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  1.    #1  
    OK so I got to play with the Pre at a local non-corporate Sprint store for about 90 minutes today. I'm a smartphone junkie and actively use three different handsets (iPhone, WinMo, and BB) for my line of work.

    Here's the way I see it coming from three different operating system perspectives:

    Windows Mobile:

    CONS: Compared to the Pre or iPhone, it's dead, put a fork in it. It's unstable, prone to memory leaks (exiting apps will not completely free up memory used), restarts, freezes up, etc. The UI looks like MS-DOS at this point, the on screen keyboards stink and the apps aren't in the same league as the Pre or iPhone. Notification problems while sleeping, etc. Very few location aware apps. Cameras typically suck and are very slow, too many steps to email or upload photos taken. No decent visual voice mail options. Built in mobile IE browser totally sucks, forget it (thanks sheltem!). The touch screens are resistive so their sensitivity to touch is poor and inaccurate. No built in screen lock, key presses in pocket tend to wake device. Not easy to sync music collection with iTunes.

    PROS: Lots of apps, literally thousands. So you'll probably find what you need. Unlocked versions are cheaper than the Pre. There are UTMS versions that work all over the world. The OS can be skinned with certain third party apps to simulate the Pre and iPhone features like kinetic scrolling etc., however they can only skin some apps in the OS while others remain ugly and inelegant. Some decent games. Decent Facebook and Twitter apps. MS Exchange integration for email, calendar, and contacts is still the best out there. Slide out keyboard versions are available. Multiple browser options available (Opera 9, Opera Mini, Skyfire) all better than built in browser. Battery life is generally decent with these devices, you can go a full day with heavy use, no problem. Multitasks (but slows down quickly). If you must go WinMo, your best bet is something like the Touch Diamond 2 or Touch Pro 2 from HTC. Best hardware and third party software skinning combination I've seen. Still a band aid over a bad cut that won't heal though! Maybe WinMo 7 will surprise us all but I doubt it, these guys are way out of the game.


    CONS: No multitasking except for music, background email and calendar sync. Once you press the home key, you exit the app and it stops running. It's a big device, tall and wide. Doesn't fit in your pocket too easily. Battery life sucks. On 3G expect to be out of juice by 3:00pm if you start your day at 8:00am. Push email limited to Exchange, Apple's MobileMe, or Yahoo, although Yahoo push mail completely unreliable. Scheduled fetch retrieval no sooner than every 15 minutes required for all other email. On screen keyboard only. Glass touch screen cracks easily. Inconsistent 3G coverage due to AT&T. Calls seems to drop more frequently. On screen keyboard only, no physical keyboard like blackberry- hard to thumb type. Currently NO turn by turn navigation software available (may change in next OS version). Speaker phone sucks. No email or sms notifications from actual senders or subjects on lock screen. Expensive unlimited plans. SlingPlayer app crippled to support WiFi only - NO 3G support. Although visually nice, email client weak and requires too many taps back and forth between multiple accounts. Currently no MMS or unmodified video recording features. Have to unlock device and launch email, missed call, sms apps to know who left messages. No copy and paste.

    PROS: Fast, modern, responsive consistent user interface, smooth kinetic scrolling. Web browsing has desktop-like feel. Thousands of apps available (although most of them useless). Great 3D gaming platform. Very easy to use- zero learning curve. Large easy to read, crisp, bright display. Sensitive, accurate on screen keyboard. Thin. Great GPS aware apps. Best Facebook and Twitter clients. Trouble free iTunes integration, both wired and wireless. All music syncs, weather it's protected or not. Thousands of accessories. Integrates with cars, speaker docks, etc. Trouble free mature operating system, rarely crashes or freezes. No memory leaks. Visual voice mail is totally awesome (killer app). Can leave it on for weeks with no problem. It's GSM so you can use it all over the world.


