Palm Pre

Not an entirely exciting post after a month’s break, but yesterday we finally joined the smart phone world with the purchase of two Palm Pre’s.  For those of you who aren’t into electronics, the Palm Pre is Palm’s attempt to save the company, conceived by a bunch of execs who left Apple to take on the challenge of rebuilding the once-mighty Palm.

A few impressions, for those of you who are thinking about possibly getting one.

  1. The Pre is not an iPhone killer, but it is a legitimate competitor.  While it doesn’t (yet) have the extensive selection of applications the iPhone does, the Pre does accomplish the major tasks you expect from a smart phone, and does it in a more elegant way than Apple’s implementation.  The card feature is more useful than you might think, and being able to switch between applications without losing focus in your other applications is a feature that is almost criminal to omit.
  2. The Pre is slow.  Right now the feel of the Pre is rather unresponsive, and it always feels like it’s a step or two behind when you’re trying to get it to do things.  The general consensus is that Palm has things to fix in webOS to make it fully functional and improve performance, so hopefully we’ll see some performance and battery life gains in the near future.
  3. As noted above, battery life is a bit poor.  The flip side to this is that the battery is replaceable, which is a definite plus over the iPhone.  Not worried about having to discharge all the way.
  4. Build quality is so/so.  In general the Pre feels sturdy, but there is a disturbingly large amount of flex in the sliding part when closed.
  5. Contacts.  Palm’s system for organizing your contacts is good, but the fact it syncs (automatically) with Google’s “All Contacts” instead of “My Contacts” means that everyone who has ever sent you an email ends up on your phone, which is probably not what most people (myself included) are looking for.  There are various strategies to combat this, but if you’re considering getting a Pre, it would be well and good for you to have your Google Contacts in order before you activate.

All in all though, I’m rather pleased with it. So feel free to call, txt, gmail, poke, or do whatever else you do with people who have smart phones.  I’ve joined the revolution.

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