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Review: Palm Pre

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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.


Is It Your Type? 

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.




Not much has changed with respect to the body since we first encountered the Pre nearly half a year ago. Fashioned after a river stone, the Pre is a delight to hold when closed. All the surfaces are rounded, smooth and comfortable. It is light, smaller than you expect, and slips easily into a pocket. Fit and finish feel a little off to me, though. The seams aren't as tight as they could be, and the phone does have a somewhat "plasticky" feel to it. These are easy enough to overlook, though, and in general the Pre is comfortable to have in your hand.

Because the Pre is covered in shiny black plastic, it's an absolute magnet for fingerprints. Not just on the screen, mind you, but all over the entire phone, including the back. I can't think of a phone in recent memory that collected more finger oils and grime. It's easy to clean off by rubbing it on your jeans, but still, wow does it get dirty fast.

When closed, the front has but a single button. This button is a shortcut to the home screen, it has good travel and feedback. When I first received the Pre review unit, the slider mechanism was very stiff and the Pre was difficult to open. Using it for several days, the mechanism loosened up some, and has become easier to use. It feels OK, not great. When open, the Pre takes on a slightly banana-esque shape. It's ever-so-slightly top heavy, but this didn't impact usability.

OK, the keyboard. First, there is a very sharp edge outlining the bottom of the phone, and it also surrounds the keyboard when the Pre is open. I found this edge very annoying and distracting. Granted, you're not touching it all that often, but when you do, you sure will know it. As for the keys, they are well spaced and covered in a rubbery coating, giving them plenty of grip. Everyone adapts to QWERTY keyboards differently. I found this keyboard easier than many others to adapt to. The keys don't have a lot of travel, but there is still a distinct click to let you know you've pressed each key. It is a four-row keyboard, with a dedicated "@" key (a must for phones these days), and quick access to many Internet-friendly characters. One thing worth mentioning is that the keyboard is small. Very small. It's similar in size to the keyboard of the Centro. The keyboard definitely isn't for everyone, but I didn't have any real problems with it.

On the left side of the Pre is the volume toggle. This button feels very cheap, and the travel and feedback is minimal and unsatisfying. On the right side of the phone you'll find the hatch covering the microUSB port. This port is used for charging and data transfer. The hatch pulls off easily. In the top right corner is the power button / display lock key. A quick press instantly locks/unlocks the phone. A long press turns it on or off. This button, too, has minimal travel and feedback. Next to it is a switch for turning all sounds off. It lets you easily reach into your pocket and silence the phone without retrieving it. This is a standard feature on Palm devices. Also on top is the full 3.5mm headset jack, which lets you use most regular stereo headphones.

The battery cover is a real pain to take off. The pin to release it is very small, and after pressing it to release the clasps, you have to pry the back cover off with your fingernails, sliding them around the edge of the phone. Thankfully, this is not something you're probably going to be doing all that often. There's no microSD card port under there to interact with.

In sum, the Pre feels best when closed. It does come off as somewhat cheap feeling. For a device that is supposed to lead Palm to salvation, you'd expect them to spend a little bit more money to make the hardware amazing. Instead, Palm has chosen to merely do a "good" job.

The Three S's 


The Pre's display is freaking fantastic — perhaps the device's best feature. Graphics, icons, text and images are razor sharp and crisp. Colors are bright, rich and luscious. Even with the sun reflecting directly on the display, I was able to read it with no problems. It is simply a phenomenal display. It can be read in all environments, even when covered heavily with finger grime. Really, I could heap compliments on the display all day. I think you get the point.


Most places I took the Pre, it behaved similar to other Sprint phones. That means in my house it registered 2 bars of signal strength. I had no problems making calls, surfing the web, sending SMS/MMS messages and so on at home.

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.


Phone calls with the Pre sounded surprisingly good. They were clear, and callers could be heard easily, even with the earpiece volume set at about half way. I have no complaints about the sound quality of the phone whatsoever.

