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Palm Centro Smartphone
 

Palm Centro Smartphone

Platform: Wireless Devices
Category: Smart Phones
 
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The Palm Centro Smartphone is the first smartphone I have actually used so I can't really compare it to others on the market. But what I can say is that being a bit of a techno geek I can understand the usefulness and intricacies of such an item. After my time with Palm’s new Centro I can say that I am a little more organized in my everyday life as I began to use the interesting new unit and some of its features. I also began to explore the many little extras the Centro has. Here’s a bit a breakdown and my impressions of the Centro.

I should note that some of the pics has Sprint or AT&T badging on the phones. Here in Canada the phone is offered through Roger's Wireless so please don't get confused with any Sprint or AT&T badgning as the pics are American in nature.

Technical Specs

I thought it would be prudent to sum up what the technical specs of what the phone are:

Manufacturer: Palm

- Telecom
Data services E-Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger

- Modem Integrated Wireless cellular modem
Cellular enhancement protocol CDMA 2000 1X EV-DO, HSDPA
General:

- Dimensions (W x D x H) 2.1 in x 0.7 in x 4.2 in Weight 4.2 oz

- Color Various - Review model Onyx

- Standby time Up to 300 h

- Operating System / Software OS provided Palm OS 5.4.9

- Software included Pics&Videos, Pocket Tunes Deluxe 3.0, Phone, On Demand, HotSync, Google Maps, Voice Memo, Contacts, Camcorder, DataViz Documents To Go Professional Edition, Quick Tour, Palm VersaMail, Tasks, Calendar, World clock, Instant messaging, Memos, Astraware Sudoku, Calculator, Bluetooth, Camera

- Min Operating system Apple MacOS X 10.2 - 10.4.x, Microsoft Windows Vista / XP

- Phone
Call features Caller ID, Call history

- Processor
Processor 312 MHzXScale

- Input Device
Input device type Stylus, Keyboard, 5-way navigation button, Touch-screen

- Digital Camera
Still image resolution 1280 x 1024
Digital zoom 2
Features Self-portrait mirror

- Audio
Digital audio standards supported MP3
Audio input type Microphone
Audio output type Speaker(s)

- Display
Display type 2.4 in TFT active matrix
Colour support 16-bit (64K colours)
Max resolution 320 x 320

- Power
Battery installed (max) 1 Lithium ion
Talk time 210 min
Power supply device Power adapter
Power device type Power adapter
Expansion / Connectivity

- Wireless connectivity
IrDA, Bluetooth Port / Connector Type:Interface 1Headset

- Expansion slot(s) total (free) 1 MicroSD
Cable(s) included 1 x USB cable

Now that we are done with the technical part of this review, let’s go on to my impressions.

Design

The Centro is a pretty small phone. In fact it’s smaller than some of the other smartphones out there like the ever-popular Blackberry from RIM. It is also smaller and lighter than my own personal phone, the Motorola Razr 2. Upon opening the box, I found the phone along with a whole host of accessories inside. Included with the unit is a USB cord, one set of ear buds, charging cord, and some fairly comprehensive instructions. The instructions also were easy to read so no eye straining required.

The phone itself feels nice to handle and fits into your pocket with ease. When it comes to the buttons, I found the symbols provided on the buttons (between the keyboard and screen) to be at confusing at times. The Centro’s main button with the phone symbol is only meant to open contacts. Most other phones design it to either accept a call or to dial a call. Moreover, this button is not customizable. Another issue I had was that when you open any contacts and select a specific one you cannot call that particular contact directly by pressing the green button unless you have both the name and phone number of the contact in line. This is also complicated if the contacts name is in bold large text, the entire contact will not fit into the line and therefore you’ll have to find the number instead of the name. This is kind of a tedious affair.

I found the phone is never completely powered off. The red button has multiple uses that can be very confusing and somewhat ineffective. A single press of this button will turn off the screen to save power. The same button is used to end your calls. Also, holding this button down for a few seconds will disable the wireless signal and let you use the remaining features without being online. You can restore the signal by again holding the button down for a few more seconds. If you are a new user to this type of phone this can and will lead to you using up your battery power often. The sequence is clunky and a bit ill conceived, and this button should not be assigned so many different functions in my opinion. The Centro has a slot for a Micro SD card along the side of the body under the back cover. The cover can be a bit finicky to remove and replace, but it is a minor gripe.


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