Palm Centro Unboxed and Reviewed (Verdict: Yep, Definitely Gonna Sell Loads of 'Em)

Palm_Centro_in_hand_2.jpgThe little red Palm Centro just arrived, and we're still convinced this $99 wunderkind will go places. Have a look at it in the gallery, and then make the jump for my first at-home impressions.

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My first thought was that it felt like a toy. The directional pad is a little loose, and the microSD card slot is a little bit too flimsy. But those feelings went away quickly when I started it up, and the only thing I could think was: man, what took Palm so long?

Some other thoughts:

Like Brian said, that keyboard is seriously tiny. It's much easier to use the screen to type in phone numbers, for instance, and in general, it's significantly more cramped than a Treo.

• The built-in speaker is loud and clear, a little heavy on the high-end, but free of distortion, good for Sprint streaming radio and TV, and of course MP3s.

• You can easily setup email in VersaMail without using a PC—a scenario I suspect is more relevant to Centro buyers than to Treo buyers.

• There's an instant music on/off button on the left side. I haven't located a physical "Back" button though. I wonder if I could reprogram the insta-music button to do that.

• Google Maps with traffic and sat view, but NO GPS!!! I was sad when it hit home, and confused: I thought EV-DO chipsets from Qualcomm had aGPS in there by default. UPDATE: It does have aGPS for E911. But Sprint just told me, "The underlying application for Sprint Navigator and other similar GPS services only operates on a Java platform and is not available for a Palm OS."

• AstraWare Sudoku is one of the games, though I didn't test it out because I was afraid of sliding into an addiction spiral (again).

• Sprint TV looks okay on square 2" diagonal screen. Wouldn't want to see it blown up any bigger, frankly.

[Palm Centro]

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