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Palm Centro Official Image

Following all the negative comments that the previous images of the Palm Centro (Treo 800p) had garnered here and elsewhere I am rather delighted to see that the latest leaked official image (below) has managed to rapidly change the minds of many Treonauts who now actually consider it to be quite an appealing and worthy new smartphone…

Palm Centro

For starters this Palm Centro _finally_ delivers a Black device – something that makes it instantly more attractive than the soapy white baby-looking model that we had seen in the initial blurry spy shots.

Aside from this, although further details and specifications remain slim we do know that the Palm Centro will be the smallest Treo ever being about 10–15% smaller than existing devices (see comparative image below), that it will run on Sprint’s EVDO network, use the existing PalmOS Garnet, retains a full keyboard (albeit extremely tiny) and square touch screen (again much smaller than existing Treo models). 

Palm Centro Comparison

The Palm Centro is expected to have similar hardware specifications as the Treo 680/755p (for example keeping the existing HotSync connector to work with most existing Treo accessories although the smaller form-factor will naturally require new Treo cases). 

Sprint will have a 90 day exclusive and unofficial reports point out that this latest Palm Centro smartphone may become available for as little as $99 (with a contract).  This very competitive price and a considerably more attractive design aimed at the youth market may thus prove to be a winning combination after all when it is launched in the coming months. 

The only thing that I’d like to see now is an equally good solution to address the needs of Treonauts at the other end of the spectrum where a new high-end Treo smartphone is desperately required…

Treonauts always look forward to something new

Posted by Andrew on August 26, 2007 at 08:03 AM

Palm Centro

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Tracked on Sep 4, 2007 5:25:38 AM


by forgot | Aug 26, 2007 8:11:10 AM

This is a much better shot, making it look like a worthwhile product for attracting new customers. Giving up that much screen is too much for me, though. Plus that tiny keyboard....

by Tom | Aug 26, 2007 8:36:29 AM

Hmmm.. if they are using POS, hopefully they've worked out some of the bugs. I expect that the original Treos mostly sold to adults who can tolerate bugs because they balance that impact against the benefits. The kids that this one will appeal to may not be as forgiving and tolerant. Certainly the camera, texting, internet, and MP3 better be flawless. I'm 6'4" and nearly 50, so I don't think I could ever use it - my fingers are too big and my eyesight is not good enough for the small screen. Lastly, I doubt that they have improved power consumption sufficiently to allow a smaller battery. That said, at $99 Sprint should sell a ton of them. Verizon better plan to reduce the cost of their data plan (and/or give away the phones) since not many parents will shell out $45/mo more so their kids can have internet.

BTW - POS will never run acceptably or reliably on a Treo. Give it up. The glaring problems which can only be solved by using a multi-tasking OS such as Windows or Linux are that with POS the phone becomes pre-emptive (other processes suffer), processes are not sufficiently re-entrant, and memory is unprotected. A treo is two devices, and the phone device trumps the PDA side. Without Linux/Windows this cannot feasibly be made to work, they are only delaying until Linux appears.

by Blake | Aug 26, 2007 11:17:00 AM

I forgot, is the Centro touchscreen?

by Lou | Aug 26, 2007 11:41:57 AM

I was planning on buying this device even in it ugly form. I am going to buy it for my daughter. I have a 700P and have had no issues with it. Thus, making me a happy treonauter!

Yes, I am converting my kids as well. I like the look and even though it is a smaller screen, I don't think my daughter will care as long as she can chat.

Personally, I would like to say, "nice clean up from the original look".

Now, I will wait for the "next" generation Treo.

by forgot | Aug 26, 2007 11:43:02 AM

@ Blake: Yes, according to reports the Centro has a touch screen.

by Blake | Aug 26, 2007 1:06:49 PM

Okay. I was only curious because that Navigation button looks oftly difficult to use. It's sort of like the Samsung Blackjack where there's no raise button to be pushed down. It'd flush with the rest of the case.

by NowVoyager | Aug 26, 2007 1:12:29 PM

Attractive??? It's industrial looking, chunky and above all - cheap. One of the great perks of all my former Treos was that they were sleek and upscale. They made a great statement at meetings too. Seriously. Imagine the board meeting where upon the table sit the new Blackberry, the Motorola Q and... this new Palm mess. This phone has a great face for inside pockets. No finesse. It's a hot mess. - Ooh, there's an apt slogan! Addendum: Palm doesn't seem to know it's core market - The business user. They are abandoning us in search of a market that is already saturated. How wise is that?

