Problems with The Palm Pre and Review
06/07/2009 there have been updates to the Palm Pre that have corrected some of the problems listed here.
So, I probably did the geekiest thing in my life yesterday… I stood in line at a Sprint store an hour before opening in order to ensure that I got the new Palm Pre. Well, at least I wasn’t the only one there; I as the 8th, so at least I’m not the only loser to do it. I mean, from what I hear at the same time in other, larger cities there were over 50 people standing in line. Kind of sad if you ask me, and you can because I was one of those people.
But, anyway… I figured since I had the newest iPhone killer in my possession, and I have put my BlackBerry Curve to the side for the time being, I would do a short review of the past 24 hours of using the Palm Pre.
I’ll start with this is probably the coolest cell phone that I’ve seen and played with, and that is to include the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm.
Just remember that because the phone was released in limited quantities, if you break the phone you'll have to wait for a replacement, even if you have insurance. The stores just don't have extras to give out right now.
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The features are sweet, and the overall look and appearance is awesome. The Pre is lightweight when compared to the Storm but it’s sturdy and feel durable in your hands.
So, the screen is awesome, although I will admit that I was under the impression that the screen was going to be a little bigger, and end up about the same or similar size to my Curve. I was wrong, but hey it's still much better and much nicer.
As for how the screen looks... It's AWESOME! Clear and crisp. Videos are sweet. Just check out any YouTube video or video sent to you from a friend (who can take videos with his cell phone).
The keyboard is slick. The buttons are flat and feel like little stickers, but they’ve been guaranteed not to peel off. They’re pretty simple to use as it is a full keyboard, but switching from a BlackBerry keyboard to this Palm keyboard still leaves a good bit of adjustment. Not to mention if you have a keyboard on the actual screen, like the Instinct, Storm, etc.- now that’s a true adjustment that just may take you a tad longer to get used to. But, hey the slider option is sweet for those people who do prefer the keyboard to an on-screen keyboard.
The battery life is pretty good. I’ve not fully charged the cell phone and it still has not died. I have been charging for short term, playing a good bit- several hours actually- and letting it done. I’ll be testing the full extent of the battery tomorrow.
I've heard a few reports of loose batteries that don't stick in place properly. Also, my boyfriend had to get a replacement Pre because his battery although at full charge decided not to work with his phone anymore and a replacement battery was the solution; he's getting a total replacement in a week though.
When the phones locked or when you have another application up and you're receiving a call... Only half the screen shows the call, which isn't a problem, what is a problem is when you don't hit the green circle right and you ignore a call that you needed to answer. I've done this too many times, but more times I am able to successfully answer the call. Even when the incoming call takes the entire screen, I've ignored the call using the answer button NOT the ignore button. I think an update needs to occur with that software; I'm not sure if it's a user error or phone error. Could be a little of both.
The Pre doesn’t necessarily overheat like your laptop may, but it does get pretty hot, especially when charging via the AC adapter, and for this means, I’d definitely suggest the Palm Touchstone. When using the Touchstone, you’ll find that the Pre doesn’t get quite as warm when charging. It also gets pretty hot when using the phone and charging simultaneously.
As for whether or not the excess heat will cause a problem for the phone, guess I’ll just have to wait it out and see. I’m thinking there is a slight possibility, but hey could be wrong and I hope that I am.
Whether it's my Pre alone or its a problem others suffer, the on/off button sticks. So, be careful when locking the screen, as you can press a wee, teeny bit too hard and it'll shut it off. Again making a 5 minute reboot painstakingly long. Also, if you have the problem, be careful of sliding the face too hard to putting the phone down too hard, as the button has stuck and shut off the phone.
This is quite irritating when you rely on your phone as a wake up alarm for work each day. I've almost slept through three times now, waking up a few minutes early to find my phone had shut off during the night.
Oh and because I'm a big fan of locking my screen when not in use, I've had to try hard not to press the button, as when I try to lock the screen, I've experienced a high ratio of the phone turning off because the button sticks, and booting up is a long and slow process.
Notifications (this feature has been updated with WebOS 1.4)
In combination with the lock feature, I find that it's quite irritating that there isn't a blinking light notification like the BlackBerry and most other phones have, you just don't know when you have a new message or email. You can click on the screen and see any notifications underneath the lock icon when the screen lights up or you get a new message, but there's no notification otherwise. I, personally, liked the blinking light when my phone was silenced and I got a new message; it was much more convenient. You just have to hope that you don't miss anything important because you won't find out until you receive a message or you manually check it out.
The apps are limited for the time being, but Palm is working on the Applications. Currently, they’re all in beta and free, so get them while you can, but watch out because some do have fees associated at some point in time after the trial is up.
Edit: Homebrew apps are great!
Video (this feature has been added with update WebOS 1.4)
The 3.0 MP camera is pretty nice, but there just isn’t a video option. You can view videos but you can’t take them. In time though, Palm will release that software update, as there are many people who use their cell phone to record video.
The ringtones are limited and boring. I’ve tried uploading MP3 ringtones, and it just wasn’t working. Maybe a little more time and energy, and I can get it to work, but with what I’ve tried, there was no such luck. I even had a friend send me a ringtone in attempts to save it, but again no such luck. I even tried having a ringtone sent via the BlueTooth feature, but again no luck in transferring the ringtone.
Edit: You can upload ring tones by mounting as USB and drag an MP3 into the ringtones folder on your phone.
That was probably one of the shorter reviews of the Palm Pre you’ll see for the first day or so, but I believe I’ve probably touched on the main issues with the Pre that you’ll notice within your first few days of using the new phone.
For the most part, I haven’t come across any other major problems. I will admit that when you first get your address book set up, the Pre has this odd auto format feature, but you can go into the preferences to set the grouping differently if you’re not a fan of the auto setting.
Just remember that the Pre is a BRAND NEW CELL PHONE, which means there will still be bugs in it and there will probably be a good number of Palm updates that you’ll need to make sure that you keep an eye on regularly. You want to make sure that your phone is properly updated, as this can not only help maximize battery life but keep software tip-top shape.
Ah. And one BIG tip all Pre owners need to understand. NEVER EVER EVER remove the battery. If your Palm Pre locks up, which it shouldn't, but if it does, you'll want to press the on/off button on the top right corner of your phone three times, and it will reboot the phone.
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