The ringers were not loud enough to suit my tastes. Set all the way up, it would be quite easy to miss phone calls in loud or noisy environments. This, however, can be very effectively combated with the Pre's vibrate alert, which is desk-shakingly strong. Seriously, the vibrate alert is so strong I thought I'd been tasered at one point.


Palm's webOS is an absolutely battery hog. Because it is constantly pinging the network for information and data (aka, email, etc.) the battery often drains in less than two days. This was consistent across the whole time we spent with the device. Heavy use drains the battery even faster. I was easily able to kill the battery in one day with heavy web use, camera use, MMS use and some phone calls. Keep in mind, this is with no Bluetooth and no Wi-Fi active.

I asked Palm if there is a way to better manage the way the Pre connects with the network (especially regarding push notifications). It turns out, you have to manage your email retrieval and IM clients carefully. Email defaults to checking once every 15 minutes. Dial it down to every 30 or 60 minutes for better battery life. Also, be sure to log out of IM, which also defaults to ON.

One good thing is that the Pre will charge when plugged into most any PC via the USB port. But, laptops make for inconvenient power chargers. I would recommend bringing the Pre's charger with you just about everywhere. (It's a good thing the charger is small). You can counter the poor battery life a little bit by lowering the display's brightness level and keeping the Bluetooth radio off.


The Pre uses a capacitive touch screen. In the time I've used the device, I've found it to be a little finicky. Perhaps as much as 20-25% of the time it doesn't accurately register screen presses, necessitating a second press. This gets old (with any phone). It works better than resistive touch phones, especially when it comes to scrolling. (Lightly swiping your finger across a capacitive screen is always easier than dragging while applying pressure on a resistive screen.)

There does not appear to be any way to calibrate or test the screen's accuracy. There is no haptic feedback.


The Pre has an optional charging accessory called the Touchstone. The Touchstone is a little stand that the Pre can rest on and be charged wirelessly. It uses a technology called inductive charging to send electrical current from a coil located on the charger to the phone. It's awesome technology, but it comes at a price.

The Touchstone charger is an additional $70. In order to use it, you simply plug in the Touchstone and place it on your desk (or nightstand, or wherever). You'll have to peel off the battery cover that comes with the Pre and use the replacement battery cover that comes with the Touchstone. This battery cover is necessary because it has the electrical coil required to transfer the power from the Touchstone to the Pre's battery.

One thing to note. This new backplate has a matte finish, compared to the Pre's glossy finish. It shows off fewer fingerprints, but doesn't perfectly match the texture and finish of the front of the Pre.

Once all that is taken care of, simply place the Pre on top of the Touchstone. You'll feel a pull of magnets. Let the magnets connect, and voila, the Pre is charging. It will rest on the Touchstone charger and you can pull it off quickly at any time if, for example, a call comes in.

The Pre will also mount and hold horizontally on Touchstone, letting the charger double as a video-watching stand. Also, the Pre can sense when it's on the touchstone, and can switch to speaker-phone when placed on it, answer an incoming call when removed from it.



The Pre uses a brand new mobile operating system from Palm called webOS. The entire OS is based on WebKit (also used by Apple in its Safari browser and Nokia in the S60 browser). It is an interesting approach for a platform to take.

When you first boot the Pre (which, by the way, takes between 1 minute 30 seconds and 1 minute 45 seconds), you have to set up a new Palm Profile. This is similar to the way the HTC G1 forces you to create a new Google account or the iPhone forces you to create a new Apple account (if you didn't already have either). This takes a couple of steps and is no biggie.

The basic menu works as follows. The home screen has five buttons along the bottom: Phone, Contacts, Email, Calendar and Launcher. The first four are typical shortcuts for a Palm device and open up exactly what they describe. They can be customized if you wish. When you are in any application they go away, but become available by swiping up from below the screen. This action brings up a ribbon with all the apps it in. Very cool!


