The little red Palm Centro just arrived, and we're still convinced this $99 wunderkind will go places. Have a look at it in the gallery, and then make the jump for my first at-home impressions.

My first thought was that it felt like a toy. The directional pad is a little loose, and the microSD card slot is a little bit too flimsy. But those feelings went away quickly when I started it up, and the only thing I could think was: man, what took Palm so long?

Some other thoughts:


Like Brian said, that keyboard is seriously tiny. It's much easier to use the screen to type in phone numbers, for instance, and in general, it's significantly more cramped than a Treo.

• The built-in speaker is loud and clear, a little heavy on the high-end, but free of distortion, good for Sprint streaming radio and TV, and of course MP3s.


• You can easily setup email in VersaMail without using a PC—a scenario I suspect is more relevant to Centro buyers than to Treo buyers.

• There's an instant music on/off button on the left side. I haven't located a physical "Back" button though. I wonder if I could reprogram the insta-music button to do that.

• Google Maps with traffic and sat view, but NO GPS!!! I was sad when it hit home, and confused: I thought EV-DO chipsets from Qualcomm had aGPS in there by default. UPDATE: It does have aGPS for E911. But Sprint just told me, "The underlying application for Sprint Navigator and other similar GPS services only operates on a Java platform and is not available for a Palm OS."

• AstraWare Sudoku is one of the games, though I didn't test it out because I was afraid of sliding into an addiction spiral (again).

• Sprint TV looks okay on square 2" diagonal screen. Wouldn't want to see it blown up any bigger, frankly.

If you haven't gotten enough of this tasty little treat from Palm, have a look at our Palm Centro Sizemodo, where we compare it to an older Treo. And an iPhone. [Palm Centro]