HP

Palm Centro Review



Camera:

The 1.3 megapixel camera found on the Centro performed admirably. It is not the greatest mobile camera we’ve used, but color representation was good and edges were generally sharp. The pictures were a bit brighter than they should have been, but it is more than adequate for casual snapshots. Options are sparse however, and the only adjustments the user can make is image size or to apply a black and white or sepia filter.



The camcorder records videos at a maximum resolution of 352x288. The video quality was adequate, they would probably best be described as YouTube quality. Video options are as meager as the camera. Video length is limited only by available memory, but only ones fewer than 512K (30 seconds) can be sent via the video mail service. There is no setting to restrict videos to a sendable size only as you’ll find on the Power Vision dumbphones.

Multimedia:

Both pictures and videos can be sorted into user-created albums, a very nice feature that allows for easy organization and media recall. All video playback is handled via the Pics&Videos application, and videos can be played in full-screen mode . It didn’t have problem playing MPEG4 QVGA video encoded with H.263 but typically when opening one with H.264 played only the sound.

Audio playback is handled by Pocket Tunes deluxe. It supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA and WMA-DRM codecs, as well as features such as album art playlist editing. The player can run in the background, allowing the user full access to the device. If a call comes in the player pauses and when it is ended the music resumes where it left off. We really can’t complain about anything with Pocket Tunes, it is a full featured player and should suffice any user’s need.

The Centro supports the SprintTV and Radio service. At times the picture will pixelate or fall behind the audio, but the picture quality was generally good and we enjoyed watching TV on the larger screen. The Centro does not support the Sprint Music Store at this time.



Software:

There is 64MB of flash memory in the Palm Centro, but microSD expansion allows for microSDHC cards up to 8GB. Palm is a relatively svelte OS, and despite such little onboard memory we have never had issues with lag or the system bogging down.

Applications are plentiful, and with third party support the possibilities are endless. Besides what we’ve mentioned already the device comes preloaded with the likes of Google Maps, Sudoku, a file manager and Solitaire (both downloadable at no cost after the Centro is registered OTA.)
A Java runtime environment is available for Palm devices, although it is not a free program. In order to run Java applications the user must first download this runtime environment. We were not able to test it, and so cannot speak to the performance of Java application such as Opera Mini on the Centro.


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