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Comments on: Centro Will Be Available This Sunday

Palm CentroThe Palm Centro smartphone will officially be available in Sprint retail locations this Sunday. Reader reports indicate some Sprint outlets have already received shipments but have not put units out on display yet. If you haven't already put your pre-order in, the "onyx black" model will be available in all Sprint sales channels, Palm retail stores and online. The ruby red version will not be available until later in November according to Palm.

The Centro will debut for $99 with a two-year service agreement and an additional $50 instant savings and $100 mail-in rebate. In addition, customers will have to sign up for a data plan that is $25+ more per month, such as the Ultimate Pack, the Pro Pack or one of the Phone as Modem plans in order to qualify for the $99 deal.

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Or sooner...

reidme @ 10/12/2007 8:31:31 PM # Q
Many stores got them yesterday (Thursday). I've already got mine and I really like it.
RE: Or sooner...
Tuckermaclain @ 10/14/2007 6:36:27 PM # Q
Well? How it it? Is it stable? Come on, don't hold out!

RE: Or sooner...
reidme @ 10/15/2007 9:21:12 AM # Q
I haven't had a single crash yet, and I loaded it up with all my old apps. It feels great in the hand and the pocket. The screen is bright and beautiful. The keyboard is fine for PIM work and short messages, but slightly slower to use than the one on my 700p. Overall build quality feels better than the 700p to me, except for the stylus which is flimsy plastic. Battery life is surprisingly good. Even though the processor is the same as the 700p it's actually faster in many instances. Zero lag switching to Phone, very little lag going to Blazer and back, Blazer and Google Maps render faster, and hotsync is faster. I think that's due to improvements in the co-processors. Overall I'm very happy with it. When I hold my 700p now it feels like a tank!

RE: Or sooner...
hkklife @ 10/15/2007 12:16:57 PM # Q
Thanks for the first impressions!

What are the exact version numbers of the following apps:


Blazer
VersaMai
DTG
PTunes
GoogleMaps
Voice Recorder

It'd be great if those apps have the most recent versions in ROM so that users don't have to immediately begin installing RAM-hogging updated versions.

Also, how much memory is available for us out of the box? Is it the same ~62.8 or whatever the 700p and755p have?

My personal feeling is that Palm achieved the perfomance tweaks via either user faster memory modules, making some minor but noticable OS/NVFS file system improvements, or going away from the shared memory architecture that the 680/750/700p/700w/755p had. Reidme, are you Hotsyncing under Windows XP or Vista? I've noticed a huge improvemnt in my Hotsync speeds under Vista with my 700 even with the beta Palm Desktop release.

At any rate, it's good to see that the Cetro appears to have no glaring performance or stability issues. It's a shame that Palm likely will not take what they've done for the Centro and release a prope Garnet CDMA flagship treo with, say, a physically larger 320x320 LCD, the standard "smile" keyboard, a huge capacity standard battery, a 2megapixel camera w/ flash, and a few gigs of onboard storage. All of that culd easily be done under the limitations of FrankenGarnet and the reduced lag and snappier performance of the Centro would really make for a pleasant experience.

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Or sooner...
reidme @ 10/15/2007 5:23:32 PM # Q
@hkklife,

Blazer v4.5.8
VersaMail v4.0.1
DTG v10.000 (332)
PTunes v4.0.4
GoogleMaps v1.2.0.9
Voice Recorder v1.4

They are all in ROM except Google Maps, which makes sense because it gets updated often. Info shows 68.8M of space, but it had about ~62 available out of the box. In my rush to install apps I didn't pay close attention. I'm hotsyncing under the same version of XP that I was with my 700p and it is noticably faster. I installed the version of Palm Desktop that was on the CD in the box (v4.2) but I don't remember what version I was using with the 700p.

I suspect Palm will keep the 755p around for those who want the larger screen and keyboard (but hopefully with a ROM refresh) until they release their new OS. <> For me, it will be hard to go back to that form factor after getting used to carrying a smaller phone.

RE: Or sooner...
hkklife @ 10/15/2007 6:27:26 PM # Q
Thanks a ton for that info. I've been asking around for it on all of the various forums and no one has wanted to post it.

Funny that PTunes Deluxe is 4.0.4 but the latest version available to download is 4.0.3.

68.8mb of RAM is a new Treo max! I wonder what they've done with the DBheap/cache sizes on the Centro?

How are you finding the camera's image quality as compared to the 700p's?

Glad to hear the XP Hotsync speeds are improved as well (a sure sign that they changed something in hardware instead of a software fix!)

Though I must admit that someone at Palm needs to get FLOGGEd for not bundling a Vista-capable version of Palm Desktop in the box. Vista's been out for over a year and to not include at least the beta client on CD is a bad omen indeed. The fact that Vista plays so nicely with WM handhelds & smartphones makes Palm's Vista bungles look even worse. Like it or not, Vista is not going away and it's here to stay (even though XP SP3 is still coming out).

Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Treo 700P

RE: Or sooner...
reidme @ 10/15/2007 6:37:43 PM # Q
No problem. I haven't tested the camera enough yet, but it seems pretty similar to what was on the 700p. The pics look nicer on the higher density screen though. :-)

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the data plan can be changed after rebate

crislevin @ 10/14/2007 5:28:21 PM # Q
sprint online reps told me I can sigh up for $30 data plan first, and after I got my rebate, I can change it to $15.

they all have unlimited data access, $30 has more channels for TV, plus unlimited text messages.

