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GSM Palm Centro Hands On Report

Palmdoc.net, a blog focusing on the role of Palm OS devicesthe medical field, has posted a number of initial impressions from an exclusive hands-on with the rumored GSM version of the Palm Centro. Further lending even more credibility to the story is the fact that the GSM Centro report has since been removed at the request of Palm's legal department.

A few days after the arrival of the CDMA version of the Palm Centro, rumors and leaked spy shots began to circulate about a GSM version of the device running on the AT&T GSM network in the US. A recent ZDnet bog review of the Sprint Centro also mentioned a forthcoming GSM version.

Palm's most recent GSM smartphone is the Windows Mobile 6 standard powered Treo 500v. At this time it is unknown if the "Centro" moniker is exclusive to Sprint or if the GSM Centro will be badged under the Treo 500p or 690, as previous rumors indicated.

Palm Centro ImagesWhile the listed specs appear to be a mirror image of the CDMA Centro, a few surprises are revealed in the Palmdoc article. First, the GSM version is reported to have Memos version 1.32 instead of the 1.33 found on the CDMA Centro. But the biggest surprise is that apparently native voice dialing (although limited to a contacts database of 3000 entries or less) finally makes an appearance on a Palm OS smartphone! While the information presented is quite sketchy, it appears that this is an actual voice dialing function integrated into the OS and not a pay-as-you-go carrier offering such as the Nuance service found on Sprint's Treo 755p and Centro.

In another somewhat surprising move, Palm has seen fit to stick with the CDMA version's 1.3megapixel camera instead of the VGS camera that has graced all previous GSM Treos. So if this report is correct then this will be Palm’s first GSM Garnet device to ship with a camera with greater-than-VGA resolution.

No word as of yet if this device will be an AT&T exclusive domestic release nor if Orange will be the launch partner for Europe as an earlier PDAFrance report indicated.

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The Palm Police are everywhere

palmdoc88 @ 11/16/2007 5:17:50 PM # Q
Sad isn't it when they need the leaks and the hype but they choose to shut this down :(
It doesn't take a pHD to conclude that they'll follow up a CDMA model with a GSM one anyway...
I think it's a big mistake NOT to include a free Instant Messenger for the GSM Treo unlike the Sprint version.
Palm should position the Centro as an all-in-one communication for the younger demographic they are trying to target. Email, SMS but no IM?

http://palmdoc.net
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
Poopie @ 11/16/2007 6:06:08 PM # Q

Email, SMS but no IM?

[tinfoil hat on]: I bet the wireless carriers *HATE* IM compared to SMS/MMS. They can't sell IM messages as a service like they can with SMS. They can't offer "100 IMs free (then $1 per additional IM)". They can't offer "unlimited IMs for $20 per month"

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
palmdoc88 @ 11/16/2007 6:38:07 PM # Q
They're still charging for the data, no?
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
bulls96 @ 11/16/2007 8:14:02 PM # Q
Its more about business... I think their "exclusive" contract with Sprint will be hurt once a GSM version is rumored to be coming out... lesser people will move to Sprint because of the Centro...

Personally, i still wouldnt mind shifting to Sprint because of the data connection. EVDO virtually eliminates your need for Wifi.

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
palmdoc88 @ 11/16/2007 9:56:29 PM # Q
Well that's better than the GSM/Edge one - still no sign of 3G.....
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
hkklife @ 11/16/2007 11:58:26 PM # Q
I'm curious to see how the unlocked GSM Centro is going to be priced. If it's reasonable ($300ish) then I can see a lot of European Palm PDA owners upgrading...ahem, "downgrading" to a Centro and using it as something like a Tungsten E2-equivalent PDA that also happens to be a phone (but no wireless data).
Or just using the wireless data VERY infrequently.

Y'know, this is actually the first time since the Treo 650 that Palm's had the "same" device offered in both CDMA & GSM versions. So the CDMA version has in its favor EVDO & the IM app while the GSM version looks to have standard voice dialing, the improved phone app from the 680, and (presumably) better battery life in its favor? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Palmdoc, did you happen to notice if the GSM Centro had ~66mb of total usable memory?

