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  1.    #1  
    Hey friends,

    I'm one of the folks who was selected as a Real Reviewer by Palm. As part of the program, we're asked to comment from time to time where appropriate on how we're using the device, and check in every week or two and let palm know how things are going and where we've posted. By and large the extent of the commentary is up to us, so my plan moving forward was to comment on blogs (engadgetmobile, BGR, Gizmodo) if applicable, tweet occasionally, and put in a more lengthy post from time to time with "big picture" assessments.

    I'm well aware that the majority of users on this forum are Pre owners, and don't have much use for my take on the Pre. However, others may be on the fence and find my $.02 worth at least half that. Also, if there're things you'd like me to focus on in future posts, let me know.

    So, without any further jibber-jabber, below I'll put my 1st lengthy post.
    Handspring Visorphone -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Treo Pro -> Pre -> NS4G -> FrankenPre 2
  2.    #2  
    The best ideas are often the simplest ones. This statement seems to have been lost when looking at the smartphone arms-race. It's so easy to become distracted by how many mega-pixels one can shoehorn into a phone, or how many additional chips can fit onto a board, that we don't pay attention to how well a device integrates with our lives. Like hearing mediocre new music day after day, we begin to unwittingly convince ourselves that because it's new, it's good. Then something comes along that's truly remarkable, and we awaken from the lull to find the music we had been listening to was junk after all, and no amount of re-mixing will convince us otherwise.

    Since this is my first post as a Real Reviewer, I'd like to start with a little bit about myself. I'm a resident physician with a young family who started out years ago thinking there was no way a Palm could compete with good old pen and paper. I still think in some ways it's a tough contest, but after getting a mobile phone and having its built in calendar save my hide a few times, I became a convert. I've now been using aPDA or Smartphone of some sort for almost 10 years.

    As a resident, I'm constantly in communication with my program about various educational requirements and training opportunities, as well as changes relating to patient care. The vast majority of this communication is through Microsoft Exchange. Not a day goes by where I don't get dozens of e-mails to my work address, many requiring immediate attention. It can be maddening to not be up to date with these things, so having tight integration to Exchange is a must.

    I use the Google ecosystem to maintain a personal calendar and keep contact with family, and have been doing so for years. My wife and I share calendars, and I've used Google Documents for numerous collaborative efforts in the past.

    For more broad social communications I've been using Facebook for a little over a year. It's now to the point where I'm surprised if someone I know isn't on FB, so it's a great way to keep in touch.

    I received my Pre a little over a week ago, and after spending a little time familiarizing myself with the device, I was able to link it up to all my online info. All it took really was knowing my sign-ins for Exchange, Gmail, and Facebook. Minutes after entering those, all of my contacts were loaded and up to date on the Pre . I'd barely even touched the keyboard. The process was the definition of simplicity. I've never had such an easy time switching over from one device to another. It felt clear to me that Palm had put a lot of thought into making this switch incredibly easy for people.

    A few minutes later, a background notification came up telling me an an e-mail had arrived from work. Of course I was still playing with the phone when this happened, and the notification didn't interrupt what I was doing. I read the subject and found it didn't need my attention, so a quick swipe to the right and the notification disappeared completely. Nice. Intuitive. Simple.

    Now it hasn't all been roses, mind you. This is supposed to be a *real* review. I had a few hiccups since then, but none of them were terrible. I do wish the calendar would move a bit faster, since so many other things move so quickly. Also, if you use the Pre heavily, and particularly with GPS enabled for long periods, or if you find yourself in an area with a very poor signal, you'll need to top off the battery before the day is through. A few minor tweaks (mainly turning off GPS and just using cell towers for location services, and decreasing the screen brightness) and I'm getting through a workday without recharging. I do still have to be a little conscientious of the bat, but like I said, it's nothing terrible.

    Above all, I wish Universal Search included e-mail. It's SO easy to get *anywhere* on the device or the net at large from universal search, that it makes its absence from the email all the more noticeable. All the more so because otherwise the Pre handles e-mail like a dream.

    In the days since I've started using the Pre, it's surprised me with how elegantly designed it is. From auto searching my work's global address book when I type in a name not in my contacts list, to making mobile uploads to Facebook an under 10 (maybe even under 5) second affair, it cuts out the tedious and unnecessary steps to make the process lightning quick for me. The first time you see it do it's thing, you'll find yourself chuckling in disbelief. And that's what it's always been about for me, really; Making my life a little easier. Such a simple concept. Judging by the Pre, Palm above all seems to get that.
    Handspring Visorphone -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Treo Pro -> Pre -> NS4G -> FrankenPre 2
  3. #3  
    Thank you for posting your "real review" here. As you noted, most of us here do already own a pre -- but many of us (myself included) are still within our 30 day return window, which I guess means that for many the decision to stick with the pre is not yet final.

