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  1.    #1  
    Ok...when I first appeared on this forum, I apparently came across as Palm's number one fan defending everything from their design decisions to the rollout of the device after the January announcement. So it's here, I got mine at 8AM sharp, and I've been playing with it ever since. Enough so that I can do a review now:

    Quick version: I really, really like it, but think the device and WebOS are currently beta. Really, really developed Beta, but Beta nonetheless.

    Yup, I figured I start off with the negatives so I could surprise some folks.

    Right now, I not only THINK WebOS is still beta, but I believe it's impossible to objectively argue otherwise. Let's put aside the stuff like app lag or the occasional crash. This stuff differs from device to device, and it's not much to hang a critique of a device from unless it's really widespread. What I think is the biggest signifier of the "betaness" of the entire OS are the menus. Virtually every app has a bare bones menu - which you could say is by design - but also has "Cut/Copy/Paste", which is just inexplicable. What on Earth would I be cutting, copying or pasting in, say, Location Services? There are no text fields!

    The menus indicate that individual app tweaking hasn't been done aside from running crash-free. And while there is graphical polish to spare, sometimes I'm amazed at the small, simple areas where Palm just didn't think things out. I came upon a big honking one while posting in this mobile version of this forum on my Pre. I went to quote a lengthy post, and as in any browser...only a few sentences of their post appeared onscreen in the "Reply" field. Ok...but how could I scroll down to the bottom of their post just past the "[/quote]" tag? There is no D-pad to move the cursor down. No scroll bar. You can't tap the cursor down. What do you do?

    While I loved the one home button when the Pre was first announced, it's now pointless. I immediately found myself double-swiping up to minimize and close out of programs. The button has no indication/notification function yet, and touching it won't wake up the device (and I really wish it would instead of having to reach for the power button), so why is it there again?

    And while we're on hardware, I'm still getting used to the slider as are many others. I had zero issues with the dummy Pre I held a couple of days before launch. But my retail Pre is hard for me to slide open with one hand, and tricky even with two. I'm getting better at it, but it's the weak spot in the Pre design to me. Thankfully, I have had no issues with dead pixels or overheating.

    Getting back to the software...I'm sure other people have other examples, but the point is there's a lot of functionality that Palm needs to add to move the software beyond polished Beta status. It's an awesome, awesome start for a brand new OS, but still a wee bit short of gold shipping quality. But I'm of the opinion that once it gets there, this will be the best mobile OS in existence, bar none. By far, even. And that leads me to the positive portion of my review...

    ...The overall experience of using the Pre is so amazing that it withstands the aforementioned mistakes that would be showstopping on any other device, and is still the best phone experience I have had to date.

    Despite the lack of options and tweakability, never have I felt a device was "mine" so quickly out of the box. From the ease of moving around menus and quick launch bar icons to the ridiculous speed in which it synced up my Facebook and Gmail contacts to way it easily grabbed all of my playlists from iTunes...the Pre felt like an old friend very, very quickly. And that just blew and still blows my mind.

    I was also amazed how much I had to unlearn how I previously used mobile devices to take advantage of multitasking. In the first few hours, I found myself unnecessarily closing browser windows and the music player to go do other things, when I could have easily jumped to the next program and come back. The day-to-day ease and convenience of WebOS is off the charts for me. And while powerusers here have complained about the lack of robustness in Notes, Calendar, and Contacts...everything I personally need from those apps is there. I loved doing grocery lists in the Tasks app, found addressing emails easier than ever with Contacts, and got all of the reminders I needed with the Calendar...because it grabbed everything from Google Calendar. I know lots of people have come rely on more, and I'm sorry it's not there yet...but it soon will be whether it's third party or first.

    The rest is also top notch. The browser and music player are glorious out-of-the-box. So far beyond anything Palm OS has ever offered before. Sprint Nav rocks, tho I miss the Route Summary function in the Instinct version. Most of the rest is similarly nice.

    Overall, I love the device, but I love it enough to see its shortcomings and to press Palm to address each and every one in future updates. The Palm team has a lot to be proud of, and so does Sprint - despite their incessant attempts to bungle the launch. Given the bum inventory hand they were dealt with by Palm's manufacturing issues, they ultimately managed to get the device in the hands of most people who want one RIGHT THIS SECOND. And when people see the ads and the device on the streets, lots more will want it.

