Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Thoughts on the Palm Pre

October 18, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

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Chromewalker’s little sister recently acquired the Palm Pre. She has been a loyal Palm user for what seems like forever and she actively shunned the iPhone in hopes of being one of the first to use Palm’s latest wonder-phone (Actually, from what she tells me, she was the third in line).

A caveat about this post: because I have the bad habit of reconfiguring my sister’s electronics to ‘optimize’ them, I generally don’t get complete freedom to try everything I’d like. I guess it’s what I deserve after years of leaving her confused as to where the icons went on her desktop or why her keys automatically fire up different apps as shortcuts. So, I must confess I haven’t put the phone through all of its paces just yet.

However, these are my thoughts so far:

Screen – Beautiful, nice, bright, and crisp.

Keyboard – A bit rubbery and with little key travel. Useful to get sure-fire accuracy on data input, but not laid out or with the right kind of feel (think Blackberry) to use it for fast typing and frequent use.

Responsiveness of the System – I found the system to have general lag. Launching apps, opening data, and anything other than swiping cards just seemed a bit ‘slow’. Also, it seemed to require multiple presses to get it to do anything. My sister say’s that she’s noticed it is more of an accuracy thing than a ‘slowness’ thing, but I didn’t play long enough with it to get the full conclusion on it. I also noticed that some apps, like Google Maps, don’t cache data so if you’re out of reception it just sits there and times out without accessing any sort of cache.

Camera – Great pics, with flash, and with a large mirror to take pictures of yourself (if you’re into that).

App Store – Lacking in quantity and quality

Music – My sister has been able to successfully synch her iTunes music with the Pre. However, only the non DRM music is the only one that will play.

Reception – Both the iPhone and the Pre operate in the same network in the UK. Whilst I was in an area that never gives my iPhone any issues, the Pre lost all reception and went into SOS mode for about a minute before it found the network again. My guess is that the handover from 3G to EDGE when 3G is not great isn’t fast enough leaving the phone in a state of reception purgatory.

Battery Life – My sister said she played with the phone all morning long and when I saw it at 7pm it still was at around 70%. I’ll give it a go at some point an get a more hands-on feel for this one.

As a first pass, I must say that the experience as a whole is a pleasurable one. Perhaps mostly because it is a new way of interfacing with the web on a mobile device. I think a faster processor or UI optimization would make it better, as well as more apps. I will play with it more once it is less of a ‘new toy’ for Sis.. or when she is distracted and leaves it unlocked.

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