Pros Amazing screen
Fast network speed and browser.
WebOS is fast, and easy to use.
Synergy is a feature that all smart phones will copy soon.
Option to use a real keyboard.
Integrated contacts, and messaging clients.
Loud and clear speaker.
Cons Lack of applications at time of launch.
Keyboard is a bit small and keys are stiff.
Finger print magnet.
No dedicated photo button.
Gets fairly warm with a lot of use.
Summary I'm a bit of a cell phone junkie. In the last two years I've owned probably a dozen different smart phones over last 2 years, ranging on many different networks. To name a few: Sprint Mogul, Sprint Touch, Sprint Touch Diamond, Sprint Instinct, AT&T Iphone 1G, AT&T Iphone 3G, Blackberry Pearl, Blackberry Curve and my most recent the T-Mobile G1.UPDATE: Today I returned the Palm Pre back to Radio Shack.
For the most part of those phones, I can say my favorite by far was the T-mobile G1. I loved its openness and accessibility to the development community, and it had a lot of applications that I personally liked that couldn't be found on the Iphones App store. I also liked the G1's notification bar, and ability to multitask.. Both features which at the time of this review are lacking on the Iphone.
When I saw the Palm Pre for the first time I was curious. Going way back and owning many palm PDA devices, and a few phones... I can honestly say there has always been a soft spot for Palm in my heart, but they simply never stayed with the times.. Until now.
When the Palm was displayed the first thing I thought to myself is that it better have backwards compatibility. At that time Palm had no intentions of a method for running older palm software (some of which is the gold standard for people who work in the medical community like myself). So I went back to being content with the G1 and basically forgot about the Pre.
Then the announcement came that a third party company will support the classic palm applications, and I was once again curious. So I followed it all the way up to the launch, reading any early review or hands on impression I could get.
Even today though, knowing there would be shortages and what not I still didn't care all that much to go early. When I woke up I gingerly took my time and went to a local radioshack and they had one. Ironically, all the stores around it, including the larger and better stocked best buys seemed to be completely out. Maybe it was destiny that brought me to that radioshack?
So what do I think of the device? Now that I own it?
First it's form factor is great. It's light, and fits in the palm of your hand. It looks great in person, even though it's a major finger print magnet. The slide mechanism isn't great, but it seems to get better with use. The keyboard, although small gives some decent feed back and travel (unlike the G1's keyboard, which is horrendous). All the buttons seem well placed, and the addition of the 3.5mm headphone is praise worthy. (I hate proprietary headphone jacks). I'd also mention, that some websites seem to think the lip of the keyboard is sharp.. I haven't noticed it, nor would I ever have if some sites didn't mention it. It really noticeable at all in my opinion.
Secondly, the screen is absolutely stunning, and a selling point of this phone from a hardware stand point. Firstly, it's smaller than the Iphone and maybe the G1 although they look close to each other.. The decreased viewing space but comparable resolution of the Pre to the Iphone and G1, results in the Pre having an extremely sharp and vivid display that seems significantly brighter than both the Iphone and G1. Kudos to Palm for getting the most important hardware aspect right.
The software itself is a whole different animal. WebOS is simply a beast, that has set a new standard that will likely be copied by competitors, mainly the synergy aspect and the way the Pre handles multitasking. Both of which are done extremely well and better than any phone I've used to date.
WebOS is also fairly snappy (after the update to 1.0.2) With a first day launch here, Palm has already showed an urgency to get this phone off on the right foot by updating it on the very first day. It seems that many lag issues were present at the time of launch, as reported by many new owners in forums. However, for most it seems the update fixed this. Personally, the first thing I did was update so I never experienced any lag issues at all. The phone has been fast in multitasking, or single tasks and at the very least on par with the Iphone in the opening and closing speeds of programs, while easily beating the T-mobile G1. (The G1, since cupcake has had a great deal of lag issues and forced closed issues associated with the new widgets).