    It's great to see that someone who perhaps has Palm's ear a little more than we do is posting on this forum. The battery concerns you raised have certainly been mirrored here, although, many of us have noticed the battery life mysteriously improving with use. Please do let us know if you notice this as well.

    If you haven't already, perhaps it would be good to take some time to peruse the forums here and read both the praise and the criticisms that the pre has garnered here
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." ~ Samuel Beckett
  4. #4  
    Thank you for posting. I am a Pre owner, but I like to learn of the experiences of others. There is a good chance that I will learn something new.
    justjill3

    Palm Pre!!!,Treo 755p, Treo 650, more Palm devices in the past, ect., ect., etc.
    Running Datebk6, Takephone, Butler, Technician, Pocket Tunes Deluxe, Cleanup, Uninstall, Splash Suite, Zlauncher, Reset Doctor, SafeGuard, Power Hero, Audible, Audio Gateway...
  5. #5  
    Interesting phrasing in this review. All the negatives are really soft-pedaled. I wonder if all the "real reviewers" will take this approach, or if Palm will allow real criticism of the device.

    RizP, I'm curious, what phone were you using before the Pre?
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    RizP, I'm curious, what phone were you using before the Pre?
    It's in his signature: "Handspring Visorphone -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Treo Pro -> Pre"
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    Interesting phrasing in this review. All the negatives are really soft-pedaled. I wonder if all the "real reviewers" will take this approach, or if Palm will allow real criticism of the device.

    RizP, I'm curious, what phone were you using before the Pre?
    According to his signature, he had a Treo Pro before the Pre.
    Palm m100>Palm m130>Sony Clie>HP Jornada 525>Dell Axim X3i>Nokia 3395>Nokia 6630>Motorola i530>PPC 6700>Mogul (PPC-6800)

    Palm Pre!
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb View Post
    Interesting phrasing in this review. All the negatives are really soft-pedaled. I wonder if all the "real reviewers" will take this approach, or if Palm will allow real criticism of the device.

    RizP, I'm curious, what phone were you using before the Pre?
    Meyerweb,

    Yep, a Treo Pro was my last device. I really liked it quite a bit, but I enjoyed the hardware a great deal more than the software as time went by. I've been around these forums for quite a while, and didn't really have any direct interaction with Palm until this year.

    As for the interesting phrasing, it wasn't meant to be a review based on hours or even a day or two. In coming up with these lengthy posts about the device, I'm taking a "forest for the trees" kind of approach.

    Of course, in the moments where I would hit a snag, I'd be more frustrated. But when things go well, which is most of the time for me, the device is great. I read back through the post again after reading yours, and it looks to me like I did have some real criticism. Real criticism in my book necessitates the tincture of time. Visceral reactions are often excessive in hindsight.

    Perhaps though you've hit snags that I haven't or that have impacted you more severely than me.

    As of now, the Pre is my device. I don't have a backup phone to go to. I don't have 6 different review units that I'm juggling between. So my perspective is one of someone who will be using this thing day-in and day-out for months.

    I'm a resident doc; between that, my suddenly-picky 14-month-old and my (wonderful, amazing, incredibly-tolerant-of-my-love-of-techie) wife, 95% of my focus is exactly the same as before I became a Real Reviewer. I've had to adapt to certain things (turning of GPS, for example), and then I've had time to see if the adaptation impacted my longview impression of the device. Maybe that's what Palm had in mind with this program. I don't know.

    now regarding what Palm will allow

    The folks at Palm have been very chill about what I do or don't do with the device. I signed a loan agreement, that's it. No NDA, no explicit requirements regarding what, where, or how much I post; just that I do (and even that isn't in writing.) No proofreading either. I just use the device and say what I think from time to time. Every once in a while I shoot them an e-mail and tell them where to find what I've already posted. I don't know if other Real Reviewers' experiences have been different, but for me it was essentially, "Here, have fun."

    Which I am.
    Handspring Visorphone -> Treo 600 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Treo Pro -> Pre -> NS4G -> FrankenPre 2
  9. #9  
    Thanks for the review...I DO own a pre (Yeah!) but love to read things like this as your use might be different than mine. And thus make me think about and use my device differently.

    I appreciate it!

    nb

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