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my spiffy Centro

Friday,  05/23/08  10:44 PM

So I just got a Centro, and wanted to report: this is a really nice little phone.  I bought it because I liked my Treo 650, but wanted a phone which was smaller.  The Centro is a lot smaller – and a lot lighter – but it has a lot of other great qualities which I didn’t appreciate.

First, it is faster.  Really a lot faster.  Especially when accessing web pages; this is a true 3G phone.  Even just when clicking buttons, everything is instant.

Second, it syncs email in the background, just like a Blackberry.  Your inbox is always up to date.  You send email and poof, it’s sent.  Really nice.

There is a spiffy Google Maps application built in.  And it is fast.  It works just like a web browser, you pan and zoom, you toggle satellite images, you toggle traffic.  The directions are useful and concise.  You can search for businesses “near” where you are, or where you’re going.  Very useful.

There is a nice music player built in.  You can upload MP3 files and play them, just like an iPod.  I’m not going to use this much because, well, I have an iPod :)  But still, it is a nice feature.

The keyboard is amazing.  It is smaller than the Treo 650, but is actually easier to use because the little rounded buttons are sort of rubbery.  I can’t describe it very well but it makes centering my fat fingers on the teeny buttons pretty easy.  I am a veteran one-thumb emailer and texter, and this is going to be great.

The camera is much better.  Not saying much, since the 650’s camera was pretty bad, but still, this one is better.

The Bluetooth connection to my car works better, less garbled.  That will be good news for those of you who have to put up with calls from my car :)

Etc. etc.

Anyway the Centro is a really cool little device.  Now that I have one, I’m sort of surprised there hasn’t been more positive PR written about it.  It is smaller than an iPhone (smaller than an iPod touch, even), lighter, faster, and has a real keyboard.  And it is an open system, you can get all kinds of software for it without hacking.  I keep reading that Palm is washed up, but this is a really nice product.