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  1. buyrihn's Avatar
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       #1  
    Woot! I've been clamoring to get my hands on a Pre since it's announcement, and thanks to a tip I read here yesterday about finding the non-corporate Sprint stores in my area, I was able to get some alone time with the coveted device. I may start calling it "my precious", so bear with me. Before I get to some of my impressions, let me just say that I've fallen in love- it's a joy to use, to look at, and to hold.

    I was concerned about a few things, which were my main motivating factors for wanting to see the Pre; that, and I'm a techno-geek (don't tell my gf I admitted to it). My concerns were the keyboard, the form factor, and the internet speeds.

    General Form Factor:
    It's a sexy beast, and man, this thing is tiny! I expected it to seem thick and unwieldily next to my iPhone 3G, but the cursed iPhone has met its match. The Pre is sexy, and tiny- exactly what I want a phone to be. It did seem a little slippery though, but that could've been just been my excitement in holding my precious. It's light, yes, but cheap? HELL no. This is not a Fisher-Price toy, and I rather think those reviews saying otherwise have been using a standard smartphone for far too long and were expecting a certain heft. The phone feels like it can disappear into my pocket, and that's a good thing.

    Opening/Closing:
    Some people seem to be concerned about opening and closing it- those concerns are unfounded. It has a satisfying click when opened, and another satisfying click when closed. It can all be done one-handed, without issue. Well, let me revise that- I was able to open and close it without fuss in my left hand (I'm right handed), but my right hand had trouble for some reason. I should point out that to open it one-handed, my thumb had to use the screen itself as leverage, and not the bottom of the phone, as you may think.

    General Feel:
    I'm happy. Really happy. It feels great up to the face, which is odd, because I never really thought about a phone's feel on the face before. To me, it just feels right.

    Keyboard:
    We've all heard from multiple people that the keyboard is small. Make no mistake about it- it's tiny. I'm coming from an iPhone that I've had for two years, and it's a little tough to get back into the habit of pressing down on keys as well. I had to type slower in order to be accurate, but in no means was it slow- I just had to slow down. I do miss the "space double-tap" to insert a space and a period, but I think I can adjust. I would prefer it if Palm added that functionality, however.

    Gestures:
    I've feasted on Palm Pre videos like a rabid vampire, and I expected them to be like second nature; they weren't. They're going to take an hour to get used to, so don't expect people to be able to pick up your phone and start using it instantly- they may get confused. I'm fairly certain we won't see any YouTube videos with a toddler using the Pre like we did with the iPhone, but I'm ok with that. I forgot to keep using the back gesture, and found myself confused as to how to go back quite a number of times. Bottom line: it's not second nature yet, but I expect it will be within an hour or so of playing with it.

    Interface:
    It's lovely, although it's small. If there was one thing that was completely shocked me about the phone, it would have to be the size of it. Again, I'm coming from the iPhone, where everything is kindergarten big. It's like going from regular-lined notebook paper to college-rule. When you go into card view, the cards are small, and when you hold one down to reorganize them, they're tiny. But what's great is that the entire thing is 100% usable. Palm must've done a lot of work in this department, and it shows. When you go into dashboard view, it's a little clumsy to tell which screen you're on, though; the indicators on the side don't really help much. We all know that Palm changed the gesture to get into the Dashboard view- one swipe up to get into card view, and another to get into Dashboard View. Getting into it is lightning quick, but getting out (doing the swipe down) isn't as quick. I'd like to see Palm improve that.

    Number of Apps running:
    When the manager first showed me the phone, he literally closed 10 open cards ranging from websites, to the Sudoku game, to Nascar, to settings, etc. He had a wide range of apps open on the phone. Although my time limited me to just exploring the basics, he said that he hadn't had any slowdown, which, based on the load times for applications I experienced, I would have to take as gospel. The speed of the phone is fast- it made my iPhone feel as if I've been dragging it through mud.

    Camera:
    Woot! I opened the app, took a picture, and was ready to take another one within 3 seconds. That's on par with most phones, and it's warp speed compared to Apple's beast. I've always been against cameras on phones because of the picture quality, but at least I couldn't find any usability concerns. From the videos I've seen, there looked to be a noticeable lag after snapping the pic to save it in memory, but there was no such lag when I took pictures.

    Making a phone call:
    I confirmed that you can slide open the Pre and dial a number instantly. Even if the phone's screen is off, just slide it open and dial. The only caveat is that you must be in card view, or Dashboard view, so you would slide to open, slide up for card view, then dial the number. If you're in the phone app, you can use the soft keys, or the tactile keys to dial numbers. Can I just say how excited I am for my phone to act like a phone again? The iPhone's has a lot of things bass-ackwards, and this was one of them. Sometimes it's just the little things, folks.

    Sprint TV:
    It was "eh". There was a lot of macro-blocking and pixillation, but I'm pretty excited that I can watch it, regardless. The quality I'm sure is dependent on your signal, so that's one area that may change. I tested the speakerphone while watching ABC, and it sounded kind of tinny, but I'm not sure if that was a result of the compression algorithm that Sprint uses for the TV, or whether the speakerphone is sub-par. It's not LOUD, LOUD, by any means- I would put it on par with the iPhone (which isn't saying much).

