A Week With The Palm Pre Smartphone – Day 6 & 7

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My time with the Palm Pre has come to an end. As each day has passed, I’ve grown more fond of this phone, but I still do not see myself switching carriers from AT&T to Sprint for it. It’s a nice first generation webOS device from Palm, but it’s not quite what I had dreamed it would be. With that said, let’s take a look at the following features:

  • App Catalog
  • PIM syncing
  • Built-in video applications
  • Classic emulator

Let’s go shopping!

Apple may not have been the first company to have an application store on a mobile device (Handango is another one that comes to mind), but they have paved the way with a very easy to use interface and an excellent software update process.

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The App Catalog on the Palm Pre is another similarity that this phone has to the iPhone. After the app catalog is launched, you are presented with various ways to filter the list of applications. Featured, Popular, Most Recent, Entertainment, Utilities, etc are just some of the ways to display lists of apps for download.

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Tapping an application icon brings you into the detail page for that app. Typically you can see screen shots, ratings, reviews, number of downloads and a button to download / install it. Currently the applications are all free to try and there aren’t any paid apps (that I’ve seen).

The selection of applications is very small right now. I’m not sure there are even a hundred apps yet. Even so, the quality of the applications that I’ve tried have been very nice – and again, very iPhone-ish in look and feel.

As an example, here are two of my faves…

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The first one is a Pandora radio client. I’m a big fan of Slacker Radio, and this is similar in that you can create your own channels of music from your favorite artists.

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It works great via WiFi, but so far I haven’t been able to get it to work at all through a Sprint data connection. Remember though, I don’t live in an area with 3G and my signal when I’m not roaming is lucky to be 3 bars.

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Another really nice app is AccuWeather. It will use your current location to display the forecast and radar.

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Nice huh?

I like the App Catalog quite a bit and look forward to seeing how the application evolve. I wonder if we will start seeing Palm commercials on TV saying “We have an app for that”.

Video on the Pre

So far I’ve not been too terribly impressed with the video capability of the Palm Pre. For one thing, you can’t record video with it yet and that’s a bummer considering that the camera pretty good. I guess that’s a feature for a future firmware release. But who wants to wait? ;)

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The stock video player was not able to play any of the videos that I tried including .AVI, .MOV, .MP4 and .WMvs.

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The YouTube client works great though via WiFi.

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But, through a non-3G connection, not so much. The video is very jerky and pixelated if you do not have a fast connection.

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There’s a Sprint TV application that is supposed to provide access to movies, trailers, radio stations, etc. I was unable to get it to work through WiFi or a data connection.

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I had no problems getting a list of content to view, but as soon as I would tap one to load and watch, an error box saying that I had a network problem would pop up. Boo…

The Palm Pre as a PDA

The Palm Pre is Palm’s first device that does not sync it’s PIM data to a desktop application. Syncing is now completely cloud based to Google, Facebook or Microsoft Exchange. Since I recently have moved all my contacts, calendar and email to Google, this has been perfect for me. I love that I no longer have to dork around with special third party syncing applications like MissingSync (sorry guys) for my Mac.

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The Calendar application is pretty basic. There’s an agenda view.

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Weekly view.

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And monthly view.

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Adding a new event / meeting is pretty simple as you can see. Not many bells and whistles here. It really needs some beefing up to be sure. But of course, that can be a feature for a future firmware update…

The two things missing for me are that you can’t set a reminder for longer than 1 day and that you can’t set the alarm sound or how many times it will alert you before it gives up.

The Contacts app isn’t a fave of mine either…

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I don’t like it for the simple reason that it adds everyone that you’ve ever contacted (from gmail and Facebook) as a contact. So I have over 900 contacts in my list, when it should be less than 100. Grrrrrr…

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Of course to find a contact you can easily filter the list of people by typing a name. But still…

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The person view shows all their numbers, email addresses, etc.

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You can choose which profile to use for each contact.

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Here are the fields that you can use when setting up a new contact.

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More fields…

I’d like the contacts app a lot better if groups would sync from gmail. Put that on the list of potential future features.

What’s in the mail?

For those of us that live and die by email, I was anxious to check out the included mail client.

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If you have more than one email account, they will show up in the main display. I just use Gmail, so that is what we see here. Tapping the little arrow to the right will show all the folders.

