can crank that up to 2 GB or so with a separate SD card. And despite a decent communications set (GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and Bluetooth), it doesn’t do Wi-Fi, unlike some other handhelds we know. No Windows Mobile support either. Still, it’s nice that it doesn’t have much of a profile — just 0.8 inches thick. In the end, whether the Treo 680 wins over any “mobile accomplishers” (Palm’s target demographic, in untranslated marketingspeak) depends on the price and provider, which is a mystery for now. But a kinda-fair comparison would be the Treo’s cousin, the Motorola Q, which you can get for $200 with a Verizon contract. Another contender: the BlackBerry Pearl, also selling for a couple of C notes from T-Mobile. Which is your money on? Comment below…

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