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Comments on: GSM Palm Centro Comes to Europe

GSM Palm CentroPalm Europe have announced an unlocked GSM Palm Centro for most European markets. The Centro is currently being shown in black with a note that says it will be available on the 14th of February. It will be sold online for 199 un the UK and 299 (including VAT) in other countries.

The Palm Centro runs Palm OS Garnet v5.4.9. It has a 320x320 pixel touchscreen display, Bluetooth v1.2, a 1.3 megapixel digital camera with video capture and 64MB of memory. For memory expansion it has a microSD slot. It has dimensions of 4.22" (L) x 2.11" (W) x 0.73" (D) (107 x 54 x 18.5 mm) and weighs in at 4.2 oz (119g).

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So when?

Doo @ 2/7/2008 12:41:46 PM # Q
GSM in the US soon?

RE: So when?
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 12:52:39 PM # Q
Can't be long!

[the lack of carrier mention is interesting for the European release]

RE: So when?
Gazpacho @ 2/7/2008 2:40:41 PM # Q
Why is the lack of carrier mention weird?

PalmOS has negligible market share in Europe. Carriers usually standardize their phone offerings to 2-3 platforms. In Europe, Symbian and Windows Mobile are the leading OS platforms, so it's very unlikely that a carrier will take on PalmOS just like that. Think of the certification procesures, staff training, customer support training etc. that would involve.

http://foleocentral.blogspot.com

FoleoCentral is the news, opinions & review blog about the Palm Foleo Mobile Companion

RE: So when?
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 2:44:52 PM # Q
The lack of a carrier in Europe means PALM is not pulling in millions of dollars with the sale of tens of thousands of Centros to a carrier there (as with some previous sales to Vodafone, for example). Instead, they may be stuck RETAIL-selling them piece by piece or selling some much reduced volume to retailers.

That's why it's both interesting and a New Thang for PALM.

RE: So when?
Ryan @ 2/7/2008 2:51:14 PM # Q
Palm says it will be available both online and to unlocked gsm phone distribution centers, of which there is a large market for unlocked phones in Europe.
RE: So when?
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 2:57:00 PM # Q
Thanks for the confirmation...now how about confirming that screen resolution, too!

RE: So when?
Ryan @ 2/7/2008 3:01:11 PM # Q
It must be a typo. The GSM Centro definitely has a 320x320 display.
RE: So when?
Gazpacho @ 2/7/2008 3:08:23 PM # Q
[quote] RE: So when?
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 2:44:52 PM #

The lack of a carrier in Europe means PALM is not pulling in millions of dollars with the sale of tens of thousands of Centros to a carrier there (as with some previous sales to Vodafone, for example). Instead, they may be stuck RETAIL-selling them piece by piece or selling some much reduced volume to retailers.

That's why it's both interesting and a New Thang for PALM.[/quote]

As I said, the previous sales to Vodafone over here in Europe are Windows Mobile-based. No carrier in Europe in its right mind would easily put a PalmOS Treo in its current lineup, because it's not Symbian and not Windows Mobile. Everything the carriers have in smartphones are standardized around these two platforms in Europe.

http://foleocentral.blogspot.com

FoleoCentral is the news, opinions & review blog about the Palm Foleo Mobile Companion

RE: So when?
Gazpacho @ 2/7/2008 3:09:58 PM # Q
Besides, the previous Treo 680 launch in Europe didn't involve any carriers as well, as far as I can remember.

http://foleocentral.blogspot.com

FoleoCentral is the news, opinions & review blog about the Palm Foleo Mobile Companion
RE: So when?
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 3:27:56 PM # Q
Thus you are essentially confirming this is a non-event (except for the GSM-ish angle, of course).

RE: So when?
Gazpacho @ 2/7/2008 6:04:13 PM # Q
It's nice for the remaining PalmOS freaks in Europe, but this won't shake up the market quite much over here.

Remember 75% of the revenue by Palm is from the US, and 25% ROW. Of which South America has a big slice. And *then* there's still Europe.

http://foleocentral.blogspot.com

FoleoCentral is the news, opinions & review blog about the Palm Foleo Mobile Companion

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'320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'

SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 1:35:35 PM # Q
Ya think PALM-UK got it wrong?

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 2:39:02 PM # Q
Perhaps the display is Yet Another cost-saving measure. Maybe Centro buyers don't care.


RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 2:40:51 PM # Q
TI see the PIC article recently has been modified to change 320x240 to 320x320 however the PALM-UK site outright says 320x240 at the time of this post:

-- http://euro.palm.com/uk/en/products/smartphones/centro/specs.html

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
hkklife @ 2/7/2008 3:06:22 PM # Q
SV;

Having a 320x240 LCD would break the back of nearly every existing Palm OS app out there, save for a handful of titles from several years ago that were specifically designed to support oddball devices with that resolution. Off the top of my head, the few 240x320 Palm OS devices over the years have been the Janam industrial PDAs, the classic HandEra 330, and a few Chinese Palm OS smartphones like that GroupSense one that never got off the ground back in '04 or so. There's (not Garnet but still Palm-related) the Oswin prototype running Cobalt that Beersie fondled for PIC a few years ago as well as the Haier flipphone running ALP that Ryan spent some time with:

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/7874/palm-os-cobalt-phone-shown-at-devcon/

http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/8514/access-linux-platform-shown-at-linuxworld/

For the most part, while it's support by the OS in theory, 320x240/240x320 have never been used in a mass-production, mass-market Palm OS device. I am certain the GSM Centro (and all future Palm OS Garnet & Nova, sadly) screen will be 320x320.

SSS (small square screens) for life!



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

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 3:29:03 PM # Q
I am, as the Subject of this thread more than adequately shows, merely quoting PALM itself and discussing based off that direct copy-n-paste.


RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
hkklife @ 2/7/2008 4:02:19 PM # Q
It wouldn't be the first time Palm had incorrectly copy'n pasted specs! I just wanted to be certain to stress the fact that 240x320 is not a "common" Palm OS resolution by any means.

They are ESPECIALLY bad when doing this to list various device compatibility (both in listing incompatible devices and failing to update support docs/item listings with newer devices that have been proved to be compatible).


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

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
just_little_me @ 2/7/2008 4:57:31 PM # Q
It's a typo... they copy/pasted from the 500v page... simple as that...

Sometimes you guys get all worked up for nothing... actually why am I saying "sometimes" - you thrive on it...! :-)


JLM.

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
SeldomVisitor @ 2/7/2008 4:59:52 PM # Q
For a company with so few products I would think some would be aghast at the sloppiness involved in announcing a new one.

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
just_little_me @ 2/7/2008 5:08:00 PM # Q
Yup, it's pretty sloppy... but it is just a typo. It's not like the entire company was involved in a conspiracy to bring the world crumbling down - one guy goofed. A little perspective is a good thing to have - shame the internet is missing that gene.


JLM.

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
freakout @ 2/7/2008 5:12:30 PM # Q
I am certain the GSM Centro (and all future Palm OS Garnet & Nova, sadly) screen will be 320x320.

I agree that they'll probably stick with 320x320 Garnet devices, but there'll be a large-screened Nova phone. There has to be. They've seen the success of the iPhone. They wouldn't just be stupid to ignore that market, they'd be insane. Plus, there's nothing like a large screen for showing off the beauty of your new OS...

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
hkklife @ 2/7/2008 6:11:17 PM # Q
Palm's had ample time to introduce a large-screened WinMob device. In fact, I'm still waiting on a 320x320 WM6 device from them! I really have a feeling that we'll see Nova debut on a 320x320 device VERY similar to the 800w/Drucker. I hope I'm wrong but...

P.S.

Can we start an informal poll here as to whether or not the GSM Centro is indeed going to be the final Garnet-based product from Palm?

My vote is a resounding "YES!"



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

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
freakout @ 2/7/2008 6:26:37 PM # Q
My (probably way-off) theory is that Palm hasn't introduced a large-screen WinMob device 'cause those are mainly targeted at corporations (barring the Treo 500) and corps are more interested in pocketable, Blackberry-ish exposed-QWERTY devices.

As for the Centro being the last Garnet device - I thought the 680 would be Palm's last 2G phone, and I was wrong about that... so no bets from me!

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
SeldomVisitor @ 2/8/2008 3:06:29 PM # Q
PALM-UK has, possibly partially (*), fixed the errant web pages.

=====

(*) The phone comparison pages may still have some radio details wrong - I do not know.

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
KultiVator @ 2/18/2008 12:45:35 PM # Q
It might be the last product of *ANY* kind from Palm.

How did they get here? Does any single person at Palm even care? Is there even an R&D department now?

C'mon Palm - have you got anything left?