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Unread emails are shown in bold. Gmail emails from the same person are not grouped together like they are in your desktop browser. They show up in the list chronologically. To read, just tap one.

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The two finger pinch and expand gestures work here. No screen rotation though…

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Inline graphics and attachments work surprisingly well too.

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And of course you can move emails to any folders / labels that you have created.

I wish that there was a mail search feature and a spell check.

Palm OS apps under webOS. Let’s get Classic.

If you’re a long time Palm OS user, you’ll probably come to the Pre with some favorite applications that you want to be able to run on your new device. Not to worry, there’s an app for that. Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;)

But yes, there is an app for that and it’s called Classic from MotionApps. A 7 day free trial can be downloaded from the App Catalog. If you want to continue using it, it will cost you $29.99.

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When you launch Classic, you’ll see a familiar friend popup on the display. The only thing missing is the Graffiti area.

If you are expecting to see your PIM data inside Classic, you’re going to be disappointed… But all is not lost as you can import it. That is, you can import the databases from an older device (not the data in the webOS PIMs). But you can’t really do much with the data because it isn’t going to be backed up.

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There’s a touch navigation panel at the bottom of the Classic display that can be toggled to use the slide out keyboard for certain actions.

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Installing applications is a simple matter of copying the .PRC files into a special folder on your Pre while it’s in USB mode. The next time you launch Classic they will be there.

The emulator will not allow access to external hardware devices through Bluetooth, serial or USB ports.

I tried a few applications and they loaded and launched fine. That said, they were not easy to actually use due to the fact that the Pre will not take stylus input and these apps have small buttons and fields that are just too hard to press accurately with the tip of your finger.

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Some apps will work better than others like BlackJack Solitaire from Seahorse Software. I’m curious as to how many people will actually use Classic on a regular basis and which apps they will use with it.

When it’s all said and done…

My Palm Pre is going back to Sprint. Probably tomorrow. I like it, but I just don’t love it. I had high hopes for it that haven’t quite been met and the carrier coverage in my area doesn’t really make me want to switch away from AT&T right now. As far as the actual device is concerned, I guess I have my standards set too high. Like new gadgeteer contributor Bryan Sherman and I talked about the other day, I need to quit wishing for some new end all be all device to come on the market because it’s probably never going to happen and I’m likely never going to be satisfied.

What would make me satisfied with the Pre? A metal body, better slider mechanism, MicroSD card slot, better macro mode for pix, video recording capability, GSM version and physical buttons on the front that allow you to answer / end a call.

As it is, the Palm Pre has a very nice form factor. It’s pocket friendly with a nice display, slide out QWERTY keyboard and a decent camera. The webOS is a nice new platform that appears to be developer and hacker friendly. I think the Pre is a nice first generation device and I look forward to the release of other form factors and more features to the built in apps. I hope that the Pre helps Palm climb back up the ladder. Don’t give up Palm!

{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Mark Adkins June 15, 2009, 8:47 pm

    Based partly on your hands-on review and some other sources, I have decided to wait for Pre v.1.5 or 2.0 or whatever to come out before I get one.

    I am rather disappointed in the Pre and in Palm. This really shoulda been a killer device, but most reviews seem to be running a ‘really cool, but…’ flavor. I cannot help but wonder if this was the result of a pushed deadline, a planned ‘release a decent unit, follow up with a better one later’ strategy, or what.

    I think it will be really interesting to see what happens in the next few months.

  • Julie June 15, 2009, 9:01 pm

    @Mark Definitely go to a Sprint store and check one out for yourself too. And then let us know what you think of it.

  • Daniel Staal June 15, 2009, 9:25 pm

    Most of the reviews I’ve seen have made some comment that they though the Pre had been rushed to market a bit: Everything works, but there was a level of polish that hadn’t been consistently applied.

    That said, they’ve all been favorable, and I’m checking the local Walmart daily to see when they get them in stock again. (The local Sprint store can’t sell it to me: My phone number is out of their coverage area. They actually had three in stock when I checked, but I’d have had to get a new number.) I currently have a Nextel phone, and Sprint coverage around here is good. (Better than Nextel coverage, actually.) I figure most of the polish problems are software problems, so they should be fixed as time allows.

