05/03/2011, 11:22 PM
I like my Sprint Pre2. A lot. Compared to the Pre- that I've upgraded from, it's really, really fast and the multitasking, which hinted at the power of webOS before, really shines now (the faster CPU and doubled RAM make a huge difference). The flat screen is nice - it is bright and somehow more pleasing because it is flat. The keyboard has a better feel compared to the original. The slider feels solid and the flat sides make it much easier to slide open. Since it arrived a couple days ago, I've been deeply involved in set up work so I haven't had time to contemplate how I'll use the extra 8GB of storage (now 16GB).
As far as software goes, in webOS 2.0, there are all sorts of little refinements. The launcher pages are customizable and flip quickly (scrolling in the old launcher was slow and stalled frequently). The stacks feature is useful when combined with email and the SMS one pager per convo patch. Contacts has favorites now (finally!). When resting on the Touchstone, the phone now uses Exhibition mode which allows you to configure what it does (Time, pictures or calendar, or custom apps). Voice Dial worked really well the one time I tried it (this is cool!) . The webOS Profile ensured I had all my PIM info (calendar, contacts, etc) and made reinstalling all my old apps a snap (mostly automatic). The WebOS Internals Save/Restore app did the rest. The cloud has its advantages!
WebOS Internals deserves special recognition on my upgrade. First, the documentation for the comm board switch came from them. Second, they came up with the meta webOS doctor scripts that make the Franken Pre2 possible (thanks so much, Sprint, for making your users go through this). WebOS Internals FreeTether is icing on the cake.
A couple items could have been easier. I needed to pair my phone again with my car stereo and bluetooth car speaker (these settings didn't back up or go to the cloud). Similarly, I had to redo my wi-fi network connections. Some patches aren't available on v2.1 yet. Sprint Nav and Sprint apps are obviously not included (Thanks, Sprint!!)
Overall, it's easily been the smoothest upgrade I've ever had and makes me look forward to my next one (it should just become easier as HP moves even more synch capability to the cloud and HP moves to a profile that remains constant across devices). I would have absolutely no misgivings about the Pre2 except for 3 things – I would like a bigger screen with higher resolution (3.5" or more with 800x480 or higher resolution), I still want expandable storage (where is microSDHC and why does HP hate it?) and more apps would be good (after using my rooted Nook, it's really obvious that Android just has more – webOS has the main categories and basics covered so it isn't awful for webOS users, but webOS simply doesn't have near as many). I really like the Pre2 with webOS 2.1. It is really nice and finally gives the Palm webOS platform a chance to really excel and show just how refined, powerful, and capable that it is.
If you're on a Pre- on Sprint, have enough skill to install homebrew apps, and have basic mechanical skills to do the comm board switch, I totally recommend it - it's a really worthwhile upgrade. As a bonus, upgrading to a FrankenPre2 decouples you from all the speculation/consternation on whether Sprint will get a new webOS device and when. If you're on Verizon on a Pre Plus, that's a tough call, but I would lean toward holding off until the Pre3 carriers are announced (given Verizon will probably be in the mix there).
P.S. After I began to favor my Nook over the Pre- due to the Nook's larger 7" screen, I've since found myself favoring my Pre2 more in light/quick reading situations (a quick check of news sites/apps, webOS sites, my to-do list, etc) just because the Pre2 is so fast and webOS is such a joy to use as compared to Android. I'm definitely looking forward to a webOS tablet and am glad that HP is working on a 7" tablet (Opal) because I like the size and feel it definitely has a place.