Pros size, bling-factor, simple interface, fast EVDO on Sprint
Cons Keyboard is THAT small, Palm Garnet OS is pretty dated, keys feel OK but a tad cheap
Summary I've used the I-phone, RIM etc and WinMo...blah blah. BUT, this is about the CENTRO that I am using right now. I had high hopes for this phone as the Palm P755 on Sprint I've been using is a bit buggy and slow. The Centro's OS is better implemented and a little more tightly tied to the phone than recent Garnet Palm OS devices. What I mean is that the phone is a lot snappier and lively in switching applications and operating. That is a good improvement to be sure. While I want to love the phone, there is much to miss here, as the software still shows its age.
So, as I am using this phone now, here goes:
CASE: Slippery and small, it looks slick but will not hold up after a minor drop, IMO. It is the nicest design PALM has done, but it lacks the durability of many other smartphones. The Stylus is FLIMSY and the keys feel a bit like puffy stickers from when you were a kid.
SCREEN: It is small, but usable. It is the nicest screen I think a TREO has ever been graced with, but it lacks the luster of some other PDA phones. That being said, it is not bad for $ 99.00. It is comprable to newer Blackberry Displays.
Software/O.S.: This is where it gets a bit rough. The OS is simple to use and is good for a new smartphone user. While Palm has many third party software add-on's, the OS often crashes when such software is installed. The organizer is very good but the email and web software is difficult. The stringed or "IM style" text messaging is welcome and useful. The dialing application on this Palm is a bit of a pain. All and all, it is old and buggy, so it is not to die for.
BATTERY: This palm has the worst battery of any phone I've used. In the end, this might be the kiss of death for me with this device. If I can't get through a regular day without plugging it in, it isn't worth my time. I have only used the phone for a day or two, so I will give it another couple days to evaluate it's longevity.
SOUND/RECEPTION: it is decent in the reception department, as Sprint has good service where I live (Pittsburgh PA). The speaker is not too quiet or tinny and the earphone is not too bad. All and all, the sound is decent in a loud outdoor setting.
FINAL THOUGHT: If you want the size of the average "centro" of the wireless market with the useful features of the PALM OS, this is a great smartphone. However, the lack of battery life and the aging software need to be evaluated with open eyes...
Pros Smaller size; Pre-installed software; New Micro-SD Configuration
Cons Keyboard a tad stiff; battery life disappointing
Summary Very please with new Centro. All the same features as previous versions, but pre-installed IM and Google Maps is very convenient.
- New size is GREAT in the pocket
- New Micro SD is great, especially now that slot is protected. My cards always popped out on Treo 650/700.
- New look is refreshing for long-time Treo owner.
- Screen is more vibrant
- Bluetooth MUCH more reliable than on 650/700p. Its actually useable.
- Keyboard is definitely smaller, which would be okay if keys responded with less pressure.
- Battery life is supposed to be on-par with Treos, but my Centro seems to eat battery at 2x rate.
- My wife wants me to upgrade her too
I bought the Centro after loosing my mind on the road with my 700p crashing every five minutes. I take good care of my phones but I have swapped out 4 700p's in 18 months due to ROM and other failures. The 700p is by far the worst PDA/Phone combo I have ever owned, and I hate maintaining them for my mobile staff.
Not worth upgrade unless having issues with other Treos like me. Still better than Blackberry and Windows OS phones for longtime Palm user.
Previous PDA Phones: 700p, 650, 600, Kyocera Smartphones
Pros EVDO fast internet. Great IM. Email TouchScreen Fits right in my pocket.
Cons Micro sd hidden under battery cover. Maybe too much plastic.
Summary I have owned many phones 10 plus. This is easily my favorite. Don't let ppl say the keyboard is too cramped to type I type just fine and have average guys hands. Google maps is great. Be sure to get extra memory because the mp3 player is awesome. Only with is had an FM transmiter. Speaker phone is very loud. Sound quality is great on both sides. Bluetooth works great so does the internet. Very fast uploads of pages. OS seems very stable no resets for me and I have owned it two months.Updated
This going to be short if anyone has any more questions I will be glad to help. I bought my first one I loved in until about after a month the scree just blee and I lost all my info, They send me another one after a week same thing woke up to got to workr and found the scree had failed again I dont thing i will ever buy Palm again.Updated
The phone seems great does everything,but after about a month the screen screws up and does not work at all. Now this happened to me the first time and I said ok Ill give it another chance. They sent me a new one the next day. Two weeks later "bam" no screen just some scribbley lines. So I brought it back to Sprint and went with the RAZR V9m and it has yet to cause any problems hook it up with a stereo bluetooth head set and you are ready to go.Good bass for the music and great sound quality.