    Oh, and one comment: Missing Sync already has a beta version out for the Pre. One of the features is that it supports selecting which contacts to sync, by group. (As far as I’ve seen, that’s the only sync app that lets you do that with the Pre.)

    I’ll see if I drop my TX: I may carry both for a while. (Partly because I like being able to refer to it while I’m on the phone!)

  • jason June 15, 2009, 10:29 pm

    I have my pre synced to google and my exchange server. in the building i currently work in the sprint signal is poor so i use wifi to get my exchange info (i have to walk near a window to get a strong sprint signal and hence my phone calls or personal synced info). running this i cannot get more than 8 hours without charging…and that is without talking on the phone. i havent even tried to play music during the day (i used to listen to npr on mundu radio). the battery life on this phone is terrible. the only people that are getting decent battery life without charging are the really basic users but if you use this thing in the corporate setting syncing 3 email accounts and calendars you better be prepared for a mid-day charging of the phone.

    the implementation of the basic PIMs is really sad…it is a giant step back from my centro. every single PIM feature is a backwards compromise of the palm os version.

    yeah, i know with an update things could improve but i bought this pre phone june 6th and i expected it to work on june 6th…otherwise they should have beta tested this thing before releasing it to the public.

    maybe i need to see what the return policy is as well but unfortunately i lost my previous sprint contract where i was paying wonderful rates and had more minutes. i’d much rather have a new centro even though the stock browser and email clients were terrible.

  • jay June 15, 2009, 11:54 pm

    hi Julie,

    Thanks for the excellent series of reviews, I was really hoping that you would like this phone a lot more but I really appreciate your honesty.

    I’m a long time user of the Palm handheld pda’s from the Pro up to my now defunct T3 and have been waiting and waiting for something new from Palm, the Treo series of phones never really did it for me as the screens looked too low-tech and friends had bad experiences with the unstable OS.

    I’m based in Thailand so we will have to wait for the GSM version so I can only hope that it arrives sometime later this year in an updated version that allows for all the comments reviewers have been making – I really need something to do battle with all those iphone users i’m surrounded by!

    Having read as many Pre reviews as I can find I am encouraged by the strength of this effort, Palm have been sick and lost for a longtime so this could be a welcome return to health, v2 of this phone should be a big improvement as I don’t think many people were expecting an ‘iphone killer’ at the first attempt and I am sure many others like me simply wanted a reliable and usable alternative to the iphone, HTC or Samsung smartphones that allowed them to say ‘hey, I’m a Palm user and i’m back again!’

  • C. Scott June 16, 2009, 12:15 am

    sadly your review of the Pre just reinforces my reservations about getting this phone. Plam really blew with this one. I is not ready for “prime time”. I’ll hold out for V2.0 with SD slot, strong PIM features (with the ability to sync to my PC) and some way to use my current Palm apps or their Pre updates. Thanks for your information

  • Jackie Cheng June 16, 2009, 1:24 am

    @Julie : What’s the return policy? Cause I’m thinking of returning mine too.

  • Michael Murray June 16, 2009, 2:05 am

    I noticed Lance Armstrong is tweeting from his new Pre. I can’t see myself switching back to Palm yet from my iPhone but I still have fond memories of my TX and am likely to keep watching the Pre.

    Michael

  • Tiago Pereira June 16, 2009, 5:39 am

    I am a long time Palm fan, and had high hopes for the Pre… but in todays iPhone world I think I’ll stick with the 3G iPhone, your review didn’t really convince me and not being able to sinc with outlook is a real bummer

  • Julie June 16, 2009, 7:24 am

    @Jackie My local Sprint store told me I could bring it back in perfect condition with all package contents and box within 30 days. If the reason for returning it is because of signal reception problems, the restocking fee is $15, if the reason for return is just that I changed my mind, the restocking fee is $35. I hope I have those amounts right. If not, they are really close. I’ll find out tomorrow. I didn’t have time to box everything up last night like I had wanted to.

  • P2Labs June 16, 2009, 8:03 am

    I think we all need to remember one thing – Palm was almost gone for good. So, if we want them around and to keep improving we need to buy the Pre 1.0 so they get income. That said – I love mine. Sure there are things that I’d like changed and I think they’ll push those upgrades out. As soon as I get hold of the developers kit if I don’t like an app I’ll write my own. You only need HTML and Javascript knowledge to create apps so that’s a good thing. support your local industries (local in design anyway) otherwise we’ll all have iPhones or WinMo (Yuk!!) and no competition.

