Palm Centro - red (Sprint)
Manufacturer: Palm Part number: PTR690HKR
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- Bottom Line:
- The Palm Centro isn't the innovative product we were looking for from the company, but with its slimmer size, ease of use, and affordable price tag, the Centro is a good option for those looking for their first smartphone.
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CNET editors' review
price range: $229.99
- Reviewed by: Bonnie Cha
- Edited by: Kent German
- Reviewed on: 10/11/2007
- Released on: 10/14/2007
The good: The Palm Centro sheds some of the weight and bulk of Palm Treo to make for a more compact smartphone. It also carries an attractive price tag and offers a lot for the money, including Bluetooth, EV-DO support, push e-mail, and a suite of productivity apps.
The bad: The Centro's QWERTY keyboard is extremely cramped and the hardware feels a bit toylike. The phone's speaker is on the weaker side, and it lacks Wi-Fi.
The bottom line: The Palm Centro isn't the innovative product we were looking for from the company, but with its slimmer size, ease of use, and affordable price tag, the Centro is a good option for those looking for their first smartphone.
Good...but not revolutionary on any front but price point...
by crash.override on October 17, 2007
Pros: size, bling-factor, simple interface, fast EVDO on Sprint
Cons: Keyboard is THAT small, Palm Garnet OS is pretty dated, keys feel OK but a tad cheap
Summary: I've used the I-phone, RIM etc and WinMo...blah blah. BUT, this is about the CENTRO that I am using right now. I had high hopes for this phone ...
Summary: I've used the I-phone, RIM etc and WinMo...blah blah. BUT, this is about the CENTRO that I am using right now. I had high hopes for this phone as the Palm P755 on Sprint I've been using is a bit buggy and slow. The Centro's OS is better implemented and a little more tightly tied to the phone than recent Garnet Palm OS devices. What I mean is that the phone is a lot snappier and lively in switching applications and operating. That is a good improvement to be sure. While I want to love the phone, there is much to miss here, as the software still shows its age.
So, as I am using this phone now, here goes:
CASE: Slippery and small, it looks slick but will not hold up after a minor drop, IMO. It is the nicest design PALM has done, but it lacks the durability of many other smartphones. The Stylus is FLIMSY and the keys feel a bit like puffy stickers from when you were a kid.
SCREEN: It is small, but usable. It is the nicest screen I think a TREO has ever been graced with, but it lacks the luster of some other PDA phones. That being said, it is not bad for $ 99.00. It is comprable to newer Blackberry Displays.
Software/O.S.: This is where it gets a bit rough. The OS is simple to use and is good for a new smartphone user. While Palm has many third party software add-on's, the OS often crashes when such software is installed. The organizer is very good but the email and web software is difficult. The stringed or "IM style" text messaging is welcome and useful. The dialing application on this Palm is a bit of a pain. All and all, it is old and buggy, so it is not to die for.
BATTERY: This palm has the worst battery of any phone I've used. In the end, this might be the kiss of death for me with this device. If I can't get through a regular day without plugging it in, it isn't worth my time. I have only used the phone for a day or two, so I will give it another couple days to evaluate it's longevity.
SOUND/RECEPTION: it is decent in the reception department, as Sprint has good service where I live (Pittsburgh PA). The speaker is not too quiet or tinny and the earphone is not too bad. All and all, the sound is decent in a loud outdoor setting.
FINAL THOUGHT: If you want the size of the average "centro" of the wireless market with the useful features of the PALM OS, this is a great smartphone. However, the lack of battery life and the aging software need to be evaluated with open eyes...
12 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
Much Improved Over Treo 700p
by jmanstarr on November 30, 2007
Pros: Smaller size; Pre-installed software; New Micro-SD Configuration
Cons: Keyboard a tad stiff; battery life disappointing
Summary: Very please with new Centro. All the same features as previous versions, but pre-installed IM and Google Maps is very convenient.
- New size is GREAT in the pocket...
Summary: Very please with new Centro. All the same features as previous versions, but pre-installed IM and Google Maps is very convenient.
- New size is GREAT in the pocket
- New Micro SD is great, especially now that slot is protected. My cards always popped out on Treo 650/700.
- New look is refreshing for long-time Treo owner.
