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Verizon Gets the Palm Centro

Verizon Palm CentroPalm and Verizon today announced the official availability of the Palm Centro smartphone on Verizon Wireless. The Verizon Centro debuts in "Cobalt Blue" for $99 with a two year service agreement and $70 mail-in rebate. Data plans begin at $29.99.

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. Verizon's Centro appears identical to the earlier leaked images, clad in a dark metallic "Cobalt" blue with the same metallic sparkles seen in the Sprint versions. For memory expansion it has a microSD slot. You can find our original Centro review here.

With the arrival on Verizon, the Centro is now on the three largest domestic carriers—Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Palm has already sold a million of the devices and the company says they are well on their way to two million with this latest announcement.

Officially the VZW Centro's dimensions come in at 4.22" (L) x 2.11" (W) x 0.73" (D) (107 x 54 x 18.5 mm). It weighs in at 4.2 oz (119g). Palm's imaginary battery life rating on the 1150 mAh battery is 4 hours talk time with 300 hours standby.

For email the Centro will be equipped with VersaMail 4.0 with built-in Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support for Microsoft Direct Push Technology to deliver e-mail and calendar updates from a home or office PC using Outlook directly to their handsets. Centro users also have the option of using Wireless Sync, Verizon Wireless' proprietary e-mail solution, for access to personal or corporate e-mail, contacts, calendar and tasks from their home or office PC. Wireless Sync supports POP3 or IMAP e-mail accounts and it supports Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino.

The Verizon Centro will be available online and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning June 13. Customers may want to pair their Centro voice plan with Verizon Wireless' E-mail and Web for Smartphone service for $29.99. This is an unlimited monthly data plan for Web browsing and e-mail support and includes personal e-mail accounts. To tether the Centro to a laptop with a USB cable, customers may opt to include a BroadbandAccess Connect plan in their service package for $30.

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Rebate disappears if history is guide

SeldomVisitor @ 6/12/2008 8:48:44 AM # Q
Didn't the original Centro release also have some ridiculous up-front price like this one with a rebate then, within a VERY short period of time, the rebate was dropped and the price adjusted down to $99?

Guess it depends totally on how many "early adopters" there are, huh?

RE: Rebate disappears if history is guide
hkklife @ 6/12/2008 2:18:21 PM # Q
Yup, that's also something that's been sort of a recent-ish Palm tradition ever since the later PDA days.

I vividly recall in April '05 the T|E2 launched at the fairly overpriced price of $250 then kinda-quickly (within 5-6 months) dropped to $200 once all of the early adopters had been satisfied.

Palm's LifeDrive also got a fairly substantial price cut early on of, I believe, $50. But that may have been because of the high return rate & general negative publicity surrounding the device.

Then the Sprint Centro started out at $199-$100 MIR before quickly (after, oh, 8-10 weeks or so) dropping to $99 w/o rebate (and less if purchased from somewhere other than the carriers themselves). I haven't followed the status of the AT&T Centro quite as closely but I think that its pricing structure has behaved pretty similarly to the Sprint version's.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

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Where do they say this?

SeldomVisitor @ 6/12/2008 10:31:07 AM # Q
== "...the company says they are well on their way to two million
== with this latest announcement..."

["sold" in this case is meant to be "sold THROUGH", right?]

RE: Where do they say this?
SeldomVisitor @ 6/12/2008 1:23:20 PM # Q
By end of year - yeah, that's well on their way alrightee!

- http://tinyurl.com/3trhdr

Reply to this comment

sorry Palm, I'll be switching to AT&T and the iPhone in July

pmjoe @ 6/13/2008 6:17:51 PM # Q
Maybe if this had been available on Verizon 2-4 years ago, I'd have gone for it. Hope you have that new OS worked out for July 2010 when my contract ends, I've been waiting for 7 years.
Reply to this comment

data plan

Heatwave316 @ 6/14/2008 10:34:36 AM # Q
A verizon employee informed me yesterday that if I didn't purchase the data plan with my Centro, then my phone bill will be over $1000. I told her I didn't really use the internet that much, and I don't need the e-mail. I just want the palm OS to use for some organizational tools. She said it updates via the web, and I would absolutely need the data plan even if I didn't use e-mail/web.

Is this true or was the salesperson just trying to scare me into getting the data plan?

RE: data plan
bbtkd @ 6/14/2008 12:38:49 PM # Q
They are blowing smoke. My son dropped his plan after about 6 months and we've never paid a thing for data for his Treo since. They certainly can and will charge you more for the phone initially without a data plan, but if you do take it then you only need to keep it a few months. I don't recall if it is 3, 4, or 6 but one of the above. If you do not have a data plan you pay by KB so you would need to be careful. If you never use any data apps such as the browser or versamail then you should be fine. If it does updates using the network, we've never seen it...

