Palm Centro smartphone
Treo goes mainstream
Review Palm's been making its smartphones less like a clunky PDA and more like a regular, slim handset with each new model. The big step forward was the Treo 600. Now comes the latest version, this time with a new name as well as a new look.
Superficially, the Centro looks like Palm's other 'new design' smartphone, the Treo 500 - reviewed here. There's the same oblong shape with curved corners and the same silvery band across the middle with screen above and Qwerty microkeyboard below.
Palm's Centro: more candybar then ever before
But while the Centro is a couple of millimetres thicker than the 500, it's slightly shorter and much narrower, making it Palm's most candybar-like device to date. Oh, and very comfortable in the hand.
At the centre of the band is a curved-corner oblong - see a theme here? - five-way nav control. The call make and break keys sit at either end. In between, the band forms four buttons - on the Centro, moving clockwise, for the Palm OS apps menu, email, calendar and the main phone UI.
The band wraps around the side of the handset where it forms a second loop running up over the top, down the other side, round the base - home to a 2.5mm headset socket and the latest version of Palm's 'standard' connector - past a lanyard anchor and up again. There's an infrared port on the right side, volume keys on the left and, on top, Palm's customary - and still very welcome - mute-the-ringer switch.
A 1.3Mp camera, yesterday
From the top the phone, the silver band forms a short strip that folds over the back of the device to house the 1.3-megapixel camera, self-portait mirror and speaker grille. To the right of it there's a black plastic stylus, and beneath the rest of the back panel slides away to reveal the battery. Below that sits the SIM card tray.
Want a Centro in the US?
I bought mine at Radio Shack yesterday for $70 on sale. Worth every cent.
I really like this post and how it explained this new phone. I'd like to know the US cost for this phone. Any idea how much it'd be to buy here??
You can get an iPhone right now, connnect it to your laptop, download ZiPhone, press a button, unlocked in under 5 mins.
If you really don't like the recently revised o2 iphone packages that is. I actually find it reasonable, with unlimited cellular data and free access to Cloud network and all.
Less off contract than an iPhone on...
A centro can be purchased, outright, for less than £200 sim free - tell me where I can (legally) find an iPhone on the same terms and I'll be at the front of the queue...
This seems to do the job really rather nicely and I know someone - on a very cheap mobile tarrif - that will be delighted with this to replace his ancient phone and equally ancient palm neither of which are working particularly well any more.
Thank Bob for HotSync
I lost my Treo 650 a few weeks ago, so this came at almost exactly the right time. I filled in with a spare Sony Ericsson handset, but I missed the proper keyboard for texting and couldn't face typing in all my contacts again. Now I've got my Centro, I don't need to... plug in to USB, press the HotSync button, and a few moments later I've got my old phone back again -- but in a sexy new package.
Can't say I would have "upgraded" had I not lost the old Treo. PalmOS badly needs UMTS/HSDPA, though the Centro is EDGE enabled, and browsing is definitely faster. Blazer isn't quite as brain-dead as before, and no longer re-fetches the entire page when you hit the back button. Why is there still no WiFi?
So, it has a nicer form factor than a Treo 6X0, a better camera, and Google maps. The price is nice too, and it's dead easy to use.