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Palm Centro 685 review

6.2/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Palm Centro 685 currently has an Informr score of 6.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 33 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

Despite various cosmetic changes and a slimmed down overall footprint, the Palm Centro 685 is essentially still just a Treo 600. That means, as critics are quick to point out, that it is running on an antiquated OS, in this case the OS 5.4.9.

That being said, the Centro 685 is the least expensive keyboard smart phone ever, and for customers who have never “learned” a prior OS, this represents an arguably fair deal. In addition to being able to surf the web, send and receive email, text and organize your calendar, there is a large library of third party applications that can go a long way to enhance your experience.

After a brief exclusivity agreement with Sprint, the Centro 685 is now available on the AT&T Wireless network. Unfortunately, it runs on the EDGE network, which is a full generation down from the 3G speeds it runs on with Sprint. This will slow the web experience down.

Among the Centro 685’s more interesting features is a dedicated switch that turns the ringer on, off and to vibrate. No need to pull up menu options just to switch to silent mode. The device also sports a large, 320x320 pixel display, which you can interface with either through the included stylus, touching the screen with your finger or using the keypad to select commands.

The large display leaves little room for the Qwerty keypad, which is small and appears crunchy and compromised. As with any keypad, it is a matter of personal opinion as to whether it is difficult to use, but clearly it is a far cry from, say, the spacious Motorola Q9.

Talk time is rated at 4 hours, and standby time at 300 hours. It comes with 64MB of on-board trans flash memory and supports up to 4G of external memory.

While there are many smart phones available that have modern, compelling user interfaces and optimized operating systems, few can compete with the list price of the Centro 685. The tradeoff in this case is getting a great price but having to tolerate an OS that can be cumbersome and limiting at times.

Operating system
Palm OS
312 MHz
Screen Size
1+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Wireless North

The nice thing about running a little community blog is that every so often companies, or rather their PR reps, send you some pretty neat new stuff. Unfortunately, this is not so much one of those times. At long last (and sorry Palm), here is our review of the Palm Centro. Rogers r...

- Editor, Wireless North
Laptop Mag

The Centro still has a small keyboard, but AT&T customers looking for an easy-to-use smart phone should be satisfied.

- Joanna Stern, Laptop Mag

The Palm Centro is like the friend you call when you need to be bailed out of jail: Reliable, smart and capable of getting the job done. But its dependable nature also means it's not exactly the handset you want to party with.Now offered by AT&T in a GSM flavor, the pocket-size, easy-to-use Cent...

- Grace Aquino, Wired

For starters, the AT&T version runs on GSM/EDGE networks - all four of the major GSM frequency bands, that is. What is lacking, though, is 3G support of any kind, something that the Sprint Centro had thanks to EV-DO compatibility. So while AT&T Centro users can roam the globe and get a signa...

- Michael Oryl, MobileBurn

With pricing set at $99 with a 2 year contract on Sprint's high-speed network, the Palm Centro is a pretty good deal. For less than half the price of most other smartphones, you get a full touchscreen device with multimedia capabilities and streaming media. The QWERTY keyboard is nice, but not entir...

- Ricky Cadden, MobileBurn

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Palm released the Centro 685 on February 19, 2008.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Palm Centro 685 user manual here.

Palm backs up the Centro 685 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Centro 685 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Palm support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Palm's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The Palm Centro 685's screen size is Unknown with x pixels resolution.

312 MHz

There is a Intel XScale 312 MHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

1+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 1+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.


Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD (up to 4 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1150 mAh battery. Palm's performance ratings are 12.5 days standby time.

Centro 685 Specs

Release date February 19, 2008
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Palm OS Smartphones

Processor Intel XScale 312 MHz
Internal Storage No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.56 W/kg
Body: 0.74 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1150 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 12.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Colors Black, Blue, Electric blue, Lime, Silver, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.7 x 5.4 x 1.9 cm (4.2 x 2.1 x 0.7 in)
Weight 120 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 65k
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size Unknown
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, MSN
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, DUN, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 4 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
1+ megapixels
2x digital
Additional Rear Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC+, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, 3G2 / 3GPP2, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 2.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Included Software / Apps Microsoft Office Mobile, Windows Media Player Mobile
Additional comments A CDMA version of the Centro is also available. It is also known as the Palm Centro 690.
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Palm Centro 685 Reviews
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