  • Palm Pre Apps June 16, 2009, 9:43 am

    They key to the success of the Pre will be the Apps – if Palm can keep a steady trickle of new and engaging apps coming into the catalog, they can continue to build on the reasonably successful hype and launch so far.

  • Jackie Cheng June 16, 2009, 10:52 am

    @Julie : I’m returning mine because I’m always roaming at home and at the office. Wonder where the Sprint coverage is…lol

  • Lex June 16, 2009, 11:24 am

    Disappointed in this review. I thought it was unfair given that you’re coverage area is poor. No wonder YouTube, SprintTV, and Pandora don’t work will for you unless you’re on WiFi. You yourself said you live in a poor coverage area.

  • Greg June 16, 2009, 11:28 am

    Julie,

    I appreciate your honesty in the review. I want to get the pre but am hesiatant and your review reinforces my view of 1st generation devices, wait for gen 1.5 at least. Having said that I wonder if your experiences would be different if you had good 3G coverage. I find many of my use and issues have to do with Sprint coverage, rather than the device (i.e. delayed messages, going to voicemail direct, etc.). Two things I wonder if you had time to play with, GPS using google maps, and the actual voice quality, dropped calls, etc. Everyone touts the applications on a phone, but I find in most cases it does the primary function, being a phone, quite poor. How is the pre as a phone within Sprints 3G? Anyone have any experience?
    Great series, Thanks

  • Julie June 16, 2009, 11:40 am

    @Jackie Good question!

    @Lex & Greg My Sprint coverage problems are not the primary reason why I’m not going to keep my unit. Even if Sprint had wonderful coverage and 3G here in my town, I don’t think I’d switch carriers. It’s the actual phone and its features that are keeping me from wanting to switch right now. It’s the same reason why I don’t use the iPhone full time. For me personally, I find it somewhat difficult to use a full touch phone. I want buttons.

    As for using the Pre as a phone (making and receiving calls), I would say that call audio quality is a lot better than AT&T. I’ll certainly miss that aspect of the phone.

    I did not play with the google mapping features…

  • Philippe Radley June 16, 2009, 11:53 am

    I have not yet had the chance to play with a Pre but, as a longtime Palm user (I bought one in April 1996, at the very beginning), I can say only that I am shocked by the premature appearance of what in many ways is a beta unit from a teetering company. The PIM functions are laughable: the calendar is actually inferior to the one on the iphone (for which I purchased PocketInformant which I am sure will soon be available for the Pre). What was Palm thinking? Like you, Julie, I was hoping for something really new that would make me run to the nearest dealer. In the teeth of the new iphone we had better all wish Palm a lot of luck, because they are going to need it.

  • Julie June 16, 2009, 12:16 pm

    @Philippe As crazy as this sounds coming out of my mouth (fingers?), Windows Mobile and Android have more appeal to me these days.

  • aphid June 16, 2009, 1:06 pm

    I like the aesthetics of the hardware. It’s super small. It might be
    thicker than the iPhone by the specs, but it’s a good deal shorter and
    it feels much smaller to me. It fits very well into a pocket and my
    hand. The screen is great and is bright and easily readable. The
    slider mechanism has a slight spring-loading and it feels positive
    when engaged. There’s the tiniest bit of “play” in the slider
    mechanism which makes me a bit concerned about long-term reliability,
    but that is strictly speculation at this point. I prefer the feel of
    my older Treo 755p keyboard, but I’m getting used to it. It’s not
    bad, but I prefer a slightly more tactile click/touch on that. The
    biggest problem with the aesthetics/feel of the hardware, in my
    opinion, is the placement of the micro-USB port. The port goes
    straight out of the right side which makes it hard to hold in your
    hands when it’s plugged in. The port also has a cover on it which is
    difficult to remove unless you know the trick of opening the slider,
    but luckily the USB placement issues can be mitigated in a few ways.

    Battery life hasn’t been great, but I was used to shortened battery
    life from my Treo. The first couple of days were pretty awful, but
    now that I’m doing a little bit less playing with the device, I’m able
    to get through a workday and low-usage evening without needing to
    recharge.

