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  1. roams11's Avatar
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       #1  
    I’ve had a few days of time back on the Palm OS with the latest 128 MB Centro. Previously I had given up the 755p for a brief hiatus trying the 800W, which while worthy in hardware, I found to be lacking in usability and snappiness for my needs.

    Software:
    Right away I found the Centro to be much faster connecting and disconnecting to the Sprint network than I was accustomed to on my old 755p.

    Location mapping in Google Maps is welcomed- a seamless tool.

    In Blazer, previously the bane of my 755p, I have found essentially no lag deleting cache and none of the white-screen delay switching between Blazer and other applications. It is a pleasant surprise to instantly delete the cache as opposed to anticipating the 755p’s long delay in this task.

    A further Blazer variation I can report is a more rapid ability to scroll and move around a web page. I don’t know if this is associated with the cache, but it is unlike the 755p which used to keep me waiting occasionally when trying to page-down through a website. Comparing scrolling with Mobile Explorer on the 800w, the new Centro definitely feels quicker despite the 800w’s faster (Rev. A) download speeds.

    Sprint Mobile E-mail for Palm is an excellent new piece of bundled software that did not appear to be mentioned in the few articles on the updated Centro. Input user-name and password and you are instantly getting push e-mail on the Centro! The options are changeable, but I’ve noticed no significant draw on the battery. This might be the most significant free application for the Palm OS ever from Sprint.

    Hardware:
    In addition to the obvious advantages of more memory, a few other items make for a more refined device than I was expecting.

    The speaker is surprisingly good for a smart phone. It surpasses both my 755p and 800w speakers, which is a bit of a puzzle. The cheaper device gives a richer tone and a higher volume threshold, hands down. The 800w really disappointed here, but the 755p also couldn't output to the level the Centro does. It's not something you always use, yet at different times I have left all three devices playing outside of the shower- and this one simply has the clearer sound.

    The finish of non-skid paint and the different keyboard surface make this device feel classy. Adjusting to the new keyboard was straightforward and less of an issue than I believed it would be.

    So… it’s back to POS with its tried, true and thoughtful touches. The improvements on this device over my old 755p are noteworthy. I am delighted that I upgraded to this tweaked Sprint v1.08 device…the last Garnet Palm (Seriously).
    Last edited by roams11; 11/13/2008 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Spelling.
    Sprint Franken-Pre 2
  2. #2  
    Good review.

    Other than the Sprint Email app, your opinions mirror my own with the Verizon Centro versus my (very old) Treo 650.

    I was wondering whether or not it was worth hanging onto the PalmOS platform, but the Centro (even the "old" one) just sort of blew me away.

    -Warr
    Progress? Well, at least I can get color traffic maps now...
    Psion 3a -> Psion 3c -> Palm IIIXE -> Palm VIIx -> Kyocera 7135 -> Treo 650 -> Centro
  3. hkklife's Avatar
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    #3  
    Thanks for the feedback. Is yours green or rose?

    What I'm really curious to see is if there are any small but noticable differences noticed by "old" Centro users who have upgraded to the "new" Centro (from warranty repalcement or for the spouse's device etc).

    It's a shame GSM users & other carriers (particularly Verizon) are able to enjoy on the "refreshed" 128mb Centro yet. IMO it's what the Centro should have been from day 1.

    It really is frustrating to see the Centro beating all of the older Palm OS-based Treos so handily in regards to phone & OS performance/speed. But the areas where the Treos beat the Centro are critical to all-day power users--screen size, keyboard size/comfort, stylus size/comfort, build quality etc.

    In an ideal scenario, Palm would give us a farewell gift by combining the best of both worlds with the Centro's version of Garnet in the Treo Pro formfactor (minus wi-fi & GPS etc of course!)!
    Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Verizon Treo 700P-->Verizon Treo 755p-->Verizon Motorola Droid + Verizon Centro--> Verizon Motorola Droid X + Palm TX-->Verizon Droid Bionic + Palm TX
  4. roams11's Avatar
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       #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by hkklife View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Is yours green or rose?

    What I'm really curious to see is if there are any small but noticable differences noticed by "old" Centro users who have upgraded to the "new" Centro (from warranty repalcement or for the spouse's device etc).

    It's a shame GSM users & other carriers (particularly Verizon) are able to enjoy on the "refreshed" 128mb Centro yet. IMO it's what the Centro should have been from day 1.

    It really is frustrating to see the Centro beating all of the older Palm OS-based Treos so handily in regards to phone & OS performance/speed. But the areas where the Treos beat the Centro are critical to all-day power users--screen size, keyboard size/comfort, stylus size/comfort, build quality etc.

