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T-Mobile Dash, BlackBerry Curve, and Palm Centro
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.
Back of the Dash, Curve, and Centro
Note that all 3 devices have QWERTY keyboards on the front and cameras on the back.
Ruby Palm Centro in the hand
The Centro is very compact and is similar in size to many phones that don’t even have a QWERTY keyboard.
Compact 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.
Close-up of the unique keyboard
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.
IR port and microSD cover
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.
Opening the microSD slot
Here you can see the open microSD slot under the battery cover.
Palm includes an 1150 mAh battery
The battery is quite large and the device seems to go on and on with moderate usage.
Camera, self-portrait mirror and speaker
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.
Ruby red is quite flashy
The ruby red Centro is a bit too bright for my personal tastes, but my teenage girls like the look of it.
Stylus designed to match the Centro
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.
Top ringer switch
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.
Left side keys
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.
Bottom of the device
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.
Pressing the buttons on the Centro
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.
Documents To Go is included
DataViz and Palm included version 10 on the Palm Centro. It was great to see Palm give new Centro users full Office document functionality.
Pocket Tunes 4 included too
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.
Astraware Sudoku for those gaming desires
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 is one o the provided Sprint services
Sprint TV lets you watch TV content on the go. The 320×320 display looks great and is quite bright.
Interior picture taken with the Centro
The Centro takes decent photos and records video too. A lack of flash is evident in low-light conditions.
Centro in hand
Centro image gallery 1
Thumb on the QWERTY keyboard
Centro image gallery 2