My 71 hours as a Palm Pre owner

I had my Pre for less than 3 whole days so this is hardly a comprehensive review but rather a report of my experience since so many people asked me about why I returned it.

I’ve been awaiting for the Pre for a long time.  My contract with Sprint expired in January and I’d started shopping around, wanting a little more from a smartphone than I was getting from my Centro.  I’d pretty much decided to switch to an iPhone when the Pre was announced. I waited not so patiently for it to come out.  Well Saturday was the Day!

I headed to the Sprint store and got there around 8:50, by 9:40 everything was complete other than loading my contacts and some basic instructions on how to use it.  But we ran into a glitch, they couldn’t get my contacts to load.  Now the employees were wonderful and it was not fault of theirs, but I didn’t actually leave the store until 12:30.

I headed home and plugged in my Pre to fully charge the battery and download the latest version of the software.  Once I started using it noticed right away that my signal at home was weak.  I couldn’t get a data connection at all and it dropped several calls.  I could sit in the same place and watch the signal jump from roaming to all 5 bars.  I called tech support and spent about 45 minutes on the phone with them. They thought my signal might get better.

Sunday the signal was no better.  I called tech support again and spent another 45 minutes on the phone with them.   In the end, Sprint said the coverage in my area was Fair, and there really wasn’t much to be done.  As other customers complained they might make changes to have better reception in my area, but nothing was going to happen soon. This was frustrating as I’d never had a problem with the Centro.

By Monday I noticed the battery wasn’t even lasting me a full 12 horus.  I spent that evening going through forums and doing all of the tweaks recommended to get a better life.   Tuesday morning when I unplugged it a 6 am I was at 100% by 9:30 I was under 60%.

I’d also noticed my reception at work was no better than at home.    This is the point where I took it back, I returned my phone at about 11:30.  I took it back for 2 reasons 1. the battery life was awful, I might have been willing to suffer (and suffer is right) through it but 2. the reception was bad at home and work, a phone that doesn’t work it just a lovely paperweight.

I really wanted to like the Pre and truthfully I did! It worked beautifully when it worked!  it was easy to have multiple apps open and move between them.  The calendar integrated nicely with my google calendar and I really liked how it displayed on the screen.  I liked how it felt in my hand although I thought the keyboard felt a little flimsy, I liked having a qwerty keyboard.   The gestures worked better than the iPhone ones do.

As I said I didn’t have it very long and I didnt’ get it for the ability to integrate all of my online accounts.  But for a phone that advertised syncing all the aspects of your life, especially Facebook,  I wasn’t happy with the Facebook interaction.  I couldn’t comment or like Facebook status’ from the browser.   When importing Facebook contacts it imports everyone and it wouldn’t allow me to delete any of them.  If you’re like me and have a lot of Facebook friends, but dont’ necessarily want all 200 plus of them showing up in your contact list on your phone this is a problem.  Luckily I could just delete the Facebook address book and they were all gone.

I had a similar problem with my Google contacts, it imported all of them, as in the-every-email-I’ve-ever-sent list of contacts that google automatically keeps for you.

I think if I had been able to get better reception at home and work I would have kept it despite the battery issue, I think they’ll work that out.  The plans from Sprint are much cheaper than those from AT&T and I’ve been with them for years with a really good track record. Truthfully I’m a little sad about returning it and leaving Sprint.  Unfortunately I wanted more from a phone than they have right now.  So I did leave for an iPhone.  I’ve had it for about 24 hours, based on that, I’d say I like the interface of the Pre better, but we’ll see.

2 thoughts on “My 71 hours as a Palm Pre owner

  1. Huh, good to know. I’m limping along with a Treo and had hopes for the Pre. Not that I want to leave Verizon. Maybe the the BlackBerry Pearl flip phone which is rumoured to hit Verizon soon will do me.


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