The launcher is the real menu system. Open it up to access all of the Pre's features and systems. There are three main pages here, each displaying a grid of icons like just about any other phone. Each separate menu page can hold a nearly unlimited number of icons in it, but there are only three of these pages. You can swipe sideways back and forth to get at them, and there is a little indicator at the bottom of the screen to let you know which of the three pages you're currently viewing. Each of the icons in the menu can be rearranged/moved around at will. To get rid of the app launcher, just press the lone physical button on the face of the Pre and away it goes. You can also press the Launcher button again.

webOS also makes use of what Palm calls "cards". Each running application resides on its own card, which can be minimized, shoved off the screen or closed. You can have as many apps open on cards as you want. With a dozen or so active cards, I didn't notice any lag in the Pre's operation. Want to switch to another running app? Just hit the home button and then scroll through the cards to choose the one you want. To be honest, I don't see the benefit here. If you have a lot of cards open, it is often a lot faster to just go into the regular menu system to launch an app that it is to scroll through the cards to find it.

There is also an options button way in the top-left corner. This is a mostly useless button. All it lets you do is cut/copy/paste text in several applications. In some, it will let you change some minor preferences.

The last little bit you'll need to know about is the secret "back" feature. Just below the Pre's display is an area of the Pre that is also touch sensitive. Swipe your thumb from the center of the Pre (just above the button) quickly to the left, and you'll be taken back one screen. If you have the main menu up and you do this, it will simply clear the screen and show the desktop.

I would not rate this operating system the most user friendly I've ever seen. 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. That's not to say that webOS doesn't have a lot of potential. It does.

In terms of general usability, webOS ranks below iPhone OS, is about on-par with Android, and rests above S60, WinMo and BlackBerry OS. With respect to utility, however, things are less clear. More apps are available on most every other platform, though that may change quickly. WinMO and BlackBerry are superior from a business person's perspective, and iPhone and Android probably have a better consumer smartphone appeal to them. Keep in mind that the Pre is running webOS version 1.0. iPhone OS is up to 2.2.1 (with 3.0 on deck), Android is up to 1.5 (with 2.0 under development). The S60, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile platforms are all many generations old. For webOS to come out of the gate so strong says something about Palm.



From the home screen, tap the green phone icon and you'll be taken to the software dial-pad. The on-screen software keys are easy to reach and press, though you can use the physical keys located on the keyboard if you wish. After typing, press the big green button to start the call. Easy.

If you want to search through your contacts, there is a little button that lets you open up your contact database. Using the search bar, you can type out a contact name and it begins to sort through your contacts immediately. What I really like is that the search function shows you the contact name and all their associated numbers. So if they have a mobile, office and home number, you can easily pick out which one you want to call. There are also buttons to access voicemail and the call log.

When you're in a call, the screen shows you some more buttons for options such as speakerphone, contacts, mute and add a call. If you've called someone in your contacts list, it will display the picture ID of that contact.



The Pre uses Palm's new Synergy contact database management system. It is pretty robust and, in my opinion, freaking awesome. You can easily import contacts from whatever email account you happen to use, Gmail, Facebook, Exchange and so on. Synergy then merges all the data from each of these individual accounts and forges a master contact that holds all the information about a single person.

So, for example, if you have a friend stored in your Gmail contacts, but also in your Facebook, that contact will appear only once in your contact database, and it will include the information from both the Gmail and Facebook accounts in their profile. I really like that Synergy adds your contacts' Facebook profile pictures to their contact info on the phone itself. Every phone needs to be able to do this.

If you don't want to take the time to scroll through your thousands of friends, just start typing their name. Synergy will begin to sort through them based on what you type.

A few things to note. During initial set up, this can take a while and slow the phone down. In other words, the first few hours you use the phone, it is importing your data in the background and may run a bit slow.

Also, it appears that you can't filter your contacts by account. In other words, if you want to look through just your Gmail contacts, you can't. You can, however, sort which account is the default account for each individual contact, and, if you really want to take the time, "unlink" accounts. So, if you want to have two separate listings for a particular person (one for Facebook, one for Gmail), you can do that.

