Palm Centro vs. Palm 500v: a Quick Comparison

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This fall, Palm, Inc. released two consumer-oriented smartphones: the Centro and the Treo 500v. These have caused a small amount of confusion because at first glance they are quite similar, but a closer look shows wide differences between them.

Palm Centro vs. Treo 500v
Palm Centro vs. Treo 500v
(view large image)

The most basic of these is the operating system. The Centro runs the Garnet OS (formerly Palm OS Garnet) while the 500v uses Windows Mobile 6 Standard. Virtually all the other differences are a result of this one.

For example, the Palm OS model has a 320-by-320-pixel touchscreen because that’s the highest screen resolution this operating system supports, while the Windows Mobile 6 Standard smartphone has a 320-by-240-pixel, non-touchscreen display because that’s what this operating system has been designed to use.

Because the 500v has a rectangular screen, not a square one like the Centro, it is the wider of the two. And because of this, there’s room for a slightly larger battery: 1200 mAh vs. 1150 mAh.

The Centro uses Palm’s standard connector for hooking up power and data cables, but the 500v has a mini-USB port instead.

These models even have different camera. The Centro’s is 1.3 megapixels, while the Treo’s is 2 megapixels.

On the Inside

Internally, these two smartphones have some things in common, but there are differences too.

Palm Centro vs. Treo 500v
Palm Centro vs. Treo 500v
(view large image)

The Treo 500v has 64 MB of RAM and 256 MB of ROM (with 150 MB accessible for the user).

The Centro also has 64 MB RAM but it includes 128 MB of ROM.

A Few Similarities

Not everything about the Palm Centro and Treo 500v is different. Anyone who looks at a picture of them can see they use the same general shape, for instance, aside from the size differences noted earlier.

Still, even in cases where features similar there are often variations. Both have microSD memory card slots, but the Centro’s is external the 500v’s is under the battery. And although they both have Bluetooth, it’s not the same version.

At least they both have a hardware switch to silence the ringer. Update: No they don’t.

Carrier Differences

Some of the differences between these two devices result from the fact that they are currently being offered by telcoms that use incompatible cellular-wireless standards. The Centro is a CDMA phone, while the 500v uses GSM.

However, this is temporary. According to rumor, a GSM version of the Centro is on the docket for January, and its seems likely at least one of the CDMA carriers will eventually offer the Treo 500v.

As it stands now, both models offer 3G support, but again they use two different types: EV-DO and UMTS/HSDPA.

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