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  1. dirty_blues's Avatar
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    Default My best try at a Palm Pre review and why I returned it

    Hello Everyone!

    First and foremost, I know I'm new to the forum so I'm going to try and be as unbiased as possible with my review. Here's a little backround info:

    I had been using an HTC Touch Pro Windows Mobile phone for some time, but had some hardware issues. After my 3rd return, Sprint offered me a full upgrade. With all the Hype I went after the Pre. So a lot of my review is based on going from a Windows Mobile device to the Pre, so keep that in mind.

    Upon initially getting my hands on it, I was excited. The guys at the Sprint Store loaded my contacts for me and off I went. I began to log into facebook and google and get my email etc going. So far so good.

    The Synergy feature is excellent!! I really liked being able to merge my facebook contacts with my contacts existing in my phone. Pictures updated immediately, and now I had everyones email addresses handy even if I didn't have thier phone number already. This was a plus!! However, it's also where I ran into problems.... just keep reading...

    I get home and start playing around. Web Browser is nice, but I noticed there were a bunch of preset bookmarks: Amazon, Sprint, etc that I cannot remove. Now if you use a Pre, you'll know your bookmarks load up in card like view instead of loading a home page when you launch your browser. This is nice, but I could not figure out how to remove them or re-arrange them. I added a few bookmarks, and went back to take one or two off but still can't figure out how.... hmmm. First thing I noticed was the limited menu options due to this which kind of was discouraging...

    So next it's off to the app store! I know all the apps were free so I figure download a bunch and take off what I don't like. Mind you, this is day 1. I download about 20 or so apps to try out. I try to download a couple more and I get an error stating that I was out of memory. Now keep in mind no photo's, video, or music is on this device. It's about 6 hours old, and I'm out of memory. I figured this might be a issue that just required reset, so here is where the problems start.

    I was told that the Palm Profile will back up all my contacts etc.. So I feel completely comfortable resetting the phone and starting over. I complete the reset trying to fix the memory error, it takes some time and starts to boot back up. Once rebooted (10 or so minutes later, maybe more) I go to my contacts screen... No contacts. I wait, check my accounts, go back.. no contacts....

    I then begin to panick a little. Do some light reading online to figure out how to get it to sync to outlook where they were backed up anyway. No go, unless I buy some 3rd party app. I figured a way to upload my Outlook data to Google, and then sync with my Google account. That works! Thank god, but still not happy there is not a desktop sync option. I heavily use outlook, but not on a Server, just my home machine... starting to get frustrated.

    So I make a couple changes on my phone, which is supposed to sync with Google... changes made on my phone did not update Google, but the other way did...... more frustration.

    Back to the app store issue, it's still there... Okay I figure I'll go and do some more reading before I get completely frustrated, maybe I'm doing something wrong. Web OS 1.2 is due out soon, should fix the app issue... okay fine but still not happy.

    I figure I'll go to Google, download a nice wallpaper.... Find one I like in Google images.. but no way to download it from the phone... Also noticed my copy and paste function is very very limited.... which leads me to typing and the keyboard. Absolutely terrible!!! Compared to the Touch Pro, the keyboard feels like a childs toy. It's very cramped and the lip of the device around the keyboard causes you to cramp your fingers more. Hard to describe, just try it and you'll see what I mean. I actually preferred the onscreen keyboard of my old Samsung Instinct to this physical keyboard.

    At this point I'm about to drive right back to the Sprint Store to return it, but I give it some more time.

    Web OS 1.2 hits. I can now download pics from web pages, cut and paste, so I'm thinking the app store issue is fixed.. NO! Still get the out of memory error. Try to test the Google sync issue, still having some problems. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. So I've got updated contact info in my phone, that is not uploading to google and I can't sync with outlook..

    I call the Sprint Store after 1 week and tell them I'm returning it, and order a Tour. While I'm waiting for the Tour I continue to play with the Pre some more. Suddenly it starts turning off on me randomly. This is 1 week old! Turns out there is an issue with the battery being a little too small for the compartment and it loses contact and reboots. Jamming a piece of paper in there apparntely fixes the problem but this is just obsurd.

    Tried to watch some YouTube vids and was pretty happy with the video quality, nice screen etc... except for some reason I keep losing my data connection with the Pre. Now this never happened with my Touch Pro, ever! I have excellent signal at my home and have never had any data issues. I experience the same issue with web pages, saying I've lost my data connection and would I like to turn on the wifi. This really bothered me and made me more confident in my decision to return the Pre.

