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Sprint and Palm just recently launched the Palm Centro at a low price of US$99 after service activation and rebates. The Palm Centro offers a Treo-like smartphone in a much smaller package while still retaining many of the same features.
Note that all 3 devices have QWERTY keyboards on the front and cameras on the back.
The Centro is very compact and is similar in size to many phones that don't even have a QWERTY keyboard.
The chicklet membrane keyboard is compact and has an interesting design. With a bit of practice, I am actually able to enter text quite fast.
There are end, send, phone, home, calendar, and email buttons around the Palm labeled directional pad. The buttons are really just simple pieces that press in on each side.
The keys are close together, but are distinct from each other and do have some tactile feedback. The numbers are highlighted in white to set them apart from the rest of the keys.
There is still an infrared port on the Palm Centro, although I haven't used one for years. The microSD slot really can't be accessed unless you take off the back cover first.
Here you can see the open microSD slot under the battery cover.
The battery is quite large and the device seems to go on and on with moderate usage.
The camera takes decent pics with the 1.3 megapixel camera. There is no flash. The speaker is also mounted on the back of the Centro.
The ruby red Centro is a bit too bright for my personal tastes, but my teenage girls like the look of it.
The all plastic non-telescoping stylus is colored to match the ruby red Centro. The length is good, but it is very light and flexible.
One function I really love with the Palm Treos is the simple switch to turn the ringer on and off. The Centro has this same switch on the top of the device.
You will find the volume up and down buttons and an assignable button on the left side. The left side button is assigned to the voice memo when you press and hold it in.
The standard Palm connector is on the bottom of the device, along with the 2.5 mm headset jack. There is also a microphone hole on the bottom along with lanyard openings.
It does take a bit of practice to hit the keys accurately, but even my thumbs could be trained.
The keyboard and hardware buttons are very well backlit.
Pressing the Home button takes you back to the standard Palm OS home screen.
DataViz and Palm included version 10 on the Palm Centro. It was great to see Palm give new Centro users full Office document functionality.
Palm gives you the powerful Pocket Tunes media player software so there is even less need for 3rd party apps.
Sprint rebrands the Handmark Express client as Sprint On Demand. This software and service give you access to news, sports, movies, weather, 411, TV Guide, and more.
This is the first time I have tried Google Maps on a Palm OS device and I like the custom Palm features and menus.
This high quality version of Sudoku is found on the device when you first turn it on.
The standard Treo Phone functionality and display appear the same. This is a great way to quickly launch apps, make calls, and send text messages.
Sprint TV lets you watch TV content on the go. The 320x320 display looks great and is quite bright.
The Centro takes decent photos and records video too. A lack of flash is evident in low-light conditions.
Centro image gallery 1
Centro image gallery 2