Good day everyone. Been playing with the Pre and have adjusted to it and feel its about a good time to put a review here. Going with the saying "Save the best for last" I'll start with some of the things that I hate.
At first when I used the pre and had to charge the device, I saw the charging door and it was a struggle to open. Then I saw it was on the top half and if you slide it open, it is MUCH easier to open the mini usb door that way. Now its the USB door itself that seems like it could easily just break apart. It can come out a bit but it feels like it will just come out thus I only just take it out a little way just enough to get the mini USB to connect.
One thing that I'm missing is an SD card slot, 8GB is still more than what I had in my 755P with 2GB card but I just hate that it is omitted because palm has been applefied with Jon teams, it seems they want us to pay to get incremental upgrades like memory expansions.
The next thing is notifcations while the phone is off. Come on..you have a nice glowing ball...why can't it pulse while phone is off so you know something is there. I hope there is an update to make that happen. You have to turn on and check your lock screen to see if there is any notifications on.
Another bit of the hardware quirk that gets to me. On the Treo's I love the ringer switch, its just so good just to flip a switch to silent your phone and have it vibrate. The vibration is just a tad weaker than the 755P. I wish it was a little more powerful, but its just enough for me to feel it. Another thing about the ringer is that it doesn't turn off music. Maybe some people might like that but when I turn the ringer switch on, I want the whole phone to be silent.
Ohh, almost forgot. The Pre battery cover is a little pain to take off. You have to press down on the eject door and then jam a fingernail in the sides to take it off. Its not as easy as the 755P battery door removal. Thats it for the hardware and now onto the software.
Even though WebOS is a beautiful OS, there are some things that just get to me. First is the launcher itself. 3 pages....3 pages for apps. WT...?! I guess can't complain too much about the 9 pages of apps for the iPod Touch. Sure you can scroll up and down instead of set icons on the page but still. Its just crazy. Thankfully though the universal search is a life saver here.
PIM's. Palm was good with PIM category but on the Pre...its beauty before functionality. It looks beaaaautiful but very limited. For example, Calendar, where is the categories? All you have is the Palm profile and whatever else you use for your calendar, IE: Google, EAS, etc. No business category, personal, bills, etc. I love that you can color code your events in calendar to give you a quick glance at whats going on, I see red I know I have a bill coming up, orange I know something bout work is coming up, blue is something personal to me. Now, its just color coded for your account sync and since I mostly use google calendar, everything is one color
. Also for quick glance....today screen. Why...why why why remove that handy feature. I'm just speechless, no today screen. Nuff said
All the PIM's pretty much don't have categories so no more getting an easy view of what you want to look at.
One other thing about the software is the Music and video app. There is no saved state of what you were listening to or watching. Say your listening to a podcast and you close the app, later you come back in and it doesn't start where you were on. You have to start back over, there is no scrubber as well to get where you where last time. If your listening to a long podcast, your going to have to hold down on the forward button for a while to get where you want. I don't know why they don't have a scrubber. If you go into list view you see that the blue fills up and I thought I could just tap and hold it then slide it. Nope, nothing
...but it does have a scrubber, thats what get me. It has a scrubber when you stream mp3's. If you want to start and end a podcast, don't close the app, just let it run in the background.
One last thing for the software is the phone app, mostly with conference calls. We can't hang up any calls we have on conference individually, we have to hang up the whole team. Not big factor for me since I don't do conference calls but just a heads up about that. Sadly, no visual voicemail too which is just crazy since Sprint can do it since they have it on the instinct.
Thats pretty much it for the gripes, now onto the awesomeness of the phone.
The Pre feels GREAT in your hand! I love the curves of the phone, no sharp edges, it just feels great!. Its small and compact, perfect for one handed use. Use your thumb to flip up the screen and start typing away.
The screen is amazing! Even on the lowest brightness, its still bright enough to use. At lowest brightness it is equal to about 20% of the 755P and 40% of the iPod touch brightness. At 100%...its just too bright!! The screen is 320x480 but since its on such a tiny screen, the images are crisp! Watching video on this is such a pleasure.
The keyboard feels good with that jelly like buttons. It seems to be the same size and width of the 755P just from eyeing them together.
