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  1.    #1  
    I saw a new flip phone today over at Engadget called the LG Lotus. If I was on Sprint and didn't have or know about Treos, I'd probably buy one of these clamshell phones. The LG Lotus looks really nice.

    Seeing the Rumor made me wish that Palm had a clamshell smartphone again like they used to. I would buy one for sure.

    Hmmmm.... remember at the end of last year when we wrote the TreoCentral 2008 prediction article? We mentioned in the article that an annonymous source told us that Palm would be releasing a "clamshell Treo" on Sprint that will come in both Palm OS and Windows Mobile flavors. We said that thought at the time that the clamshell Treo would be given the "Centro" brand name. Well, obviously that was wrong. But Palm could still be working on a clamshell Treo. Maybe it could be one of the WM Treos that Palm will bring out before the end of the year. We just heard via WMExperts that they found a device referred to as a "Sprint Treo 850e" over at DSL Reports. We know that the Treo 850 is the Treo Pro, so the Treo 850e is another Treo Pro. Could it be a clamshell phone? Probably not. But.... Palm is still releasing new colors of the Centro, and the latest two Holiday colors for Sprint, the Olive Green and Vibrant Rose, were even built with <b>twice the memory</b> at 128MB. Who the heck was expecting that memory increase? I sure had no idea about it; only that the two new colors were coming. Could Palm be working on a clamshell Centro?

    You can read the full story here.

    Anyway, if Palm made a new clamshell phone, would you buy one?

    I'd love to see some photo-shopped pics that any of you can come up with for a new Palm clamshell phone. I know that many of you could make some really great pics for us to drool over.
    Last edited by Jennifer Chappell; 10/20/2008 at 05:40 PM.
  2. #2  
    Of all the POS phones I've owned, the most convenient by far was the Samsung i500, an excellent clamshell smartphone. I actually downgraded from a Treo 650 for a while to use it, but while I absolutely loved the build quality and the form factor, the i500's technology was out of date even when it was first released. It had no BT, a 160 x 160 resolution, a numeric keypad sans T9, no memory card slot and no multimedia capability whatsoever. But it did have a great integration of the Graffiti area with the keypad.

    Palm could probably milk another year out of Garnet if they released an entry-level phone similar to the Centro, but with a clamshell form factor. That's basically what RIM is doing with the Pearl 8220.

    Last Christmas I talked to a muckety-muck at NewEgg who was in talks with Sprint about their product roadmap, and he swore he saw a sheet for a so-called Treo 950 that was a clamshell device.
  3.    #3  
    Hi Gameboy! I'd totally forgotten to even mention the Samsung i500. I'm glad that you mentioned it!
  4. #4  
    I think you are way off on this one. I had my full with flip phones. Centro is my first smartphone and my first candybar phone that I had in years. I like the easy access to screen and keybd without opening it. Also I think the trend on TV shows will be more smartphones (non flip) PHONES.
  5. #5  
    Jennifer,
    Nice job on the doctored-up would-be new Palm flip phone.

    It reminded me of my Treo 300 days which was great.

    I agree with some of the other posts in that I'm not sure that I could ever go back to a flip phone after having a Treo 600, 700p and now a Centro.

    Just me 2 cents.

    Good Luck
    iPhone 4S
    Former Treo & Storm Owner
    Cigar Lover
  6. #6  
    I would love a flip phone. I have a treo Pro and have had several Handspring/Palms. I hate the fact that when a call comes in and and buttons press. Also the Treo Pro has slid off my lap at least 100 times onto the car floor, at least it would be protected.

    BTW the 180 was the first Handspring/Palm flip phone.
  7. #7  
    saw this on boygenius and nearly flipped. I remember havinga razr just to see what the craze was about and thought a qwerty flip phone would soon be coming from Palm. To bad LG beat them to it
  8. #8  
    If Palm is going to try a clamshell flip phone, then I think they would need to take a look at using something like sure type.

    And even the flip pearl is a tad large.
  9. #9  
    OH THE HORRORS Of The hinges in the early Palm Clamshells! As long as they come up with a better hinge solution I'm all for a Palm clamshell.
  10. #10  
    My wife's 300 had hinge problems more than 3 times. Finally took care of it with a permanent repair done by myself. I was very glad my 300 did not unhinge itself and was glad to get rid of it.
  11. DervMan's Avatar
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    #11  
    That is my worry - the hinge. I don't dislike the form factor of my Treo 680 in the slightest and I'd certainly consider a flip 'phone. It doesn't tend to work so well in a car kit, though...
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by remix2000 View Post
    OH THE HORRORS Of The hinges in the early Palm Clamshells! As long as they come up with a better hinge solution I'm all for a Palm clamshell.
    I know it's had to believe, but my Treo 300's cover never came loose. The 300 is no comparison to my Centro but I still have a thought it was a neat device (perhaps since it was a major leap from my PalmPilot/Visor/Prism.