The only issue, which was expected is the lack of applications at the time of launch. This isn't a huge concern for me, because I can still use the old and reliable palm applications for now while waiting for the new ones to roll in. But the bright side is.. Because of the huge amount of Palm support out there, within a few months I would be surprised not to find a great amount of applications of high quality in the Pre's market. Considering the foundations of WebOS, and how ease it's supposed to be do develop for, It think the market has a bright future ahead.
In all, I absolutely love this phone. I wasn't sure I wanted it, but now I'm glad I got it. WebOS in it's infancy is already ahead of the game.
Updated on Jun 24, 2009
First, I still feel the same as I did in my review about WebOS. It's fast, smooth, and capable. No issues with it, other than the lack of applications and SDK release.
That being said, my main issues lie within the hardware Palm choose to launch their flagship OS on. I still like how it feels, and looks.. But as time has gone by it seemed to be wearing down a bit. I had roughly 6-7 dead pixels after three weeks (didn't notice more than one or two the first week of purchase), there was some yellowing at some of the edges of the screen (a complaint thats been common in the palm pre forums), the slider became more and more lose and creaky, and the S button became less responsive.
I feel the build quality of the phone has let down the amazing operating system inside of it, which is a shame. Considering the primary competition this phone was going after, it's a big area to cut corners in.
Maybe the next one?
"An honest review"on by Susanoo
Pros Lots of Pros:
Ease of Use
Cons Biggest Con was the ATROCIOUS battery life
No Voice Dialing
No Video Camera
A little slippery in the hand, easy to drop and a little small
Summary Let me just say, I don't think you can give an honest review unless you've played with one or you own it. I own mine. I'll keep my review short and sweet.I've had it now for a month and its an amazing smartphone.
-Didn't find the keyboard as bad as people claim. I have big hands and it hasn't been a problem for me
-Like many have said, the multitasking is absouletly genius. It really sets it apart from any smartphone I've dealt with
-The battery life, however, is damn near a deal breaker. I get about 2 1/2 hours before its down to 50%. Palm MUST find a way to address this. Its simply not acceptable for business users who need to be on the move.
-The hardware is actually a little on the small side. I dropped mine twice because its a little slippery and hard to grip
Overall its a great device for sprint and palm who need it. Don't know why people are complaining about apps. Their coming and unless your like 13 years old, why do you need to have a million different apps on your phone? I've also seen that people have given this 1 or 2 stars. Seriously now, the device is far from terrible or mediocre and people who give it those ratings shouldn't be taken seriously....especially if you don't own it
Updated on Jun 30, 2009
I have a serious problem with Bonnie Cha's rating of 3.5 stars. She gave the same rating to the CRAPPY HTC Snap which should've gotten a 2 star rating.
"awesome phone"on by abcyesn
Pros love the apps and webOS on the palm
Cons The keyboard is little small
Summary So after playing with the Pre for hours I have one thing to say other than it's really great, It's Small!!!
I like this size of it. It feels great in the hand (go figure) and to be honest with you I have big hands and the keyboard really worried me. I used it the first time and didn't make any mistakes. I can actually type on it without looking at the keyboard pretty decently already.
I'm so satisfied! Grin
"Honest Opinion"on by soulstar254
Pros 1) Multitasking
6) Ease of use as a media drive or an iPod
8) Sprint Network and Plans
Cons 1) Battery Life (initially terrible, but now much better)
2) Cramped Keyboard
3) Volume of Ringtones and Calls
4) Misc inconveniences
Summary First off, this is the best phone I've ever owned. I was very open to purchasing other smartphones, but with the great design, coupled with a reliable network, and most affordable plans, the decision was easy
1) Design - there is no better phone out there that feels so good in your hand and your pocket. It's small, sleek, and sexy. Three words that define great electronic device designs. Some reviews called it too plasticky; however if you get the touchstone wireless charger, it comes with a new batter cover that makes it feel less like a toy and much more expensive. The touchstone batter cover has a matte finish and gives it a more elegant and expensive look!
2) Multitasking is phenomenal. I can be on speakerphone via touchstone charger and still send text messages out. Game-changer is overused when describing the OS, but it really does fit the description.
3) Synergy is great! Never worry again about loosing your contacts if your phone is destroyed or lost. It's all in the cloud. When a contact changes their FB picture, you and your phone know about it. How great is that?!