From each contact, it is easy to initiate a phone call, email, SMS, IM or Facebook message.

Quite frankly, it's one of the best contact applications I've ever used.


Phone App




On the messaging front, the Pre does nearly everything. Email, SMS, MMS, and IM are all present and accounted for. SMS, MMS and IM are bundled into one, tidy package, but email is handled separately.

First, let's dive into email. As with most modern phones, all you need to do is enter the username and password of whatever email account(s) you want on the phone. The Pre automagically takes care of the rest. It asks you if you want to import the contacts from each particular account, and you can decline if you wish.

Email can be configured to arrive instantly, or every 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 minutes or every 6 hours. The less often your email syncs, the better battery life will be. You can also choose how much email is stored on the Pre at any one time (1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 2 weeks, 1 month or all of it).

The main email client is pretty simply to use. Press the "+" sign to open a new email. Type in the name of an addressee, and the Pre will sort through your contacts to see if there are any matches. You can also choose to open your contacts list from the email client to perform a more thorough search. There is a little "paperclip" icon to press if you want to attach something to the email. Press the "paper airplane" icon to send your email on its merry way.

The Pre will display HTML email. When you view each email, you can scroll to the previous or next email by pressing some dedicated arrows. Using the options button, you can mark items as read/unread, flag them, move them to other folders, as well as access the cut/copy/paste functions. As far as attachments go, because it has a document viewer on board, I was able to download and view (not edit) Microsoft Word and Excel and PDF files with no problem. The Pre plays nice with Microsoft Exchange, as ActiveSync is on board, but it doesn't support the full range of IT policy controls that Windows Mobile does.

With respect to the other types of messaging, there are two basic tabs in the messaging app: one for "Conversations" and another for "Buddies". The Conversations side is all the SMS/MMS and the Buddies is for IM.

SMS and MMS are threaded nicely together. It is easy to read, easy to sort through your conversations, and really nice to see MMS messages included in line with SMS messages. Adding a picture is as easy as hitting a button in the text entry field. Audio and video messages are not supported, though.

You can have multiple IM clients running at a time, and the Pre's ability to manage them all simultaneously is impressive. The IM client lets you see which of your buddies are online, and you can easily open the contacts app and find your friends' IM screen names and start up a new IM chat.



The Pre is far and away the best device from Palm when it comes to music playback. First, it syncs seamlessly with iTunes. For anyone using iTunes, this is an absolute blessing. The Pre's software fools iTunes into thinking it is an iPod, and you can set up playlists and add/delete songs as you would with any Apple iPod. It also acts as any other MP3 player would with Windows Media Player.

The music app lets you sort through your tunes via the usual methods: album, artist, song, genre, etc. In the main page, you can see how many songs you have, and a shortcut will let you shuffle and start playing your entire library immediately.

The player interface itself is pretty cool. It will show the album art or the list of tracks, whichever you choose. You can loop the songs, shuffle them, or just sit back and enjoy. Rather than having to hit a small little button, a light press on the screen will pause playback. Press again to resume. You can also swipe in either direction to the previous or next track. Fun.

What's really interesting is the options button, which pulls down some neat features. Say you're listening to the new Green Day album. Open the options menu, and the Pre will let you perform either a YouTube or Amazon MP3 search for, say, "Green Day". You can search by the artist or the song itself. Searching via YouTube, for example, will take you to a list of Green Day videos. Searching via Amazon MP3 will take you to a selection of music from that artist that can be downloaded via the Amazon MP3 store. You can buy single songs or full albums over the air using the Amazon MP3 store.

The Pre has a regular 3.5mm headset jack, meaning you can use most stereo headphones. It also can play back music via stereo Bluetooth. Music sounded really good, but the Pre has no equalizer or any other way to control how the music sounds.

There's one major kicker. When the Pre is attached to a PC to sync media, it cannot make or receive calls or text messages!!! What the what?!? Palm doesn't provide an explanation, but that's just ridiculous.




