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  1.    #1  
    Sunday morning I woke up at around 10:30 and headed to the ATT store to pick up my Pre. This would be the second time that I owned the Pre. The first time I bought the Sprint Pre on launch day. I was already an iPhone user but just wanted to play around with the Pre so I opened an account and "rented" the Pre for a few weeks. I have always been a Palm lover. I remember waiting outside CompUSA in 1996 when the Palm Pilot 1000 came out. The store clerk didn't even know that they had them or what a Palm Pilot was for that matter. Over the years I had every version including a few of the Handspring models. The 270 was the first "Smart Phone" i used (although I did use a Kyrocera Palm phone for about a week). All in all, I would say I am a Palm ******.

    When the Pre was announced I was so excited to see Palm turn the corner. The day it was announced I loaded up on Palm stock. I had a nice run with the stock, enough to buy myself a lot of Palm Pre's! WebOS was so elegant and well thought out. I remember thinking that this was the only phone the comes remotely close the overall seamless elegance of the iPhone. Say what you want about Apple and iPhone but in the end it truly is the best overall implementation of a smartphone and an ecosystem. Like most of you reading this I am a phone junkie. Before the iPhone it was not unreasonable for me to have a new phone every few weeks. When the iPhone came I would still dabble in other phones but never really end up switching. When the AT&T Pre launched I was so excited to try out a new phone that had the potential to actually make it through a whole day without me popping out the SIM and going back to the iPhone. So with that all said here is what I am feeling after two days with the Pre:

    The Good:

    WebOS is so close to being the best mobile OS available. The way it handles multi-tasking and the whole card system for managing apps is something that every phone manufacturer should flat out steal and just accept the endless litigation from Palm. Nothing comes close. The whole OS feels next generation. Synergy makes managing my contacts and calendars a breeze. I love how messaging encompasses all my communication with people. Its such a well thought out system that the little glitches and slow downs with the OS can be overlooked.

    The Bad:

    1. Apps. The apps just are not there. Three of the my top apps that I use on the iPhone don't have WebOS equivalents. No Sonos, No Control4 (an app that runs everything in my house) and No IP Camera viewer software. For me this is a deal breaker.

    2. Call Quality: I saw another thread here that asked how the call quality was on the ATT Pre. No one said anything bad. Ok, I must have a lemon then cause coming from an iPhone which I wouldn't say has very good call quality the Pre is horrendous. I feel like I am talking into a Tin Cup. The speakerphone is so bad I am not sure why they even included the option.

    3. Keyboard: Its better than the Sprint version but still not that good. The top row is too close the the LCD. Again, coming from an iPhone I just don't believe people when they say they can type as fast on this keyboard as the iPhone or BB for that matter. Maybe if it had some auto correction ability but as it is today its just not that great.

