The iPhone is great, but the Palm Pre is more my style

Three days later I’m still impressed with the Palm Pre. As a user of Palm OS smartphones (Treo 600, Treo 650, Centro), I’ve come to rely on a proven feature set.

The experience of having a device that organizes your life, makes phone calls, and connects online — has remained unchanged. For the most part the Palm Pre meets or exceeds my expectations, with only a few minor back steps. After the break is a full rundown of my Palm Pre likes and dislikes (mostly software related), in no particular order.

Palm Pre closed with my sweet wallpaper

Palm Pre positives

  • Device feels great in your hands. (Not sure where all the “it feels cheap” reviews came from.)
  • Screen looks awesome!
  • The UI is slick.
  • webOS is responsive and allows true multitasking.
  • Notifications are handled elegantly.
  • Push Gmail. (Emails hit my Palm Pre before my desktop — sweet!)
  • Synergy and the way that it syncs with “the cloud.” (ie: Google, Facebook, etc)
  • Battery life. (I can easily make it through a workday which is all I had hoped for)
  • Removable battery.
  • Physical keyboard. (Yes it’s small, but coming from a Centro I have no problems banging out txts or emails.)
  • Plugging in via USB let’s you access the ringtone and wallpaper folders, to add your own to the device.
  • Is capable of syncing with iTunes to add music, podcasts, videos, movies, or photos.
  • Backups every day to your Palm Profile — in case you need to restore your device after a wipe.
  • GPS and Sprint Navigation for turn by turn directions.

Palm Pre negatives

  • Having to pay $30 for the Classic app. Booooooooo!
  • Having to use Classic at all! Let’s get true webOS versions on the App Catalog so I can stop using Classic for a few archaic applications.
  • No option to make Tasks repeatable like the Palm OS version. (Maybe I’m the only one who relies on this — I dunno)
  • Tasks don’t sync up with Google Tasks. (I’m sure this will happen eventually)
  • Flipping through the Calendar is slow.
  • No agenda view in Calendar.
  • Sprint Navigation doesn’t pull in your contacts’ addresses if they’re coming from Google or Facebook accounts.
  • Can’t change the notification sound. (I have no desire to change it but it would be nice to have the option)
  • Can’t assign a default ringtone for unknown callers like in Palm OS devices.
  • Reception issues. (I’ve never had more than 2 bars at my house with the Centro, but the Palm Pre seems to average much less and I’ve experienced a few dropped calls)
  • Landscape mode is limited to a few applications
  • USB port cover seems cheaply made and I feel like I’m going to break it off every time I open it.
  • Device does get warm after prolonged usage. (To be fair so did my Centro)
  • Audio speaker isn’t that loud.

So there you have it. Can’t say that I was excited about the thought of paying an extra $20 a month for the required Sprint Everything Data plan. But seeing how I’m getting more anytime minutes, Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV, and nights that start at 7pm instead of 9pm — I’ll live. My only real Palm Pre complaints stem from its software or lack of applications, which I’m pretty confident will be addressed with future firmware and software updates. I hope.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at the Palm Pre, check out Precentral’s extensive review. They cover every aspect of the phone with a detailed write-up, photos, and video walk-through.

Palm Pre lock screen

Palm Pre open

Palm Pre keyboard close up

Palm Pre camera and mirror

Palm Pre opened up

Palm Pre and Palm Centro comparison

Palm Pre and Palm Centro comparison

Palm Pre Phone

Palm Pre Music App

Palm Pre Tweed App

Palm Pre App Catalog