- Screen is more vibrant
- Bluetooth MUCH more reliable than on 650/700p. Its actually useable.
- Keyboard is definitely smaller, which would be okay if keys responded with less pressure.
- Battery life is supposed to be on-par with Treos, but my Centro seems to eat battery at 2x rate.
- My wife wants me to upgrade her too
I bought the Centro after loosing my mind on the road with my 700p crashing every five minutes. I take good care of my phones but I have swapped out 4 700p's in 18 months due to ROM and other failures. The 700p is by far the worst PDA/Phone combo I have ever owned, and I hate maintaining them for my mobile staff.
Not worth upgrade unless having issues with other Treos like me. Still better than Blackberry and Windows OS phones for longtime Palm user.
Previous PDA Phones: 700p, 650, 600, Kyocera Smartphones
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great smart phone! Not just for first timers.
by diesel503 on December 30, 2007
Pros: EVDO fast internet. Great IM. Email TouchScreen Fits right in my pocket.
Cons: Micro sd hidden under battery cover. Maybe too much plastic.
Summary: I have owned many phones 10 plus. This is easily my favorite. Don't let ppl say the keyboard is too cramped to type I type just fine and have ...
Summary: I have owned many phones 10 plus. This is easily my favorite. Don't let ppl say the keyboard is too cramped to type I type just fine and have average guys hands. Google maps is great. Be sure to get extra memory because the mp3 player is awesome. Only with is had an FM transmiter. Speaker phone is very loud. Sound quality is great on both sides. Bluetooth works great so does the internet. Very fast uploads of pages. OS seems very stable no resets for me and I have owned it two months.Updated
This going to be short if anyone has any more questions I will be glad to help. I bought my first one I loved in until about after a month the scree just blee and I lost all my info, They send me another one after a week same thing woke up to got to workr and found the scree had failed again I dont thing i will ever buy Palm again.Updated
The phone seems great does everything,but after about a month the screen screws up and does not work at all. Now this happened to me the first time and I said ok Ill give it another chance. They sent me a new one the next day. Two weeks later "bam" no screen just some scribbley lines. So I brought it back to Sprint and went with the RAZR V9m and it has yet to cause any problems hook it up with a stereo bluetooth head set and you are ready to go.Good bass for the music and great sound quality.
7 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great all around performer, better size
by albowwow on October 18, 2007
Pros: size, performance, price
Cons: not international, no wifi but evdo is fast! and everywhere
Summary: I had to be one of the first to have a full production model centro. I admit I was skeptical of the size of the keyboard. Suprise! Its not a ...
Summary: I had to be one of the first to have a full production model centro. I admit I was skeptical of the size of the keyboard. Suprise! Its not a problem. The phone is fast and easy to use, no memory hogging programs like Win versions that drag their performance down. High speed internet, email, IM, text (unlike the sluggish IPhone) better screens (and a great touchscreen!) No extra cost unlike Blackberry(and few programs to boot!), Thousands of add on programs available (alot FREE!) And lots of personalization. A good MP# player (with right headphones)good camera, video, bluetooth, IR, Micro SD. Its a loaded feature full phone, so me something else to compete with this at this price or any price!
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Beware of the software before buying
by deecee on October 15, 2007
Pros: Touch screen interface is nice and easy
Cons: OS is unstable, and incapable of true multi-task
Summary: I have personally owned several Palm Treos(the latest being the Treo 680 running same OS as the Centro and I personally feel it a dud) as well as Blackberries. ...
Summary: I have personally owned several Palm Treos(the latest being the Treo 680 running same OS as the Centro and I personally feel it a dud) as well as Blackberries. I also investigated the iPhone, and my advice would be to assess your needs before buying the Centro as it is mostly a stripped down version of the Palm OS 5 based Treos, and Palm OS's days are numbered. Palm will migrate to a Linux based OS soon, and for good reasons.
