"WebOS is a game changer."5.0 starson by CDRacingZX6R
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?