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Palm Centro Mini-Review and Verizon Wireless Required Data Plans

My old Treo 700P being several years old and showing signs of frequent use (including being dropped once or twice), I stopped in at Verizon Wireless to check into the upgrade I was eligible for.  They did not have any of the new Treos in stock but the Palm Centro caught my eye.  The price was around $150 which was basically free with my upgrade credit and rebate.  It seemed to have all of the functions I needed (more on that later) and I was attracted to the relatively small size compared to my old Treo.

Palm Centro for Verizon

Palm Centro for Verizon

I have been using my new Centro for about a week and really like it.  Unlike many smartphone users, I don’t use my phone for email, so the keyboard, which is quite small, is not a hindrance.  Some people find it strange that a technology consultant does not use his smartphone for email, but I receive so many emails per day and I just don’t want my phone buzzing away at me all day.  Besides, critical emails are forwarded to my receptionist and associates.  I always have my laptop with me and it is a simple thing to just connect back to my office any time I want to respond to an email.  Instead, I use my smartphone for calendar and contact management and prefer the Palm OS because it is rock solid in syncing with Time Matters.  For this reason, I have never needed a data plan and did not add one this time.

Now the interesting part, I liked my new Centro so much that I told my wife she should consider one.  We went back to Verizon last night and we cannot get her a Centro without a $44.00 per month data plan.  Huh?  I suppose I know why Verizon is doing this but, come on, not everyone with a smartphone/PDA uses it for email.  Like me, my wife was mostly interested in syncing to her calendar.

I suppose it will not be long until every other carrier does the same thing but, if they don’t, Verizon will lose me as a customer the next time my contract is up.  Unless, by then, I decide that I do want my email on my smartphone.  We’ll see.

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