    The OS is fantastic most of the time. Multitasking works remarkably
    well and has some great advantages over what most competitors have to
    offer. Switching between apps is really efficient and it is easy to
    switch between multiple tasks without getting lost. The “Synergy”
    linking is great: many of my duplicate contacts from multiple data
    sources were automatically linked together and it presents a great
    unified seamless view. However, I’ve had some serious issues with the
    Calendar either locking up temporarily or just not displaying things.

    The “universal search” feature lets you do some thing much more
    quickly than searching/scrolling though multiple screens of icons. If
    I want to search for someone, launch a new application, or search the
    web, I can easily pop open the app switcher and just start typing
    something util what I’m looking for is displayed. It really
    simplifies the workflow. The web browser is, for the most part, about
    as good as the iPhone’s, but there are a few rough edges here and
    there. The OS has crashed on me a few times and I’ve rebooted it a
    couple of times too.

    Media works fairly well. I sync it with my iTunes (somewhat sparingly
    due to the USB annoyances), and my music and Podcasts loaded up after
    configuration. I primarily do podcasts for media, and it doesn’t have
    a good organization scheme for that like iPods do. YouTube works well
    albeit in the dedicated app rather than integrated into the browser.
    My iTunes videos (QT and podcasts) sync to work fine.

    The Spring GPS navigation program worked pretty well, though it
    requires a data connection and it does kill battery life. I wouldn’t
    plan to use it for a 2+ hour long trip without a car power adapter if
    I didn’t have a chance to recharge at the destination.

    Apps, for the moment, are pretty sparse. There just aren’t a lot of
    them yet, but then again the SDK hasn’t been released to the general
    public yet so this is not unexpected.

    Accuweather is great, and easily beats the iPhone’s Weather. The most
    important apps available so far are: Classic (emulator to run old
    PalmOS apps), and some Sync apps (like the Missing Sync).

    Classic works well with some apps but not others. For example, I run
    HandyShopper on it and it works great. However, on my Pre, Bejeweled
    2 and Patience Revisited “blue screen” the emulator (doesn’t reset the
    phone, just locks up emu). Hotsync doesn’t work so it’s not trivial
    to keep your data loaded. Also, the trial period is an absurdly short
    7 days and it costs $30. WHen it does work, and so far it works for
    my “I really need this” apps, it works very well. According to Speedy
    7.1, it is finally a palmOS device that’s faster than the T|C.

    I haven’t messed around with Missing Sync yet. It’s designed to sync
    your Pre with your own PC/Mac rather than the cloud, and it has a few
    features that mitigate the USB connectivitiy issues by providing
    replacement services via WiFi.

    Accessories are pretty rare so far, but that’s to be expected in a
    brand-new device. The most notable one is the Touchstone charger.
    This let you charge the Pre just by putting it on a magnetic “stone”
    which works really well, much better than fumbling with the USB port.
    However, it is quite an expensive option. The normal $70 kit only
    comes with the stone itself and the replacement back for the Pre. You
    have to use a USB AC adapter (computer ports won’t work) and the
    Palm-branded microUSB cable that comes with your Pre in order to
    actually make it work. You’re forced to use the Palm cable as the
    stone’s USB port is recessed into a narrow channel and most microUSB
    connectors won’t fit. Palm sells a kit that comes with a Touchstone,
    cable, and AC adapter for $80. I think they’re gouging us on the
    prices here.

    It is actually a phone too, and call quality and reception have been
    plenty good enough.

    Sprint service has been fine for me. Historically speaking, reception
    has been pretty weak a my house, but the Pre has been about as good as
    my Alltel phone. (AT&T and Verizon have been problematic there: I
    don’t know what to expect with the Alltel/Verizon merger.)

    Overall, it’s meeting my needs pretty well, with the glaring exception
    of the calendar issues. Battery life has also been a bit
    disappointing, but so far I’ve been able to manage.

  • zorkor June 16, 2009, 4:08 pm

    The only problem people jump on buying Palm Pre and then feeling sorry for it is the adrenaline rush of buying a new product. iPhone has become an old story now and Apple is feeding iPhone to its death. So people thought about Palm Pre as their next saviour or as the Christians call it “Jesus Phone”.