    Now, I will say, Web OS is a nice interface. It's easier to use than Win Mobile, much more touch and user friendly. Some may like the simpleness of it, I for one didn't. I felt it was too limited. The card view multitasking is great, and I found myself actually making pretty good use of it. It's definately easier than switching apps in WinMo. People praise this browser, but I wasn't all that impressed. Zooming was sparatic, and double taps to zoom didn't always work. Going from portrait to landscape did not render the screen to fit, it stayed zoomed in causing me to zoom out in landscape to read the page. I also notice that text is slightly blurred compared to the Pro which very crisp.

    I could write a book about my experience, but to be honest, I'm just glad it's over. Going from an established platform such as Windows Mobile to this new OS was definately something I'll never forget. Web OS has so much potential to be great, but right now it's not refined enough. There is just too much missing and too many little bugs that need to be worked out. I found myself just leaving the Pre sitting on my desk or on the charger not wanting to pick it up.

    I had a Samsung Instinct before my Touch Pro. The Palm Pre feels very much like upgraded Instinct that can multi task and has more support. At this point, with all the bugs and features it lacks (desktop sync, LED notification, proper web sync, application download limit etc) I cannot find it useful.

    Please note that I did NOT root my phone, I did not install homebrew apps, nor did I hack the device in anyway what so ever. This is just an out of the box review and my opinions based on OEM software and hardware. The guys at Pre Central definately can make this thing work and run smooth. They have come up with a ton of fixes for pretty much most bugs I have mentioned... I am just dissappointed that Palm didn't.

    In my personal opinion, the Web OS has a lot of potential maybe a year from now. The device needs to be more refined and built a little more sturdy. For something that's supposed to be an Iphone killer and a Smartphone, Palm has missed the mark. They presented a cool little FEATURE phone that has some great potential but probably should still be in a beta release.

    I know there are Pre fans out there, and if your one good for you!! If it does what you want it to and you enjoy it, than it's for you. As a smartphone user, and a heavy one at that, this is not for me. Too many simple things missing to get the job done.
  2. infamyx's Avatar
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    You are aware the phone AND OS are still in its infancy?

    Yeah some people were having issues with spotty Pre builds, but to be honest the stories have been worse about the Tours so lol.

    I might pick one of these ups for GSM when it comes out because i like to tinker with it software wise. Like Andriod, this is going to be a market changer, Palm is just currently on a lackluster network.
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  3. dirty_blues's Avatar
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    Oh I absolutely know that Web OS is still in it's infancy. In fact, 6 months to a year from now Web OS could be a real game changer. I just felt the Pre wasn't quite ready to hit the market yet. It does a lot of things great, but it's still missing quite a bit.

    As far as the network goes, Sprint is amazing in my area. Verizon and Sprint are pretty much quite equal in my area as far as coverage, with the exception that Sprint's data network is actually faster. Not to mention the cheaper plans. I don't fault Sprint at all in my review. Nor do I really "hate" the Pre. My experience was sub par for a smartphone due to the infancy of Web OS. Who knows what Palm's plans are for in the next year, but for now I will skip the Pre.
  4. joshwithachance's Avatar
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    i agree with you mr. blues ! there is SO MUCH potential but they royally screwed themselves with the pre's hardware and not tweaking the software enough. hopefully it improves with future hardware and software updates (:
  5. AaronWasHere's Avatar
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    Always good to hear an honest review of a device, for better or for worse
  6. infamyx's Avatar
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    Your review really reminisces me of the Storm, but better.

    The Pre is on a failing network as of right now, no matter the price range i wouldnt jump ship to Sprint for a Pre, no matter how good it is. I'm sure it will get its due when it drops on Verizon, its only SERIOUS competition is the Storm 2 (aka, Storm 1 redux) and a handful of android phones, plus im hearing rumors of hardware updates for VZW.

    A lot of errors are getting worked out as we speak with software updates that Palm controls, not Sprint (read, pay attention RIM and quit f*cking around). So they come swiftly and timely, not 6 months down the road after a carrier decides it might be ok.