    CONS: Only one touch screen version available (Storm) and it's completely unstable IMO. Completely keyboard driven. Comparable to WinMo Smartphone/Standard edition in terms of functionality. Only one model available with 3G and WiFi, Bold 9000. Browser sucks, poor rendering engine, no other decent third party options available today. No music syncing with iTunes. Photo, video playing tend to slow down device. Small screens. Not many decent third party apps available. Few GPS aware apps. Games suck. No decent visual voice mail options. Prone to service book corruption which requires long re-downloads from Blackberry. Supported by two different companies (Blackberry and your cell carrier). If you have a problem, you may literally need to speak with two different companies. Uninformative lock screen. Interface starting to look dated.

    PROS: Fast, reliable, robust push email and calendar sync. Great Exchange support and integration. Easy to use. Fantastic battery life, best in the business. Stable, mature, multitasking OS. Decent Facebook and Twitter clients. Nice Gmail client from Google. Best physical keyboards out there. Small, compact, form factor. Thousands of accessories. Better alternative to WinMo Smartphone/Standard IMO. Very secure. If keyboard, battery life, and Exchange support is critical, it's the only way to go! Can leave it on for weeks. External LED so you know when you miss an email, call, voice mail, etc. Available in GSM/UTMS world versions.

    Palm Pre:

    CONS: Slide out keyboard means an extra step when having to enter text. There is no on screen keyboard option. Keyboard slightly better spacing than Centro or Treo Pro, still hard to type with large hands or fingers. Smaller screen than iPhone. Thicker than iPhone. Could not locate dedicated Facebook app on the device I used, it had a browser bookmark only (which was lame). No landscape keyboard. Few third party applications available at launch. Limited to Sprint network, can't use it outside the US. Battery life is fair but may get some users through a full day with moderate use. NO visual voice mail.

    PROS: Basically an iPhone "Plus" user experience. OS very similar in look and feel to iPhone. Fast, responsive, stable. Great browser, similar to iPhone. Physical keyboard, although not as good but makes coming from a Blackberry easier. Awesome email- push Gmail, push AOL (both IMAP idle compatible). AOL email arrived within seconds and synced correctly when messages delete off device, etc. Email consolidates all inbox's from multiple email accounts into one single mail box, a great time saver. Email client more intuitive than iPhone. Great Exchange mail and calendar wireless sync support. Built in wireless Google Calendar sync. Universal search like spotlight feature on Mac. Shorter, narrower than iPhone- much more pocketable, feels great in the hand (better than iPhone). Multitasking- apps minimize and stay running in background. GPS turn by turn app available at launch. Syncs with iTunes natively. Decent speaker phone. More informative lock screen than most devices, including iPhone (indicates most recent email/sms sender and subject). App Center will grow quickly. Easy to develop apps. Classic emulator runs thousands of existing PalmOS apps real fast, if that's important to you. Touchstone charger totally cool.

    Summary and My Conclusion:

    Coming from a WinMo, iPhone, and Blackberry device, the Palm Pre is a winner now and the whole platform will eventually get better with age. Not crazy about losing my visual voicemail or switching to Sprint, but no choice if I want this device. A little concerned about the size of the keys and extra step of slide out when text entry is required (they could have solved that by adding an on screen keyboard option). I expect the Pre (and WebOS) will become my device of choice this Saturday and I can leave the other guys home!

    Please keep in mind these are my personal opinions only. Hope they help some users considering a switch to the Pre.
    Last edited by wannatreo; 06/03/2009 at 09:25 PM.
  2. jayzun's Avatar
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    This is an amazingly well written analysis. Great job. I agree on almost every point!
  3. #3  
    i like the fact that you said aol email is push hopefully yahoo pushes also. I cant wait to leave windows mobile.
  4. #4  
    I would have to disagree with you on some angles, but some fair points there. Glad you mentioned it but have you seen the Touch Pro 2 at all? I was all gaga for the Pre and ever since the TP2 is headed to Sprint, not as gaga anymore for Pre. Win Mobile suits me fine, could be better, but works great for me. It's not so much the O.S but the devices that need to get better.

