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Review: Palm Pre

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch Touchstone  

Jun 3, 2009, 8:37 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Palm hopes the Pre can bring it back from the brink of extinction. Based on what Phone Scoop sees, Palm's chances of salvation are pretty good. The Pre is a solid phone, even if it makes a few mistakes.

After a long wait since the initial announcement at CES in January, the Palm Pre is finally here. Is it your type? Well, if you're the kind of person who wants the latest greatest thing? Yes. If you're the type who is a Palm fanatic. Yes. If you're on the fence about smartphones in general, the Pre may be the device that makes you a convert. That doesn't mean it's for everyone, however, and there are some notably absent features.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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Jul 1, 2009, 6:43 PM

Signal Issue

"On more than one occasion while testing, the "EV" symbol that sits next to the signal strength indicator changed to "R". The user manual tells me this means the Pre was roaming. In all the years I've tested Sprint phones, I have never seen one roam before. The Pre couldn't perform ANY network-dependent activities when the "R" symbol was present. This is goofy behavior that could be attributed to my review unit in particular and it is likely something that could be fixed with a firmware update. I have pinged Palm and Sprint about the issue, but have yet to hear a response.

Rebooting the phone did take care of the problem."

Did you ever receive any response from Palm or Sprint regarding this signal issue? It seems nearly, if not, all...

Jun 13, 2009, 10:18 AM

Palm Pre Lacks

Examined the Palm Pre in a Best Buy store. I was expecting great things if Palm is expecting this phone to save them! Man, I was very disappointed. There was nothing about this phone that I think will make people want to buy it. My prediction is that Palm is going to end up sucking eggs with this one!!
I guess you havent read the reviews of this phone ths phone has so much potential than just getting a compass for update. It took the iphone about 5 yrs to get where ita @ lets see what happens now. I believe the 3g s are old 3g phones with updates. W...

Jun 17, 2009, 1:49 PM

File Storage/ Install

How does it work for the Pre...

I had a Treo that required users to transfer data/programs via Palm's Quick Install tool.

I now have a PPC Mogul that basically acts as an external hard drive which allows me to drag & drop files at will.

Thanks for the info!

Jun 8, 2009, 11:59 AM

not the price tear i wanted...

android g1 189.99 no rebate
iphone 3g 199.99 no rebate
palm pre 299.99 with 100 dallar rebate (lame)
its all the same after the rebate but i just hate having to do them...
Get it from Best buy you wont have to mail in the rebate its instant. $199.99 strait up.
I believe the word you want to use is tier. No need to fret my friend. Technology always costs the most when is introduced initially. The only negative about the pre is the camera not the price. In the future, both will be resolved.

Jun 4, 2009, 7:39 AM

50/50 now

Before reading this review I was really hyped to get the Pre but now I'm debating if I should just keep my Blackberry and wait until Sprint come out with another Blackberry or something better than the Pre. Is it me or does it seem he's found more Con's than Pro's 😕 I can live without a video recorder even though I've been hearing that there's an update coming soon that will enable video recording. I don't know maybe its me but what do ya'll think.
For me & my tastes...I'm definitely still going with the Pre! I thought Eric did a thorough job of reviewing this device, and I don't mind that he found some "cons". I already knew the device was small, and that I will likely have an issue with the QW...
I have the same predicament. I have a BB curve and I can do all my email from work (which can't be done on an iPhone...I had one..they don't do push) but can't do music, screen quality kind of sucks and they are sluggish. I was torn either between the...
i'm using both the BBerry and the Pre at the same time right now. As soon as they let me the Pre will go on my personal line in a HEARTBEAT.

i actually had a chance to talk to a guy who's company was awarded an Mojo SDK (Palms development environme...

Jun 8, 2009, 6:04 PM

A day late and a dollar short.

I have owned the 1st and 2nd generation iPhones as well as my current phone, a G1 and honestly, the pre doesn't stack up to ANY of them.

It kind of feels like every few months or so Sprint tries to unviel a new "iPhone killer" and it really is starting to get irritating. "the cell phone provider who called wolf"

The pre is a good phone. But for what it is trying to do, it just seems like too little, too late.
man i don't no what you talking about, you sound like you on that good stuff, have you actualy used the pre? i have and i no for a fact it smokes the g1, my buddies has one and hes always complaining about how slow it is. the pre has an advantage over...

Jun 8, 2009, 12:15 PM

Bluetooth connectivity with my car...???

I just bought a new 2009 Acura that comes with bluetooth built in. I'd be upgrading to this phone from an 8130 (BB Pearl), which wasn't on the list of phones that my car can connect with but it does actually connect with it. I was curious if anyone knows if this should/will connect with my car as I'm not certain how I can tell on paper if they'll be compatible.

Also, does anyone know where I can find a list of applications that are currently available for download? I really want/need Slacker and Wall Street Journal Mobile on it... Thanks.
Between HFP 1.5 and PBA profiles, it should have excellent compatibility with nearly all cars.

Jun 7, 2009, 1:52 PM

Sprint Pre Holsters

I bought my Pre from a Sprint store where one of my friends work at. He called me to advise that the holsters have been recalled, they have removed them from the shelf. If you have one please you should return it or face the possibility of it dropping out of the holster. I like the protective pouch better my self.

