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Centro Specifications & Comparison Chart

Considering that the new Palm Centro is essentially a mini Treo smartphone (I think that we should perhaps more appropriately start calling it the Centreo…) a lot of existing Treonauts have asked me to post details of a comparison between the Centro and other Treo smartphones such as the 755p, 680 and 650.

Palm Centro & Treo 680 Comparison

Before you read the comparative specifications below I’d like to point out the most obvious difference between the Centro and other existing Treo smartphones: it’s first and above all a lot smaller, slimmer and lighter.  I’ve tried many different photographic angles to try to really show you how much smaller the Centro is and I think that the image above is probably the most representative overlaid on my existing Treo 680.

Centro Comparison Chart

From the chart above you’ll see that aside from size and weight only minor things differentiate the Centro from other Treo smartphones.  It shares the slighly faster Intel XScale 312MHz processor that the Treo 755p also uses; it evidently has a smaller sized touchscreen (albeit with the same 320x320 resolution) and also smaller but very usable mini QWERTY keyboard; it uses microSD instead of full SD or miniSD; has slightly lower talk time than the Treo 680 (210 versus 240 minutes) and finally like the Treo 500 it is the lightest of any Treo smartphones weighing only 4.2oz (119 grams).

Given the almost exact specifications, your decision to choose the Centreo over the Treo 755p should therefore be based principally on the frequency of your daily data entry requirements (email, text, documents) as the larger keyboard will naturally make this somewhat easier when writing long paragraphs.  A more moderate data entry usage like mine however will be able to be more than adequately met by the Centro. 

Additionally, the Centro does benefit from a few unique pre-installed applications including Documents to Go Professional Edition 10 ($49.99 value), Google Mobile Maps, Nuance Voice Control, On Demand, Pocket Tunes Deluxe (full version $37.95 value), Sprint Mobile Email, Sprint TV, Sudoku ($19.95 value) and the updated version of VersaMail 4.0.

Finally there’s also an issue of price and at only $99 (albeit with a new 2 year Sprint contract) the Centro is certainly very appealing.  Having said this, I think that the Centro goes beyond just being a good deal – it’s a terrific device on its own that matches all the capabilities of its larger siblings in a much more compact form factor.

Treonauts always look for specific comparisons

Posted by Andrew on October 1, 2007 at 05:44 PM
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by hennessey.s | Oct 1, 2007 6:06:50 PM

Is there any reason why it wouldn't be wise to buy an unlocked version thru Palm and activate it with Verizon? Sprint does not work for me.

by gticlay | Oct 1, 2007 7:41:10 PM

Seems like a Treo680 with EVEN LESS battery life. Argh! Plan on buying a Seidio right away..... Seems like this unit should have had the regular screen to boost life.

by dmm | Oct 1, 2007 7:45:22 PM

Great idea... if it were feasible. The term "unlocked phones," generally speaking, refers to GSM rather than CDMA. And Verizon is the least-willing carrier to activate a non-Verizon-branded phone.

What you'll have to do to get a Centro on Verizon... is wait. After Sprint's exclusivity period is up, Verizon may get the Centro too (then again, though, we're still waiting on the 755p). So it's wait-and-see.

by NYC | Oct 1, 2007 8:22:28 PM

I was at the release and the Centro is a great device. Andrew is right to be Oooh-ing and Ahh-ing. Agreed it more or less a mini Treo smartphone. But I say mini with much admiration.

I have a 650 and I am comfortable with the 650 size but the Centro finds the perfect balance of sliming down the previous versions.

If your only judgment on it's size is by looking at the comparison pictures online, you would be hard pressed to fully grasp how lite and compact the Centro is compared to the 650, 680 or 755. Andrew, I don't think you could really take a good comparison picture.

This will sound silly but it is like they took an 4 sided engineered rolling pen and pressed in all the edges of the previous Treos.

And here is another thought about the Centro, Bye Bye belt clip / leather holder / case etc. Yes I would say this is the first Palm phone that is better sliding into your pocket that onto your belt. I have a 650 and use a leather horizontal belt case. For my use at work I have found the belt case better than having a bulgy rectangle pocket outline in my suit pants. But my Centro will go right in my pocket unnoticed until retrieved and placed on the conference room table, Blackberry Owner's asking "Hey what type of phone is that"

by dukat | Oct 2, 2007 4:45:38 AM

So, what would be the difference between the "Intel XScale 312MHz" (which apparently is just a general term) processor and the "Intel XScale PXA 270 312 Mhz processor"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xscale

by wxboss | Oct 2, 2007 9:03:01 AM

Hopefully the Centro will give Palm a much needed financial boost as the price point makes it a much more appealing option to many who would be turned away by a Treo's price tag.

Maybe more people will get the opportunity to experience and enjoy a POS device.

by signaldawg | Oct 2, 2007 10:18:35 AM

Thanks Andrew! This looks like my next Treo/smartphone. If you take into account the functionality, size, and price, this seems to be the best buy until the Linux OS Treo debuts. The only drawbacks I can see are the battery life and the screen & keyboard size. If you REALLY need that much more battery life, is buying an extra battery that much of a drawback, honestly? And, as you've said numerous times, if you don't need to use the keyboard constantly, the size seems quite reasonable.

I look forward to seeing one in the Sprint store so that I can get a real world feel for the size difference. Now, will Sprint try to use a LITTLE customer service by not making upgrading a phone so complex and expensive?!?

by Larry Spinak | Oct 2, 2007 1:34:55 PM

Battery question:

Which battery (or batteries) would be the appropriate replacement(s) for the one that comes with the Centro? I want to make sure it'll fit!


by Colonel Kernel | Oct 2, 2007 3:41:06 PM

Careful, wxboss, "POS," as you used it, means something very different than "Palm OS," which, judging by your previous paragraph, is not what you meant.

Larry Spinak, Judging by Andrew's mAh listing it sounds like a completly different battery size. I'm sure once Seidio gets their hands on the specifications they'll be working on it.

Andrew, thank you very much for this chart. I doubt I'll switch to the Centro, though. Because in addition to not wanting to give up my 8gb SDHC card in my 680 I'm also anticipating the next nugget that Palm lets slip out of its sleeve.

by Tim Bishop | Oct 2, 2007 10:47:44 PM

First and foremost I would never go to Sprint. In addition to lousy coverage outside of metropolitan areas, my company is in a situation where we overpaid a bill and had to sue them to get a refund (despite multiple assurances that the check was in the mail). The company is crooked, in my view. I'm sure we're not the only ones they tried to cheat.

Second, and as is clear from Andrew's very thorough and comprehensive chart, there's a small size difference and a bigger decrease in battery performance. You're going to have to charge the battery more often, meaning it is going to wear out much more quickly. Spare batteries don't work. I have two Seidio's that I purchased from this site. Neither will hold a charge for more than a few hours just sitting in my pocket or on the counter. They charge fine, but leave it out of the charger overnight (not even in the phone!) and they are dead in the morning.

There's really no excuse for not moving to Bluetooth 2.0 or incorporating A2DP, for example. Andrew's prior criticism of Palm for lack of innovation and poor product delivery schedules is still valid. The stingy on board memory of the 650 (otherwise a great device) and the low price of the Centro could be attractive for that upgrade path if you don't mind getting ripped off by Sprint, but anyone on a 680 should yawn, stretch and wait for Palm to catch up with the competition ... if they can.

by What's in a Name? | Oct 3, 2007 1:11:02 PM

I just saw on Yahoo (and on Verizon's site) that Verizon was introducing their version of the iPhone killer, named Voyager. I hope this isn't why Verizon has yet to pick up the newer Treo models and maybe passing on the Centro in the future...it doesn't look appealing from this short demo:

by Heiko | Oct 3, 2007 1:45:49 PM

Good bye, Palm - i don't need your Centro anymore. Just switched to a WM Smartphone. Was a Palm fan for more than five years, but constant lack of innovation made me finally leave. I will miss some beloved applications but it was necessary. I really got tired of Franken Garnet and its stability issues. I can't afford a phone which occasionally freezes while doing basic operations like answering a call or checking mail.

by Michael Ortiz | Oct 6, 2007 7:33:47 PM

Can Palm really still be ignoring GPS and WI-Fi again. It's like constantly telling a child to clean his room. Palm grow up already. Everyone else is! 600, 650, 700, 755; those are all the models i've had since 2001 and asked the same questions. How the hell can I justify sticking with these guys? Seriously. I might go Black, and never go back.

by DG | Oct 15, 2007 5:43:05 PM

It just dawned on me that this is the next Treo for my wife, until the Linux next generation finally becomes available.

She hates the bulkiness of the current Treos, wants something small and aesthetically pleasing to toss in her purse. This may be it.

I have milked my 650 for all its worth, and now that it is pretty much dead my next upgrade is soon to be a 680, with the better phone reception, more memory, SD card. And that will be it until Linux.

And when it does finally arrive, it better have a bigger screen. Wi-Fi, sure. Built-in A2DP, it'd be about time, wouldn't it? LESS ROM-stuffed crapware I don't want but can't delete, yes please (why shove D2G and Google Maps in there? What if I use some other office suite and have GPS? I think in truth and fact they stuff crap in there to hide the fact that, even if they didn't stuff crap in there, we wouldn't be able to use more of the memory...I'm not a software engineer, but sheesh, 50% of the memory unavailable to the user? Is that just bad programming or bad design?)

by Sarah | Nov 9, 2007 9:21:21 PM

Ok sorry if this will make me sound really dense but I hope someone out there can help me out with this concern...
It states that the CENTRO is Dual band...I have had a Treo650 for like 4 years now and have been really happy with it apart from it being such a heavy phone and am considering upgrading to either a BB Pearl or the Centro (as I have so much palm software and would hate that it all go to waste) thing is My 650 is quad band so works in Europe, Asia (South East Asia) and the US...Does Dual band mean it wont work in one of the Continents? and if yes...what continent? I travel to all 3 every so often and it really is a big thing for me...

by Keisha | Sep 16, 2008 11:45:50 PM

I have had my palm treo for less than 30 days. I have a couple of problems with it because I am not exactly smart phone savvy. First, the battery doesn't last very long. I have to charge this phone completely every night. When I first got the phone I sat up at night so that I could learn to work it because I could not let the phone beat me but one thing I can't figure out is how to blue tooth songs, ringtones, etc from other people's phones. I joined cingular because you can do it with verizon. I did figure out that most ring tones had to be sent via multimedia text but that is the only way. This information would be very useful to me. I have thought about trading it for a black jack 2 but I have too much time invested in this phone and I would like to keep it because it is small. Could someone please help me with this.

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