RE: '320x240-pixel Transflective colour screen'
hkklife @ 2/19/2008 7:02:09 PM # Q
No, the GSM Centro is just the final Garnet-based product from Palm. We have the Drucker (800w for GSM), the CDMA 800w and the Treo 500 successor (Wanda) all to look forward to for the remainder of this year (at minimum).

I also wouldn't rule out a cheap CDMA WinMob handset either....maybe for Verizon? Either a Americanized CDMA Treo 500 successor (targeted as a "widescreen" Moto Q competitor) or, less likely, a WM version of the Centro.



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

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3G?

alanh @ 2/7/2008 1:39:30 PM # Q
Is the GSM version 3G? Would it be compatible with US frequency ranges (i.e. a world phone)?

-alan
RE: 3G?
Gazpacho @ 2/7/2008 2:41:55 PM # Q
No, it's EDGE (2.5) and it's compatible with American GSM operators, such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

http://foleocentral.blogspot.com

FoleoCentral is the news, opinions & review blog about the Palm Foleo Mobile Companion
RE: 3G?
Marshall Flinkman @ 2/7/2008 11:50:12 PM # Q
It should be a world phone, much like the GSM 600, 650 and 680--and the 750, for that matter. All of those are quad-band--850/1900 for the Americas and 900/1800 for elsewhere (and the 750, of course, is tri-band UMTS/HSDPA-with-update too). Cuts costs for Palm (just the one radio per model for all GSM distribution) and it's a feature they can tout. Why mess with that?

Then again, there is the radio in the 500v. Did someone say "Don't make this US-compatible!" or something?

Reply to this comment

GSM Centro a better choice for POS PDA users wanting to upgrade?

hkklife @ 2/7/2008 3:15:31 PM # Q
Sure, the loss of EVDO hurts big-time but aside from that (and the often-sporadic GSM coverage in the USA) I cannot think of a single reason to go with the Sprint version over an unlocked GSM coverage. The main draw for me would be the fact that a GSM Centro w/ EDGE will likely get much better battery life than the hungry CDMA version. So for those of us who use the PDA/PIM functions more than wireless data & voice, the GSM Centro will make the most of its tiny 1150mAh battery.

As far as a few less noticable but nice touches, the GSM version also has the superior phone dialer app from the 680. I find it a HUGE improvement over the antiquated dial screen on the CDMA Treos and Centro.

Also, the GSM Centro appears to gives users a full version of the Voice dial software with the device whereas with the Sprint Centro you have to pay for a monthly subscription service or buy the voice dial app from Palm for $20. In addtion, the GSM version probably won't have as much trial/bloatware cluttering up the ROM of the device. Finally, the ability to use the GSM Centro globally is always a nice touch for those who actually travel around.

I would also expect the market to be pretty competitive for unlocked Centros, so it'll probably easier to find a discounted one in a few months than it would be to fork over $400 to Sprint for a Centro at full retail.

I'd still like to see Palm be a bit more aggressive with the unlocked Centro's pricing but hopefully they'll be down to $300ish within a few months...but overall it's still a welcome and surprising move from Palm. Let's just hope they don't leave unlocked Centro owners out in the cold when it comes to ROM updates etc!

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

RE: GSM Centro a better choice for POS PDA users wanting to upgr
just_little_me @ 2/7/2008 5:13:45 PM # Q
In a staggering move the ROM update for GSM Centro was due out last week actually! Palm thought it would be better to get it out before the product was announced. But unfortunately it slipped and won't be seen until 2012 now... :-)

I'm gonna get one anyway!

CDMA is dead. Look around the planet - CDMA networks are closing down in preference to GSM/UMTS (I know UMTS is W-CDMA, but that's just the air interface). Anyone who travels would be mad to buy a CDMA unit these days.


JLM.

RE: GSM Centro a better choice for POS PDA users wanting to upgrade?
hkklife @ 2/7/2008 6:08:13 PM # Q
JLM;

1. Anyone who travels in rural areas in the US or Canada or even off of major interstate corridors in some areas can attest to the superior coverage of CDMA over GSM. Also, I'd like to see a breakdown of which carriers have purchased the most devices from Palm in the past 4 years. Oh, what's that? Overwhelmingly CDMA? Hmmm. I thought so. I highly doubt Palm would still be in business today if it were not for CDMA carriers and their scores of loyal customers in the USA.

2. If CDMA is so dead in the water then why didn't Palm/PalmSource/Access throw more R&D $ at Garnet years ago to shoehorn true 3G GSM support into Garnet? Any "insider" insight for us?



