The Treo 650 has been around for a few years, and is Palm's most successful smartphone. But the new kid on the block might have something to say about that.
Building on the trademark Treo ease of use, the 680's qwerty keyboard makes typing an absolute joy: just grab the device with both hands and use your thumbs. Contacts are easily found, while text and email conversations are threaded and colour-coded, all making your life easier.
You can now insert emoticons – a slightly odd inclusion for a business phone – and status messages such as 'in a meeting' with the press of a navigation button.
By default a calendar/clock button takes you to your appointments for the day, week or month, while a home button accesses the main application screen: contacts, email and so on. But all of the 680's buttons can be reconfigured via the preferences.
Most features are straightforward. Setting up email via the VersaMail app was a matter of entering the address and password and checking that it was POP-enabled. And the connection is fast – we downloaded 662 messages in minutes. The Blazer browser is great, enabling proper surfing rather than a hobbled, WAP version of the web.
Palm has made this handset more consumer-focused than some of its predecessors, adding a Pocket Tunes applet that plays MP3s. Fortunately, the built-in speaker is actually pretty good.
The crisp 2.8in colour screen is ideal for displaying photos and video, although the playback resolution for prerecorded clips is markedly better than the images you can capture using the embedded camera.