| | 10-01-2009, 02:48 AM Thread Author #1
My best try at a Palm Pre review and why I returned it
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.