The Pre has a 3 megapixel camera with a flash, but no autofocus. It is, without doubt, the fastest performing camera I've ever seen on a mobile phone. Palm decided that this type of performance outweighed other factors (such as autofocus).

Unfortunately, the camera is similar to that of cameras we've seen on some other devices in its simplicity. There are no options to control how the camera takes pictures. The only adjustment you can make is to the flash, which can be set to on, off or auto. That's it. No white balance control, no exposure control, no zoom, nothing else. You can only point and shoot.


Pictures capture and save nearly instantly. In an unscientific experiment, I was able to take 7 pictures within 10 seconds (no flash). That slowed down to 5 shots in 10 seconds with the flash firing each time. That's pretty darned good.

One odd behavior I noticed: many of today's camera phones allow you to send a picture as an MMS or email as soon as you've taken it. Not the Pre. It seems you have to exit the camera and enter the photo gallery to find that option. Speaking of which...


The Pre's gallery works just fine. You can get to it either directly from the camera application or the main menu. It shows images in a grid view, and lets you sort between the photo roll and the wallpapers that are stored on the Pre. It's easy to navigate through your image library by scrolling up and down with your finger. You may also choose to load an image, and then scroll through the images one at a time by swiping your finger left or right.

From the gallery app, pictures can be sent as MMS, email, or included in an IM chat. You can also choose to upload them directly to Facebook or PhotoBucket. It's odd that there's no Flickr or Picasa support, at least that I could find.

You can zoom in and out by pinching a picture using two fingers, and you can assign pictures to contacts with ease. There are no photo-editing powers on the Pre itself; no cropping, no fun frames, no ability to insert text, nada.




For the most part, I was really happy with the pictures that I captured using the Pre. There were some odd white balance issues from time to time, but in general, pictures were sharp, clear, colorful and correctly exposed. As with most cameras, shots taken indoors were more grainy than those taken outdoors, but sharpness and focus didn't suffer at all. The camera was able to balance out really uneven lighting better than most phones with cameras of this quality.

Not every shot turns out perfect, but I would venture a guess that most people will like what they see.

The Pre does not record video.

Pre Photos  



The Pre's HTML web browser is fun to use. When you first open it, you get a grid-like panel of your bookmarks. About nine fit on the screen at any one time. Basically, each bookmark is a snapshot of each web site that you've marked. Press to open that page. Neat. There's also a URL address bar at the top.

The Pre uses Sprint's EVDO Rev. A network, which, for the most part, makes for fast browsing. Web sites such as Google and Facebook's log-in page loaded in 3 seconds. CNN took a disappointing 12 seconds, and NYTimes an even more disappointing 18 seconds. That's for the full desktop HTML versions of those sites, mind you, not mobile-optimized HTML. Web sites simply look fantastic on the Pre's beautiful display. Tapping will zoom in/out to different sections of any site you visit, as will pinching.

The browser's preferences allow you to customize some settings and see things such as your browsing history. You can also add web sites to the home screen as cards, making them instant bookmarks from the Pre's desktop. You can also share web site links via email.




The Pre lets you change up most of the normal things you expect to be able to customize on any handset. I've already detailed many of them, but wallpapers, ringtones, caller IDs, alert tones, the menus, etc., can all be customized as you wish. The Pre has a lot of keyboard-based shortcuts, and some of them can be user defined to quickly initiate certain actions. You can choose any song from your music library as a ringtone.

App Catalog 

Not to be left out of the app store craze, Palm is offering a beta version of its App Catalog on the Palm Pre at launch. The catalog lets you sort through applications based on category or by those that are popular, featured, etc. You can also search directly for an application using the search bar. Similar to many of the other competing app stores, you can see some screen shots of the application, what users have rated the application, read the reviews, see the size of the application, the number of downloads, etc.

Downloading apps is quick and simple. They will automatically install after downloading and you have the option to launch it immediately or continue browsing the App Catalog. Apps are added to the main menu.

