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AT&T Centro Now Available for $99.99!

As rumoured, Palm today finally announced the availability of the GSM AT&T Palm Centro  – available immediately for just $99.99 in new “Glacier White” with green keypad accents (below) and also (in approximately one month) a second model in “Obsidian Black”.

AT&T Centro Launch

For people used to the limitations of a standard phone it’s clear that Centro offers customers more choices to stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers while on the go by using any choice of voice, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail or the Web.  Featuring a color touch-screen and full QWERTY keyboard, Centro is also the first Palm OS product to launch with AT&T services such as XM Radio Mobile, Push to Talk and MusicID.

The Palm Centro is essentially a “mini Treo for the masses” and is the smallest and lightest smartphone in the world that features both a high resolution touchscreen and full QWERTY keyboard in a candy bar form factor – one that now works with the largest digital voice and data network and also allows you to roam freely globally thanks to its GSM quad band radio.

The Sprint Palm Centro released a few months ago has clearly demonstrated that demand for crossover devices is skyrocketing (according to sources the Centro has actually been one of the bestselling smartphones on Sprint).  “The fact is that the Centro hits a sweet spot for many customers looking for a QWERTY device with a solid suite of messaging and multimedia features,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Business Mobility Products for AT&T’s wireless unit.  “At a great price that can be coupled with a variety of AT&T’s messaging and data options, we are thrilled to offer Centro to our 70.1 million customers.”

Existing Centronauts have already raved about the following Centro features:

Superior Phone
Centro's touch-screen and full QWERTY keyboard, combined with the simplicity of Palm OS, make it easy to use with key features such as one-touch speakerphone, conference calling, ignore a call with text messaging and Bluetooth connectivity.

More importantly, Centro combines the traditional mobile phone size while offering significantly more advanced phone features and much more complete contact information and PC synchronization compared to a traditional mobile phone address book.

Easy Text Messaging
Centro’s SMS text-messaging application displays text and multimedia messages in Palm’s chat-style view, just like PC-based instant messaging, so Centro users can see the entire conversation unfold.  Palm is bringing this easy-to-use text messaging capability, which many Treo users have enjoyed for years, to Centro.

Instant Messaging
With the built-in IM application, customers can message with select contacts from their choice of AIM, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging services. 

E-Mail Options
Centro makes email easy with (among others) your choice of Versamail, Xpress Mail, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and Good Mobile Messaging.  Using Xpress Mail, users can easily set up and access personal email from Gmail, AOL, Yahoo!, Windows Live and other popular Internet service providers.  Xpress Mail also provides access to Lotus Notes.

Via Exchange ActiveSync, receiving Microsoft Outlook email while on the go, as well as syncing Outlook contacts and calendar appointments, can be done right after the phone comes out of the box.  Good Mobile Messaging is also supported on Centro and is downloadable over the air from get.good.com. 

Music Options
The AT&T Mobile Music platform includes the ability to sideload music with Napster and eMusic with built-in Pocket Tunes Deluxe, listen to live radio with XM Radio Mobile, discover new songs with MusicID and more. Centro from AT&T is the first Palm smart device to offer XM Radio Mobile.  For $8.99 a month, XM Radio Mobile gives AT&T consumers 25 of the best XM Radio channels, featuring commercial-free rock, hip-hop, country, jazz and more. A free three-day trial is included with Centro.

With a database of more than 3 million artists and titles, Centro customers can use MusicID to identify an unknown song. While holding Centro up to a speaker, the MusicID application returns song information such as title, artist and cover art, if available.  It also keeps track of previous IDs and allows users to share song information with friends via text messages, all for $3.99 a month.  A free three-day trial is included with Centro.

Contacts and Calendar
Since Centro comes with the Palm OS, it offers all of the great organizer functionality for which Palm is renowned, such as a detailed and integrated contacts list.  Also, the simple and handy calendar makes it easier to manage increasingly busy lives.

AT&T Centro Specs

Other unique AT&T Services for Centro

  • Push to Talk — Centro users can instantly talk across the largest Push to Talk network coverage area in America. Push to Talk works like a walkie-talkie to talk to an individual or a group of up to 29 users.  With status icons that clearly indicate the availability of friends and family, Push to Talk customers will know who is free before they call.  Users can purchase unlimited Push to Talk minutes with Nation Plans for $9.99 a month for each line and with FamilyTalk for $19.99 a month for each group (two to five lines).  Customers also can use Push to Talk on a pay-per-use basis for $0.15 a minute.
  • TeleNav GPS Navigator — With an optional stand-alone GPS receiver accessory, TeleNav GPS Navigator gives Centro users access to maps and more than 10 million points of interest, as well as turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving directions.  Unlimited access to Navigator costs $9.99 a month.
  • MobiTV — With MobiTV, Centro users can watch live television, premium and prime-time programming, video-on-demand clips and satellite and digital music services from the top broadcast and cable television networks and major music labels for $9.99 a month.

EDGE Network
The Palm Centro from AT&T operates on AT&T’s EDGE network, part of the GSM family of technologies.  Used by more than 86 percent of the world’s wireless subscribers — 2.7 billion people — GSM is the world's most popular wireless phone technology, allowing unparalleled global roaming capabilities.  AT&T customers with quad-band devices such as Centro can place calls in more than 195 countries and access data in more than 140.

