Palm Centro for AT&T First Impressions Review

by Reads (11,213)

The Palm Centro has been on a bit of a run lately. Since its introduction on the Sprint network, it has been a profitable and hot seller for Palm. While some in the media have been bemoaning the antiquated operating system and low-end hardware, the Centro has found a niche with users who’ve wanted what has been the best value in smartphones to date.

Palm Centro

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This has not gone unnoticed by other carriers. While devices like the iPhone and HTC Touch command a solid return for the companies offering them, it is the lower cost devices that sell in bulk and keep customers coming back. Palm’s Centro has jumped into this niche with a $99 starting price, and it’s been very appealing to customers who previously saw smartphones as appealing devices but over-the-top purchases.

Hardware

The just released AT&T version of the Palm Centro continues on this trail of price-accessible technology. Like the Sprint version, it is a Palm OS smartphone. The design is similar to Palm’s Treo models, but in every dimension it is smaller and more phone-like.

Unlike other smartphones near this price point, the Centro contains a touchscreen. And its camera, at 1.3 megapixels, gives quality shots in optimal lighting settings.

Wireless Networking

Where the AT&T Centro falls short of the Sprint version is that it does not have 3G wireless Internet access. This is a limitation of the operating system, and yet for such a device, it does not feel like a total loss.

Palm Centro

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What you lose in overall Internet speed, you gain in superior battery life. With its 1150 mAh battery, the AT&T Centro is rated to give up to 4 hours of talk time or up to 300 hrs of standby time. This translates to a device that can make it to about two days of solid use.

Software Suite

In my initial use of the AT&T Centro, I have been impressed with its overall stability, speed of getting from one application to another, and ease of use.

The My Centro application serves as one part user manual, and another part tutorial for getting to know aspects of the device. Default applications such as Email, Documents, and Voice Dial were simple, yet showed the versatility of the Centro.

I’m not usually a fan of carrier-added applications, but the suite of applications on the Centro were more impressive than letdowns. Some of these included an IM application that connected to Yahoo, AIM, and Windows Live Messenger, a Voice Dial application that works in just about every program, trial versions of MobiTV, Music ID, and XM Radio, and a forward-thinking Push to Talk (PTT) application.

For $99, there’s a lot in there to play with.

Look for a full review of the AT&T Palm Centro in the next few weeks.

Additional Pictures

Palm Centro vs. Nokia N75   Palm Centro vs. Nokia N75

Palm Centro vs. Nokia N75
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Palm Centro vs. Nokia N75
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