Considering that you can get the Palm Centro for under $100 with a contract in the US (In Canada, existing Rogers can get the Centro for $199.99 with a three-year contract renewal, and new customers can get the Centro for $299.99 with a three-year plan activation), this QWERTY smartphone with a touchscreen is a relative bargain. For the same price elsewhere, you’d get a pretty regular phone that might have some better multimedia integration and a better camera, but that’s about it. The Centro is better suited to handle your appointments and manage your deadlines. Taking it further, there are still third-party apps for you to consider as well (though very few people are still developing for the Palm OS).
I was reasonably impressed with the reception, having no trouble completing calls and surfing the web in just about every part of Vancouver. Even when I only displayed one or two bars, the calls were never dropped. Battery life was more than adequate as well. In my purely unscientific experience, I could get a solid four days or so with light surfing, calling, and Google Map usage.
The Centro will never be able to compete with the iPhones of the world. The operating system is seriously dated and the Blazer web browser is nowhere close to holding a candle to Safari, but at least it’s got a QWERTY keyboard and Google Maps. If you don’t like contracts, you can even pick up this phone for as low as $300, which is a relative bargain, I’d say.
- Great form factor, great size
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- Intuitive PIM software
- Plenty of applications, including Google Maps and Blazer web browser
- Perfect price point
- Keyboard can be difficult to use
- Incredibly dated operating system
- Webpages not optimized for mobile display incorrectly
- Lacklustre spec sheet and overall performance
Overall Rating: 7.0/10.0
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