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Handhelds Cellphones Software Hardware Linux

Palm Pre Reviewed 144

Posted by timothy
from the in-advance dept.
mlingojones writes "The Palm Pre doesn't come out until June 6th, but the Boy Genius Report not only got their hands on one but also posted a review of it. They liked webOS, but not the hardware (especially the keyboard). Overall, they feel that 'once people are able to play a real unit themselves, there will be more than a lot of happy Palm Pre customers.'" On the downside, this review says the keyboard is lousy.
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Palm Pre Reviewed

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  • vs iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Norsefire (1494323) * on Saturday May 30, 2009 @05:08PM (#28152965) Journal
    After reading the review and watching this video [youtube.com] I'm disliking my iPhone even more. Mulitasking alone sets it above the iPhone; it's very frustrating having to close and reopen applications anytime you want to do something, however I frequently have iPhone apps crash due to memory shortage so I have to wonder how stable it is with multiple apps open. The keyboard does look like a deal breaker though, granted the iPhone's keyboard isn't perfect and even less so when the iPhone assumes you're a moron that can't type and "corrects" what you meant to type with a completely different word (if I wanted the word it suggested I should have to press what comes up to select it, not the other way round). I doubt it will be an "iPhone killer" though, not because it's an inferior product but because the iPhone already has a hugely established userbase.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @05:41PM (#28153277)

    Looks like the information overload is deliberate. Probably a bad message since the trend nowadays is towards making your life simpler, but it's not just a matter of amateur hour design.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @05:42PM (#28153283) Homepage Journal

    ... the iPhone's keyboard isn't perfect and even less so when the iPhone assumes you're a moron that can't type and "corrects" what you meant to type with a completely different word...

    Well, maybe your phone is right about you being a moron, because you can go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard and turn off auto-correction.

    Owning a BlackBerry (work) and an iPhone (mine) I infinitely prefer the iPhone's keyboard. (And before my iPhone I had two Nokias with physical QWERTY keyboards so I'm not just preferring the iPhone's because it was my first exposure to a full keyboard on a phone.) You can type faster and with a lighter touch since you don't have to physically press each key, and holding the phone with one hand and typing with that thumb is a whole lot easier. And whoever thought of putting keys in anything but a straight line (BlackBerry Curve 8830, Palm Pre, and the number pads on my old Nokias) should be shot.

    That said, I really hope Apple allows background apps soon, if for nothing other than Undercover. [orbicule.com] The Pre looks nice and they're doing some cool things but I won't be getting one since a) I don't have any worthwhile contacts in social sites that I need my phone to automagically gather and b) I don't need to carry around a calendar. Mainly, I'm happy that the Pre is out to give Apple some much-needed competition and force issues like MMS, video recording, background apps, etc.

  • Re:summary... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @05:58PM (#28153397)
    the world of cell phones there's _always_ something about the device that doesn't measure up to expectations. It probably the reason why no cell phone has ever managed to achieve perfect review scores across the board. However one thing can be certain, a solid software platform gives this thing at least some promise, as the hardware can be improved fairly easily as opposed to taking an entirely new software direction after the fact.
  • Re:Keyboards? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:02PM (#28153423)

    What do you mean "at least there's a physical keyboard"? Are you talking about the iPhone? Because that's pretty much the only phone with a non-physical keyboard. Yeah the iPhone sucks but most people use better phones like Nokia N63 (and friends) or Blackberry.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:10PM (#28153497)

    the iphone doesn't win on features, it wins on status symbolism ($800, really?), flashy advertising, and eye candy.

    Speaking as someone who has used and evaluated most Smartphones released in the past three years, whilst the iPhone is most definitely not perfect - it does a lot of things right, far more than the three points you quote above.

    In fact, it sounds like you haven't actually used an iPhone to be able to accurately comment about it.

    disclaimer: i don't even own a cellphone

    I rest my case. Why you got a +5 for guessing about something you freely admit you've never used and hence have no authority to comment on is beyond me.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @06:29PM (#28153671)

    the iphone doesn't win on features

    It wins on features hands down - the features people actually use.