by Michael | Aug 26, 2007 1:33:50 PM

Such a shame that they want to downgrade to compete with cheaper brands. Hate to say it but I will be shopping for a different brand (gagging sound with tears when thinking of switching) if Treo is going to force me to go to an even smaller screen. Either that or go with bigger pockets somewhere on my lab coat to accommodate the PALM FOLEO in a year or two...

by mstein | Aug 26, 2007 2:41:43 PM

So this is the Mercedes A series of the treo world huh? Well even if the marketing totally mis-managed the announcement and 'leak' they have at least included a picture of some IM software on the treo - a modern activity that doesn't include 'work' and 'productivity' or the spectacularly boring 'menu' that seems to dominate the product shots of before.

For all it's Fisher-Price looks (I say make it white and red) I'm actually a little taken by it.

My main criticism is the dial and hang up buttons which look way too wide apart and too near the edges. They remind me of the guy in high school who's eyes were just too wide to look normal.

by Fernando | Aug 26, 2007 3:13:28 PM

I don't dislike it. I just wish Palm releases a GSM version sooner rather than later. Any words on the camera specs?. I'd expect a 1MP camera minimum. 640x480 is just so 2005....

by zetsurin | Aug 26, 2007 7:51:03 PM

Yuck, glad I just switched to a symbian phone. After years of trusty service my 650 is now being retired and Palm lost a formerly happy customer after trying to sell me more of the same for too long now.

by Smee Jenkins | Aug 27, 2007 7:07:48 PM

"Addendum: Palm doesn't seem to know it's core market - The business user. They are abandoning us in search of a market that is already saturated. How wise is that?"

Yeah. As we all know, there are hundreds of smartphones for teens on the market.

by Blake | Aug 27, 2007 9:05:24 PM

Smee: You missed the mark. Centro in no way comes across as a smartphone for me. It comes across a text messaging phone, with calendar features, and e-mail. I wouldn't consider it a smartphone and I don't think Palm is aiming that it does.

Try again.

by Crash Override | Aug 27, 2007 10:20:35 PM

With all of the comments, I think that some people are missing the mark. I know that everyone is waiting for the perfect, new powerful, upscale smartphone for the "do-anyhting" executive.

THIS IS NOT IT! But, it looks like the perfect alternative to those of us who wish that Sprint just had something for the everyday user that rivaled the Danger Sidekick devices. This might be it. I'm 31 years old, and tween-oriented or not, if it is a good, simple email, text, IM and organizer phone that fits in my pocket-I'm in. I will get one the day it comes out. Simple, good communication and organization for everyday people sounds great to me!

by Smee Jenkins | Aug 28, 2007 1:09:07 AM

Blake: We don't know what features the Centro has. But name me something that a Treo has, but you think the Centro lacks, which disqualifies it from being a smartphone.

by RichC | Aug 28, 2007 7:43:08 AM

Ho hum ... I'll refer to it as the Folio of the Treo line. Eventually Palm will drop them both and opt for something that is either as 'useful' as the old Treos, or as 'sexy' as a few competitors designs. Currently it is neither. It's small screen and keyboards hardly make it as functional as the older Treos, and the chunky unattractive design won't turn head making it a 'gotta have device.'

To offer a bit of optimism, perhaps some hands on use will prove my first impressions wrong?

by NowVoyager | Aug 28, 2007 4:36:59 PM

My Treo is strapped. In addition to the "wouldn't be without it" Apps (Agendus & ACT! etc), I have a Bible with 20 translations on it, Call Filtering Software, the requisite Mp3 and Media Apps ad infinitum. All running smoothly in Palm OS.

What I *don't* need is an IM toy like my son's Teen Craze SideKick. And as vain as it sounds, I don't want a phone that looks like a brick. I want it sleek, upscale and not crayola-esque (as in the 680).

Like I said, Palm has lost it's way. It has forsaken the business user in search of a market that has no interest in it.

