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  1.    #1  
    I was very excited when I received the e-mail from Palm that the 680 was being released. I got my 650 about two years ago and have loved the device ever since. However, I have had some issues with resets and, more importantly, sound quality on my 650 lately so I was interested in looking at the new device. Now, I won't go into a full review here because everyone likes and looks for different things in a device such as this so, I'll just give my opinions on some areas of interest.

    First off, I have been a long time Motorola fan. The ability to make and receive a quality phone call is by far the most important thing to me when shopping for a cell. In my area, I have always had good experiences with Moto handsets over Nokia and Panasonic. However, my company is mainly internet driven and I found I needed to be able to check e-mail and my extranet on the road. So, I ended up buying a 650. I have always had a Palm Pilot so I was familar with the PDA functions. The sound quality had me on edge. Anyway... long story short... I liked the sound quality of the 650. Recently, though, I have had some mic trouble as well as static.

    I went to my local Cingular store and picked up my 680 (had several in stock) and paid my $199 ($299 w $100 mail-in rebate). Now, I know the 680 is more of a lateral move than an "upgrade" to the 650 but I liked the things they changed. The new form factor is very comfortable in the hand and feels more like a "candy bar" cell phone than the 650 (which was like holding a piece of toast up to your ear). My initial reaction was that the new form factor reminded me of the BlackBerry model that looks like a cell phone (forget the model name/number). I LOVE that the antenna is internal making it more pocket and belt friendly. The smaller battery and plastic stylus also subtracted from the weight again making it a tad more pocket friendly. I also appreciated how they squared off the keys on the keyboard a bit more making them a smidge wider and easier to type on than the 650.

    I am disappointed in the stylus though. Its a flexi-plastic with a metallic tip. Granted its lights but not nearly as solid in the hand as the 650's. Of course, I can probably buy a replacement stylus that is a bit more solid.

    The device was very easy to set up and all my 650 info (contacts, memos, calander, etc.) synced without issue. I even put on Docs-To-Go 9.0 which I bought while I had the 650. No crashes or conflicts. I don't have a lot of 3rd party apps so I can't speak too much for conflicts... yet. I do like that they included FileZ on the install CD as well as some other programs. Haven't delved too much into them yet. And I haven't found much of a need for the Butler program... yet. E-mail was easy to set up as well and I download e-mail a tad faster than on my 650. I find switching between apps is painless and zippy, possibly due to the increased on-board RAM.

    Web surfing still works well. I have always used the enclosed Blazer browser. I did several speed tests on dslreports.com/mspeed and I am averaging 200kb/s. Better than my 650 with usually peaked around 150kb/s. Granted, I haven't stuffed my Treo yet with anything to really bog it down.

    Setting up Bluetooth was just as painless. I sync via bluetooth to my laptop and had no issues or errors. Also, setting up my BT headset (Plantronics Discovery 640) was a breeze and the call quality is good (no static).

    Now... onto my big "hot button" issue (everyone has one)... call quality. I was sceptical about the call quality with the internal antenna but it is by far better than my 650... especially toward the end of my 650's life. The sound quality is really, really impressive. Probably impressive enough to say this is the best sound quality I have ever had from a cell phone. I made 10 calls yesterday and only one person (my sister) could tell I was on a cell... not because of the sound quality but because she could hear that I was in a store and there was a lot of background noise (of course, why I decided to go to Best Buy on Black Friday Weekend is beyond me).

    The one thing that will take some getting used to is that they moved the buttons around a bit. The menu/application button (for the drop-downs within apps) is now in the bottom right. No big deal... just need to re-train my fingers. Also, they changed the menu-ing on the phone screen to make accessing favorites easier. The interface is a lot friendlier than the phone interface on the 650 but will again take a tad of adjusting. Most everything else (like the messaging interface) just a slight facelift but with no real design changes... just cosmetic.

    Overall, I would state again that the 680 is more of a lateral move from the 650 as opposed to an all out upgrade. I agree with the TC review that Palm is looking more to convert "regular" cell phone users to the smartphone world. With the nice 680 form and $199 after-rebate price, they might just snag a few. If I wasn't having the sound quality issues on my 650, I might not have purchased the 680 at all. However, I am very glad I did. It certainly has a nicer form factor, a cleaner interface, and amazing call quality (IMHO). I would certainly recommend this device to anyone looking for a new cell whereas the 650, I would really only recommend to business users.

    Drew
  2. #2  
    Gld to hear that you are enjoying the 680. Remember to break in the battery well and take your time with the button changes.
    MMM | AntoineRJWright.com | BH | Jaiku

