The new Palm Treo 800w has been released for Sprint customers. The 800w runs Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 and it is a substantial upgrade over the last WinMob Treos, the 700w|wx and 750. The 800w has a sleeker form factor, which more closely resembles the Centro than the older Treos. And, due to the improvements in the new version of WinMob, the screen is 320×320, the same as the Palm OS products, instead of the 320×240 the older WinMob devices were restricted to. The 800w does have the ‘smile’ curved keyboard arrangement, as on other Treos, which I find to be easier to use than the straight rows of the Centro’s keyboard. The 800w has support for Sprint’s EVDO Rev A high-speed 3G data network, as well as 802.11g WiFi, and it has built-in GPS as well. It has all of the features of Windows Mobile Professioanl 6.1, plus Palm’s ‘secret sauce’ usability enhancements, and additional features unique to Sprint, such as Sprint Navigation. Palm’s blog has some more informationor you can order it directly from Palm. Prices start at $249 – after rebates and with a qualifying two year service and data plan. They do go up to $599 if you don’t want to commit to a plan.
Palm has also released a new color of Centro for AT&T users. In addition to the existing ‘Obsidian’ (Black) and Glacier (White) AT&T colors, you can now get it in ‘Electric Blue’ (kind of a light, metallic blue). Prices start at $99.99 – after rebate and with qualifying service plan, and they go up to $349 if you don’t want to commit to a plan.
I still think the Centro is a great ‘starter’ smartphone, or a step up for anyone who is considering one of the ‘feature phones’ which tend to cost more but offer less flexibility. The 800w looks nice, and if I didn’t dislike WinMob so much I’d consider it myself. Well, no, because I’d wait for a GSM version, but you get the point. It does give me a little hope that, if Palm ever manages to release Palm OS II, they may once again have some really nice products. And if I haven’t jumped on Android by then I might even try them.