P.S. I'm also going out go ahead now and predict that the GSM Centro will be Palm's only Garnet-based device in 2008. It'll also be their FINAL Garnet-based product IMO.

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

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
pascanu @ 11/17/2007 3:50:25 AM # Q
Well that's better than the GSM/Edge one - still no sign of 3G.....

3G speeds are very similar with EDGE in real life (I don't care what technical data says). IMHO the only thing 3G (as in UMTS) has over EDGE is that you can maintain the data connection while speaking on the phone (e.g. IM or send an email while you talk to someone). But PalmOS can't do that anyway so...
My problem (having a Treo650) is that my carrier does not offer EDGE. They jumped from GPRS directly to 3G :-(

Handspring Visor -> m505 -> Zire71 -> Zire72 -> Treo650

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
palmdoc88 @ 11/17/2007 5:50:38 AM # Q
@hkklife Info reports Free Space as 68.8 Mb
A T-Mobile product-to-be?
SeldomVisitor @ 11/17/2007 7:37:12 AM # Q
The CFO during one of his recent "financial conference" presentations, mentioned something along the line of "T-Mobile being expensive" as far as PALM marketing to them.

T-Mobile hasn't carried a PALM phone for years.

BTW - a 'couple years' til another Fooleo-like product from PALM
SeldomVisitor @ 11/17/2007 8:20:13 AM # Q
The CFO, during that same presentation, mentioned his son in college being disappointed at not having a Fooleo/small laptop and "he'll have to wait a couple years" for that (about 3/4s in).

[BTW - the T-mobile reference was about 5/6s of the way in]

== "...We spend more of our resources on how do we
== drive that relationship with ... with, a deeper relationship
== with, Orange, or T-Mobile, or..."
]

November 6th presentation:

-- http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/conflobby.zhtml?ticker=PALM&item_id=1681809

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
Surur @ 11/19/2007 7:11:45 AM # Q
If he was talking about Orange and T-Mobile in the same breath maybe he is talking about T-Mobile in Europe vs USA.

Surur

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
SeldomVisitor @ 11/19/2007 8:48:33 AM # Q
Yes, that is definitely a POV that should be noted.

See It Now: Foleo
mikecane @ 11/19/2007 3:40:06 PM # Q
http://www.geardiary.com/2007/11/19/the-palm-foleo-interface/

And the Phantom of the Flying Foleo continues to elude the Blue Meanies of the Palm Police.

Fly, Phantom, Fly!

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
hkklife @ 11/19/2007 4:13:25 PM # Q
Anyone know who this guy is alongside the Hawk and Ed C?

http://d.smugmug.com/photos/163523946-M.jpg

It's certainly not Ben Combee!!


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

RE: See It Now: Foleo
SeldomVisitor @ 11/19/2007 7:31:36 PM # Q
Why is the home-grown-supposedly-really-poor interface of a never introduced beta piece of hardware of enough interest to waste electrons viewing the pages on which it is described?

Really.

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
freakout @ 11/19/2007 7:51:25 PM # Q
^^ "Supposedly-really-poor"? Who said that?
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
twrock @ 11/20/2007 1:04:38 AM # Q
Who said that?

SV did. So you can bank on that.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
twrock @ 11/20/2007 1:09:45 AM # Q
Anyone know who this guy is alongside the Hawk and Ed C?

He's "D". He gets to be in every picture.

But seriously, every time I look at the thing, I wish that was the form factor for the ASUS Eee. Too bad.


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
SeldomVisitor @ 11/20/2007 6:36:18 AM # Q
> ...[poor interface]...

The GUI was discussed somewhere - possibly here (I forget). Among other things it purportedly had a single-level menu system (that is, click once - get a list - click on list item - no further drill-down list - period) and there was an alphabetical-limit on hotkeys (I think - that one is really hazy).

For (bogus marketing-speak) Zen of Palm fans, that defines "poor".

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
SeldomVisitor @ 11/20/2007 7:30:13 AM # Q
BTW - for about HALF the price of a Fooleo you can get this:

-- http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=04&kc=12924&oc=BQPRIBF

Now.