    4. Build Quality: Yeah I am feeling the Oreo affect already but its sooo much better than the Sprint version.

    Conclusion

    This is a hard phone to review since its hard to not absolutely love WebOS. On one hand the OS makes you overlook the hardware shortcomings and the lack of Apps, but on the other hand the smartphone game has changed. Its ALL about the apps. Android, which I think is a terrible platform, wins in todays world because of the App catalogue. The iPhone, even with the draconian app approval process wins cause of the sheer volume and richness of the apps. So where does this leave us? Well the Palm Pre is great because of WebOS but fails as a great smartphone because Android and the IPhone exist. The fact that these two players have such a rich App catalogue makes the competition over before it even starts. Its not Palms fault, its just the way the market is today. Perhaps HP will invest the money needed to kickstart development. WebOS should and could dominate the market if the developer community was there. I made it through about 6 hours before I popped the SIM out and went back to the iPhone. That was 5 hours longer than the Nexus One. I am probably going to keep the Pre just to play around with it cause in the end I will always be a Palm ******. I am hoping that HP does the right thing and further develops the OS. A second or third generation Pre will probably fix any hardware issues and software glitches. I just hope that HP doesn't pull an iPaq and ruin the platform.
    Last edited by plessdude; 05/17/2010 at 05:28 PM.
  2. spare's Avatar
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    #2  
    A fair review but it seems that you have built your life around the iphone's apps so it's not right to assume this is true for the majority of others. The best selling apps in the app store are just games. Some people need certain apps but it seems to me most just want a mobile gaming device with their phone.
  3.    #3  
    Of course the apps I mention are specific to my needs. I am not trying to assume that because I use them other people should not like the Pre. The point I am trying to make is that in my opinion its the apps that ultimately will decide which platform succeeds in 2010. WebOS, for all its beauty, is at a severe disadvantage to the other players.
  4. spare's Avatar
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    #4  
    I did not mean your apps specifically. Still you may be right about apps being most important to most users, at least that's what Apple is advertising. But like I said, the most downloaded apps are just games.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by plessdude View Post
    Of course the apps I mention are specific to my needs. I am not trying to assume that because I use them other people should not like the Pre. The point I am trying to make is that in my opinion its the apps that ultimately will decide which platform succeeds in 2010. WebOS, for all its beauty, is at a severe disadvantage to the other players.
    fair enough, but i think your assessment is a bit premature (excuse the pun!). palm has been notoriously slow in opening up the hardware to developers. this is supposed to change by fall when several new APIs, including a mic API, are to be released to developers which will in turn have a very positive effect on the app catalog. so while its not right around the corner necessarily, i think in a few months we will be seeing some much needed additions to Palm's current offerings.
  6. #6  
    I understand what you are saying about the apps, except that the apps you identified as deal breakers? Are those top-10 in the iPhone world, or are they niche apps that few use?

    I would assume that you could just tether your iPhone to the Pre over wifi to run those apps, and use the Pre for everything else if you just need three apps...

    Maybe I missed something.

    However, this was a very useful and well written review. Thanks for doing that.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    I understand what you are saying about the apps, except that the apps you identified as deal breakers? Are those top-10 in the iPhone world, or are they niche apps that few use?

    I would assume that you could just tether your iPhone to the Pre over wifi to run those apps, and use the Pre for everything else if you just need three apps...

    Maybe I missed something.

    However, this was a very useful and well written review. Thanks for doing that.
    It sounds like those 3 apps are the main/primary reason why HE uses the iPhone. Doesn't make any sense to use the Pre as his phone and everything else, and then also carry the iPhone around just to use those 3 apps. Makes more sense to just continue using the iPhone.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by jetsetter883 View Post
    fair enough, but i think your assessment is a bit premature (excuse the pun!). palm has been notoriously slow in opening up the hardware to developers. this is supposed to change by fall when several new APIs, including a mic API, are to be released to developers which will in turn have a very positive effect on the app catalog. so while its not right around the corner necessarily, i think in a few months we will be seeing some much needed additions to Palm's current offerings.
    Palm has been slow to open up API's to developers. That, along with a questionable roll out strategy were some of the blunders that put Palm in the position it is in today. Assuming the deal with HP does go through Palm is going to need to completely overhaul its developer strategy.

    I understand what you are saying about the apps, except that the apps you identified as deal breakers? Are those top-10 in the iPhone world, or are they niche apps that few use?
    These are absolutely niche apps but that is kind of the point. With a developer community as large as the iPhone highly specialized apps can exist. The three I mentioned are apps that control 3rd party products. Sonos develops only for iPhone. Control 4 is exclusive to iPhone but is going to expand to Android and BB but not WebOS. Not really sure why IP Camera software doesn't exist in WebOS.
  9. #9  
    Good fair review.

    My take is the phone quality on mine is great. Works great with my BMW blue tooth car kit and even transferred all of my phone book over which my winmo Pro cut off at about 75%. Has yet to drop a call including while driving in the same spots that my Treo Pro always did.

    I am very happy with the build quality and overall hardware, especially after reading all the reviews for the last year or so.

    I am looking forward to seeing the app store mature and carry some cool apps like the iphone has.

    Now that WebOS is on the 3 major carriers I hope developers will start to make it happen!
    PDA Lineage: Palm Pilot, Palm V, Palm Tungsten, Treo 650 (Cingular), Treo 750 (AT&T), Treo Pro GSM (unlocked), Pre Plus (AT&T), Pre 2 GSM (unlocked), Pre 3 16GB (AT&T Branded) and Touchpad 32 GB

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