This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Palm, AT&T Roll Out a GSM Centro

It was only a matter of time.

Four months ago, Palm (PALM) and Sprint (S) released their new, smaller Centro smartphone.

A super-competent redesign of Palm's aging Treo, Centro became an instant hit. Sales figures released today are spectacular. Sprint's $99 price (along with a two-year service commitment) didn't hurt either.

It was exactly what Palm needed.

But Sprint's CDMA coverage area is limited -- to the U.S. What about the rest of the world. When would they be able to get a GSM version of the Centro?

The answer is -- starting today.

Palm and AT&T (T)are announcing the world's first GSM Centro. I expect other GSM carriers around the world will follow suit shortly.

Once again, the great news here is that AT&T's GSM Centro will also retain the Sprint phone's $99 selling price (after rebates and after you sign a two-year AT&T service-plan contract.)

There are differences.

AT&T's Centro is a quad-band GSM world phone -- which uses AT&T's EDGE network for data. This means the new GSM/GPRS/EDGE Centro is slightly slower handling data tasks than Sprint's EV-DO Centro. On the other hand, the GSM Centro is just as fast as Apple's (AAPL) iPhone using the same data network and GPRS/EDGE-based phones usually last longer between charges than phones on 3G networks.

On the lighter side, the other difference is that Sprint Centros come in black or red while the new AT&T Centros are available in Obsidian Black or Glacier White (with green accents). I know -- big deal! Actually it is. Centro has proven very popular with younger users as well as with women.

The phone itself makes and receives voice calls with aplomb, sends and receives text messages, handles personal and corporate email, lets you browse the Web with one of the best looking mobile browsers on the market, take and save photos and videos with the 1.3 MP camera and even listen to your favorite music through its built-in stereo speakers.

AT&T's Centro also comes loaded with a bunch of AT&T-centric applications and optional subscription offers such as AT&T Mail, XM Radio Mobile, AT&T Push-to-Talk services and MusicID song recognition

The handset is small but very usable. The keyboard is small but I find I make far fewer errors using it than with some larger keyboards on other smartphones. The phone worked flawlessly in the New York City area -- as well as everywhere in Barcelona while I was covering last week's Mobile World Congress.

The standard battery lasted nearly four days before needing to be recharged. And that was with using it to make and receive a lot of calls as well as browsing the Web almost constantly. My POP3 mail worked flawlessly. My corporate email account needs some sort of Byzantine security software which doesn't seem to be available for the Centro at the moment.

I really liked the Sprint version of Centro when I tested it a few months ago. I'm the first to admit that it's not in the same league as Apple's iPhone or Nokia's (NOK) E90 Communicator but it is not designed to for that. It is supposed to be a very attractive option for people who would normally buy a run-of-the-mill dumb phone (opposite of smartphone?) for a hundred bucks. It offers them dozens of features they wouldn't get on similarly priced handsets.

The iPhone ($400 to $500) and Nokia's E90 sells for $1,100. The Centro is $99 and at that price is a smashing success.

As for data speeds, Palm and Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry have figured out how to get the most out of mobile Web browsers that run on EDGE networks. The difference in speed when loading a WAP-based data page is minimal. If your device handles full HTML Web page you need faster data networks. It's why current, first-generation iPhones always searching for a faster Wi-fi connection. AT&T is currently in the process of rolling out faster networks.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,959.44 +154.64 0.87%
S&P 500 2,078.54 +7.89 0.38%
NASDAQ 4,781.4240 +16.0440 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs