Handspring's forthcoming handheld/cellphone device will have a colour screen, backlit keys and decent battery life, according to documents the company has submitted to the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The unit, code-named Atlanta but properly known as the Treo 270, is very similar to the existing models -- it runs Palm OS, has Handspring's own Blazer Web browser and a custom SMS utility. Although the Treo 270 has a colour screen, Handspring claims a longer battery life than the monochrome Treo 180: 3 hours talk time and 150 hours standby, compared to 2.5 and 60 hours respectively for the older model, from a 3.7v 850mAH Li-ion cell. It's not known whether the Treo 270 will support GPRS. It uses a Wavecom WISMO Pac GSM/GPRS module that is capable of GPRS, but the test reports on the FCC Web site only cover GSM calls. The same cellphone unit is used on the 180, which does not support GPRS, but enabling it would be a matter of a software upgrade and could conceivably be introduced after product launch.
The Treo 180 has been praised for its light weight and compact size, but slated for slow speed and poor battery life -- and, of course, lack of colour. Keep checking back on ZDNet UK Reviews for a full review of the Treo 270 when it ships.