    Good Luck
    iPhone 4S
    Former Treo & Storm Owner
    Cigar Lover
  13. jberger's Avatar
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    #13  
    I cannot even count the number of replacement 180's and 270's I had because of the flip design. I stopped counting at 13 replacement 180's and that was all prior to the 270's release.

    I prefer flip phones, but Palm's track record for flips is awful. I think the millions they paid out over the flip class action suits would preclude them from releasing another flip unit, ever.
  14. #14  
    I had a Kyocera 7135 and that thing was a tank. The hinge wouldve lasted forever. Too bad the radio and mother board had a fatal flaw in the welding but as far as the body and the flip... It was choice.
    ONE can be spelled as NEO.
    There is no spoon.
  15. #15  
    I wonder if a flip style Centro was one of the Treo projects that were canceled by Jon Rubinstein and the new team of managers.

    It would have been interesting to see what Palm could have done with a flip phone at a Centro price point.
    Iím a lucky man to count on both hands
    The ones I love..

    Visor Pro -> Visor Edge -> Treo 180 -> Treo 270 -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> T|T2+SE T68i -> Treo 600 -> T-Mobile MDA -> Treo 755p -> Treo 800w -> Treo 755p -> PALM PRE -> Palm Pre 2 -> HP Palm Pre 3

    Twittering about
  16. Fiffer's Avatar
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    #16  
    Now that's quite a bulky phone! A QWERTY keyboard clamshell phone is not really that appealing to me. I've had a clamshell / flip phone break a few years back and I guess flip phones were more of a fad.
    Using a Centro with free ActiveSync at http://www.TheMessageCenter.com
  17. #17  
    What is the point to a clamshell phone? To protect the screen/keys? If so, you could try a flip case. If the point is to decrease size, won't that just cause the phone to be twice as think?
  18.    #18  
    Thanks for the great feedback!

    To all those mentioning the hinge problem, I can sure understand the worries there. I probably never used my previous flip phones enough to weaken the hinges before I upgraded to something new.

    And as to why a flip phone? I do think that some buttons and the screen would be protected, and cavingjan made a good point about a flip case. I think that I just like the "idea" of a flip phone in general, I guess because I've always liked the way they look. But then again, I'm a gadget freak and I love all gadgets. Just can't help it!
  19. #19  
    I will cast another vote that Palm should use the design from Samsungs' i500. It was a great Palm flip phone which many people still use today evnthough it is Palm 4.x and has limited functionality compared to today's phones. It was rock solid and well built. Just give it a qwerty keyboard (the Centros would fit in there), bring back graffiti and rock on.
  20. #20  
    If Palm is going to try a clamshell flip phone, then I think they would need to take a look at using something like sure type.

    And even the flip pearl is a tad large.
    The flip Pearl is poorly designed. The Centro's qwerty keyboard is smaller than the Razr's numeric keypad, so I see no reason why the Centro couldn't be redesigned as a clamshell.

    There are well-constructed clamshells and mediocre ones. The hinge and the overall build quality of the Treo 270/300 was horrible. The Kyo 7135 was a little too thick when closed for my taste, but the construction was rock solid.

    The i500's design, in terms of the hinge and casing, was absolute perfection. With the current POS, a Centro keyboard, BT, a microSD slot and a 3.5mm audio jack, Palm would have a formidable entry-level flip phone.

    I'm pretty agnostic on the flip-vs-bar phone debate. I like the ability to answer calls and access the keyboard without having to open the device, but I also like the pocketability of flip phones. I hate wearing phones on my belt, and i500 slipped in my front pocket with virtually no bulge. I carry the Centro in my front pocket as well, but the i500 slid in and out more elegantly, since my fingers didn't have to avoid smearing the screen or pressing a key.

    What is the point to a clamshell phone? To protect the screen/keys? If so, you could try a flip case. If the point is to decrease size, won't that just cause the phone to be twice as [thick]?
    When you're trying to fit a phone in your pocket, the device's footprint (the lateral dimensions) matters more than the thickness. And well designed clamshells are usually 1.5x the thickness of bar phones or less, not 2x (compare the Razr and the Centro).

    I don't see the point of a flip case. If you're going to have to flip something to use your phone, it might as well be the phone itself. Since I prefer to wear my phone in my pocket, a case would add unacceptable bulk.

    I wonder if a flip style Centro was one of the Treo projects that were canceled by Jon Rubinstein and the new team of managers.

    It would have been interesting to see what Palm could have done with a flip phone at a Centro price point.
    There's a good chance that Rubsinstein did cancel a flip Centro. If so, I think that would've been a mistake from a business perspective. The Centro is a smartphone targeted toward feature phone consumers, many of whom find clamshells less intimidating than persistently exposed qwerty keyboards, hence the popularity of slider designs. Palm probably could've gotten higher margins on a clamshell Centro.

    I prefer flip phones, but Palm's track record for flips is awful. I think the millions they paid out over the flip class action suits would preclude them from releasing another flip unit, ever.
    Palm would probably outsource the manufacturing to HTC, which has a much better track record with build quality.
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