    Just the other day I was asking to see someone's Storm, and asked where the browser was- they didn't even know! And after using it for a few minutes I could see why, there was hardly any point.

    The iPhone makes things usable that a lot of people would otherwise never use - and the same goes for apps, I think Apple probably has surpassed the old Palm V installed and use app count at this point.

    You can decry the iPhone as a creature of marketing all you like, but you're only deluding yourself and will never understand the real reason why anything succeeds or fails.

    That said the Pre looks like an excellent phone and I think will do very well. This is because they understand the iPhone is about building a great phone and not about marketing, and the Pre looks to go into the same space with a different take on it that I think can carry a large bit of the market.

  • Re:vs iPhone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alen (225700) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @07:51PM (#28154339)

    At $199/$299 the iphone is the same price as other cell phones with similar features. cheaper than a few and a bit more expensive than others. cell phone, ipod, email are all old features that everyone expects in a phone at that price.

    the killer features are the app store. there is literally an app for everything. if you're lost and need to find a gas station, the iphone will do it. there are even kids games and flash card apps on it to teach your kids to read. and it will work with Exchange Server to get your email as well.

    one device to rule them all. and so far only the Pre comes close to being a competitor.

  • by markdavis (642305) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @08:10PM (#28154455)

    > A 6-month exclusivity on Sprint means many people won't purchase one right away.
    > why limit it to a single CDMA carrier?

    Um... think about what you just said for a few minutes. The iPhone is *STILL* exclusive to AT&T. Didn't seem to kill the iPhone. The G1/Android is effectively exclusive to T-Mobile. There are lots of phones that are introduced to a single carrier for a while after launch. I am not saying I like this behavior- I think phones should be completely decoupled from carriers, completely (and without subsidies and contracts). But this is certainly nothing new or unusual. Sprint has always been Palm's greatest champion, so it is only logical they would work out a deal for exclusivity for a while (most people think it will be less than a year).

    Sprint needs Palm just as much as Palm needs Sprint- they are both "gambling" on each other. Hopefully they will both do well for taking the chance.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 30, 2009 @08:18PM (#28154499)

    Features like accessing your email

    Yes, because it's so easy to transfer in existing email accounts more people do so.

    There may be other mobile devices with better email support (Blackberry) but that does not mean they are more generally useful.

    keeping a usable calendar

    Yes, again better than most other platforms because integration with your computer calendar is good and mostly automatic when you first start using it...

    decent battery life

    Around as good as other smartphones.

    I think not.

    No, you didn't - the common Apple Hater condition. You didn't think beyond that narrow set of categories (those alone would obviously make Blackberry into an overall winner) into the many other ways the device is used.

    I say that larger feature lists do not mean more usability, so you come back with a narrow cherry-picked feature list and ignore all others. Again, it's the totality of the features that are used, not just one or two features, that make it the most useful device.

    Just the other day, I watched someone spend four minutes trying to finger browse to a web site in a manner that would have taken seconds with access to a decent keyboard and a trackball (read blackberry bold).

    What's amusing is that I read that other part and knew you were a blackberry person just from the tailored list you had picked. Again, it's the totality...

    And from personal use of the Storm I can say with absolute certainly that what you are saying about web browsing being any way better on the Bold is an absolute lie and you will go to the deepest level of whatever the equivalent of Hell is in your belief system if you manage to convince one poor soul to buy a Blackberry for browsing over an iPhone because of your words.

    Yes I disliked browsing on the Storm that much.

    What on earth were they trying to do with a browser that would take more than four SECONDS, much less four minutes? Between quick zooming and panning and input there's no way a trackball is faster at anything than using the Touch controls.

    Don't get me wrong. The iPhone is a decent option, but claiming it wins in options hand down is straight out fanboism.

    So is being selective about the feature set you are comparing.

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