I downloaded several applications while testing the Pre. They all worked pretty well. Palm didn't say when the store will launch a 1.0 version, but all the apps offered in the beta version were free.

AccuWeather, for example, was excellent. It really delivered a great weather-checking experience. The Associated Press application was less useful. Fandango did a very good job at locating movie theater, times and the ability to buy tickets. These all appear to be solid applications. How the developer community will rise to support webOS is unknown, however. Apple, Google and RIM have been lucky with their large number of developers eager to spend time crafting applications for those platforms. Palm does have a fervent user base. That should translate to a good selection of applications for the platform. Palm and its developer partners will likely begin charging for some applications before too long.


App Catalog



The Pre supports audio Bluetooth profiles as well as PAN for data tethering and PBA for phone book access (with cars). You can connect it to mono, stereo and hands-free headsets, but not other devices such as computers or other phones. I had no problems pairing with headsets of any variety, and music playback / phone calls sounded pretty good.


Because this is Palm we're talking about, the calendar is pretty powerful. It can be synced with your online calendars (such as Google or Exchange) and has a very easy-to-use interface. Any appointments made on the Pre will sync back to your main online account. This is exactly how it should be.


The Pre has pretty much no options when it comes to the clock. You can choose 12 hour format or 24 hour format. Whoop-dee-doo. As for checking the time, when the screen is locked, a quick press of the power/lock key brings up a bright, readable digital clock display. It works perfectly fine as a watch replacement, even if you can't alter the way it looks.


The Pre has GPS and comes pre-loaded with both Sprint Navigation and Google Maps. Using Google Maps, the Pre was able to pinpoint my location to within about 50 feet in just several second. After perhaps a minute of fine-tuning, it could get as close as 10 feet. That's about as good as you're going to get. Google Maps worked perfectly well at mapping routes from A to B, and the menu lets you see things such as traffic, the satellite view, perform searches for points of interest and more.

Sprint Services

The Pre comes loaded with a lot of Sprint's services, such as Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, Nascar, etc. These all work as they do on most other phones and don't offer any real surprises on the Pre.


Some of the included tools include tasks, memos, calculator, help and more. There is a tool for backing up the device, though that happens automatically. You can also check for firmware or other software updates with ease.


The Pre has a built-in YouTube client. It works pretty well. It lets you search all videos or sort through the most viewed or most popular videos. Most videos I watched started playing within about 10 seconds. The videos play in landscape orientation, meaning you need to rotate the phone sideways. The videos looked good. What I didn't like is that you can't share the videos, save them as favorites or bookmark them.


Here is an extensive library of videos for the Palm Pre. The first is a run-down of the phone hardware itself and the basics of webOS. The rest of the videos explore specific features more in depth. Enjoy!


Phone App


Email & SMS




App Catalog

Wrap Up 

Despite all of the wonderful technology available to phone manufacturers, not a single one of them has been able to come up with that magical formula to include absolutely every feature. There are always trade-offs, and the Pre is no different. It has a lot of pros and cons to weigh.

The hardware comes off as feeling a little bit on the cheap side. That's unfortunate. Some will find the QWERTY keyboard difficult to use, though I thought it was okay. The lack of expandable memory means it is limited to the 8GB of on-board storage. On the plus side, it is extremely compact and the display is just awesome.

On the software side of things, the Pre and webOS offer amazing contact management, solid email, SMS, MMS, and IM powers, and easy synchronization of multiple email and social networking accounts. webOS itself is not immediately user friendly, but a little bit of practice goes a long way to making it more usable.

The Pre has a very capable music player. Though the camera takes good pictures, it lacks some obvious features — such as the ability to record video. Browsing was easy and enjoyable, and the host of other features included make the Pre a very rich and capable device indeed.

The Pre offers a lot, but has some glaring omissions. If you're willing to give up features such as video capture and don't mind being limited to 8GB of storage, the Pre will offer you excellent personal information and messaging management along with a user interface that outperforms many others in return.

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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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