07/16/2012, 01:37 PM
So I've had the Pre3 for a week or so. I'm a former Palm user back through all the Pre's and most of the Treo's on the phone side, and for that matter on the organizer side back to the original Pilot. So I guess you could say I like the stuff and decided I might as well own the last one.
WHAT IT IS
Form Factor - I like it. Smooth, slightly bigger so I have to pay attention when picking it up. More sophisticated fit and finish...as nice as any phone in my opinion. I actually like the simplicity of the finish...no chrome or metal and no square corners. If this is the last Palm device they finally made it look first class in my opinion.
My pre2 always felt small in my hands so I never worried about grabbing it. The pre3 has just enough extra real estate without having that "slab" feeling of an Android. Still works fine in my ebcases belt case...just like the pre2.
Hands down best keyboard of any Pre. Just enough bigger. Great feedback...all I'll ever need.
Phone - It is, after all, a phone. Phone app hasn't really changed. Audio seems good through the earpiece and great on the speaker phone. Bluetooth pairing with my headset is quick and accurate. Patches continued from the original Pre still allow me to customize phone features just like I did with the first Pre. How many phones over 4 generations and 4+ years can say that?
Text - No problems. The ability to one-hand IM just as with all Pre's.
Web - Increased speed of device makes browsing a breeze. Patch customizations carried forward to my specific needs and likes. Some have commented about font size due to increase screen resolution. Not a problem for me as i typically zoom to text I'm reading. Patch to increase font is available.
Display - By far the best on any Palm device I've owned. All I need in a phone/internet device. If I need a bigger screen I simply place the Pre3 on my Touchpad and I'm synced to the bigger screen.
Apps - All I need and synergy simply imported them when I activated the phone. Since I'm really about communicating and surfing the web I really don't miss the limited number of games.
Homebrew - Still the thing I like best about the phone product line. Now 4+ years into development I can customize almost every aspect of this device. Its a never ending source of enjoyment exploring all that can be done. With this phone I'm finally taking the time to explore Mode Switcher. What a wonderful way to make this "my" device, customized exactly how I want it in every possible regard. See Battery discussion below.
Camera - Never have been a camera bug with my phones. I'd prefer to carry a dedicated camera if there's something I really want to take a picture of. In fact, the only phone I dropped was one I'd been trying to use as a camera. This camera is tops, however, for that once in a while shot. Auto focus seems to be accurate and finally allows me to accurately read bar code scanners. I dont' shoot video but its nice to know HD video is there too.
Accessories - I haven't had a problem. Stock and Mugen replacement batteries are readily available. Wall and car chargers and touchstones are the same as my previous Pre devices. My Pre Plus and Pre 2 cases from ebcase work just fine. My only gripe was that Boxwave most likley won't make my favorite "Cleartouch" screen protectors. I simply can't stand the finger prints on glass screens. In its place I have ordered the Vikuiti screen protector ADQC27 and DQCM30's from protectionfilms24.com which look like they'll do the job. I'll review those separately.
WHAT ITS NOT
GPS Navigator - I love my Garmin Nuvi for navigation. I can dowload updates and customize POI's to do more than any phone could do. If I'm traveling the Garmin is in my pocket and on the dash. Now, having said that, this is the best GPS from Palm I've owned. Using Bing maps it gets a quick fix and accurately follows the car moving down the road. I'd trust it for navigating in the absence of my Garmin but it isnt' what I'd buy this device to do. Beware that GPS is a battery killer (see below) so dont' plan to do much navigation without a car charger.
Voice Recognition - If you need to speak to your phone when you're alone or to tell it what to do, don't buy a Pre3. I guess it has the ability to do something with voice recognition but I'm not one who'd use it. Its bad enough to have to listen to people talking on the phone in public...
All Day Battery - Even with the Mugen 1400mah battery this phone will not allow you to go for 12 hours without thinking about it. Battery drain is simply larger than other Pre's. Having said that, I've found an easy way to go 12+ hours that meets my needs. Simply by turning Phone Data off when I'm at home (wifi hot spots throughout my house) and at my office allows me to do everything I need, all day long, without draining even the stock battery.
I fully expect to soon be able to go 18 to 24 hours on battery using Mode Switcher which will allow me to customize usage in a way that will eliminate battery as an issue.
Game Device - As stated above this device has limited game apps. Enough to keep you busy on a plane flight or in a waiting room, but not for serious gaming.
4G - While the ATT is 4G, the Verizon is 3G. An issue for some, perhaps, but I simply find the Verizon network's coverage good enough that everything I want to do is basically instantaneous.
CONCLUSION - I'm thrilled and honored to own the last of the Palm line. Sad, obviously, that its come to this, but confident that I'll have another 3 or 4 years before I have to address the matter. Now that Pre3 prices are under $300 I bought 2 so I'd have a NIB backup. And, just in case, I'm holding on to my Pre2. Other than form factor its the next best phone Palm ever produced.
Long live the Legacy and Memory of what Palm stood for. And kudos to those who work to preserve the beauty and future of webOS! I'm still hoping an upstart company will recoginize the opportunity of webOS and make hardware to rival Apple that uses open source webOS that kicks their ****. It won't be a Palm but I'll buy it just because its not an Apple!
Randy in Florida