capsule review

Palm Treo 700wx

At a Glance
  • Palm Treo 700WX Smartphone - Sprint (CDMA, Bluetooth, 1.3MP, 128MB, SDIO/MMC/SD)

    PCWorld Rating

    The 700wx is physically identical to the already-impressive Treo 700w, but adds some worthy upgrades under the hood.

In late 2006, Palm's Treo 700w received a quiet upgrade to the 700wx, which has the same design and runs the same OS but contains enhancements under the hood. Most notable is the RAM upgrade: With 48MB after a hard reset, the 700wx (available on the Sprint network) gives the user twice the available program memory that the 700w does, which goes a long way toward making the new Treo quicker to refresh screens and generally more responsive.

My few criticisms of this device are consistent with my gripes about other Windows Mobile-based Treos, revolving around the unit's unintuitive interface and the excessive number of taps and button presses required to launch any program that isn't reachable from the Today home screen. The 700wx includes the usual complement of Mobile Office applications. E-mail is perfectly serviceable through Mobile Outlook; but as with the 700w, typing much on the 700wx's keypad is difficult because the keys are slightly too big, too stiff, and too close together.

Physically the 700wx is almost identical to previous Treos, measuring 2.3 by 0.8 by 5.2 inches (width by depth by height) and weighing 6.2 ounces. Compared with the screens of other PDA phones on the market, however, its 2.5-inch, 240-by-240-pixel display (identical to that of the 700w) is somewhat dim. (The display on the Treo 700p does have a higher screen resolution of 320 by 320. See the discussion below for more on that model.)

The 700wx resembles other Treos in its phone capabilities, too. Its voice quality is average, but it performs nicely as a speakerphone or with the included headset. With a talk time of 5 hours, 28 minutes in our lab test, the 700wx's battery life is below average, but on a par with the longevity of other Treos we've tested.

On the other hand, the overall quality of the phone's nonmessaging features pleasantly surprised me. The Treo 700wx has a fantastic music player. Though it's not the highest-quality phone MP3 player, it's certainly the loudest: Listening was actually painful for me at the highest volume setting. Its 1.3-megapixel camera is of equally high quality: Photos taken indoors and outdoors came out well, better than most cell phone snapshots.

At $500 (with a two-year contract from Sprint), the 700wx carries the same price as the 700w from Verizon. Of the two, I definitely prefer the 700wx.

Christopher Null

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    The 700wx is physically identical to the already-impressive Treo 700w, but adds some worthy upgrades under the hood.

    Pros

    • Includes a fantastic music player
    • Camera takes impressive shots

    Cons

    • Talk-time battery life is poor
    • Keys are stiff and too close together
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