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  1.    #1  
    I switched from an iPhone 3G to the Pixi Plus yesterday. I wanted to stick to AT&T and support a company that I think is on the right track. I believe that I accomplished both by disconnecting two lines from AT&T and buying a Palm. =) I figured that lurkers (as I was) and current Palm users alike could appreciate my account.

    iPhone background:

    I've been an iPhone user since the first generation iPhone came out. I've switched to the 3G shortly after it came out for the built-in GPS and faster network. 3GS offered nothing new, so I didn't bother. All together roughly two years or so of iPhone experience.

    My primary reason for switching is unquestionably AT&T. In the last year I've grown completely fed up with their network performance. I live in New York City and their coverage is crappy. For the last 6 months its been pretty much unacceptable. Without exaggeration at least 70% of my incoming and outgoing calls dropped. Getting decent 3G coverage was a small miracle. I figured if I'm paying Verizon prices, I might as well get Verizon coverage.

    The iPhone itself is an excellent device all around, but as everything else it has some drawbacks.

    The iPhone software keyboard is as close to perfection as you can get, but you absolutely cannot touch type on a software keyboard, period. That means you cannot walk and type without getting hit by a car. That almost happened to me... twice.

    Apple. I believe you can make Apple quality software and not be Apple. There is ZERO reason why I should _buy_ a song and then pay _again_ for the same song to use it as a ringtone! Wanna sync to more than one PC? Get written permission from you local copyright office. etc.

    Why webOS:

    Months ago the search began for a new device. It's astonishing to me how bad the market is at catching up to the iPhone. Especially in the browser department.

    Blackberry browser ruled out all blackberries. Their "new" OS is like getting breast implants on medicaid, a disappointment.

    On the other hand, an HTC device on Windows Mobile is not a boob job, it's a digitally colored flick from the 20's.

    Android... The Droid on Verizon was an obvious candidate for me. However, I'm a software developer and after playing around with Android OS, I consider it an insult to my profession. I'm sure its technically superior to everything out there, but we've established long ago that technical superiority does not equal better software or a better user experience. Where's the spit and polish? Also, the Droid keyboard sucked. Another disappointment.

    For rather obvious reasons, that leaves Palm uncontested. Thank you, Palm, for making something that doesn't suck.

    Why Pixi over Pre:

    The form factor, plain and simple. The Pre is faster and has a better screen, no small things, but not enough for me to get a fat phone with a second best keyboard. No offense to happy Pre users of course. =)

    Finally, my first impression after a day of usage:

    The good:
    Verizon coverage. I shed a tear when I was able to talk on the phone AND walk around my apartment AT THE SAME TIME! See, miracles do happen! I ran a speed test and got 1 mbps down over EVDO in an AT&T dead zone.

    Absolutely love the keyboard. It's very clicky. Minor gripe, no "ridge" on the "F" and "J" keys.

    Cards for multitasking is a win. I didn't do much stress testing, but I have launched 7 apps on the Pixi without any errors. The device is slower than the iPhone, but by not having to wait for apps to open when "fake multitasking" on the iPhone its actually faster for my normal usage (chat+web).

    The browser works as a browser should. I find it ridiculous that people accept having to press the "+/-" buttons to zoom in and out on Android devices. I visited a bunch of websites on the iPhone and the Pixi side by side and I have to say that in terms of speed they are about the same. I find that pleasantly surprising considering the beefier hardware in the iPhone. Overall, the browsing experience on the iPhone is better due to the larger screen. On the Pixi I have to "search" for the right zoom level -- tilting into landscape mode helps. Browsing while laying in bed is easier since the Pixi is lighter. =P

    The built-in instant messaging app is... freaking finally. It's great. Note I'm only using Google Talk and AIM.

    Message and event notifications are not intrusive and generally well handled. The "task bar" where you get these notifications and access to music player and Pandora controls is useful and well executed.

    I was "forced" to reconcile my contacts when migrating to the Pixi, but now its all synced to Google Contacts. This is the first implementation of "integrating all your accounts" that I actually use. Whenever it doesn't pick up on something you can manually link contacts (like when an AIM user is not automatically linked to the profile card).

    I can pinch zoom in/out and hold the phone using one hand. Good luck doing that on the iphone, you'll drop it. This was one of those unexpected, pleasant surprises.

    The so so:
    The screen is just a tad too small. On the iPhone I could make out the headlines on bbcnews.com without zooming in. Not so on the Pixi. The aspect ratio of the screen is not standard too, that doesn't help when watching videos on an already small screen.

