12/14/2010, 09:21 PM
Based on the compatibility thread, Pre 2 is fully compatible with Bell network.
I took the time tonight to call Bell and find out if is possible to have my Palm Pre changed with a Palm Pre 2 unlocked device. Since the sales department was closed, I got transfered to Technical Support where I had the chance to speak with a supertech guy. It looks like he knew the Pre inside out, he gave me detailed instructions how you can easily switch your current Pre to a new unlocked device.
Basically, the process is very simple: all you have to do is order the unlocked device from HP, then show yourself with the phone into any Bell store to perform the switch. The sales rep will take the new phone, verify the serial number for compatibility and provide you with a SIM card that will function on Bell network. All this is done right away, they have the SIM cards in store, you only have to pay a $35 programming fee. You can also buy online your SIM card, it costs only $5 with no contract. I wonder how the actual programming of the phone will be handled, I would rather have everything done into store and gladly pay the $35 fee to have the phone working right away.
The tech guy also told me that Bell has an online tool where you can check your new phone 15digits IMEI ID, for compatibility with their network:
Will my mobile phone or smartphone work on the Bell network?
Usually, you can get the ID by typing *#06# or simply look on the back of your phone, under the battery. On Pre, you can find it on Device Info > More Info > Hardware > IMEI.
From reading more information on compatibility site, it looks like Palm Pre 2 needs to be 3G/UMTS and 850 MHz and 1900 MHz compatible... and it is. So I guess I will apply for a $200 developer coupon and get the $445 deal from HP.
Update: I activated successfully my HP unlocked Pre 2 on Bell network. In order to do this, you will need to have in hand your Pre 2 (obviously) and a Bell regular SIM card (not micro). Before I started the activation process, I completely turned off my old Pre, just in case.
1. Go to the online activation site, login into your eCare account and click on the option Change my current phone.
2. You will be asked first to enter your new phone serial number.
Look on your Pre 2 box and type in the 15 IMEI digits (not the phone serial).
3. Next, you will be asked to enter the SIM card serial number.
Enter the 20 digits you see on your Bell SIM card.
4. Next, you will asked to validate your current plan, or change for a different one.
I kept my old plan, without playing with any option I saw available as marked free. Basically, you will see about 285 check boxes with various free and non-free options, as well other options to switch to various "better" plans. I did not touched any of them, I know from my own experience that one little change can cancel your current plan and you might wakeup with a large bill next month... not to mention that you cannot revert back to the good plan you previously had.
5. Next, you will be asked to confirm if everything is OK and the order will be submitted for approval.
It took about 5min, until I saw Bell displayed on my phone, instead of the SOS carrier. Once I saw the message, I pulled the battery and waited for the phone to come alive. Bell will also send you an email with the transaction record that includes a comparison between the old and new setup and the modified options, if any. In my case there were no changes.
6. Once the phone is ready to be profile enabled, you will be asked to select the launch country, then a preferred language.
I selected Canada as launch country and chose the English language. As a side note, you can only chose the launch country once and if you use a Bell SIM card, it must be Canada. Selecting US as launch country with a Bell SIM card will lock your phone.
7. Next, you will be asked to create or enter an existing Palm profile.
I entered my old Palm profile information and when I tried to register it, I was prompted with a no service message. It gave me also an option where I can enter the Network Settings. I used the following settings:
Internet APN: pda.bell.ca
Username: (unchanged, left it empty)
Password: (unchanged, left it empty)
MMS Proxy: web.wireless.bell.ca:80
Max Size: 610
Once I entered the APN information and saved the settings, I had to wait about 1 minute until a 3G icon showed next to the signal bars. Then, I was able to save the Palm profile information. The usual update routine started.
Some interesting/negative things I noticed, so far:
- I could not use the current SDK or novacom drivers, it will not work on Pre 2. I needed to download the pre-release versions from the Palm developer site.
- I can only see free apps available into App Catalog. Yet, Palm Profile installed Tweed as paid application.
- All my Google contacts are messed. Tons of duplicates were added and each contact had added their name as nickname, creating clutter on the display list.