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
twrock @ 11/20/2007 8:53:35 AM # Q
Please, everyone, can we finally stop with the lame comparisons to some cheapo Dell laptop that is monstrous and weighs more than next week's Thanksgiving turkey! We've been down this road a million times already. (I'm just surprised it wasn't Gekko this time again.)


Thinking about Vista? Think again: http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt
Want an alternative? Try this: http://www.ubuntu.com/ or http://www.mepis.org/
RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
SeldomVisitor @ 11/20/2007 10:14:29 AM # Q
You're right - enough with those expensive Dells!

For about ONE THIRD the cost of a Fooleo you can get this!

-- http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/20/doorbusting-toshiba-a135-for-only-229-you-know-when/

Amazon debuts new product, Palm sleeepzzz
mikecane @ 11/20/2007 10:15:36 AM # Q
So amazon does Kindle. Meanwhile, Palm -- which once owned ebook software and an ebook store -- does ... eh, what again?

So I guess the Centro is their big holiday thing?

I hear they will introduce a blue one. Oooooh. How cutting edge.

RE: The Palm Police are everywhere
hkklife @ 11/20/2007 11:05:39 AM # Q
No, it's a pink Centro that is supposedly en route.

BTW, the Kindle is perhaps the most hideous looking piece of electronic gear I've laid eyes on since the Audrey! What a huge atrocity! The only thing it has going for it, IMO, is the no-contract cellular connection (brilliant!). But to have an SD slot that doesn't support SDHC? Hah! Sony's 2nd generation reader will hopefully eat this thing for lunch. Who's going to lug around a Kindle when traveling, for example?

I said years ago that Palm could have introduced an oversized m500 type thing. Superb quality 320x480 greyscale screen, onboard storage + SD slot. Some kind of E-Reader store integration to Palm Desktop. It's far too late for such a beast now, of course, but this just shows how Palm was for once actually quite ahead of the rest of the market with their PeanutPress/E-Reader multi-platform software/store.

P.S. I'm absolutely delighted to see "real" PCs from "real" companies dropping so fast. $400 for a dual-core, DVD burnin' laptop w/ a gig of RAM? That thing will fly with XP! Sure, a huge brick like that Dell isn't a Fooleo or EeePC competitor directly, but it still has a trickle-down effect for those of us looking to get a new higher-end Wintel machine.

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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Centro GSM for the international market?

rpa @ 11/18/2007 3:21:42 AM # Q
Sprint can have the CDMA version so long as an unlocked GSM version is available outside the US. I'd gladly replace my aging E and cheap flip phone for a GSM Centro. I don't need data as international roaming charges are a killer so a Palm PDA/phone suitable for text messaging suits me fine. I spend enough time on line with my PC so don't mind the 'down time' when I am out and about.

rpa
Palm Pilot >> Palm Tungsten E user
Reply to this comment

680 replacement?

rpa @ 11/18/2007 3:53:59 AM # Q
The US Palm store is offering Treo 680's for $349 with free shipping "while supplies last" or until 27 Nov. Maybe they are clearing out inventory??

rpa
Palm Pilot >> Palm Tungsten E user
RE: 680 replacement?
palmdoc88 @ 11/18/2007 4:40:05 AM # Q
I hope it won't be seen as a 680 replacement. To be honest I prefer the bigger 680 screen and bigger keyboard. The Treo 680 could do with a firmware upgrade to get rid of the annyoing lag and bluetooth bugs and it would be close to perfect
I think Palm could continue to co-market the 680 and the Centro as they will have different niches. The 680 will be my interim Palm till I see what they have in store for us in terms of Palm OS II ;)

http://palmdoc.net
RE: 680 replacement?
rpa @ 11/18/2007 5:54:50 AM # Q
The $349 price is pretty good in any case. Time to upgrade from my E!

rpa
Palm Pilot >> Palm Tungsten E user
RE: 680 replacement?
jfme @ 11/19/2007 8:22:06 AM # Q
Until I see ROM update to clean the bugs in my unlocked Treo 680, I am very discouraged to jump into a new device likely to have new bugs.

I agree the Treo 680 is a great smartphone. A patch to fix the bluetooth woes, radio on/off battery issues (aka The Glen Phenomenon) and lag, would make it one of the best treos ever.

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