    Palm Pre is good for what it is, a small beautifully designed phone with a usable QWERTY keyboard and a nice OS. Thats all! Its not an iPhone killer nor its gonna kill the iPhone’s app store. If people keep in this mind then Palm Pre is worth every penny.

    I have read almost all the major reviews and they give the same impressions like Julie.

    I have made my decision, I will get the Palm Pre as I think its a dman good phone even though it still is the early version but its a dman good first attempt.

  • Jack B. June 16, 2009, 4:57 pm

    Julie,

    Given your bias for phones with buttons, I think it is unfair of you to review phones like the Pre that, out of the box, you know you are not going to like. Given the fact that your everyday phone is such a brick, I’m not so sure I can give your review of this, or any other phone, much credence. But, thanks for trying anyway.

  • Mike Cane June 16, 2009, 8:19 pm

    >>>But you can’t really do much with the data because it isn’t going to be backed up.

    However, since you can attach a USB cable and transfer back and forth from the Classic folder to your PC, you can at least back up the updated PDBs. Not sync, but better than nothing.

    No, I don’t have a Pre. Haven’t been able to molest one yet, so reviews like this are very helpful. Thanks.

  • Julie June 16, 2009, 8:29 pm

    @Jack B. My reviews of products are always based on what I like and don’t like. Call it bias if you will, but I think I’m pretty level headed when I explain the features and then say why I either like or don’t like them. It’s all subjective. Maybe you hate buttons and “brick” shaped phones, so you’d never want to keep one for your own use. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t tell us about all its features and then allow us to make up our own mind if we would like it or not. :) Make sense?

  • JC June 16, 2009, 10:42 pm

    Excellent review Julie and it concurs with all the other reviews on this phone I have read on other sites. I still believe that Palm rushed the Pre into the market place and was obviously more focused on the software (which can be upgraded) than the hardware. I am going to wait for the Pre second generation unless something better comes along. I am avoiding the iPhone only because I dislike AT&T and their rate plans are too expensive.

  • Nilay Shah June 17, 2009, 7:54 am

    Interesting round of comments all around. I have been carrying my iPhone 3G and the Pre around for a week. Overall, the “polish” of the Pre in some of its features is still lacking, but usability is great, I’ve had no trouble in the metro NY/NJ area with Sprint’s coverage, and despite poor signal in my office – fewer dropped calls than my iPhone by a significant degree. Although I end up giving Steve Jobs lots of $$ (new mac just about every 7-10 months), I’m sticking with the Pre and going to port my iPhone number over, leaving it as an iPod. For my needs, at least, the Pre works better. Regarding the calendars – I have multiple Google calendars, and out of the box, the Pre syncs better with all the google apps (no work-around needed) compared with the iPhone.

  • Julie June 17, 2009, 1:31 pm

    Hey guys. I just wanted to let you all know that I boxed the Pre up and took it back to Sprint this morning. I was in and out of the store in 15 minutes with no hassles or evil eyes. I just had to pay a $15 fee (it will be deducted from the refund on my credit card). I told them that I was on roaming at least 90% of the time and that was all it took. The clerk told me that if a person is on roaming for more than 50% of the time, it will throw a red flag and there’s a possibility that Sprint would cancel you anyway.

  • jason June 17, 2009, 9:58 pm

    I disabled roaming just because I don’t want surprises. The reception is weaker than my centro but wifi is nice.

    BTW, I decreased my google sync to 30 minutes and my other email acct to 1 hour…left exchange to ‘as mail comes’, turn off screen after 30 seconds, wifi ON (yes, ON), BT off.

    Amazingly, after 13 hours my phone has 53% (before it was dying after 8 hours. I think the email syncing is killing these batteries…I am going to change it tomorrow to see (google 15 min or maybe ‘as it comes’, other eml acct 15 mins, screen after 1 minute)…see how long it lasts.

    The PIMs still suck, the rotate screen is not available everywhere it should be…oh, never mind, I better not get started. Everyday I find something else dumb. But some neat apps are coming.

  • Mark Adkins June 17, 2009, 11:28 pm

    @Julie- I would love to get hands-on on a Pre, but apparently Omaha was issued 4 units, and no one can give me a restocking time more accurate than ‘by mid-August or so’.

