Rumor: Treo 800w (Plus Gandolf)

Over the last few days, the Internet rumor mill went into overdrive, discussing the possibility that Palm may have not one, but two new smartphones in the works: the Treo 800w and another code-named Gandolf. Both reportedly bring something new to the table.

That’s big news for a company whose smartphones over the last few years have sported the same basic form factor (size and shape).

First up is the one with an actual name, the Treo 800w. As the ‘w’ indicates, this is a Windows Mobile device. As it is supposed to become available from Verizon Wireless and Sprint, the country’s largest CDMA/EV-DO carriers, this Treo appears to be the follow-up to the aging Treo 700wx.

Unlike the Treo 755p, the recently introduced sequel to the Treo 700p also offered by these operators, the new Windows Mobile Treo seems to be a giant step forward. That’s because the Treo 800w, if rumors are correct, is the first Palm smartphone with Wi-Fi built in.

This is a feature Palm customers have been clamoring for years, but the mobile-device vendor has stubbornly refused to add, claiming 3G cellular-wireless broadband would be enough for most users. Not true, however.

Speaking of 3G, the Treo 800w may also feature EV-DO Rev. A technology, which offers much faster data transfers than the original EV-DO 3G.

Additional supposed features of the Treo 800w include integrated GPS, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, 128 MB of RAM, 256 MB of Flash ROM and an as-of-yet-unknown type of memory card slot.

This Treo may be Palm’s first Windows Mobile model with a higher-resolution 320 x 320 pixel touch screen. Palm can finally bring this to a Microsoft-based Treo because Windows Mobile 6 Professional supports that high a resolution. Current Windows Mobile Treos top out at 240 x 240.

The Treo 800w may become available from Verizon in September and Sprint in the fourth quarter.

Palm Gandolf

The evidence for a new smartphone code-named Gandolf is less conclusive than for the Treo 800w. If true, however, it’ll be a huge departure for Palm in terms of form factor.

While Palm has modified its Treo line a bit over the years, losing its signature antenna in the most recent models, Treos have otherwise sported the same basic physical design. Not so for Gandolf, which as you can see from the rendering above may look quite a bit different from previous Treos.

Rumors has it that there will be both Palm OS and a Windows Mobile versions of Gandolf.

The Windows Mobile version is supposed to run the Standard edition of Windows Mobile 6, which means it wouldn’t have a touch screen. If true, it’ll be Palm’s first smartphone to lack one. And it may put the company in a better position to compete with similar device from Motorola (the Q), Samsung (the BlackJack) and T-Mobile/HTC (the Dash).

Additional supposed features of Gandolf include a QWERTY thumb-keyboard, microSD slot, camera, and Bluetooth.

A picture of a reported Windows Mobile Gandolf floating around shows a Vodafone logo, meaning it would be a GSM device. Reportedly, a Palm OS CDMA version will land at Sprint with — like the Treo 800w — support for EV-DO Rev. A.

The Sprint version may ship during the fourth quarter for $200.

Article courtesy of SmartPhoneToday.

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