Well I bought my holster from best buy and its fine. Don't know what Sprint issue was.

Jun 7, 2009, 10:38 AM


So far the Pre seems pretty awesome! I have had one problem though. After the phone was charging for a few hours, I noticed that I hadn't been receiving any calls, so I checked the phone and all the display said was Palm -Please Do Not Remove Battery-! All my calls were going to voice mail. My phone stayed like this for about 30 min. I could not push anything on the phone. It was frozen on the palm screen. I know it was some sort of update, but I wonder if this will happen anytime you charge the phone? Has this happened to anyone else?
you were probably downloading the new webos. you can't do anything during the update. it tells you not to remove battery because if you do that during update it will brick your phone. 😁

Jun 6, 2009, 7:52 PM

Please keep in mind.....

that for a very long time Palm was bleeding money like a stuck pig. I agree that there are some final touches that are missing, namely a video recorder and voice-activated dialing, but I don't think that Palm could wait much longer than they did to release this phone.

The bright side is that I don't think it's going to take much longer for either a software upgrade or a 3rd party app to add one or both of those features that are currently lacking. Even without those features its an extremely solid device with excellent web browsing and syncing features. It was mentioned in the review that there doesn't seem to be much benefit to the card system. On that note I flat-out disagree. I can jam out to my stations on Pandora while responding...
You hit it right on the head with that comment. With the addition of a few sweet webos apps between now and the holiday shopping season, this will definitely be a major boost not only for Palm but Sprint as well.

Jun 6, 2009, 2:32 PM

email synch times

Can anyone tell me where you go to assign how often the pre checks for email? Thanks!
Once you put in an email account. you have to go to the account settings for that email. then you can set up how often to check, whether to ring, vibrate and if you want email display notifications

Jun 4, 2009, 2:36 PM

Dude.. wait... what?!

" It's pretty, no doubt, but there's no real benefit to using the card system. I let a few people who had not even heard of the Pre give it a try, and they quickly became confused and frustrated. "

So.. what youre saying is, you see no benefit to the entire basis of the OS?! Letting you switch between many open applications at a time and not have to re-load them (a la the jesusphone.. er.. iphone).
And, give anyone any phone that theyre not familiar with and they will become confused and frustrated, I hate using the iPhone because Im not familiar with it.
Why do I need to hit that little non descript button at the bottom?? Oh, that takes me back to the main menu.. but what about what I was just doing?! What?.. I have to find that icon ...
I don't speak for Eric, but I do agree with him.

The webOS card system isn't difficult to master, but it does require an explanation and a small learning curve. Same for the gestures. If you didn't know about them, you'd probably never guess. None ...
What I was trying to say is that if you have just a couple of cards open, it is easy to multitask and jump from card to card.

If you have more than, say, 8 or 10 cards open, it is no faster to use the cards versus simply jumping into the main menu...

Jun 6, 2009, 8:16 AM

Can the led be used as a flashlight?

Can you just turn on the light?
My w810 has this and I don't find many phones that do.

Jun 6, 2009, 12:59 AM

Plastic feeling


Are you sure you peeled all protective plastic film from the Pre you reviewed?

The photos on the "Body" page of your review show rough edges and a few marks that look like the little bubbles underneath the plastic wrap that many new products come with. The fourth photo clearly shows protective plastic wrap on the back cover of the phone.
https://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=27 ... »

Rough edges are shown along the seam of the right side of the phone, especially around the MicroSD cover, pictured in the eleventh photo. Are these actually the rough edges of the molded plastic upper body?
https://www.phonescoop.com/articles/article.php?a=27 ... »

Could that be a tiny bubbl...
Bak said:

Sorry, Eric (not Steve).

P.S. How do I edit my own postings?

Jun 4, 2009, 5:25 PM

Voice dialing

I may have missed it but what about voice dialing? I use this all the time and the lack of it is the reason I do not have an iPhone.
Nope, no voice dialing. ☚ī¸

Jun 4, 2009, 5:19 PM


I like it and I'm extremely excited about this phone. I have been a fan of PALM. I love sprint because it what I'm used to having and I work here. I had AT&T and loved it. I had T-Mobile and that was my worst cell experience and I didn't really like it at all, and I never liked there phones and there "Pink" colors.

This Palm seems to be refreshing. there is never going to be one cell phone thats going to take over and kill all other phones because has humans we are complex and all unique.

Some like the Iphone. I for one love the Iphone I just hate the fact that it didn't have a keyboard. The Samsung Instinct doesn't have a Keyboard. The Blackberry Storm doesn't have a keyboard. The HTC touch Pro has a keyboard and touch screen 🙂 and ...

Jun 3, 2009, 9:11 PM

Pre vs iPhone vs Android

So... Eric, what do you think? If you had to pick a new phone today would it be the Pre, iPhone or Magic?
This is a really hard question to answer. webOS is more evolved and complete than Android is, but there will be almost no apps available at launch, and neither Sprint nor Palm has said when more will be available.

I like Android, and feel it has p...
I'm going to give pre a shot... I'm getting it on saturday!
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