    In an ideal scenario, Palm would give us a farewell gift by combining the best of both worlds with the Centro's version of Garnet in the Treo Pro formfactor (minus wi-fi & GPS etc of course!)!
    Hkklife,
    The green and silver Centro...it has character.
    I don't know what under the hood differences between the v1.08 firmware as opposed to the v1.07 the original has available. My friend's black Centro seems very similar so it may come down to the software dead weight in the ROM.
    The paint and keyboard feel better quality to me- along the lines you mention with the Treo.
    I agree it is frustrating other carriers are slow to come out with the updated memory Centro. I ended up going with a new contract to get this. It makes sense all Centro carriers will eventually get the increased memory as a function of supply.
    If you're looking at getting one...there is no worries adjusting to the form factor from the Treo. The screen has better PPI and the form factor is better for carrying in your pocket throughout the day.
    Sprint Franken-Pre 2
  5. #5  
    Are the new style keys less glossy?

    That's one of my complaints with the VZW Centro. At times its hard to see the shift characters because the keys are so glossy!
  6. roams11's Avatar
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       #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by miles4000 View Post
    Are the new style keys less glossy?

    That's one of my complaints with the VZW Centro. At times its hard to see the shift characters because the keys are so glossy!
    Yes less glossy- more of a soft rubber feel.
    Sprint Franken-Pre 2
  7. hkklife's Avatar
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    #7  
    One very small but fairly critical technical detail that is often overlooked between the "old" Centro and the "new" one:

    Ther 128MB Centro has 2x the amount of available Dynamic heap/cache memory for programs to use. Not only does this improve stability, it also speeds up the between-app switching process and somewhat mitigates the lag when launching or exiting Blazer.
    Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Verizon Treo 700P-->Verizon Treo 755p-->Verizon Motorola Droid + Verizon Centro--> Verizon Motorola Droid X + Palm TX-->Verizon Droid Bionic + Palm TX
  8. roams11's Avatar
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       #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by hkklife View Post
    One very small but fairly critical technical detail that is often overlooked between the "old" Centro and the "new" one:

    Ther 128MB Centro has 2x the amount of available Dynamic heap/cache memory for programs to use. Not only does this improve stability, it also speeds up the between-app switching process and somewhat mitigates the lag when launching or exiting Blazer.
    I'm not sure what it is on the original Centro, but here is what the 128MB has (from Resco Explorer tools):
    Dynamic 10304k.
    DbCache 16111k.

    I don't believe it has changed from what I had on the 755p. It would be nice to kick some of the bundled programs out of ROM to increase these...
    Sprint Franken-Pre 2
  9. #9  
    No that is the same amount of cache as the old Centro...
  10. #10  
    If that there is no increase of cache on the 128MB model, I'm guessing all the more need for a custom ROM to free some space up.
    My Palm phones: i500 --> i550 --> 650 --> 700p --> Centro
  11. hkklife's Avatar
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    #11  
    First of all, I don't have a Centro so I am just going on what I've read elsewhere and the handful of reports of supposedly snappier performacne on the 128mb Centro.

    According to the PIC reivew of the old Centro here:
    http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/9...centro-review/

    vs. the new 128mb green Centro here:
    http://www.palminfocenter.com/news/7...-green-centro/


    Ryan's review of the old Centro says the heap is 8097k vs. 16498k on the new one. Is this accurate or is someone totally wrong? Now I'm thoroughly confused!
    Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Verizon Treo 700P-->Verizon Treo 755p-->Verizon Motorola Droid + Verizon Centro--> Verizon Motorola Droid X + Palm TX-->Verizon Droid Bionic + Palm TX
  12. roams11's Avatar
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       #12  
    Based on what I'm seeing it looks like dbCache did not increase at the 16111k listed.
    It is possible the dynamic (heap) increased, as it is listed as 10304k in Resco Explorer's ram info...perhaps the two were confused at palminforcenter(?)
    I don't have the original Centro to compare it too. My guess is the only real increase in hardware is from RAM.

    I'm all for a custom ROM as well, hcase.
    Sprint Franken-Pre 2
  13. #13  
    No, it in only an increase on the RAM memory. No changes to the cache were made.
  14. #14  
    I have one of each here. Someone give me some suggestions for benchmarking them, and I'll give you guys some answers.


    Note that I haven't currently activated a data plan, and the "old" Centro is my wife's, and therefore I'll have to wait for her to put it down.
    Treo 650 -> Centro 128 MB
  15. #15  
    does anyone have any idea when the 128 meg model will hit verizon, or a new gsm version for att?
  16. hkklife's Avatar
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    #16  
    My guess is either never (most likely) or early spring '09. I am sure Palm would love to sell a huge batch of refreshed Centros to the carriers but who knows that status of how many old Centros remain in the channel and if the carriers want to take a risk on an aging Garnet-based product heading into 2009.

    I'd actually think the GSM version might remain "as is" and just keep slowly inching down in price. Unless of course it's actually a supply factor where it's cheaper/easier to Palm's OEM partner to get larger capacity SDRAM modules.

    Either way, the soft-touch paint, newer ROM version & extra RAM are all small but appreciated improvements. It would be in everyone's best interests (especially Palm's financials) to get them to market ASAP in order to keep the Centro competitive relative to the competition just a bit longer.
    Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Verizon Treo 700P-->Verizon Treo 755p-->Verizon Motorola Droid + Verizon Centro--> Verizon Motorola Droid X + Palm TX-->Verizon Droid Bionic + Palm TX

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