My First Week with the Palm Pre

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Let me preface this mini-review by saying that I have been a loyal Palm & Sprint user for the past 10-15 years or so, however, I also own a 32GB iPod Touch, an iMac and a Macbook so I am an equal opportunity technology enthusiast.

It's now been a little over a week with my new Palm Pre and for the most part I like it very much and even found myself trying to use their hand gestures on my iPod Touch the other night.  Mind you, I also tried to use iPod gestures on my Palm Centro when I first got it so there is always a period of adjustment.

So without further adieu here are my likes, dislikes and wishlist about this first-gen technology. 


1.  Having a keyboard.  I can beat my iPhone friends & family in a texting contest!
2.  Multi-tasking.  This is very useful and I have used it several times.
3.  Synchronizing my Time & Chaos application wirelessly (although it did require that I purchase their hosted service) via Exchange.
4.  Ability to merge contacts from various online sources though you need to be careful if you know different people with the same name.
5.  Screen. It's beautiful and tack-sharp.  Easy on older eyes (as long as you're wearing your glasses).
6.  Touchstone.  Excuse me while I take a moment to geek out!  This is just cool and the sticky stuff that's on the bottom of the touchstone seems to magically anchor itself like a rock to any flat surface. On the down side, you need a special backplate which seems like a nickel & dime ploy and it gets very hot when sitting on the touchstone but it is very cool.
7.  Speaker & Call Quality.  I don't why David Pogue found the speaker to be too quiet (  Other reviews I've read say they think it's louder than the iPhone.  I haven't put them up head to head test but if you download a good ringtone it seems plenty loud though not as loud as my Palm Centro I will admit.  NOTE:  The ringtones that come with the Palm Pre are not loud enough.
8.  3.2 Megapixel Camera.  Very nice.  I'm a photographer but sometimes it's nice to be able to take a snapshot without carrying the behemoth of a Nikon D3 around with me.  I have yet to copy them to my desktop to see what they really look like but that's not really the point of a camera on a phone in my opinion.


1.  Battery life.  Everyone has complained about this. You have to carry an extra battery or charger with you to get through an entire day.  Temporary solution: An external battery charger so you can always have that extra battery charged and ready to swap out.
2.  Lack of an onscreen keyboard.  Would be very useful to have in situations like surfing the web.
3.  Memory.  8GB is fine for apps and some music but when you want to add videos, lookout!
4.  Overly glossy keys.  This might seem picky but I have found that when the sun or your light source is directly overhead it's almost impossible to see the keys because the shine obscures the letters.  An easy fix in the next generation.
5.  Very stiff keyboard.  Like the Palm Centro, it's not the most comfortable keyboard to type on and it's more tiring than it should be to type out a message.
6.  USB cover.  Very fiddly and cheap.  Have a feeling it's going to get torn off one day.
7.  Occasional program sluggishness, especially in Photos.


1.  Better battery life.  At the very least, an external battery charger. 3rd party vendors are you listening?
2.  More memory.  I am less anxious about this as I have the iPod Touch but it would be nice to have the option.
3.  Better keyboard.  Would like a keyboard that provides less resistance to pressing the keys as this can become tiring.
4.  Ability to assign different ringtones to messages, emails and unknown callers.  This was something I had on the Palm Centro and I miss it.
5.  Ability to add Linked In Contacts just like Google Mail, Facebook, etc.  This seems to be an omission.
6.  Ability to decide if you want to cut and paste text in an email or launch an email, web link or phone number while reading an email.  You can only cut and paste when you're in edit mode but sometimes, I just want to copy the phone number from an email that I'm reading into my contacts and if you touch it, it automatically starts dialing the number.  I'd like a choice.
7.  Ability to empty trash (at the very least) without having to delete each individual email.  This is really annoying.  Also, the ability to multiple-select emails to be deleted.
8.  Ability to search within the Calendar.  On the Palm Centro, I could search through all of my appointments to bring up, for example, all of the "Fund Raising Day in New York" meetings that I had ever had and it would bring back a list that I could choose from to go into.  This was very useful.  You can't seem to do that now as "universal search" looks through contacts or the web instead.  This is very frustrating.

Well, that's my two cents from gadgetland.  In the past week, I have found myself better able to do my work and live my life away from my computer which was the ultimate goal for a smartphone for me.  I like the all-you-can-eat Sprint plan and now text and surf with abandon and I like having (finally) a cool phone to carry around with me. 

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