Pros Only $99, Excellent Resolution, Compact Size
Cons Palm Software, No WiFi,
Summary For starters, I have to say the $99 price alone (includes $200 instant and $100 mail-in rebate) makes this the best smartphone purchase I could've made. I looked at the Blackberry Curve, and Treo 755p, which are impressive phones, but none can come close in terms of price. The curve has WiFi but has no touch screen, which is the exact opposite of the 755p. The 755p is larger and heavier than the Centro, and about 2-1/2 times the price, yet they both have the same processor and basic applications.
Okay, now to focus on the Centro. The Centro has the Palm operating system, which I prefer over Windows and Blackberry. The screen is very nice and has a very high resolution (320 x 320) compared to many other smartphones (240 x 240 and 320 x 240). I was able to install games and applications that I had on my computer from my Treo 650, which was nice. The screen is a little smaller, but it has not been an issue for me. I actually prefer the smaller form factor of this Centro. The CNET review stated that the phone was toylike -- the build is lighter and simpler than the prior Treo's, but I wouldn't say toylike. Also, and this is coming from someone with large hands, the keypad wasn't as bad as stated either. Granted, it's not as spacious as the other Treo's, but with the sticky feeling keys, my fingers almost always hit teir intended key without sliding into the others...I was truly surprised.
Okay, the disappointing part is the Palm software has not been updated. I was hoping for something more user-friendly, with a layout like a Windows or Mac first-rate application, not a clunky after-thought to the product. But,if you're used to the Palm software as I am, it's still usable and maybe they'll update it soon. Also, so WiFi. I find that the speeds provided by Sprint are pretty good, but for a smartphone to be truly smart....I'd say it would need WiFi.
My perspective in shopping for a smartphone was price first, so that being the case, I'm completely satisfied with what I've found in the Centro. Anything that is questionable for me about the phone is easily reconciled with the $99 price tag. Mind you, I don't even feel like I've settled for this phone due to price, but more like I just plain got lucky with finding the power of a 755p in a new compact size and truly great price.Updated
....quick update. The Battery door was a bit of pain to take off and put on. Actually putting it on was a beast, but after doing it a few times it's became a little easier. Indeed the door could be classified as toylike, but once it's on the phone, the phone feels solid. I'm still happy about the purchase and would recommend it, I just wanted to point this out.
Pros Great form factor and Well Built
Cons Installation CD is buggy
Summary I have had a bevy of smart devices and mobile phones over the years. I am OS agnostic when it comes to Palm OS devices versus Windows Mobile. Recently, I have owned the Sprint's UT Starcom 6700, Samsung's I500, Palm Treo 700 WX, Moto Q and most recently the Palm Centro. Before my corporate E-mail became a mandatory need, I loved the I500. It was well built and the OS performed geat. After that I went through quite a few Windows Mobile OS phones. The 6700 was junk (Made Phantom phone calls), the Q was just as bad (Motorola needs to stop basing their designs on profitablilty; that phone has really made me anti-Motorola, and now my workhourse, the Treo 700 WX (By far the best Windows Mobile Device from Sprint; great build quality and the least amounts of software hiccups.)I have now had the phone for almost a year and have since passed it to my girlfriend. The phone is still incredible and has performed incredibly.
One it comes to OS, the MS Exchange functionality was the compelling feature for purchasing the windows mobile devices. Now that the Centro has the same capability, I am extremely happy. I feel that, even though it is not as polished as Windows mobiles, The Centro's functionality and stability are great. The one major benefit of the PALM OS, it does not have the same tendency to lock up as the Windows Mobile OS. The Garnett OS has also done a reasonably good job of integrating functionality throughout the phone.
I agree with another reviewer that the build quality is not toy-like. I would say that the build quality exceeds the Blackberry Pearl. As for the Keyboard; after living with brick smartphones, it is nice to have the smaller form factor. Plus, I would rather have seperate keys for entering text rather than the 2-letter-per-key thing that both RIM and Sony-Ericsson have been championing.
The MS Exchange Integration is good; I just wish it supported tasks. The camera is better than the 700wx. The browser is good, the IM works well, and the abiltiy to get MSN e-mail is great. All in all, as long as the device remains solid and consistent, I would recommend this device.
Updated on Nov 27, 2008
Well done, Palm!!!
Updated on Jan 4, 2009I have now had the phone quite a while and now I have added another for my mother. They improved the casing and gave it a soft touch finish. It is Excellent; 5 stars.
Pros small, light, better bluetooth, streaming radio, task list, fast web access (as tested in san francisco)
Cons I am using it so much, I am worried about cell phone radiation. I don't see how palm can improve the product much more.
Summary Many have said that the Centro is not supposed to replace the 700p or other models. I beg to differ, because the Centro just replaced my 700p. Even with the recent upgrades to Sprints Treo 700p, the Centro just feels faster when connecting to a pc or headset via bluetooth or even when surfing the web. Ptunes (an OEM music player) offers more features in the version that comes free with the Centro. Right now I am streaming audio over the Internet from my Centro. The music connects instantly. If I like a song, I can bookmark it. To play the song again, I can play the book mark. This is great.
I've heard complaints about a small keyboard, but thats what people said about the first treo keyboard. Now every smart phone has the same keyboard as a treo. The Centro is a workhorse and it runs all the applications I've been using on my Treo 700p.
I realize a 10 is extreme, and I think it is appropriate.
Pros Size, screen brightness, internet speed
Cons There is no phone case available yet
Summary I have been a long time Palm user, including most Treo versions. Most of what I have read about this phone is that it is not an upgrade from the Treo 755p. When I walked into the Sprint store the salesman told me that I didn't want this phone because it is not an upgrade from the phone I had. I have been very happy with the Treo 755p but wanted a smaller phone without giving up features that I had on the 755p. I have also read several media reviews saying basically the same thing, the Centro is for kids, not a business phone, etc etc etc. I have been so happy with Palm products that I don't think they need much improvement. I will admit that my new Centro will not cut the yard or get my coffee for me in the morning but it's a CELL PHONE! What Palm has done, in my humble option, is take a great product and stuff it into a smaller form and I love it. The media has almost made me feel guilty because I wanted a phone that has been made for no one over 30 years old, I'm 47, and for no one that has ever owned a smart phone. The key board is smaller than the 755p but still easy to use. My only complaint is that there are no phone cases available yet. I am using the case to from my 755p but is a little large. Anyway, it's another great phone from Palm.
Pros Possibilities are endless...
Cons Carrier and service area.
Summary This is my first smartphone, so I can't compare this to others. I can say that I am more organized as I find myself on the go, and with more time I can actually enjoy the features such as the SprintTV/music videos, or the movies..when I'm on the ferry or commuting! Just plug this baby into your laptop and get it connected..you can also connect via bluetooth instead of the WiFi, but don't ask the people at the stores how to do it or you will get the craziest expressions! Just check out the help forums in your service provider for additional information. (Sprint's is the best) I LOVE MY PHONE, and would highly recommend the upgrade...you won't be sorry. I'm glad I did.