    While i do think your review is valid, note that you jumped ship to a young platform, and i know some standards you might have had werent met. But with that being said, i cant think of any phone that came out the gate perfect, not even any berry...which is funny because they come on the same stagnant OS time and time again.
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  7. hondateg91's Avatar
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    It seems like every new phone has the best OS, worst build quality, or both just suck. I know all phones have their problems, but why cant they put the time into both build and OS.
  8. rastataoist's Avatar
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    I gotta say... this review is spot on. I just switched from a Pre to a Tour as well, and while Web OS is DEFINITELY more flashy, the BB OS just works... and does all the things that Palm advertises as "game-changing" and does them well.
  9. Pimp Lucious's Avatar
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    Good luck with your Tour. I think you are going to find some serious limitations and letdowns using a BB OS, just as I did when I went from WinMo to BB. I got used to it and soon fell in love with my BB. Then I went to the Pre and had the same issue, but again the positive outweighed the limitations that came with changing to a new OS.

    As far as the hardware, reading the forums here will tell you that there are plenty of hardware issues on the Tour. RIM is addressing them just as Palm did. An exchange would have likey had fixed your battery issue as all Pres now have a modified batt compartment and the battery has been physically changed if I'm not mistaken. Sounds like you had a older Pre. I certainly don't miss browsing on my BB and I think you are in for a serious letdown if you thought the Pre browser had issues.

    BTW, bookmarks are easily deleted and rearranged in the dropdown menu.



    What's important is that you find the device thats right for you. I will be testing out the Hero next week assuming it doesn't get delayed and see how it matches up to the Pre.
    Last edited by Pimp Lucious; 10-04-2009 at 07:29 AM.
  10. dirty_blues's Avatar
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    Well I now have the Tour in hand, and so far so good. The keyboard is fantastic! I am still getting used to the OS but I already have found that I'm enjoying it more than the pre. Web browsing is slow and text is tiny but I like how it renders pages so farm. I am sure there will be things I don't like but I feel confident in my decision.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  11. Pimp Lucious's Avatar
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    Looking forward to a review. I'm really interested in knowing how many apps you manage to fit in that 64mb of device memory. . Did you look at the Touch Pro 2? That screen is gorgeous and the keyboard is probably the best physical keyboard available right now. HTCs customization of the OS is the only reason I'm even giving the otherwise bland stock Android OS a look.
  12. dirty_blues's Avatar
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    I came from a touch pro, and the keyboard was amazing. However my keyboard failed on that device 3 times in 3 months which is why I jumped ship. Design flaw, and a well known one. Waiting to see if they address this on the 2 before I consider it.

    My tour has over 20 apps downloaded and still have 96 megs of app memory left. The pre had an app limit so what's the difference

    The pre was better for web browsing but I didn't like the page rendering I like the page rendering on the Tour but miss the larger screen. What can you do right? Can't win them all!

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  13. Pimp Lucious's Avatar
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    Most users hit 60-70 apps on the Pre before they run into the space limit. To hit that limit at 20 is pretty abnormal.
  14. pathymo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pimp Lucious View Post
    Most users hit 60-70 apps on the Pre before they run into the space limit. To hit that limit at 20 is pretty abnormal.
    You could have 60-70 homebrew apps on the Pre before running into the space limit, yes. But hitting the app limit at 20 or less official App Catalog apps is not abnormal at all.
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  15. H_D
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    Question Apps, Apps, & more Apps....

    Quote Originally Posted by Pimp Lucious View Post
    Most users hit 60-70 apps on the Pre before they run into the space limit. To hit that limit at 20 is pretty abnormal.
    It really comes down to how many USEFUL apps you have downloaded & installed. I have little under 20 apps on my Tour & can honestly say I use ALL of them. I can't imagine using 70 apps constantly. The same with iPhone users, just how many of those apps do you utilize on a regular basis....? Also besides for the web browser, just what function does the Pre have that a Blackberry doesn't?
    Last edited by YaBoiD; 10-07-2009 at 03:55 PM.
  16. jdella681's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirty_blues View Post
    Well I now have the Tour in hand, and so far so good. The keyboard is fantastic! I am still getting used to the OS but I already have found that I'm enjoying it more than the pre. Web browsing is slow and text is tiny but I like how it renders pages so farm. I am sure there will be things I don't like but I feel confident in my decision.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Yes the native browser isn't one of my favs. I do recommend checking out the latest bolt browser, which is my personal fav on a bb.

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