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Palm Centro Review

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Design:

From the minute you pick the Centro up its obvious that the device is totally different than the Treo. While it retains the candy bar form factor found in most smartphones, it is smaller in all dimensions and feels near perfect in your hand. The Centro strikes a near perfect balance between thinness and narrowness; it’s narrow enough to be grasped comfortably and thick enough so that the device doesn’t feel fragile and get lost in your hand.

Model Dimension (Inches) Dimension (mm) Weight (oz) Weight (Gramms)
Palm Centro 4.20" x 2.10" x 0.70" 107 x 53.5 x 18.5 4.20 119
Palm Treo 755p 4.40" x 2.30" x 0.80" 113 x 59 x 21 5.6 160
Motorola Q9m 4.60" x 2.60" x 0.50" 118 x 67 x 11.9 4.80 135
Blackberry Pearl 4.20" x 2.0" x 0.60" 107 x 50 x 14.5 3.20 90

The casing is two tone, both black and red mica versions will be available, with silver accents. The plastic casing is slippery, and while we would have preferred the soft-touch paint found on the 755p the construction is still good. Palm definitely skimped on materials to bring the Centro to market with such a low price-point, but they did so in a way that the device does not feel cheap.

Palm Centro Review
Palm Centro Review
Palm Centro Review

Palm Centro Review
From Left to Right - Palm Centro, LG Rumor, Motorola Q - Palm Centro Review
Down - LG Rumor, Up - Palm Centro - Palm Centro Review
 

From Left to Right - Palm Centro, LG Rumor, Motorola Q

Down - LG Rumor, Up - Palm Centro



The touchscreen display is 320x320 supports up to 65k colors, and is easy to read in all lighting conditions. Underneath the user will find a silver strip, flanked by the send and end buttons. In the center is the 5 way directional pad. To the right of the d-pad is the home and messaging buttons, to the left sits the phone and calendar keys. Buttons are easy to press and give good feedback.

Touchscreen display - Palm Centro Review
Palm Centro Review
QWERTY keyboard - Palm Centro Review

Touchscreen display

 

QWERTY keyboard



At the bottom of the phone is a full QWERTY keyboard, with ALT, Shift, Backspace, Enter, 0 and context menu hard keys. When pictures first surfaced of the Centro the diminutive size of the keyboard was the most talked about feature, and there is no doubt that it’s tiny. However, the keys are constructed of a rubber-like material that makes them just grippy enough that size is not an issue. We had no learning curve using this keyboard, and within minutes of picking it up were already typing faster than we do on larger keypads. The keys are placed far enough apart, and there is auto-correction software onboard which generally fixes the occasional mis-type. We actually find ourselves preferring this keyboard to larger keypads found on models like the Q and even the Treos. We gave it to some people with larger fingers and they had no problem using it either.

Volume Rocker and Side key - Palm Centro Review
Infrared port and MicroSD slot - Palm Centro Review
Speaker and 1.3 Megapixel Camera - Palm Centro Review
Top side - Palm Centro Review

Volume Rocker and Side key

Infrared port and MicroSD slot

Speaker and 1.3 Megapixel Camera

Top side



The left side of the phone houses the volume rocker at the top, with a programmable side key just below. On the right is the Infrared port and a pretty much hidden MicroSD slot. It ships with a sticker alerting the user of its presence, but once removed the slot is integrated almost seamlessly into the silver trim that rings the sides of the phone. The slot is pretty hard to open, and users without fingernails will find themselves removing the battery door to access the MicroSD card. That battery door monopolizes the back of the phone, but at the top the user will find the speaker and 1.3 megapixel camera. The stylus tucked away at the top left, and on the right is a rubber plug that hides an external antenna port. Along the top of the phone is a sliding switch that quickly puts the phone into vibrate, and the bottom is the standard Palm charging/data port.

Overall we have found the design of the Centro to be excellent. It is as close to perfect as we have encountered for a full featured smartphone, and it’s hard to describe just how great this device feels to use. The Centro is a major upgrade from the already good 750/755p design. It is also good to see Palm put some forward thinking into the design of their devices.



5 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. josh (unregistered)


this is the smallest ,best pda phone i've come across . it does things the iphone can't even touch.

posted on 16 Nov 2007, 16:55

2. phonequeen (unregistered)


I love it, it's small, easy to manage, does everything the treo can and doesn't take up too much space. Put a 2gb memory card and see the picture and camcorder capabilities expand. It's awesome.

posted on 02 Jan 2008, 16:55

3. Art - Midalnd Texas (unregistered)


Just want to say that i go my centro this past x-mas and its the best thig ever i can do more than what i thought i could its the best phone ever I love it hope every one can buy it its real cool i swear!

posted on 26 Aug 2008, 17:19

4. I give it an A- (unregistered)


Great features, gets better reception than my last phone by far. I was about to leave sprint but now with this phone i have coverage where i didn't before. The biggest negative is the size of the keyboard. Small buttons difficult to use and I have had problems with the touch screen freezing up now and then. The selector switch on mine had to be replaced once so far. Great size and has all the bells and whistles. One feature it does not work with, is a voice dial with a bluetooth device. Sprint offers voice command service but that is not compatible with the bluetooth headsets. My daughter's much less expensive phone does have this feature, this phone should.

posted on 09 Nov 2013, 18:52

5. Bobdi (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


NOT QUITE DEAD YET IN 2013!
Palm Centros are still available on the internet, and I'm ordering my 3rd now. I've tried newer phones, but each time returned them and found another Centro.
Why? None of the newer gadgets have the features and abilities of the Centro. I won't repeat all the good things listed above, but I particularly like its keyboard, its reliability, the organizers, its compactness, its long battery life, its computer backup system (doesn't work on Win 7, but what does?).
I'm not a smartphone type, don't text, don't do social networks, etc., but for me, and perhaps you, if you want a tool instead of a toy, might like a Centro or other Palm.

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Palm Centro CDMA

Palm Centro CDMA

OS: Palm OS 5.4 (Garnet)
view full specs
Display320 x 320 pixels TFT
Camera1.3 megapixels
Size4.22 x 2.11 x 0.73 inches
(107 x 53.5 x 18.5 mm)
4.20 oz  (119 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 3.5 hours talk time

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