The biggest problem with Palm handset currently is its OS. The Palm OS 5 is very unstable and outdated, bug patch support and update from Palm is also slow and most of time completely absent. The OS itself was not written in a multi-task capable fashion, that means if the processor is updating or receiving some bits of information from the network, the phone will behave like if it is frozen. This is very annoying, as network tends to update your handset quite often with information such as text messaging alert, network time update and other relevant information to keep the phone connected to the provider. What ends up happening is you can be scrolling around in your calendar or some other program and all of a sudden, your phone stops to respond. What's worse is that the phone keeps your last few inputs on the screen or the keyboard in memory, so when the phone decides it's done with whatever other task that paused its reponse to your direct input, it quickly react to all the input in the memory. Often this ends up take you to somewhere on the phone that you did not intent to go as you tried to tap around the screen or press the keyboard when the phone appeared to be locked up.
The keyboard lock and screen lock features are very poorly implemented, but you have to use them otherwise you will be making a lot of accidental calls from the touch screen and the keyboard or expose the data (such as emails, contacts, notes, etc) on the phone to others quite easily. The keylock and screen lock also prevent you from answering an incoming call via text message reply as the OS does not return the phone back to text messaging or the email program after you unlock the keyboard and the screen but instead put you back in the menu screen or the security setting screen.
It is very clear that Palm OS was originally written to operate on a PDA, the phone and email feature was an afterthought crammed in at the last minute. The versa mail program (or a versain tailored for a specific vendor)came with the OS is absolute gabage, as it will crash the phone constantly and often fail to receive the message on the servers. It also lacks some key email function support such as leaving the mail on the server for a specified time peroid or storing email on memory card instead of phone's internal memroy. You will have to spend extra to buy a real eMail program for the phone. It is quite evident the email program on the Palm OS is terrible as software companies specialize in Palm OS based email thrives despite the fact that an email program is included in the OS itself.
On the Treo 680, the keyboard is small, on the Centro it is even smaller, so the Qwerty keyboard is really just crammed in there without consideration for usability. I can't imagine having to type on the keyboard of the centro.
The advantage of the Palm phone is the touch screen, as it makes input information easier, however, with the new trackball interface on the BB, this advantage is significant reduced. The BB has much, much better support for email push, and has a lot better O/S stability.
The mobile web feature on the Palm OS is pretty poor, it's the bare minimum needed for a browsing experience, don't browse complicated websites as they often do not work. This is similar to Blackberry. iPhone has the clear advantage in this area, there is no competition here. So if you want serious mobile web, don't get the Palm phones or Blackberries. It's the bare minimum to get a passing grade on the web if your browsing is limited to mostly text based, very simple sites.
If you prefer excellent email push support, there is no substitute for a blackberry, if you like mobile web, there's no current competition against iPhone. The Palm with Palm OS 5 is an awkward kid that used to have good interface due to the touchscreen but doesn't really do anything particular well otherwise. The OS itself will really try your patience at times, and it is on its way out. Also Palm has never been good on supporting old product with updates or patches, keep this in mind. It is probably the worst company as far as support is concerned in my recent experience regarding cell phones.Updated
Battery life is very poor on the Treo 680 with a larger battery (compared to the Centro) and no 3G support. The Centro with 3G and an even smaller battery, I can't imagine how poor the battery life will be. Maybe there's a good reason Cnet has not disclosed their finding on the battery life for this phone.
10 out of 21 users found this user opinion helpful.
Go get one of these, it'll change your life for the better!
by Greywethr on January 3, 2008
Pros: Feature-rich, fast, easy to use, thousands of programs, hundreds of freeware
Cons: keyboard slightly small, but MUCH better than phone keypad
Summary: The Treo is the best smartphone out there, and has been for quite some time. Other smartphones are geared towards email or music, etc. The Centro is everything the Treo ...
Summary: The Treo is the best smartphone out there, and has been for quite some time. Other smartphones are geared towards email or music, etc. The Centro is everything the Treo is, but much more comfortable, smaller, cuter, and actually has a few more pre-installed apps. If you've ever seen someone with a Treo or other smartphone and thought it's too fancy for you, or more than you need, or too expensive, think again. The Centro is a lousy $99. You can set appointment, tasks, to-do lists, memos, use MS Office docs, pdfs, mp3s, set alarms, recurring alarms, birthdays, anniversaries, reminders, workout logs, games, internet, email, chat/IM, art, CAD, dictionary... wait. Simply put, it can do virtually everything my desktop can do, literally, but it's also a phone. I even watch TV, although I'm not impressed with most of Sprint's quality. I have the Treo 700p, and had 300/600/650, so been Palm user for 5 years. The Centro may be the best of all!