RE: data plan
Heatwave316 @ 6/14/2008 1:24:35 PM # Q
I had a feeling she was just trying to scare me. It would be nice to have the internet, but I know how slow it can be on that browser. For me, its not worth the hassle.



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Sprint Simply Everything Plan

Gekko @ 6/14/2008 11:08:50 AM # Q
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Confused about data plans

voch @ 6/14/2008 2:22:34 PM # Q
(Long time reader...first time poster)

As a long-time Verizon voice-only subscriber and long-time (separate) Palm user I'm confused about combining the two into one nifty device.

I'm currently paying $59.99/month for 900 minutes of voice-only. On the Verizon web page the same plan for the Centro is $99.99/month (+$40) with e-mail or $119.00/month ($+60) with e-mail and messaging. What does the $29.99/month "E-mail and Web for Smartphone service" get me then if it's $10-$30 cheaper than those plans?

I'm looking for just adding e-mail (not Verizon's...I'd like to pop/send to/from my ISP's e-mail) and instant messaging (not phone messaging...Yahoo! IM would be great). Would the $29.99/month additional service allow me to do this?

RE: Confused about data plans
Gekko @ 6/14/2008 3:28:17 PM # Q
RE: Confused about data plans
voch @ 6/14/2008 3:33:26 PM # Q
No thanks, Gekko. Gotta stick with Verizon for work and family reasons. Otherwise...yes, I'd have a different provider.

RE: Confused about data plans
bbtkd @ 6/14/2008 5:30:28 PM # Q
They offer two unlimited data plans now. The $29 plan is for personal use and the $45 plan is for corporate use. They've hobbled versamail on the centro if you opt for the $29 plan (or maybe that is the only plan you can get on it) so it does not synch with exchange. It will do POP3 Email, so more for personal use. The $29 plan seems generous of them, unless you consider that Sprint is only $15. I've heard that Verizon does not consider Sprint a serious competitor, so they don't feel the need to price match - and they are correct. I'd rather have seen Verizon buy Sprint than Alltel - maybe they will eventually be allowed to gobble up Sprint too. The $29 plan is not available on the older Treos, but the salesguy claimed it would be eventually. Right - why would they come out with a patch to compel folks to keep their older phone on a lower price data plan? I'm holding out for a Linux phone, Palm or other.

RE: Confused about data plans
voch @ 6/14/2008 5:52:52 PM # Q
Excellent. Thanks. :) I'm going to look more into this with our Verizon sales rep at work...he does our Blackberrys but helps with Verizon personal stuff too.

Voch

RE: Confused about data plans
Rastick @ 6/15/2008 3:52:22 PM # Q
The only "hobble" I can see with the personal version of Versamail is the lack of push support from Exchange. If you don't use a corporate Exchange server for your email etc or you don't mind polling it, then the personal version plus the $29 plan makes sense with Verizon.
RE: Confused about data plans
voch @ 6/15/2008 4:14:24 PM # Q
That sounds like a reasonable deal. I hope I can do Yahoo IM too...it doesn't have to be "always on, but just another way friends and family can leave me passive messages.

Voch

RE: Confused about data plans
voch @ 6/16/2008 11:11:02 AM # Q
I just talked to my workplace's Verizon rep and the $30/month additional covers "unlimited Internet access." Basically, I can pop and send e-mail and use Yahoo IM to my heart's content. Sounds cool to me. :)

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Palm Tricks Me Into Shilling Centro!

mikecane @ 6/14/2008 7:47:36 PM # Q
RE: Palm Tricks Me Into Shilling Centro!
twrock @ 6/14/2008 8:53:37 PM # Q
Mike, you're so "easy"! Selling out just because of some chick. What kind of journalistic integrity is that?


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: Palm Tricks Me Into Shilling Centro!
mikecane @ 6/15/2008 4:10:58 PM # Q
Again, you did not read. I was TRICKED! If they hadn't put Megan in there, I would have skipped it. It was, in fact, Megan who told me about it! Grrrr.

RE: Palm Tricks Me Into Shilling Centro!
twrock @ 6/15/2008 10:32:04 PM # Q
"But it was the woman...." (Adam)
Quit with all the excuses. Admit it; you're a pushover!


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: Palm Tricks Me Into Shilling Centro!
mikecane @ 6/16/2008 1:59:15 PM # Q
Eh. Sometimes. It is true feminine charms can sometimes ... charm me.

