"Beware of the software before buying"2.0 starson by deecee
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 The Palm OS 5 is very unstable and outdated, bug patch support and update from Palm is also slow and most of time completely absent.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.