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
4 months 5 phones
by palmuser100 on January 7, 2009
Pros: I am so angry with this product right now. I had liked the palm interface, which is why I bought it in the first place, but through standard usage over four months it has failed me not once but three times.
Cons: charging mechanism malfunctions causing all sorts of weirdness with operation of the device: overheating, led stays lit (red or green) even when unplugged, until it finally shuts down entirely. I've tried different power cords, batteries, everything
Summary: the device has been marketed well. ads abound for the centro. even cnet reviewers and users gave mostly favorable reviews. i cannot endorse this product given my experiences. It has ...
Summary: the device has been marketed well. ads abound for the centro. even cnet reviewers and users gave mostly favorable reviews. i cannot endorse this product given my experiences. It has been highly unreliable and i am very disappointed with this offering from palm.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
a great starter smartphone
by sillyhermitcrab on February 16, 2008
Pros: compact size,easy to use,EVDO enabled,mp3 player...all of this comes together to make a solid smartphone
Cons: nothing really new here,and some same old disappointments which were grossly overlooked do some damage
Summary: as a third party dealer for Sprint,i do my best to keep up on the hot phones out.to help me keep up with appointments and clients,i got ...
Summary: as a third party dealer for Sprint,i do my best to keep up on the hot phones out.to help me keep up with appointments and clients,i got my very first smartphone,the Palm Centro in black.
not a bad looking phone.also available in red and pink,this is pretty nice for a pda phone,and the price was right.$150 definitely trumps $300+,plus a $50 mail in rebate.that's a very strong statement pricewise by Sprint.when you get into the phone and its Palm OS,its pretty easy to navigate through.i had learned pretty much everything about this phone within 2 weeks.your mainscreen is customizable with backgrounds,you dont have to have the dialpad displayed,so i got a nice looking beach.to display it,the touch lcd performs very nicely,the images on it are very good in my opinion.even with the low megapixel digital camera,picture quality comes out very nice.the brightness is adjustable,and down on one of its lowest settings,i still dont have a problem seeing the screen,which helps save battery power.
battery life on this is pretty nice as well.i use it all the time,not just as a phone,but web,memos,and mp3 player.it usually hangs in there long enough until i put it on the charger at night,which i like.as of St.Valentine's Day,extended-life batteries and covers are available if you need that extra power.we currently sell them at $65 together.
web browsing is pretty good.it has enough memory to load some of your larger pages,and thats when the EV-DO Rev A comes into play.those high speeds are very nice to have on here.to get the most out of this phone,i strongly suggest a Power Vision packsge and unlimited text messaging,both very well priced(on an individual plan,such packages start at $35,better than most other carriers.)
the mp3 player is another great asset on here.no pauses unless necessary between songs trumps my old mp3 player device.its microSD expansion slot supports up to 4 gb,i currently have a 2 gb card which gives me over 25 albums on there.i dont know if it can play music videos yet.but those are a bit large,even for 4 gb cards.to top it off,you can listen to your music while working on other applications.did i mention you can also record your own ringers?very nice.
drawbacks-no stereo headset compatability to speak of,on either a wired or bluetooth platform.if you want both channels,you gotta listen to your music on the speaker(though that doesnt sound all that bad).nor is it compatable with Sprint Navigation.they tried making up for it with a Googlemaps application.while that is cool,its definitely not the same as having realtime GPS navigation.and you may not like the small keyboard.it doesnt bother me that much,but most people have larger hands than i.plus there was nothing truly revolutionary about this device.it was just a reduction in size.
given everything,even though the cons were pretty bad in my eyes,they were in no way a dealbreaker for me.for my first smartphone,i really like it.i stand by my purchase,and i stand by it as a sale to my customers.whipping one of these out infront of your friends definitely acts as an eye catcher,and it makes for a cool conversation piece.thumbs up.mos def.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Worst Phone Ever had
by zactak on January 4, 2009
Pros: Speaker phone is strong, the look.
Cons: Lags, restarts for no reason, shuts off for no reason, freezes, speaker to talk broke, regular speaker to hear broke
Summary: This is one of the worst phones I have ever had. I was excited about getting this phone and thought it would be a great one. I have had problems ...