Pros size, performance, price
Cons not international, no wifi but evdo is fast! and everywhere
Summary I had to be one of the first to have a full production model centro. I admit I was skeptical of the size of the keyboard. Suprise! Its not a problem. The phone is fast and easy to use, no memory hogging programs like Win versions that drag their performance down. High speed internet, email, IM, text (unlike the sluggish IPhone) better screens (and a great touchscreen!) No extra cost unlike Blackberry(and few programs to boot!), Thousands of add on programs available (alot FREE!) And lots of personalization. A good MP# player (with right headphones)good camera, video, bluetooth, IR, Micro SD. Its a loaded feature full phone, so me something else to compete with this at this price or any price!
Pros Touch screen interface is nice and easy
Cons OS is unstable, and incapable of true multi-task
Summary I have personally owned several Palm Treos(the latest being the Treo 680 running same OS as the Centro and I personally feel it a dud) as well as Blackberries. I also investigated the iPhone, and my advice would be to assess your needs before buying the Centro as it is mostly a stripped down version of the Palm OS 5 based Treos, and Palm OS's days are numbered. Palm will migrate to a Linux based OS soon, and for good reasons.
The biggest problem with Palm handset currently is its OS. The Palm OS 5 is very unstable and outdated, bug patch support and update from Palm is also slow and most of time completely absent. The OS itself was not written in a multi-task capable fashion, that means if the processor is updating or receiving some bits of information from the network, the phone will behave like if it is frozen. This is very annoying, as network tends to update your handset quite often with information such as text messaging alert, network time update and other relevant information to keep the phone connected to the provider. What ends up happening is you can be scrolling around in your calendar or some other program and all of a sudden, your phone stops to respond. What's worse is that the phone keeps your last few inputs on the screen or the keyboard in memory, so when the phone decides it's done with whatever other task that paused its reponse to your direct input, it quickly react to all the input in the memory. Often this ends up take you to somewhere on the phone that you did not intent to go as you tried to tap around the screen or press the keyboard when the phone appeared to be locked up.
The keyboard lock and screen lock features are very poorly implemented, but you have to use them otherwise you will be making a lot of accidental calls from the touch screen and the keyboard or expose the data (such as emails, contacts, notes, etc) on the phone to others quite easily. The keylock and screen lock also prevent you from answering an incoming call via text message reply as the OS does not return the phone back to text messaging or the email program after you unlock the keyboard and the screen but instead put you back in the menu screen or the security setting screen.
It is very clear that Palm OS was originally written to operate on a PDA, the phone and email feature was an afterthought crammed in at the last minute. The versa mail program (or a versain tailored for a specific vendor)came with the OS is absolute gabage, as it will crash the phone constantly and often fail to receive the message on the servers. It also lacks some key email function support such as leaving the mail on the server for a specified time peroid or storing email on memory card instead of phone's internal memroy. You will have to spend extra to buy a real eMail program for the phone. It is quite evident the email program on the Palm OS is terrible as software companies specialize in Palm OS based email thrives despite the fact that an email program is included in the OS itself.
On the Treo 680, the keyboard is small, on the Centro it is even smaller, so the Qwerty keyboard is really just crammed in there without consideration for usability. I can't imagine having to type on the keyboard of the centro.
The advantage of the Palm phone is the touch screen, as it makes input information easier, however, with the new trackball interface on the BB, this advantage is significant reduced. The BB has much, much better support for email push, and has a lot better O/S stability.
The mobile web feature on the Palm OS is pretty poor, it's the bare minimum needed for a browsing experience, don't browse complicated websites as they often do not work. This is similar to Blackberry. iPhone has the clear advantage in this area, there is no competition here. So if you want serious mobile web, don't get the Palm phones or Blackberries. It's the bare minimum to get a passing grade on the web if your browsing is limited to mostly text based, very simple sites.
If you prefer excellent email push support, there is no substitute for a blackberry, if you like mobile web, there's no current competition against iPhone. The Palm with Palm OS 5 is an awkward kid that used to have good interface due to the touchscreen but doesn't really do anything particular well otherwise. The OS itself will really try your patience at times, and it is on its way out. Also Palm has never been good on supporting old product with updates or patches, keep this in mind. It is probably the worst company as far as support is concerned in my recent experience regarding cell phones.Updated
Battery life is very poor on the Treo 680 with a larger battery (compared to the Centro) and no 3G support. The Centro with 3G and an even smaller battery, I can't imagine how poor the battery life will be. Maybe there's a good reason Cnet has not disclosed their finding on the battery life for this phone.