    The speed is an issue sometimes. Hard to expect more from a device this small, but I can't help but think that its just a matter of needing a beefier CPU (which probably takes up the same amount of physical space). Pre hardware in Pixi form would annihilate the Blackberry market.

    I tend to keep a PIN on the phone, in case I loose it. Having to type in the correct pass and then also press "Done" is quite annoying. =) On the iPhone as soon as you enter the last correct number it lets you in. So I type the pass and wait, then go "oh right, press the Done button."

    The App Store leaves a lot to be desired. Thankfully most of my favorites are there Yelp, Evernote, Pandora. But things like Skype and anything close to decent games needs a PDK. Also for some reason I found it confusing trying to find the "Top apps" lists.

    Battery life is average. About as good as the iPhone. Although it did drain more than I expected overnight.

    The charger connector on the side makes the phone hard to use when its plugged in since you cant hold it properly.

    The bad:
    The music player is absolutely featureless (no eq, no track numbers when viewing albums -- are you serious?, etc.) Basically you get the play button and skip track buttons and that's about it. I did not expect an iPhone (iPod) level of maturity, but this is pretty uninspiring.

    The music player is slow. I'm serious about my music and have lots of lossless files (m4a). It seems the player is just not good enough to handle that. It actually skips while playing. I'm not looking forward to having to re-encode my music.

    The music player hissed when there is no music is playing.

    The music player is not as loud as the iPhone.

    You get the idea...

    Well, I intended to write a short account and look what happened. I hope somebody find this useful! =D If anybody has specific questions I'll answer. Cheers.
    Last edited by pogeypre; 01/28/2010 at 04:40 PM.
  2. fbcregan's Avatar
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    #2  
    Have you tried the homebrew Music Remix? It's much better than the Palm app and would be much better for you.
  3.    #3  
    No I haven't looked at homebrew at all yet. I'll check it out.
  4. #4  
    Thanks for your great post. I now understand the iPhone a bit better as a result! Welcome to WebOS!

    Quote Originally Posted by pacemkr View Post
    The speed is an issue sometimes. Hard to expect more from a device this small, but I can't help but think that its just a matter of needing a beefier CPU (which probably takes up the same amount of physical space). Pre hardware in Pixi form would annihilate the Blackberry market.
    I couldn't agree with you more on the form factor. It would be "dead simple" for Palm to make a candybar with a Pre or iPhone size screen and a Pixi keyboard.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  5. #5  
    How much is your plan on Verizon, please? If it's not too much more or in the same ballpark as the iPhone plans, I may try the Pre Plus. Although the GSM Pre(or some webOS device) is supposed to be coming to AT&T. I'm reviewing my options right now.

    I had Verizon a long time ago, service was great but the phones sucked at the time. They've gotten a LOT better with phone selection.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by The Phone Diva View Post
    How much is your plan on Verizon, please? If it's not too much more or in the same ballpark as the iPhone plans, I may try the Pre Plus. Although the GSM Pre(or some webOS device) is supposed to be coming to AT&T. I'm reviewing my options right now.

    I had Verizon a long time ago, service was great but the phones sucked at the time. They've gotten a LOT better with phone selection.
    I haven't received my first bill yet, but I expect it to be around $110 (900 min, 250 texts, unlimited web, ny taxes). It was $113 with AT&T for about the same thing, so I don't think price is much different between these carriers. AT&T have a monopoly on the iPhone, so I don't expect their service to be cheaper than Verizon.
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Thanks for your great post. I now understand the iPhone a bit better as a result! Welcome to WebOS!

    I couldn't agree with you more on the form factor. It would be "dead simple" for Palm to make a candybar with a Pre or iPhone size screen and a Pixi keyboard.
    I hope they go this route, having two devices with different chips is surely causing them woes now. Evident from the fact that the Pre SDK is being release separate from the Pixi SDK. EDIT: Actually, is it being released separately or not?

    I think Palm attempted to make an entry level device to their line and completely failed, and something good, the Pixi, came out of it. My only hope is that they pick up on the fact that people who love the Pre love it for its speed and screen and not the form factor, while people who love the Pixi love it for its form factor and not the speed and screen. The two groups are not mutually exclusive! They are essentially the same market that is somewhat satisfied. The same market includes all blackberry users.

    If there was only a candy bar Pre no one would say "I wish it was a slider." =P
    Last edited by pacemkr; 01/28/2010 at 11:53 PM.

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