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

RE: GSM Centro a better choice for POS PDA users wanting to upgrade?
freakout @ 2/7/2008 6:50:07 PM # Q
CDMA isn't dead in Oz yet, but it's definitely on life support. The only thing that has stopped Telstra from switching it off permanently is a government order for them not to, and that won't last too long.
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Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...

m130fullbutcontent @ 2/8/2008 6:01:09 AM # Q
It doesn't seem to have been picked up on much here(perhaps because for many in the USA the CDMA network is understandably more important ?) - but the GSM unlocked Centro I notice has a *quad band* radio - and almost everything else the Treo 680 has - plus some better/new stuff. I'm almost regretting not waiting and having already got a '680 about 6 months ago. this GSM Centro looks a good deal - especially at 199 on launch....

However I frustratingly now need reading glasses and that smaller screen would be a deterrent overall (having to keep digging out the reading glasses to look at it ain't so good an idea). So I lucked in in one way - the '680 screen is only just big enough for me - not good to go smaller. After all it isn't just a phone is it ?

I am wondering too - do CDMA phones basically have longer range radios to match up with fewer more spread out mobile phone masts ? Could that be why the CDMA models seem to have higher SAR ratings ? The Treo 680 has pretty good SAR ratings - so good on the band I use (1800 I think) - which at 0.119 SAR value as published on the Palm website - I think it might be another Palm website'typo' !



IIIe>IIIxe>m125>m130>T3>TE>T3>TX / Treo680

Jesus said : 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'
John's Gospel ch. 14 vs 6, NIV

RE: Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...
rpa @ 2/8/2008 3:39:45 PM # Q
My guess is CDMA is dominant in the US because the carriers control EVERYTHING including hardware. Internationally where unlocked GSM phones are common, you can buy the phone and pick whatever carrier gives you the best deal. In Hong Kong, where I spend a lot of time, there is 100% number portability so you can really get good deals on the line charges (I pay about USD12/month for something like 1600 minutes!).

I have been waiting for the unlocked GSM version of the Centro but went ahead and bought a Nokia E51 as I want to try VoIP and email access using free hotspots. The E51 is quad band with wifi and a host of business apps on board including VoIP. Still awaiting delivery of the E51 but I can't see beating a Skype Pro package of unlimited calls in the US for US$3/month! I can slip in other SIM cards when traveling for a true global device. Try that with CDMA.

If Palm was not so indebted to the CDMA carriers in the US, they could really have a strong global brand on the GSM platform. If they come out with a large screen unlocked GSM with wifi, I'll be back. Maybe.

rpa
Palm Pilot >> Palm Tungsten E user

RE: Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...
BaalthazaaR @ 2/8/2008 4:04:11 PM # Q
If Palm was not so indebted to the CDMA carriers in the US, they could really have a strong global brand on the GSM platform.

I believe that was more likely the result of decisions made by Handspring. Although at the time they created the phone springboard module, I believe that CDMA was more prevalent. This was followed by the Treos. If you go by Palm's actions, look at their old phonelink software on their PDAs which worked with GSM phones only.

RE: Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...
robera @ 2/8/2008 4:18:20 PM # Q
Wake up Palm!! Many are waiting for a large screen Treo. Only you cannot see this.

RE: Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...
robera @ 2/8/2008 4:30:29 PM # Q
I think PIC could write an article or an open letter to palm about the lack of a large screen Treo. What do you think about this Ryan?
I remember even some pictures of photoshoped Treos with 320X480 screen from 2003.
In my opinion just adding a cell radio to the TX could be a success!!!

RE: Quad band GSM ? If it wasn't for that small screen...
Ryan @ 2/8/2008 7:23:20 PM # Q
I've definitely brought this up with them many times over the past couple of years!

Palm hasn't invested a cent in improving garnet the past couple of years so if this would happen it won't be a Garnet-based device. I think the chances are good that Nova will debut with some kind of large/widescreen smartphone, however best case for that is another year so don't hold your breath.

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yuk... what a toy

joad @ 2/19/2008 3:56:36 PM # Q
Hopefully Palm is just releasing these garbage Centros to get the remaining bugs out of the Treo line before releasing the next Treo. If I wanted my phone to be the color and size of an M&M I'd be interested... but no thanks.

Even if you LIKED the Centro you will die by AT+T's ridiculous data rates to use it. Something like $40-45 per month PLUS whatever voice plan and other stuff you graft on. It's obvious why the iPhone is eating Palm's lunch in this space.

|
**Another vote for a >100MB RAM Treo**

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