    I personally don't care about AfroBerrys. They're just plain staid and effusively boring. I'd rather get something like a Nokia E series (E 71, i'm spying you ) and run Blackberry Connect software on it.

    How do you know the Pre won't have any memory leaks? This is the first WebOS device on the market vs the eons of WinMobile handsets out there. Until the Pre has been put through its paces i think we should reserve final judgment.

    Matter of fact i played with a Pre today and was disappointed with the keyboard. The keys could have been raised just a bit more otherwise they're a bit flat and not so comfortable to type with. Time will tell though. Device is small and compact enough.
    .....Life is But Such Sweet Sorrow.....
  5. #5  
    I have used both Symbian and Winmo phones and there is an issue that is missed by many.

    When the operators decide on either a Winmo or Symbian handset they make some serious changes to the o/s- like disabling VOIP adding their own ringtone software etc. My N95 had the wifi and VOIP disabled.

    This bastardized version (really there is no other word for it) is buggy runs slow and is awful to use as its got the operators logo everywhere just to remind you whose network you are using.

    You need to compare the manufacturers o/s v the bastardized one to see the difference. The first thing I have done for all my winmo and symbian devices I have had is remove the operator bastardized o/s.

    It's a hack but needs to be done. Apple had enough power to say no to AT&T who had loved nothing more than to add their own crapware.

    This point is missed by all tech journalists. It's no different than when you buy a Dell, HP that comes loaded with all the bloatware ontop of windows.

    Try comparing a clean windows install v the Dell/HP etc.. bastardized versions.
  6. #6  
    For the record, I think there should be a Facebook app in the app catalog at launch.
  7. haydur's Avatar
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    I don't agree at all with most of your cons for WinMo and Blackberry. Most are highly subjective.
  8. #8  
    @Merovingian: I respectfully disagree. Software has a LOT more flexibility than hardware and IMO, it should be the top priority over hardware. I agree that the TP2 looks amazing from a hardware perspective, but I've dealt with WinMo for two long years and I want out!
  9. xGORDOx's Avatar
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    How can the same item, the keyboard, be both a pro and a con?
    That defeats the purpose of a pro/con list.
    It's a con that there is no "on screen" keyboard and a pro that there is an actual keyboard?
    Good for you that you took the time to do a write up, but all I got from it was confused.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by xGORDOx View Post
    How can the same item, the keyboard, be both a pro and a con?
    That defeats the purpose of a pro/con list.
    It's a con that there is no "on screen" keyboard and a pro that there is an actual keyboard?
    Good for you that you took the time to do a write up, but all I got from it was confused.
    It's simple: having a physical keyboard at all is a pro. Having the keyboard be a bit small and cramped is a con. Not having an on-screen keyboard (in particular, for landscape view) is a con as well--on-screen and physical keyboards are not mutually exclusive.

    Not contradictory at all, I think.
    Treo 600 > Treo 650 > HTC Mogul (*****!) > HTC Touch Pro (***** squared!) > PRE! > Epic
  11. xGORDOx's Avatar
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    Sure, then don't do a pro/con list, just give a review.
  12. jewel's Avatar
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    Thanks for giving us your take on the Pre in relation to all the smartphones that you've used. I appreciate it.
  13. #13  
    I think this was a fair review. The best thing about it so far was that all the cons are mostly software based issues rather than hardware issues. Its already been stated by Palm there is nothing stopping people from developing on screen keyboard or landscape keyboards but its impossible to stick a physical keyboard onto an iphone for those that prefer physical over software.
  14. sheltem's Avatar
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    Very well written. I'm a longtime Windows Mobile user (since 2004) and enough is enough! You should also talk about how anemic Internet Explorer is. Or despite the heroic efforts of Opera, it is still held back by the complete failure of Windows Mobile to render anything smoothly!

    I just looked at the version number of Media Player and it is still at Media Player 10 on Windows Mobile 6.5, ahaha (running a 3rd party rom on my Touch Pro)! We should give a toast to Microsoft for half a decade of Media Player 10!

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