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”.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Centronauts are always ready for something new…