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Palm Centro smartphone

Treo goes mainstream

Business security measures using SSL

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 Centro

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.

Palm Centro

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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