    Moved on to Symbian, but still will visit from time to time.
  3. dpc
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    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by drewdgr View Post
    I went to my local Cingular store and picked up my 680 (had several in stock)
    derwdgr, what area do you live in? I'm guessing not CA?
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by dpc View Post
    derwdgr, what area do you live in? I'm guessing not CA?
    East Coast. I am in the Reading, PA area (about 60 miles NW of Philly).
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by drewdgr View Post
    ...
    The device was very easy to set up and all my 650 info (contacts, memos, calander, etc.) synced without issue. I even put on Docs-To-Go 9.0 which I bought while I had the 650. ...
    Drew
    I had thought that it came with Doc to Go 9.0 as one of the apps. Is that not true?
  6.    #6  
    I forgot to add one thing... the camera. Now, obviously, cell phone camera are not known for their amazingly high-quality, print-ready pictures. I only played with it a little bit and the camera seems to perform a little better than the 650's in lower light as well as bright light conditions. The video looks to run a bit smoother than the 650 as well. However, I do not like where they placed the camera on the back of the device. On the 650, it was near the top making it easy to hold the phone comfortably without worrying that your fingers would get in the way. Here, its about 1/2"-3/4" down from the top of the device in the center. I found it a bit odd to hold the device at first and take a picture. Might just take some getting used to but there might be some folks out there where this could be an inconvenience.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mdavis View Post
    I had thought that it came with Doc to Go 9.0 as one of the apps. Is that not true?
    My 680 did not have D-T-G 9.0. I think it was the last version 8.x. Plus, when I purchased 9.0, I got the "Office 2007" upgrade so I wanted to make sure the version on my phone had my registration number on it.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by drewdgr View Post
    I am disappointed in the stylus though. Its a flexi-plastic with a metallic tip. Granted its lights but not nearly as solid in the hand as the 650's. Of course, I can probably buy a replacement stylus that is a bit more solid.

    Drew
    Great overall review, and I agree with you on almost every point.

    I am on day 5 with my 680 now, and I did not like the new stylus at first (I do not use the sylus alot - a few games, misc apps), but find myself liking...actually preferring it now. I picked up my 650 to look at something and took out the old stylus, and found that I like having a little "give" or bend in the new stylus. Give it a few days before you make your final decision.

    The same with the new button layout. I was a little lost at first, but when I went back to my 650 to look, I was more lost on the 650, now that I am used to the button configuration on the 680. The menu button is what has thrown me off the most.

    I am a business user as well, so to me this really is an upgrade - faster, easier, more memory, better browsing, more stable and best of all:

    NOT A SINGLE RESET!!!!!

    It will be interesting to hear the thoughts as more and more people start to receive their new 680s.

    Again - great review!!!
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by mdavis View Post
    I had thought that it came with Doc to Go 9.0 as one of the apps. Is that not true?

    It comes with Documents To Go 8.0 (8.002 to be exact).
    Rewards Network

    Unlocked BlackBerry Curve 8300 (AT&T/Cingular)

    Unlocked Treo 680 Graphite (Cingular) - RETIRED

    Zoomer > Palm Pilot > Palm IIIxe > Palm V > Palm M505 > Palm M515 > Treo 600 > Treo 650 >
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by MattM2G View Post
    Great overall review, and I agree with you on almost every point.

    I am on day 5 with my 680 now, and I did not like the new stylus at first (I do not use the sylus alot - a few games, misc apps), but find myself liking...actually preferring it now. I picked up my 650 to look at something and took out the old stylus, and found that I like having a little "give" or bend in the new stylus. Give it a few days before you make your final decision.

    The same with the new button layout. I was a little lost at first, but when I went back to my 650 to look, I was more lost on the 650, now that I am used to the button configuration on the 680. The menu button is what has thrown me off the most.

    I am a business user as well, so to me this really is an upgrade - faster, easier, more memory, better browsing, more stable and best of all:

    NOT A SINGLE RESET!!!!!

    It will be interesting to hear the thoughts as more and more people start to receive their new 680s.

    Again - great review!!!
    Can't wait until I am a day 5 person. hahaha The "complaints" I have aren't even complaints... just need to get used to the different things. That darned menu button is gonna be the death of me until I can re-train my fingers. hahahaha And the stylus, I agree... I don't use it much either. However, I like that they could shave a gram or two off the weight by using the lighter stylus.

    I too cannot wait until people really start getting them and using them. I remember when the 650 came out, it was a love it/hate it kind of thing. I can see a lot more "loves" than "hates" with the 680.
  11. Familyman's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Antoine of MMM View Post
    Gld to hear that you are enjoying the 680. Remember to break in the battery well and take your time with the button changes.
    What do you mean "break in the battery well?"
  12. #12  
    Glad to hear you like it! I'm still deciding between the 680 and the Blackjack, but I'm leaning toward an arctic white 680

    Post some pictures of it if you have time!
  13. #13  
    what version of dtg 8 does it come with. I have 8.0 premium registered.

    btw, isnt the new button layout the old button layout of the 600?
    Felipe
    On the road to 5,000 posts
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  14. #14  
    I believe that the button layout on the 680 closely resembles that of the 600, which I am still using happily until my unlocked 680 arrives. The big question is: are some of the nice touches of the 600 brought to the 680 - such as being able to program the 5-way rocker switch to four apps of your choosing? That was lost on the 650, and much missed!
  15. #15  
    yes post some pics! I'm a bit greeen as I won't get mine for a while :|...sounds good though, enjoy!
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    #16  
    It seems like they took a few years to really perfect the 650's bugs, then took that bugless OS into the 750's shell. I can't wait to get mine. Post some user pictures to hold us over if you have time.

    Has anyone's order status changed from "Order Received" to "Order Processing" with Palm?
  17. #17  
    My status is still displaying "Order Received". I think the status will change later this week. Possibly on Wednesday at earliest. But that is just my guess.
  18. #18  
    Mine still says "order received". Gettin' kind of tired of that status! Hopefully, this coming week......
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Antoine of MMM View Post
    Remember to break in the battery well
    What to you need to do to "break in the battery"?
  20. #20  
    yep..."Order received" - infuriating!
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