Like the other bloggers participating in this month-long Palm Pre test drive, I have been provided a Pre and a free demo account by Sprint for the month of July. However, unlike some of the other bloggers here, the phone I will test drive will be my second Pre.
After much (joyful) agonizing about the options, I purchased my first Palm Pre on June 16th. My series of blog posts, therefore, will be a combination of "as I go" and "in hindsight" comments on my experiences with the Palm Pre.
In my next post, I will explain why I bought the Pre right after launch. In the posts that follow, I will focus on my Pre user experience. And, since there has been a good bit of discussion on forums (Pre Central, for example) about differences in phone hardware among Pres, where appropriate, I will compare my new new Pre experience with my old new Pre experience, so stay tuned!
What I Care about in a Phone
My cell phone is my home phone, and I do not need it for work. Even though my laptop (Macbook Pro--which I love) is essential for work, my cell phone is the most important piece of technology I own because it allows me to stay in contact with family and friends no matter where I am. I rarely lose sight of my phone. I keep it charged. I baby it, but I use it. A lot. And though I try to be careful, I have been known to accidentally bounce my phone off the pavement from time to time.
As far as functionality goes, being able to receive and make critical calls is most important to me, but I most frequently use my phone for texting. Beyond those functions, I want a phone that will allow me to receive email, send and receive multimedia messages, check weather forecasts and satellite imagery on the fly, listen to music and podcasts on my way to work, have fun browsing the web for quick reference, and use GPS for navigation or looking up movies, restaurants, gas, etc. (especially while traveling).
My Last Phone: The Blackberry Pearl 8130
My last phone (and first smart phone) was the Blackberry Pearl (with Sprint). But within weeks of getting the Pearl, I realized that I was not, as they say, a Blackberry person.
While I appreciated the push email, better keypad for texting (than a standard numerical keypad), GPS with Sprint Navigation (works great and is free with Sprint--bonus!), and the "On Demand" (news and weather) application, I found the Pearl's user interface was a little too fussy and not nearly fun enough (both in terms of what it could do and how it could be done). There were too many menus; the screen was too small; SMS-ing required way too much scrolling and clicking; syncing and navigating music was a pain; and the system for notifications didn't work for me.
Ultimately, though, the total deal-breakers for me were the lack of MMS and the habit of the Pearl to suddenly delete all messages (read and unread) and missed calls when its internal memory gets low. I hated the message-deleting most of all (as most BB Pearl users do) and can't tell you how many times I received annoyed/concerned follow-up calls and texts from friends and family who thought I was simply blowing them off.
My Tech Adeptness
I think it's probably worth saying a word or two (or fifty) about my tech adeptness going into this series of posts. Though I am very interested in all things technological, I do not consider myself an advanced technology user. Depending on the scale you use and the technology in question, my tech skills might be considered intermediate relative to the general public.
In general, I really love playing with technology and I own a lot of it: different kinds of cameras, computers, games, TVs, MP3 players, other media players, weather stations, etc.
As I mention above, my Blackberry Pearl was my first "smart phone." Before that, I had an LG Fusic. Before that, a series of low-end Sanyo phones. However, I have been pretty actively engaged with every phone I have had (as well as some of those of my friends and family). That is, I read the manuals front to back as if I were reading a novel, try out every phone function (even if I don't plan to use it), and read blogs and forums for tips, tricks, and trouble-shooting.
NEXT: Decisions, Decisions: Palm Pre or iPhone? Why and how I made the decision to purchase the Palm Pre after being certain (for months) I would get the new iPhone when it came out this summer.