    Kinda surprising, really, Sprint is pretty big in Omaha, I woulda thought we would have gotten enough units to last a couple days.

  • jason June 20, 2009, 4:25 pm

    I returned my Pre and went back to my Centro. I will miss some of the WebOS apps but I need the basic PIMs to be as good or better than PalmOS PIMs. I’ll revisit WebOS and/or Pre in 3 months when the SDK finally gets released.

    I am really attached to using a stylus, a keyboard, a 5-way button and dedicated phone buttons, along with true backup (to a disk not a cloud), 80% one-handed operation, and all my great apps NOW. I do wish PalmOS got updated (or fixed) as often as it appears WebOS may get updated to keep customers happy (and Palm alive).

  • Duane June 25, 2009, 2:17 pm

    As an up and coming filmmaker, SO FAR, the Pre isnt as bad as I had thought it might be. it’s not as good either. NO VID CAMERA (which is HUGE for me) and i cant seem to figure out which format the vid player will play. While pictures are excellent, as well as the sound, I’ve noticed my device getting warm as i switch between apps. I’ve learned how to utilize the device with one hand..but i question its long term durability. Hopefully the day will never come when I slide it open and it closes on its own. I’ve considered going back to my BB Curve, but I’ll give the Pre just a lil more time. Currenty it barely edges out my Curve, but i expected so much more.

  • Jeff Dion July 11, 2009, 11:43 pm

    Great review! Thank you. I have been looking forward to the pre and now with your review, I will cool my jets and wait it out a bit longer with my instinct whos biggest draw back is that it is not a PDA. Other then that, as an artist I can show people my work on the large screen and I love the “live search” feature. I can listen to music and check e-mail or web stuff at the sametime. The music will shut its self off while making a call and then come back on after the call is finished. Simple phone but does what it is suppose to.

    Again, thank you.

    Thank you

  • Bill Byrne July 27, 2009, 7:11 pm

    I am a long time user of Palm I, V and the Palm Samsung Phone.
    I have been with Sprint a long time, Treo 700w and wx, Instinct and now the Pre. I was using the 700wx and then upgraded to the Instinct.
    The Instinct was a disaster, ex web access was virtually impossible, calendar features and the inability to sync with Outllook. Insinct GPS was quite good.

    I was going to cancel my contract and sent a letter to Sprint re my Instinct concerns and was put in touch with A corporaate execuctive assistant, who asked me to contact a Sprint store. The store convinced me to pay $50 and get a new Sprint phone which i did and none of the issues were resolved. I was about to cancel my Instinct contract when the Pre was released a few days before I went to Canada for 2 months. In my opinion the Pre hype will be short lived and we will see the demise of Palm.

    The Instinct was so bad that the Pre looked like a miracle.

    I firmly believe however, that the Palm pre will never catch up with the iPhone and the gap will widen. iPhone will probably be a good choice when it’s available from a carrier other than ATT.

    When you are in another country and even purchase a roaming plan for that country you had better be aware of how much you use the GPS etc or you may incurr horrendous bills.

    I agree with Julie and i would have returned my Pre but that was impossible due to my travel plans, so I am stuck with the pre for another 2 years.

  • Corey August 15, 2009, 10:13 am

    Julie,

    Great honest review! I couldnt help but notice tho your area codes on your contacts. Columbus? I’m living there for the next couple months, and yes its a sad story for evdo there. However a sprint store rep informed me that by next year evdo will be in the area.

  • Julie August 15, 2009, 10:40 am

    @Corey Yes, I live in Columbus, Indiana. Welcome! What brings you here? Cummins?

  • Konrad August 17, 2009, 12:53 am

    FYI guys, Julie’s review *does* mirror those of the early release Pre’s (i.e. 1.01 & 1.02) however, she returned her Pre before 1.04 was released which resolved some battery issues with draining apps and then 1.1.0 that really got the Pre much closer to where it needed to be in terms of stability, speed, and better usage which were improve in 1.1.0.

    One other thing is, sure the App Catalog only has 30+ apps in it, if you check out http://www.precentral.net, they have a terrific group of guys that have a “Homebrew Apps Catalog” running with 120+ apps already. These are guys that have the SDK but have not been allowed to submit to Palms App Store yet. Check it out, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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