They've abandoned business success principle 101: Give your core users what they want and give it to them better than anyone else. Nuff said.

by Blake | Aug 28, 2007 5:52:12 PM

NowVoyager: I'm curious on your point as to Blackberry customers. Do you think that they listen to their fans and improve with each new device they come out with? I only ask because I totally agree with your statement. And I think that Palm could actually learn something from Blackberry which is stay true to your roots and take constructive criticism and act on it.

by NowVoyager | Aug 28, 2007 8:23:10 PM

Blake: Yes, I do think RIM tech listens to it's user base. Just look at the morphology of Blackberry. They've gone from a chunky male-centric (and I mean that in the nicest way, guys!)brick-ette to an In-Your-Face sleek (a couple in fact) version of it's former self. I guarantee that the next version will have a camera (something that the 8300 doesn't have)because users have complained. Palm on the other hand is regressing. The Foleo is almost grounds for recommending the asylum.

by NowVoyager | Aug 28, 2007 11:57:27 PM

Here's a review from someone who's actually handled the lil Centro sucker: http://www.gearlog.com/2007/08/handson_with_the_sprint_palm_g.php

According to the allegedly quoted Sprint rep in that review, the device is aimed @ teens, just as I said. The keyboard is just as it appears, nearly nonexistent. I guess the old lament of the senile applies here: "Of all the things I've lost, it's my mind that I miss the most" They've lost their corporate minds.

But, Sprint has a very nice HTC due out in November that is getting raves. So, if Palm hasn't gotten it's act together by then, I'm defecting from Palm-dom. Sorry guys but, I've hung in there since Palm III and lately, you don't know me. You're ditching a solid market for a bird in the bush. Perhaps you can marry the Foleos and Centros in a bonfire and birth a CENTREO! (One can only hope!)

by earleadopter | Aug 29, 2007 9:52:43 PM

Wow. I'm glad to see Palm release a device at this price point. Its about time the smartphone market became commoditized. If Palm can make it work they may survive after all. I look forward to the day when I can get a Treo or equivalent device for free with contract. Yes, I said free, and you can mark my words: the winners will eventually come around to this pricepoint. The more people who can get their hands on one, the better. Power users: stop whining and go buy yourself a UMPC already. Palm don't love you no more.

by jonlopez1 | Aug 30, 2007 6:51:51 PM

Actually I didn't like it from the beginning, I don't like the way it looks.
Maybe because I'm in love with my Treo700. But I don't like this new one.
Then I read that its geared for the youth, and I think my son could benifit from having this type of technology.

by Borszczuk | Aug 30, 2007 11:50:11 PM

In fact Centro is not that bad once you get it in the hand and play with it. The keyboard is small - that true and if you are a big guy then you shall forget about using it. But I am just regular size, and I sucessfuly managed to type on it, even with two thumbs. So it's doable but still not that comfortable as on other Treos (its new round 5way is in fact usable too). Centro is smaller other Treos, and definitely lighter. But you pay the price - the screen is smaller too. It's still regular 320x320 (touchscreen of course) but... well if you going to use it as PDA heavily, you may not be as happy in the longer run as you would be with the say 680 (or maybe Tungsten even). The pixels are a bit too small if you ask me. eBooks - eye killer. Movies. I'd not dare. pssh - you'd have to be brave (but forget about using small 4x6 font). Would I buy Centro? Depends - I am not the real target. Would not mind my 680 to be lighter, true, but I like its size and just love its keyboard (I type a lot so Centro's keys are not the option for me). I also dislike this crappy phone app v2.x that comes in 650, 700, 755. Unfortunately it comes in Centro too. Phone 3.0+ Treo 680 features - it's much better and much more user friendly. But from the other side my GF would love it and would gladly got it instead of her bulky, antenna-featured 650 (and trust me, black Centro looks really nice). The 1280x1024 camera is nice as well (still not kicks some Nokias, but we do not need that). 68MB RAM does not kill while others deliver 8GB - but you can have SD. Gernet OS won't beat impressions iPhone delivers (Palm shall really license PalmRevolt instead of this damn Sudoku) and default sounds and ringtones are just awful (mp3 rightones w/o minitone anyone?) so it might be hard to get a new users attracted by these "features" - it does not kill out of the box (as any other treo). But I'd still suggest to give it a test drive - you may like as, in general I do. Especially the price is not gona ruin your budget...

by Treofan#1000 | Sep 1, 2007 11:44:45 PM

This phone is awful! What a disappointment. I've been excitedly waiting for a Treo to rival the iphone, this does the exact opposite! It's not even close to being competitive. I need a much bigger touchscreen (for GPS navigation). I would never buy the Treo 800 (as designed above)! If they must downgrade the Treo I hope they also offer an upgraded Treo at the same time.

by David Filskov | Sep 2, 2007 4:51:14 PM

Centro screen size 320 * 272 ??


I've done a little testing on the LCD resolution - it's doesn't look square to me so I first thought it must be 320*240 ... however my test looks more like 320*272 ! - have you heard about other phones with that resolution?

Also it doesn't look like Palm OS to me so I really hope it's the new Linux based OS.

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