Summary: This is one of the worst phones I have ever had. I was excited about getting this phone and thought it would be a great one. I have had problems with it from the start. For my primary phone, I need a consistent phone that works decently well. This fell short. The battery life is not very long. Since I got it, I have had to charge my phone daily. For someone who only uses their phone 10-15 minutes a day, this is poor. Most phones I have had in the past last at least 2-3 days without being charged. The phone randomly restarts when I am in programs, or using the web browser. Sometimes the phone freezes and I am required to take the battery out entirely to get it to work again. I've had the phone completely drain its battery after being unplugged a few minutes before from being charged. People say I shound choppy and am cutting in and out. This is an ongoing problem I have had since I received the phone last year.
At one point for a week or so, the phone's speaker I talk into stopped working and I couldn't use the phone at all. I called customer support for Palm and could hardly understand the thick accented woman. She told me she would send me directions on how to send my phone in to get fixed, but she never did. The speaker randomly started working a couple weeks later.
The latest problem I have had with this phone is the regular speaker to hear what people are saying doesn't work. I have to put it on speaker phone to be able to hear the person, which means if I am walking down the street, around campus, or I'm at work, I have limited or no privacy.
I would not recommend this phone to other people. I've had it for 8 months and it has been nothing but problems. I am headed back over to LG brand, where I have had no problems.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
It's not for me...
by hannah00775 on August 18, 2008
Pros: Sorry, I don't like the construction of this product.
Cons: Flimsy plastic, tiny everything, bad sound quality, short battery life and too much hype.
Summary: It's a silly little gadget, not comfortable to talk on and battery life is a joke, it's barely a phone. With the tiny little touch screen I have ...
Summary: It's a silly little gadget, not comfortable to talk on and battery life is a joke, it's barely a phone. With the tiny little touch screen I have to take out the tiny plastic pin every two seconds. And although it's nice to have a full keypad, it sure is small and makes it almost impossible to type fast... I'm afraid if I put it in my pocket I'm gonna crack the screen, because it feels like a piece of flimsy plastic. I want a better upgrade of the Katana!!!!!!!! A durable phone that won't shatter if dropped (a couple of times).... Why didn't they make this toy with better quality materials?? I'm bringing it back.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Palm
- Part number: PTR690HKR
- Description: Life starts after five o'clock. That's why there's the Palm Centro smartphone. Palm Centro gives you voice, text, IM, email and web, all in a phone that's a lot smaller than you think. It even has a touchscreen and a full keyboard, so you can say L8R to those tricky keys on your cell phone. Carry names and numbers, shoot photos and video, and meet up with friends. Centro. Let's go.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Smartphone
- Form Factor Full keyboard - Touch screen
- Integrated Components Digital camera,
- Width 2.1 in
- Depth 0.7 in
- Height 4.2 in
- Weight 4.2 oz
- Body Color Ruby
- Technology CDMA
- Band CDMA2000 1X 1900/800
- Service Provider Sprint Nextel
- Operating System Palm OS 5.4.9
- Application Software Palm VersaMail,
DataViz Documents To Go Professional Edition,
Pocket Tunes Deluxe 3.0,
- Input Device(s) Touch sensitive screen,
- Phone Navigation Buttons Navigation button
Messaging & Internet
- Instant Messaging Services Yahoo! Messenger,
AOL Instant Messenger Service (AIM),
Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger)
- Data Transmission HSDPA,
- Wireless Interface Bluetooth
- Communication Features Mobile Email client
- Supported Digital Audio Standards MP3
- Type Texas Instruments,
- Clock Speed 201 MHz
- RAM 128 MB
- User Memory 64 MB
- Supported Flash Memory Cards microSD
- Sensor Resolution 1.3 megapixels
- Still Image Resolutions 1280 x 1024
- Digital Zoom 2
- Video Recorder Resolutions 352 x 288 (CIF)
- Features Self-portrait mirror
- Navigation Software & Services Google Maps
- Type LCD display
- Technology TFT Transflective
- Diagonal Size 2.4 in
- Display Resolution 320 x 320 pixels
- Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
- Connector Type Headset jack
- Technology Lithium ion
- Capacity 1150 mAh
- Run Time Details Talk - up to 210 min,
Standby - up to 300 hour(s)
- Included Accessories Power adapter , Power adapter,