RE: the data plan can be changed after rebate
drw @ 10/14/2007 10:24:45 PM # Q
$30 for data.. Hmm... Kinda makes it hard to splurge for other options like nuance voice control and gps directions.

With the $25 data plan do you get any sms credits and tv channels?

---
David

RE: the data plan can be changed after rebate
crislevin @ 10/14/2007 11:05:13 PM # Q
I believe with $25, you get all the TV channels as $30, just not unlimited txt msg, which is important for some people since Sprint AIM/Yahoo/MSN use txt msg.

If you don't do those txt msg/IM msg, then $25 is good enough.

for $15, you got all the data access, but less TV channels/Radio stations, and probably very few TXT msgs.

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Got One on Monday... Last in Cleveland Area...

CompeauFawkes @ 10/16/2007 10:58:18 PM # Q
Well, 'Wifey Dearest' is happy!

Replaced her Treo 650 with shiney new Centro and she couldn't be happier! They seem to have gone like hotcakes at Ladysmith Lumberjack Days! I seem to have found the last one standing at Legacy Village on east side of Cleveland on Monday night after they began leaking out side and back doors around here on Friday...(heehee!)

Here's MY top of mind review, followed by Charyn's comments, below mine.

Big pluses:
- Same accessories: car charger, home AC adaptor, etc all happily compatible.
Smiles all around on that score.

- Size. Even though setting the devices next to each other, as seen in the pics online, makes it appear as though they are somewhat similar in size, the feeling in the hand is completely different. Kudos to the ID shop Palm brought in on this one. They did this product platform much better. Thanks for getting rid of the annoying 'horns' on all the corners! The hands thank you.

- Screen: no big deal at all adapting to the smaller size. It's razor sharp, & VERY bright.

- PREFERENCES PANEL/S "now where was that?" MESS CLEANED UP!! Thank heavens someone figured out that having five places for settings spread across 'iowa' within the device was actually a bad idea. (Nothing personal, I spent 3 great years in Iowa, folks) Now, there really ARE all the options accessible under the Phone Options pull down menu item, including the Palm OS Preferences panel info (though, offhand, I'm not sure I recall seeing Security rolled in there yet... hmmm...)

- Door on Memory Card Slot! Thanks folks-- though I might have liked to get into it without messing with a battery door which doesn't give me a place to create friction with it (one negative), I will compliment you on putting my $20-50 memory card behind a scrap of plastic so it won't go zinging out into the fresh air when I drop my device... (yah-- happens every time my Treo650 leaves my happy paw)

- GREAT little speaker- Seems louder than the T650 version to me, with what little testing I've done thus far.

- SPEED!!! Sprint EVDO Rocks. I have a Blackjack on AT&T also, and this puts that EDGE sucker to shame. Hands down, This blows it away for email fetch (SnapperMail vs. the BlackJack Email app from MS) and Web Browsing with builtin browsers (Blazer vs. IE Mobile).

- Keyboard: Small, yes. But more than facile, and my hands aren't tiny. Only thing I found I had to do was adapt from attempting to hold down the control key when selecting numbers, to double tapping it and then entering numbers/symbols and then tapping it again to revert to alpha entry. Easy enough.

- Google Maps integration to PIM: KUDOS again on allowing Me to select a name from list view of Contacts, have the Contacts app recognize that an address is present, and intelligently present the presence of the (Map) button at the base of the screen to allow transfer of the address/city/state info to Google Maps-- (all much like the (Message) button appears when scrolling over the Mobile phone number of a Contact, permitting you to directly send a Text to a person's mobile number). VERY handy and precisely the kind of time saving thinking Palm originally was known for in 1997. Thanks for coming back around to this. (Now, when do you suppose we'll be able to click on the website link we have in each of our Contacts to open Blazer, or the IM screenname to open IM, etc., eh?)

- Five-Way Nav Pad! I was very skeptical from the pics, but this little ring-around-the-pad deal works quite well! Detent is very tactile. Nice.

- IR port still here! Hooorray!!

- PocketTunes. Oh yeah, oh yeah...

- No blinking Green Light in Coverage...

***BAD & UGLY Section***

- Battery Door. What a flippin PITA to get off the device. There's no 'grip' on it to help you. Blech. Bad.

- Tiny 2.5mm speaker plug. Dorks. Find a few more mm in there and make us happy.

- VersaMail. >>cough, cough, spew<< (Author wipes table next to Centro)

- No blinking Green Light in Coverage...(So how do I know I am in coverage again? Gotta give me something besides sound--nobody wants a yapping phone.)

~~~Charyn's Comments~~~

- This thing will definitely appeal to women and the younger demographic. It's cute. It has a hip look that the Treo, the Blackberrys, the Blackjack, etc. definitely lack. It's got a bit of 'Chocolate' in it, a bit of the Upstage, a bit of the 'fashion accessory' appearance. I can picture teens 'blinging it' with stick-ons.

- The keyboard doesn't seem too small, and remember that women constantly make sacrifices for their long fingernails in scores of ways. They find a way and don't comment on it. If it's cool, it's not an issue.

- Wow, it has TV? Cool! Oh, you have to pay for it? oh. Well, the previews are cool.

- Hey, I can listen to NPR anywhere!! (WBUR - Boston NPR) Thanks, PocketTunes!! [Mike- "Yeah, how do you think we met??]

- It fits in my jeans! [Mike- "Well, some jeans...but it looks funny..."]

:-)
Mike


__
Mike Compeau

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