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Another Roundup of AT&T GSM Centro Reviews

Fri Mar 14, 2008 - 7:20 AM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell


The Palm Centro is selling well and even helped Palm's shares rise back in February. There have been numerous reviews of the AT&T GSM Centro lately. I did a recent roundup of reviews, and now I've found some more. I apologize for any that I've missed out there. Most of the ones I see are via my Google Alerts via my GMail.

Speaking of finding reviews, I found out about a cool site to find reviews last week. Over at TestSeek you can search for reviews for all kinds of tech stuff; hardware and software. Here's their page of reviews for the Palm Centro. There are a crap load of reviews here.

And now, on with the Centro reviews. ;-)


Bonnie Cha over at CNET says that Palm has made a bit of a comeback with the Centro after having struggled lately. Bonnie seemed to like the Centro overall but found the keyboard a bit cramped and the EDGE on the slower side compared to Sprint's EV-DO.

Now, connectivity is one area where the AT&T Centro disappoints, as it doesn't support 3G speeds, where the Sprint model is EV-DO capable. Alas, you will be left to surf the Web at EDGE speeds; granted, the Centro isn't meant for the demanding business user, but still, the 3G is sorely missed (see Performance for more). The smartphone also has integrated Bluetooth 1.2, for use with wireless headsets, hands-free kits, object exchange, and dial-up networking, but no A2DP love, so no stereo Bluetooth headset support.

Be sure to watch Bonnie's video too! Her videos first looks are always short, but very informative and interesting, and I just love her!

Everything Treo

Chris at Everything Treo likes the size of the Centro. He thinks that the Centro is very pocketable and that the glossy paint helps the device slide in and out of jeans or jacket pockets easily.

Chris also likes the keyboard even though it's smaller than the built-in keyboard on Treo smartphones.

Outside of more space, it couldn't be easier to type on the Palm Centro. While I appreciate a larger overall space for the keyboard, it's simply not possible given the size of the Centro. The tactile feel of the "gummy" keys easily makes up for the lack of a larger keyboard.

Chris talks about the software on the Centro and how there are so many 3rd party apps available for the Palm OS. Chris wasn't a fan of the Centro's design at first, but after spending time with the Sprint Centro, he says that he "got it".

The size, functionality and pocketability is where the design of the Centro shines. This phone will just seamlessly fit into anyone's life...


AWright over at Brighthand feels that the Centro, a larger departure from the original Treo in size and price, has been a hot seller for Palm and its carrier partners.

With a price of $99 with a 2-year contract, the Centro hits squarely into the price point of the mainstream customer. And with features such as a touchscreen, capable email client, and loads of carrier add-ons, it could show that there just might be room at the table for more users indeed.

AWright doesn't seem to have a problem with the size of the Centro's keyboard. He says that it's beyond him how Palm managed to stuff such a usable keyboard into the device. And he says that after a few days of practice, he was typing just as fast on the Centro as he was on his Treo 680.

In conclusion, AWright stated:

or people who've used Treos before and don't do much with their devices, the Centro might prove to be a solid, and familiar, buy. It's not ground breaking except in size. Those with more powerful devices currently might be better off getting the Centro for a loved one that prefers not to feel so techie, but wants in on that smartphone fun. After all, with the amount of people who'd like a smartphone, there's room to find something good at the table for everyone.


Mike Slocombe over at Digital-Lifestyles begins his review by asking if the Centro is modern enough to provide a credible challenge to rivals in the marketplace.

Mike thinks that the Centro's screen is bright, crisp and sharp but has a problem with the way that the screen is recessed.

This makes it great for keeping the screen safe from scratches, but not so good if you’re trying to touch something on the far corner of the touchscreen.

I've read similar opinions in other reviews, and some people have complained about dust settling into the recessed screen edges.

Mike says that he had doubts when seeing the small keyboard but that typing on the keyboard didn't seem to be a problem.

Despite its diminutive size, it’s surprisingly easy to use and we found it much quicker at inputting text than battling with fiddly predictive text, virtual keyboards or indeed the iPhone’s onscreen affair.

Mike's review has four parts, so be sure to read parts 2, 3, and 4, which will go up today.

Smart Device Central

Jamie Lendino at Smart Device Central says that even though Palm OS enthusiasts were less than thrilled last fall when Palm first announced the Centro on Sprint because they were wanting a real high-end Treo replacement and not a budget model, the Centro turned out to be a pretty good handset. The Centro, according to Lendino, offers nearly all of the Treo's power in a smaller, lighter body, and at a low price.

Lendino says that the Centro's touch screen requires the stylus because most of the interface elements are too tiny for your finger.

He goes on to talk about the Palm OS and its PIM being excellent. Lendino says that the Blazer Web browser is fine if you stick with WAP sites. And he has more to say on the Palm OS:

But Palm OS's main draw remains its killer software platform, which is compatible with thousands of third-party applications. And like the iPhone, the Centro is a good choice for Mac users; Palm has supported the Mac platform for over a decade, dating back to the OS 8 days. I mention this because with many smartphones—particularly Windows Mobile and BlackBerry OS models—you'll need a third-party client from Mark/Space or PocketMac if you're a Mac user, even for something as simple as synchronizing contacts.

Mobile Buzzzz

Mobile Buzzzz says that AT&T's smartphone lineup is so broad that the Centro's biggest competition comes from within AT&T's line: the Samsung BlackJack II, Pantech Duo and BlackBerry Pearl also sell for $99 with a 2 year contract.

Mobile Buzzzz likes the Centro's keyboard and feels that the speaker is incredibly loud and clear. They weren't too crazy about having to remove the battery door to get to the microSD card though.

Mobile Buzzzz likes the design of the Centro.

The Centro dares to be different, and we give it points for that. Whether you like the design is largely a matter of taste, and we found ourselves appreciating its looks and feel in the hand, despite the cheesy plastic casing. It looks hip even though it cries out "budget phone"-- it won't be mistaken for a ritzy feature phone or HTC device.

Just about every Centro review I've read so far is very positive. The Centro continues to be a great selling phone for Palm. I'm still holding out for the Black model or the rumored Blue Centro.

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