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Palm Centro Among Top 10 Cell Phone-PDAs

Fri Mar 21, 2008 - 3:47 PM EDT - By Jennifer Chappell


I always enjoy seeing Top 10 lists of cell phones on tech sites, and it's really nice when I see a Palm smartphone listed among the Top 10. I wasn't really surprised when I saw the Palm Centro listed among 9 other phones over at PC World.

PC World's Greg Adler posted the Top 10, and he says this under the heading:

These are the top cell phone-PDAs today, but ratings and rankings can change quickly due to pricing and technology changes, so check back frequently for the latest info.

I'm sure that our friend Kevin over at our sibling site CrackBerry.com will be delighted to know that the BlackBerry Curve ranked #1. And the BlackBerry 8700g came in at #9, and the BlackBerry 8820 came in at #10. Not bad RIM! I know that Kevin is up there in Canada with a big ole smile on his face! ;-)

The Palm Centro ranked #6. This was the Sprint version that was tested. The Bottom Line noted, "A sporty counterpart to the aging Treo gives you EvDO and the Palm OS, too." Next to each device is a small box that has a number Rating. The Centro's rating is 82:Very Good.

I was curious about how PC World tested for their ratings. They have links that you can go to such as About the Test Center, How We Test, What Our Ratings Mean, etc. I took a look at the "How We Test" section and under Cell Phones it says:

To test for battery life talk time, we set all cell phones to vendor default settings. We don't change any of the power-saving settings, but we do maximize the volume setting.
We use a PC to play a looped MP3 of an audio book at a normal conversational volume. We position the PC speakers around a telephone hosting a conference call. We dial in the test units to this conference call and monitor the call with a software utility. If a phone disconnects, we determine if it simply lost its signal or if the battery has died. If the phone's battery isn't dead, we dial it back in to the conference call. We capped our tests at 10 hours. After completing two days of testing, we then average the results.

When I clicked on the Centro's Test Report, here are some of the results I saw:

  • Pricing: Very Inexpensive: $100 (3/11/2008)
  • Performance: Poor: 52
  • Features: Good: 78
  • Design: Very Good: 86


  • Petite, attractive design
  • Excellent call quality


  • Lacks Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Plastic case feels a bit fragile

You can go check out the rest of the results here.

Well, those results weren't exactly the greatest, but at least the Centro didn't rank last. I was surprised that the Performance was only a 52, which was Poor.

Update: A reader brought to my attention that the "Performance" was based on the battery performance. I was focusing mainly on the big Red bar that had the words "Performance" and "Poor" and the number 52. Below that area is some text and part of it says, "Battery Life Word Score" and "Poor" next to it.

I'll be getting a Centro soon and I'll give my thoughts on Performance as well as other areas. I sure hope I don't find the performance to be poor. The few people I know who have a Centro have been very pleased so far with the performance. Some have mentioned the case feeling fragile though.

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