Pricing and Availability
The AT&T Palm Centro is available at all AT&T retail stores and online for $99.99 after a two-year service agreement and a mail-in rebate.  Unlimited email and data access is available for $30 a month with AT&T’s PDA Personal data package with a corresponding voice plan.  Messaging packages are available beginning at $5 for 200 text, picture, video or instant messages.  Unlimited messaging is available for $20 for individual plans and $30 for FamilyTalk plans.

I am lucky to have received one of the very first AT&T Centro units and I will naturally provide you with an in-depth review this week but I can already tell you that thanks to its much smaller size and weight as well as the ability to roam globally with GSM I am very likely going to switch from my Treo 680…

In the meantime, for more information please read my original Sprint Palm Centro review, top Centro accessories review and Top 100 Centro software list.

Centronauts are always ready for something new

Posted by Andrew on February 19, 2008 at 01:42 PM

Palm Centro

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by ola | Feb 19, 2008 3:02:29 PM

I would love to know if the speaker and headset volumn are any better than the treo 680? And what about BT voice quality.

by Charles | Feb 19, 2008 3:06:59 PM

Yes the Centro is a great phone, no denying that. No matter what phone service you have *cough* (Sprint is better) it will work great I'm sure. Honestly I can't say enough about how awesome this phone is, for the price and features you get, I went out and bought one shortly after it came out. And it looks great too!

BUT and this for me is a large BUT...

I have Vista Ultimate x64bit, and Palm has neglected to come up with a USB driver for the only Palm Desktop software that works with the Vista OS. Absolutely NO 64bit support!!! Therefore I am forced to "Bluetooth" in order to hotsync it to my computer and save any info. Um...this takes about an hour and a half, if not sometimes longer to do, and sometimes partially if not almost all the way through with the sync'ing it FAILS! This goes for any Palm OS smartphone including the 6xx, 7xx and Centro line.

If anyone from Palm is reading this...PLEASE take this as your warning from many Vista Ultimate users that we are thinking of migrating to a NON-PALM manufactured smartphone if this is not fixed soon. It's been more than a year now and still no 64bit USB driver in sight.

I hate to be so negative, but this is something seemingly so menial to fix and it would solve A LOT of problems. I'm no programmer, but that's what Palm pays the big bucks for...SO GET TO IT PALM!!! I still love ya but come on!!

by tgwaste | Feb 19, 2008 4:42:14 PM

you know.. im getting really damn tired of paying $400 for these phones only to have palm make them ALL available except the one I buy (unlocked gsm USA).

Its like, hows a bout a little loyalty for the people you pay you some much damn money Palm!!!

by dmm | Feb 19, 2008 5:18:22 PM

I'm wondering what the difference is between the "obsidian" color coming in a month (which may be the same as the unlocked model unveiled in Europe?) and the "onyx" offered on Sprint. Anyone seen both yet?

by Andrew | Feb 20, 2008 3:11:55 AM

ola - the speaker on the Centro is _much_ louder than on any previous Palm smartphone. Insofar as Bluetooth I'd rate it about the same but it's actually extremely difficult to test any differences.

Charles - totally agree with you that Palm should be doing a better job fully supporting Vista 64 bit.

tgwaste - it's not confirmed yet but nonetheless "very likely" according to sources that an Unlocked GSM Centro will indeed become available in the US.

dmm - I am told that the main difference between Sprint and AT&T's "Black" Centro is that the first had a pearly/sparkly finish when AT&T's is likely going to be full matt black.

Cheers, A.

by Mike Hardy | Feb 20, 2008 5:33:04 PM

My Treo 650 just suffered an untimely malfunction after I was riding my bike and was hit by a truck yesterday (I'm ok, though, luckily!).

It was an AT&T (nee Cingular) model

I'm looking for a replacement, but I'm wondering if the Centro works with TomTom (I have the Palm GPS bundle with TomTom "App version 5.201 (5344) bought from here)

I'm also wondering if the AT&T has allowed the Centro to be used for BT DUN?

If not, I believe the 680 may be the phone for me, unless I go drastic and switch to the iPhone (though I'd really really miss the GPS that was *real* GPS...)

Thanks in advance for any help, Andrew

by Andrew | Feb 20, 2008 5:49:06 PM

Mike - sorry to hear about your Treo 650 and accident.

The Centro does work perfectly well with TomTom and it also offers BT DUN.

Given that the Treo 680 and Centro are essentially the same device (just in a different form factor) you will simply have to decide whether you prefer a large screen and keyboard with the downside of a bulkier smartphone (Treo 680) or a smaller screen and form factor with the downside of lower battery life and more cramped keyboard (Centro).

I hope this helps.

Cheers, A.

by Joe | Feb 20, 2008 11:14:32 PM

Does the IM program installed on the centro use datra or sms?? Is this the OZ messenger software?


by Rawj | Feb 21, 2008 3:07:37 PM

Why the @&$* couldn't Sprint sell this white one instead of pink or red? I like the white one much better.

My girlfriend and I each have a sparkly black Sprint Centro, and from the very beginning I've wanted to give mine a custom paint job or change the parts to make it a different color. Is that possible?

by Mike Hardy | Feb 24, 2008 11:47:49 PM

Andrew, I went with the Centro that afternoon after reading your reply (thank you, especially for being so fast).

I've had it a few days now, enough to know whether I like it or not, and it is a real, and appreciated upgrade. The camera alone is a great upgrade, and having the phone be smaller and smooth all around (no antennae) is great.

All of the old software I needed works, and I get more storage than my 650 (which topped at 2GB cards).

I'm very pleased. Thanks again.

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