Unfortunately, the Palm Treo 700w doesn't share the same sharp resolution as the Treo 650 (320x320 pixels). Rather, at 240x240 pixels, images and text don't look as defined as on the Treo 650, and though the Treo 700w displays 65,000 colors, they look a bit washed out. That said, the display isn't all bad. Below the display is a navigation keypad that's similar to the 650's. There are two action keys that give you quick access to various functions, depending on which screen you're in; for example, from the Today screen, you can launch your messages or the menu. Beneath the soft keys are the Talk, Start, OK, and End buttons, split in pairs by the four-way navigation toggle and the center Select key. All controls are well spaced and easy to use, and we love the fact that you can operate the smart phone with one hand--you don't have to rely on the stylus to access menus and applications.
Of course, the Treo 700w's QWERTY keyboard is even handier (are you reading, e-mail fanatics?). The device sports rectangular buttons instead of the oval-like keys found on the 650, but the two smart phones do have something in common: a squished layout. Users with larger digits should take note, but on the upside, the keyboard is well backlit and provides a nice tactile feel. There's a volume rocker on the left spine of the smart phone, as well as a customizable quick-launch button just below it. The infrared port, the MMC/SDIO expansion slot, and the ringer/silent switch sit atop the 700w, while the MultiConnector port and the 2.5mm headset jack line the bottom. As noted in our review of the Treo 650, we find the placement of the headset jack a bit inconvenient, but it's not a deal breaker. Finishing out the design elements of the Palm Treo 700w is a camera lens, a self-portrait mirror, a speaker, and a user-replaceable battery on the back. The smart phone comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB ActiveSync cable, and a wired headset.The feature that sets the Palm Treo 700w apart from the rest of the Treo family is obviously its Windows Mobile 5 operating system. With it, you get the new Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, including Word Mobile, Excel Mobile, and PowerPoint Mobile. The first two apps add support for charts and tables--an enhancement to previous versions--while the latter is completely new. Although you can't edit slides in this version of PowerPoint, it's nice to be able to view presentations right on your device. The biggest draw for many, however, will be Outlook Mobile. The Treo 700w will be upgradable to Microsoft's Messaging and Security Feature Pack, which includes support for push e-mail. Now, you can receive Outlook e-mail in real time (along with POP3 and IMAP4 accounts, including Hotmail and Yahoo), appointments, contacts, and tasks directly on your device via a connection with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. The Treo 700w's complementary support for Verizon's EV-DO network sweetens the deal, as it means faster download speeds of around 400Kbps to 700Kbps. Other wireless options include Bluetooth for hands-free calling (there's also a speakerphone) but unfortunately no Wi-Fi, and you can't use the device as a wireless modem for your laptop when you are on the road. Palm says the Treo 700w will support its Wi-Fi card, so you can gain access that way.
Also unique to the Treo 700w is the customizable Today screen, which provides convenient and quick access to widely used apps. For example, you can now dial by name just by entering the first couple of letters of a contact, rather than having to dig through your whole address book. You can also easily surf the Net by entering text in the Web search field at the bottom of the Today screen, and Internet Explorer Mobile kicks in.