I’ve been a bit behind on blogging – I’m actually on vacation 2/9-2/23 so I haven’t been online as much as I am normally – so this actually dropped earlier this week. The Palm Centro smartphone is now available for AT&T customers at the Palm Store. Pricing starts at $99.99 with a two-year plan and goes up to $349 for the Treo with no commitment. There is also free Ground Shipping through 03/02/08.
It is currently only available in ‘Glacier’ (aka white) with green keypad accents. But in about a month it will be offered in ‘Obsidian’ (aka black – but not the same black as Sprint’s ‘Onyx’ Centro). The official Palm Blog also touted the AT&T Centro launch, including all of the features and bundled applications.
There are also some new features the AT&T Centro will be sporting right out of the box including:
* XM Radio Mobile – Allows you to stream commercial free music from just about any genre (hip-hop, pop, jazz, country and more); all for $8.99 per month.
* MusicID (a personal favorite!) – Helps you identify unknown songs by simply holding your Centro smartphone up to a speaker – it’s a really cool way to figure out song information for tunes you aren’t familiar with (title, artist and cover art, if available, etc.); all for $3.99 per month.
* AT&T Mall – You can buy ringtones, wallpapers, and other multimedia content and download over the air to the device.
* Push to Talk (PTT) – Not really new to the AT&T Centro since it was recently made available on the Treo 680 Update 2.11 for AT&T, but new and cool enough to be worth mentioning again! PTT works like a walkie-talkie to talk to an individual or a group of up to 29. The app also includes “status” icons so you can tell which of your family and friends are available before you call. Users can purchase unlimited PTT minutes with Nationwide Plans for $9.99 per month per line and with FamilyTalk for $19.99 per month per group (two to five lines). Customers also can use PTT on a pay-per-use basis for $0.15 per minute.
Personally I’ll stick with my AT&T Treo 680 – same OS, most of the same features (I have the latest firmware) and not much bigger. So I don’t have a real incentive to jump to the Centro. (And, frankly, if I was thinking about it, I’d wait for the Obsidian version.) But I have played with the Sprint Centro and it is a nice phone. If you’re thinking about getting a smartphone, definitely give the Centro a look. Especially if you’re getting a new plan, since it is hard to beat at $99.99. I’ve tried WinMob and Symbian phones, but they haven’t won me over from good old Palm OS.
Though I am feeling the siren call of Android. We’ll have to see how those phones look when they finally ship, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.