The 3.5mm headset jack which is compatible with my Griffin SmartTalk adapter that I used for my iPod touch. The mic and remote control button works letting me make phone calls and answer/end calls, even lets me control my music. I am happy to see that. The palm headphones are nice but I like my adapter and zune premium headphones.
I guess I should put call quality here as well. The call quality is great, I heard the voices good on the phone/speakerphone and earbuds and the people I was talking to said I sounded pretty good but while I was using the mic I was loud.
The slider feels solid. Takes a bit of effort to slide the screen open, and same for closing. I love the good solid feel of the phone snapping open and close.
There is that center button but honestly with the phone being all about gestures, I've hardly used the button. It feels more natural to me just swiping up to bring up the card view instead of hitting that button.
Wow, this is getting long, I'll try to make it brief now.
WebOS is just amazing. Its elegant the way it handles notifications, multi-tasking. iPhone standardized the touchscreen phone to the masses, the Pre with WebOS will standardize the Multi-tasking and notifications, the way a mobile device should handle multi-tasking. We know WM does it, but it does it with the Desktop windows version. This card experience is just incredible. Just a simple swipe or a press on the center button and your in the card view to see what all you have open. If your done with something just swipe it away. I like to keep things open that I am going to use and when I'm all done, just toss them all away. Its also handy to turn on the advanced gestures so you can swipe left or right to get to the next card you have open, no need to go into the card view.
Notifications. When I saw the Pre demo at CES, the thing that I love was the way it handled the notifications. That was the killer feature to me and using it, it confirmed my suspicions that this was the feature I love the most. I love how if your busy on something and you get some sort of notification, it won't stop you from working. It will either take up a quarter of the screen estate for your calendar appt/phone calls, or just a small line at the bottom stating email/messaging, next track playing. I also love the small ding-dong'ish sound it plays to alert you of something arrived for you. One nice touch Palm did with notifications is, if your watching a video and a notification arrives, it won't interrupt your viewing, it won't show you the notification, it will just make the sound of the notification has arrived.
Built-in screen capture. No need to install an app/hack like on the Treo to grab a screen capture. Palm gives you this to show off your customized Pre. You do this with hitting the Orange+Sym+P button. At first I thought I might have messed up because I was expecting a sound so I tried again 3 more times, then checked the photos and saw that it did in fact take a screen shot. Nice feature for those who like to display their screens.
Synergy. This is one handy feature. Just with a simple gMail account added into the email client, all my contacts/email/and calendar was up and running. I was so happy that I didn't have to do it each time for each app. I don't use facebook much so can't comment on that. I hear its a nightmare though because apparently facebook is a long list of people you don't really need to communicate much with.
Messaging. The messaging app is a great app, I love how you have one app to show all your conversations. It does text/IM/MMS and its cool to see the picture are saved in the messages.
Music app: Not much to say here, it nice and all, minus the few gripes stated earlier. I wanted to point out the nice feature of searching youtube for videos from the song that you have playing. Very nice
Browser: Its amazing. Just like the iPod touch browser but done better. I love the bookmark mini pages when you launch the browser. The 'awesome bar' that lets you search/enter a url in same bar. Very handy, anywhere your on the webpage, you just start typing away, hit enter and your off. No need to go scrolling back to the top to get where you where you want to be. I love the feature of saving shortcuts to the launcher. I have it set up a one page for apps, nother for customization with webpages/contacts, and 3rd page for prefs/settings. I go to card view and start typing in the name of a site, hit enter and it hit my shortcut.
App catalog. It looks pretty good. You have featured apps, Popular apps. The layout looks good. Like any one stop shop, I can see it being crowded and hard to find apps unless you know what your wanting. Thankfully though we can still side-load apps to the device. Downloading apps is pretty easy and when its done, it will give you an option to launch.
Aghh..tired I thin..oh wait no. One more thing, I love the back gesture, so handy and convenient.
One addition as well. Synery with the core apps, awesome! For example, used flickster to find out what movies are playing in the area, saw the time, added to calendar, and it filled out all the info, stating the name of the movie, where its located and clocked it in for the amount of time for the movie to play. I can't wait to see what other apps will work with the synergy function.
Well, thats about it for now. I hope that covered about everything. This took longer than expected. Overall the Pre is a great phone and can't wait to see further updates from Palm to see what they can provide (Audible playback in the music player gimme!) To all who read this, congrats and amazing! Thanks for reading it all
Enjoy your day.