Comparing the Treo 650 and Treo 700: Should I buy a Treo 650 or Wait Until the Treo 700 Comes Out?

This is the question I got earlier this week from an online friend. His current phone was nearing the end of useful service, and he needed a new one.

He’d been reading tips and tricks on this Treo site and wanted my advice. I’m not sure I gave him the advice he was seeking, but I thought it may be something that others are interested in considering.First, the Treo 700 hasn’t been released, so it’s not yet been tested. There aren’t any reviews to date and I’ve not had my grubby little paws on one yet.

So, I can’t recommend the Treo 700 — yet. I did tell him that there were a few considerations he should entertain.

First, the Treo 700’s release will mean a serious price drop in the 650.

Second, if he’s in an area that supports Verizon’s wireless broadband beta or early adoption, he may be able to take advantage of it to enjoy a faster connection speed (and that would be really nice!) with his contract commitment, when he buys.

Third, buying now and going with a new contract on a 650 will make the price lower, but will lock him into a two year contract… which will be well past the point that the Treo 700 will be available in his own market.

Fourth, there is ALWAYS some shaking out time on a new device — and depending on how much “new stuff” is added to the 700, this may be important. A new operating system is always a new OS, and Microsoft isn’t always known for their first releases being perfect. Now, maybe it’s the old Treo hardware, and the existing (and tested) MS platform, simply fused. Maybe the inevitable hardware/software issues will all be addressed before the product is released. And, maybe not.

Fifth, the use of an Microsoft OS will most likely mean that using Outlook and syncing it with the Treo will be far easier on the Treo 700. Many of the Palm OS folks have had challenges with the sync conduits for this functionality. (And, many have done just fine with it.)

Personally, I’ll not rely on the Treo 700 immediately. I’ll keep my Treo 650 in service and just swap out my SIM card (if possible) to do my initial test driving.

My final advice to him… if you need a phone now, and you want a Treo — buy the 650. If you are willing to wait a few more months and can afford the addition of the “unknown” factor for a few weeks/months while the patches and the kinks are all worked out, then wait for the 700.