Reply to this comment

just bought a centro

Gekko @ 6/20/2008 5:26:30 PM # Q
sprint centro, black, $99, simply everything plan - unlimited everything for $99/month. it's a beautiful thing. time for happy hour now!

RE: just bought a centro
PacManFoo @ 6/20/2008 6:38:38 PM # Q
What? No Pink Ed Special Edition?

Enjoy the toy!

The last known classic PDA user.

RE: just bought a centro
mikecane @ 6/20/2008 8:07:21 PM # Q
I'll sit shiva for your soul, Gekko.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva_%28Judaism%29

Wait a minute! You don't have one!!

RE: just bought a centro
hkklife @ 6/20/2008 11:38:21 PM # Q
Gek;

What did you do with your 650? You had a 650 and not a 700p, right? Did you go from VZW to Sprint?


Can you please coment on the following changes from your previous Treo:

1. Reduced screen size

2. Reduced keyboard size

3. Reduced battery capacity

4. Reduced stylus size/thickness

5. Improved performance/less lag

6. Speakerphone & earpiece volume



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p

RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/21/2008 9:37:01 AM # Q

still have my old verizon 650, still have an employer-provided sprint 700p, and just bought a sprint centro. 700p will be returned soon.

1. Reduced screen size - no big deal.

2. Reduced keyboard size - no big deal.

3. Reduced battery capacity - no big deal.

4. Reduced stylus size/thickness - no big deal.

5. Improved performance/less lag - seems snappier than my 700p.

6. Speakerphone & earpiece volume - speakerphone is LOUD. no earpiece came with it, so not sure about this yet.

i really, really, really like the sleek, slim, light, tiny form factor. it's almost like a blackberry pearl. FINALLY, i don't have to carry a brick around. and at $99, these things are almost disposable! my bar bill last night (and subsequent hangover) cost 3x more.

and the $99/month sprint "simply everything" unlimited everything plan is awesome. unlimited voice, data, texts, gps, etc. is really nice.



RE: just bought a centro
SeldomVisitor @ 6/21/2008 10:04:09 AM # Q
So why not an Instinct instead?

RE: just bought a centro
Rastick @ 6/21/2008 10:51:45 AM # Q
Instinct, as an attempted iPhone look-a-like, will probably go the way of the many iPod clone attempts. Quickly into oblivion!

The success of the Centro is in that it is not a iPhone clone, it is its own device with its own strengths and weaknesses, and some of its strengths fit nicely into the iPhone's weaknesses.

RE: just bought a centro
SeldomVisitor @ 6/21/2008 11:04:31 AM # Q
The success of the Centro is that it's cheap - it has nothing to do with iPhones.

Now so is the Instinct.

RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/21/2008 11:48:39 AM # Q

i have neither the time nor the inclination to try to learn a new OS and PIM manager. palm is what i know - and you tend to like what you know. i've used it for almost 10 years and it just works. is it flashy? no. but it is effective. and the centro is a very nice little package.


RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/21/2008 12:50:35 PM # Q
RE: just bought a centro
PacManFoo @ 6/21/2008 3:12:48 PM # Q

1. Reduced screen size - no big deal.

2. Reduced keyboard size - no big deal.

3. Reduced battery capacity - no big deal.

4. Reduced stylus size/thickness - no big deal.

Yeah Right.

The last known classic PDA user.

RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/22/2008 11:06:45 AM # Q

the centro is the best palm device i've ever owned. such power in such a sleek, light, tiny package is awesome. also, sprint 3G is super fast.

RE: just bought a centro
PacManFoo @ 6/22/2008 2:49:29 PM # Q
And don't forget the fact that your now hip, or down, or what ever it is now days, with the teeny boppers!!

The last known classic PDA user.
RE: just bought a centro
bhartman34 @ 6/22/2008 3:25:21 PM # Q
The only thing that's really disappointed me so far about the Centro has been the battery life. It's very short, compared to my old phone (a relatively featureless Nokia 6030). I don't put the phone on the charger overnight, I probably can't rely on it the next day. Other than that, I don't really read e-books on it. If the screen was bigger, I might, but even reading on the TX left a little bit to be desired (e.g., I would've liked a kickstand or something, if I was using it for that).

RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/22/2008 8:06:33 PM # Q

funny but true story. asked a kid sales clerk today at cc if they still sold any palm accessories. his reply? "no. do they still make that stuff?"


RE: just bought a centro
mikecane @ 6/22/2008 8:08:05 PM # Q
I think Palm should be grateful the kid had *heard* of them!

RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/22/2008 8:12:14 PM # Q
RE: just bought a centro
Gekko @ 6/22/2008 8:14:06 PM # Q
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