    Overall:
    I loved it. Sha-la-la-la-la loved it. Over the river and through the woods, kind of loved it. I was Disney-character kind of happy when experiencing the precious. The speakerphone would have to be the weakest feature I tested. I'm pretty happy with everything else- even the keyboard, and I have pretty big fingers. The biggest surprise? My immediate attraction to it. You know what it looks like? It looks like the iPhone done right. Oh yeah- the "trackball" at the bottom actually clicks- for some reason, I thought it may not.

    Oh yeah... I'm not sure if it was downloaded from the App store or not, but there is most definitely a clock app with an alarm clock. I didn't test it, but I looked at it for a minute.

    Pics of me testing the keyboard on a memo, the clock app, and the lock screen- for some reason I can't recall seeing it before. 8am Saturday, baby! Shout out to the Sprint Store in Orange, California. Activation fee was waived, and he's hooking me up with a 10% discount on my phone plan, and accessories.

    One last thing, before I'm asked: Having played with it makes the waiting for it bearable. I think I was suffering from Pre-fever before, and now I'm cured. Thank God- it was hard refreshing this site 50 times a day...





  2. #2  
    Buy great stuff! Glad you finally got to hold your precious. Dude by anychance did u find out if u can answer a call by sliding up?
  3. #3  
    Alarm clock for all you doubters!
  4. notabun's Avatar
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    #4  
    Lucky dog.

    WOOT for the alarm clock app! At least we know it's either on it or you can get it from day 1.
  5. #5  
    how's the screen feel?

    I love the glass on the iphone and with this being plastic, I'm a bit worried.
  6. #6  
    you are awesome....nice Pre-review.
  7. neilept's Avatar
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    #7  
    Awesome, Thanks!
  8. notabun's Avatar
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    #8  
    buyrihn, my only concern with the Pre is actually the screen size. Did you try out the browser? Did the screen seem small to you? What makes me feel better is knowing it has the same resolution as the iphone, so at least I should be able to SEE the same amount of info, just smaller in size.
  9. #9  
    Good writeup. I wish the stores I've visited were so helpful. So far they have either been friendly but tight-lipped or outright jerks who love going on about how important they are and how they can't let anyone see anything until the 6th or they will all be fired
  10. #10  
    Hmmm, seems like someone has been to Interfacelift for wallpaper for that lockscreen, I'd swear I've seen it before from there.
  11. buyrihn's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by preman2be913 View Post
    Buy great stuff! Glad you finally got to hold your precious. Dude by anychance did u find out if u can answer a call by sliding up?
    Couldn't test it myself, but the manager (who has been using it as his personal phone) said that yes, you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by despo88 View Post
    how's the screen feel?

    I love the glass on the iphone and with this being plastic, I'm a bit worried.
    Feels great! If anything, I'd say it's a little more slippery than the iPhone. I plan to put a screen protector on it, so it's a non-issue.
  12. fry8's Avatar
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    #12  
    Thanks for the review. Glad to see some of the concerns are unfounded. Could you explain how the dashboard is clumsy though?
  13. #13  
    Thanks for the review! Love it and can't wait til saturday. Did you actually see the app store at all?
  14. #14  
    Buy that is great news! Oh yeah one more question... are the withdrawal symptoms worse than the waiting is? lol
  15. #15  
    Sweeeet! Thanks for taking the time, you've done a far better 'review' than the so-called Boy 'Genius'.
    UK boy born and bred, usually proud of this, but rueing the fact that I won't be able to get my greasy mitts on one of these for months longer...
  16. #16  
    Excellent.
  17. #17  
    I wish there was places like that around here that would let me play with one. Congrats!
  18. #18  
    Saturday cant come soon enough! Great Review.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by buyrihn View Post
    Couldn't test it myself, but the manager (who has been using it as his personal phone) said that yes, you can.


    Feels great! If anything, I'd say it's a little more slippery than the iPhone. I plan to put a screen protector on it, so it's a non-issue.
    Yeah, I think plastic is fine after seeing enough friends with cracked iphone screens but I will definitely get a protector to avoid a dull screen after months of minor wear and tear.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by despo88 View Post
    how's the screen feel?

    I love the glass on the iphone and with this being plastic, I'm a bit worried.
    Here's a different way to think of it - even with the invisible shield installed on an iPhone, a drop on a hard surface would still crack the glass. The protection would only be for scratches. On the Pre, however, it being plastic:

    1. installing a screen protector would protect it from scratches
    2. is more flexible than glass thus will be more resistant to breaking
    3. flexibility allows the curvy design and feels more comfortable in your hand (yes they couldve curved the glass of the iPhone but that would make it even more expensive because of manuf. process to do it)

    4. makes the phone lighter and won't feel like a brick in your pocket
    5. God forbid you ever take a fall or some freak accident- you would probably rather have crushed plastic next to your skin than shattered glass from a phone
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