10/03/2011, 07:22 PM
So, after a few days with the Pre 2, I have some thoughts and observations.
I'll start with the bad.
1. GPS. I know (I think) the GPS isn't as crippled as the VZW Pre+, but it's still horrendous compared to all my Android devices. I can't get a fix unless I'm outside or right against a window, whereas with the Droids, I could get a fix within a few seconds even deep inside my house.
2. Navigation. Now this is just me being stubborn, but I won't pay VZW $10/month for their navigation when I got so used to Google Nav being free. That being said...I haven't found a good alternative yet. Using the directions in Google Maps is a start, but with the GPS so crippled (and almost unusable while in motion, say in a car), it's not nearly good enough. I tried NavIt, but it's obviously in its infancy - if it's polished, I may go back, but for now it's not worth the hassle. And I won't spend $25 for nDrive. So my solution for now is to tether my Droid to the Pre 2 via freeTether, and use my Droid as my GPS unit while driving. Problem solved!
3. Missing Apps. There are some apps I just became used to using on a daily basis that aren't available on webOS. The Facebook app is very limited compared to its Android counterpart. No Kindle app - that's the biggest issue for me. No Google Nav (covered above). The Engadget app doesn't show comments (those are fun to read), but at least the articles are there. No Verizon app to check minutes/data usage. No Netflix - another biggie. No Google Voice (Voogle 3.0 needs an update to be useful).
4. 4G LTE. My house isn't in a 4G area, but my office is, and I'll admit it's nice to get 12MBps download speeds, even if there's not much to do with it yet! Plus I'm a techie geek, so it's painful knowing my phone isn't the latest and greatest, running on the fastest part of the network.
5. Minor Hardware Issues. Sometimes when I push the power button to turn the screen on, it takes a few seconds or several pushes to react. A minor annoyance. A bigger one: the flashing screen in a call bug. It's almost impossible to end a call from my end as the screen is flashing on and off every second. I've tried cleaning the screen near the light sensor, to no avail.
Okay, with all that being said...onto the good.
1. Gestures. Ahh. So natural, so easy. This is how interacting with a mobile device should be. Makes ALL other mobile players (iOS, Android, BB, etc.) seem antiquated and clunky in comparison.
2. Touchstone. Oh, how I missed the simplicity of just placing my device on the 'Stone to charge! I even missed the "bong-bong!" sound effect! Haha, I'm such a dork!
3. Keyboard. I definitely missed having a real QWERTY, and this one seems even better than the almost-flawless Pre- keyboard.
4. Build Quality. What a difference! Gone is the cheap plastic screen, the stupid USB port cover, the Oreo effect. Again, this is what the original Pre should have been all along.
5. Just Type. Simply awesome. Again, makes all other OSes seem clunky by comparison.
6. Homebrew. I flashed ROMs in Android almost habitually, but none had the ease of use and dedication of the webOS homebrew community. I never once even considered donating to any Android developers, but I've donated many, many times to webOS homebrew developers. Such a difference. Wow.
In summary...I am so glad to be back. It's an amazing OS with a fantastic ecosystem, and Preware makes it even better. I wish the Pre 3 came with 4G LTE, and if it did, I'd pay the $800+ cost in a heartbeat.
HP missed the boat in a big way here. I still weep thinking if the original Pre had come out a year earlier, with the build quality of the Pre 2 and the polish of webOS 2.1.0, it would be webOS with the lion's share of the mobile market.