The ultimate smartphone/entertainment device is getting closer and closer. Palm's new Treo 680 hit the streets last week: smaller, sleeker, but still not quite there. The price ($199) is very appetizing, but not the out of the park hit it would have been at $99. And those cool colors? Only if you buy the unlocked version ($400). Thanks, Cingular.
But, aside from that, it's not quite the ultimate device I'm waiting for. My Palm TX still is the closest to it. Here’s what the ultimate device needs, in my humble opinion:
- Palm OS. Pipe down, you Windows Mobile folks. Palm OS is still the easiest OS to use, and offers literally thousands of programs. Yes, it could use a refresh…and it is not getting one (ALP?), but neither Windows Mobile or Symbian are making a compelling enough case to knock it out. Why was the Treo 680 introduced with Palm OS instead of Windows Mobile, hmm?
- At least 64MB of RAM, and an SD card slot that supports up to 4GB cards. My TX does this; I was shocked to find that Pete's Treo did not recognize the card!
- Bluetooth. Ideally, A2DP, but I'll settle for 1.2 with AudioGateway.
- 3G (high speed) data from the cell carrier. Verizon's EVDO service seems the runaway winner right now; Cingular's HSDPA alphabet soup is just starting to rollout.
- WiFi. Call me crazy, but it's got to be ubiquitous. Yes, the cell carriers are upset; fine, let me pay more to unlock it. I'd pay another $50 for this.
- Here comes the unusual one: BIG screen: 320x480. What, you say? Sacrilege? Where does the keyboard go? I would have said the same, until I found Mini-Keyboard. Now, QWERTY + touchscreen = real ability to type.
- Battery life: 10 hours talk time, or 6 hours of video/audio playback time with 4 hours talk time. Let's me watch movies on a cross country flight, and still be able to call my appointments when I get to where I am landing.
- Of course, linked to all of the above, the ability to play MP3's, and movies (Palm OS lets that happen with TCMP and pTunes), as well as a touchscreen.
Anything beyond the above is gravy. How much would YOU pay for that combo?