4) The camera is fast and takes great photos! Love the fact that it has an LED screen as well. No video recording, but it is highly rumored that will come via 3rd party app
5) Screen is great. CNET thinks so. So do I.
6) iTunes thinks the Pre is an iPod. Syncing is too easy and not a hassle at all
7) The touchstone is more than amazing. No one has put more thought into a phones design than Palm this year. Great work folks!
8) Sprint Network - forget what you heard. There is not another carrier in the country that provides it's customers with a network that is super fast, reliable, and wonderfully priced plans. Night minutes start at 7, navigation isn't extra, and over a 2 year contract, the next cheapest plan on a different carrier costs $500 more! I say it again, forget what you heard about Sprint. They are doing way better than years ago.
Now the bad
1) Battery life is not so good. You will have to charge your phone every day under normal use. Heavy heavy use, you'll be doing it twice.
2) Keyboard is cramped. With more practice, it's not an issue, but typing is not something to brag about.
3) The volume of the ringtones is something left to be desired - same for volume of calls. I hope a fix is in the work. With other programs you can increase the volume of ringers, but it is annoyance and inconvenience to do so.
4) Misc inconveniences - low number of apps (right now), can't forward text messages, and no visual voicemail
Bottomline: Unless you are biased to start, this phone will change your opinion of Sprint and Palm. The design is spectacular and the OS is the best period and exclamation point. Have an open mind. The Pre will not let you down. Palm hit an inside the park homerun with this device. I expect the next generation to be a grand slam. Smartphone game, you have just been changed.
"bloody fantastic"on by thok06
Pros Platform is stable and agile; did not experience any appreciable performance lag as mentioned in review. Deck of Cards is massively useful. Synergy is truly unholy. If there is an iPhone killer out there, this is it.
Cons Battery life is atrocious. The phone behaves like one that is already at the end of a two-year contract - a one hour conversation took up almost 30% life (immediately after a full charge.) Probably be forced to replace it soon.
Summary Navigating WebOS is a breeze because of how well thought out the platform is. The review mentions a learning curve, but there really isn't one. You can see the former Apple guys putting this together in Palm's basement as you play with the Pre: that's how intuitive it is. Deck of Cards is such a brilliant move, even if it is what makes the Pre eat batteries for breakfast. And Synergy...it works so well it's almost eerie. Being able to fully sync wirelessly with Google's email and calendar instead of being forced to pay for something like MS Exchange feels like skydiving. The difference between the iPhone to this is transformative. Indeed, the jump from the Treo to the Pre is the like going from the Super NES to the Nintendo 64 (for those that remember). By the way; keyboard is fine, regardless of the review. If you are used to the Treo series, you won't mind the smallness of the keys. The gesture area appears to only have a few functions. While welcome, that portion of the phone seems like a curiously large investment for something that only does two (that I can tell) things. Would be a good area to expand functionality. Finally, Sprint TV is interesting but a novelty. And the goofy little NASCAR icon on the desktop...really? I find it slightly hard to imagine Pre fans and NASCAR fans intersecting. But who knows.9-Month Update
Without question, the phone deserves at least 4 stars. The review was certainly thorough, but too harsh.
Updated on Mar 14, 2010
Biggest gripe: battery life. I can't keep it going for a whole day anymore. A couple of phone conversations, keeping it on for about 14 hours, and it's down to 20%. Yes, I have bluetooth on 24/7. Why? I paid for that feature and I want to be able to use my headset whenever I want. But apparently this is at the cost of the battery.
Next Biggest Gripe: screen has become unsealed from the phone. I have these weird bubbles on the bottom corners. I think this may have been because of a poor case that fit so tightly it may have caused some kind of stress to the casing around the screen. If you've wondering what it looked like so you can avoid it, it was a clear case that came in two parts: a clear plastic frame (like a ring) around the front of the phone, and matching back to it that left holes for the camera and the speakerphone.
Fairly large gripe: sluggishness. The lag behind opening an application is really terrible, even for something simple like the clock app.