Palm Treo 800w Review

Introduction and Design
This is a CDMA phone offered with Sprint.

Hoping to continue the success Palm found with the Centro, the Treo 800w is one of the most full-featured smartphones on the market. Running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the 800w features the latest in high speed communication with EVDO Rev. A and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Bluetooth and GPS. It has slimmed down considerably from previous Treos, but retains a good sized full QWERTY keyboard. It features 256MB of memory, and has microSDHC expansion. The 800w is available on Sprint, and we expect to see it land on Verizon in 2-3 months.

Included in the box you’ll find:

  • Lithium ion battery
  • AC adapter
  • USB sync cable
  • Stereo headphones
  • User guide and software CD


While not as small as the diminutive Centro, the 800w is notably smaller than its Treo 750 predecessor. It is both thinner and narrower, giving the phone a good feel in your hand while not sacrificing functionality. It is coated in a blue soft touch paint, similar to the Sprint 755p but with more gray in it.

You can compare Palm Treo 800w to many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Aimed squarely at business users, the 800w strikes a good balance between size and usability. The QWERTY keyboard is reminiscent of previous Treos, much larger than the one found on the Centro and constructed of hard plastic keys. The phone’s narrowness means the keypad is slightly more cramped, and we wish there was a bit more travel to the keys, but overall it is pretty good. The 800w has two soft keys below the screen, as well as a navigation cluster with large Send and End keys on the ends. To the right of the Send key is a Windows key situated above a Calendar key, and to the left of the End key is an OK key above Email. The middle of the cluster is the five way directional pad. The keyboard keys are blue like the phone, except the keys that double as numbers which are white. The cluster keys are silver, which contrasts nicely with the blue.

Perched on the top half of the phone is a large, 320x320 pixel display. Despite only being 65k colors, the display is crisp and looks very good. It is bright enough to use in direct sunlight, but does wash out to an extent. As a WM Professional device the display is touch-based, and the user can operate the device independent of the keyboard.

Chrome trim runs along the outer edge of the phone, and integrated into this are the side buttons. On the left is a volume rocker and multi-function button, both situated near the top of the device. Near the top of the right side is the IR port, and down near the bottom is the microSD slot cover. The top of the 800w has a sliding switch to activate silent mode and a dedicated button that takes the user to the wireless connections settings. For the first time Palm has moved to a microUSB charging/data port, which is situated on the bottom of the phone.

The back is dominated by the camera and large speaker. The speaker has large square holes, like the 750 and 755p, but this time the speaker sits below the 2.0 megapixel camera instead of to the side. This cluster, like the one on the front, is set in silver and sits on the top half above the battery door. The stylus slides down the right side, and unfortunately is plastic similar to the Centro. We would have much preferred a metal stylus, the plastic one is flimsy and cheap feeling on an otherwise well-built phone.

The 800w won’t win any fashion awards, but it is a sharp looking device that is right at home in a board room. It has a good in-hand feel, and the larger keyboard makes typing easy. We’d imagine some users will be looking for a better stylus, but overall the 800w is a great business device that is build well and should hold up to heavy, everyday use.

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