Palm, Sprint announce new Treo 800w smartphone

Claim it's not an iPhone competitor

Palm Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. Monday announced the Palm Treo 800w smart phone, calling it a device most suited for business users and not a direct competitor to the iPhone 3G launched Friday.

The new Treo appears similar to older Treo models, but is the first smart phone with the capability to access fast EV-DO Rev. A networks out of the box, said spokeswoman Karen Chan.

The new Treo has Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, and will sell for US$249.99 after discounts and rebates, and is subject to a two-year contract. That puts the price above the 8GB iPhone 3G model, which sells for $199 and also has Wi-Fi, GPS and access to AT&T Inc.'s fast 3G network.

"It's not a direct iPhone competitor and is more for business users, while the iPhone is more suited for music and video and the consumer," Chan said.

The Treo 800w operates on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro operating system, and includes Outlook e-mail as well as text messaging. Editing of Microsoft Word and Excel documents is also possible.

Sprint said its EV-DO Rev. A download speeds average 600 Kbit/sec. to 1.4Mbit/sec. while uploads average 350 Kbit/sec. to 500 Kbit/sec.

Other features include a 320 x 320 pixel resolution touch screen, access to Sprint TV for news, weather and sports, and Sprite software for easy device backup.

Bluetooth wireless is supported as well as Wi-Fi and EV-DO Rev. A. The battery, which is removable, offers up to 4.5 hours of talk time. It weighs 5 ounces and is 2.28 x 4.41 x .73 inches in size.

Sprint requires a commitment to an unlimited data pricing plan, starting at $69.99 a month for unlimited data and 450 voice minutes.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

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