    The best thing I can say about the device is that it makes me excited to see where Palm and WebOS will go from here even more than when I first saw the announcement. Beyond bug fixes and functionality adds, there are SO many possibilities with WebOS going forward. I can't wait....hope you guys are waiting with me.
  2.    #2  
    First and only attempt at a thread bump...WOW, stuff gets knocked to the bottom of the forum fast these days...
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    First and only attempt at a thread bump...WOW, stuff gets knocked to the bottom of the forum fast these days...
    especially the last few days. Probably need a merged Review Thread STICKY.
  4.    #4  
    That'd be dandy for me. But I did want to get my thoughts out there. if people read it, great. If not...onto the next storage argument, I guess.
  5. #5  
    Nice review and way to keep it honest. Are you keeping the Pre or are you returning it?
  6. #6  
    great review
  7.    #7  
    Keeping without a doubt. It's still the the best phone experience I've ever had.
  8. #8  
    Agree with your review completely. And I'll just toss in that the vast majority of folks on this forum were clamoring for Palm to release the Pre sooner rather than later, bugs and all. So, I can't imagine that many here would have been happy to see a Pre launched with more features and fewer bugs--in August.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post
    Keeping without a doubt. It's still the the best phone experience I've ever had.
    I fully agree on the menu thing.


    I think the people who were really sold on Palm OS...fully aware of the shortcomings because they can see what it CAN be once its past 1.02.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by wynand32 View Post
    Agree with your review completely. And I'll just toss in that the vast majority of folks on this forum were clamoring for Palm to release the Pre sooner rather than later, bugs and all. So, I can't imagine that many here would have been happy to see a Pre launched with more features and fewer bugs--in August.
    Exactly right. You can't make everybody happy.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikah912 View Post

    The menus indicate that individual app tweaking hasn't been done aside from running crash-free. And while there is graphical polish to spare, sometimes I'm amazed at the small, simple areas where Palm just didn't think things out. I came upon a big honking one while posting in this mobile version of this forum on my Pre. I went to quote a lengthy post, and as in any browser...only a few sentences of their post appeared onscreen in the "Reply" field. Ok...but how could I scroll down to the bottom of their post just past the "[-/quote]" tag? There is no D-pad to move the cursor down. No scroll bar. You can't tap the cursor down. What do you do?
    I'm surprised many people don't know about this feature.

    I'm probably gonna blow some minds.

    Hold down the orange button and then you can swipe anywhere on the screen to move the cursor around in a text box.
  12. urutora's Avatar
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    #12  
    What is the route summary in the Instinct's Sprint Nav like? There is Route Summary in the Palm's version.. just tap on the Street Name in the gray box on the bottom of the screen.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by DougB541 View Post
    I'm surprised many people don't know about this feature.

    I'm probably gonna blow some minds.

    Hold down the orange button and then you can swipe anywhere on the screen to move the cursor around in a text box.
    oh ur right. Nice. Saw others post this but assumed they misunderstood the problem. But ur right it works
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by craigdts View Post
    oh ur right. Nice. Saw others post this but assumed they misunderstood the problem. But ur right it works
    Just not very intuitive. But part of learning new os
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by DougB541 View Post
    I'm surprised many people don't know about this feature.

    I'm probably gonna blow some minds.

    Hold down the orange button and then you can swipe anywhere on the screen to move the cursor around in a text box.
    Mind blown. Thanks.
  16. #16  
    Also, holding the shift key will let you select text in the same way. But it only works when you have a blinking cursor (editing text).
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by craigdts View Post
    Just not very intuitive. But part of learning new os
    Its actually not bad....you never block the text you are selecting/moving the cursor.


    I showed my friend this after he was like "it sucks cause if i make a mistake while typing and realize after the fact I have to delete most of the text to fix it".
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by DougB541 View Post
    I'm surprised many people don't know about this feature.

    I'm probably gonna blow some minds.

    Hold down the orange button and then you can swipe anywhere on the screen to move the cursor around in a text box.
    Yeah, there's stuff like that and the screenshot feature and a few other things if I remember right that we discovered before the Pre was released that really need to be brought to the top of the front page now that it's out, so more people see it.

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