Back to Article

  • hshendon - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    Not only does the Palm have a great, intuitive OS, it has a development community that is doing truly amazing things.

    I have apps that change the way I use contacts and the phone.

    I have apps that change the way messaging looks and feels.

    I have apps that have changed how I navigate and organize apps.

    Now, in a release that came out yesterday, I have an app that let's me tap into the full power of the processor inside the phone. The Pre originally came purposefully underclocked. An awesome effort by a dedicated homebrew development group has released a patch that adjusts the kernal to run the processor at 800MHz. This phone now FLIES. I feel like they have breathed new life into the phone and I am very pleased with the overall packacge now.

    I really hope Palm gets it going in the right direction, because I could not be more pleased overall with a phone or OS.

    (PS -- the form factor and material composition is something I have to agree with the reviewer about. I have addressed this by adding a good quality screen protector and a hardshell case. This has definitely added to the protection and feel of the phone, but I wish the phone felt more solid and indestructible.)
  • KasperE - Friday, March 26, 2010 - link

    I believe a point missed in the review of the market potential of pre and pixi is the economic mechanisms of that type of market. Smart phones are marketed i what may be referred to as an increasing returns regime (W. B. Arthur 1989). A product gains an installed base, this attracts software which in turn increases the value of the product. Think Iphone – the real value is the amount of applications available. The effect is two ways: 1) perceived value to the buyer and 2) perceived opportunity to application developers. It can be thought of as a tipping point where the value of one system (iphone vs. pre) becomes significantly larger and off-sets any personal predisposition to buy the other system. Essentially a lock-in one system occour at this point.
    Apple knows this, and they live by the rules of this game. The launch of the Ipad is a perfect example: Ensure overwhelming and diverse software for the new hardware platform, allow users to use their existing apps. The cost of the Ipad soon becomes negligent compared to he value of the network for which it provides access. Iphone owners can transfer their investment to the Ipad. Oh yes I believe the Ipad will be a success.
    Back to the pre and pixie: Having the perfect OS or indeed any technology is not a guarantee for success – far from it. We have previously been locked-in to crappy tech (VHS vs. Betamax). The ball has begun rolling away from the pre and pixis and it will require huge investments to tip the scale back. A niche strategy is probably the only way for Palm: Offer a compelling selection of business apps and attract this segment

  • droplets - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - link

    A really intelligent post. Thanks for your input. Palm's Synergy could help it be better positioned to take advantage of this market theory. However, knowing that Palm could possibly go bust, I'm relying on Synergy to sync my contacts to my Google account for when Palm can't pay for Synergy servers anymore! Reply
  • inspire - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Hey Joe,

    I really couldn't help but notice how much you ripped on the Pre for not being 'solid'. I've dropped my Pre plenty of times - just like Ive done with every phone before it - and it's came out of it all with hardly a scratch.

    As for the center button on the Pre - it's a lot faster than waiting for an up-gesture for me, and it has never gotten in the way of me performing gestures in the gesture area.

    I know these were popular complaints when the device first launched, but seeing you accentuate your dissapointment repeatedly in the article really makes me wonder if you've actually owned a Pre or even used for more than a week.

    That aside, I'm really happy to see somebody commenting on the software. Palm has been great in opening up the platform and in continuously working to improve the user experience for me.

    The sales are unfortunate. Palm flopped early on with its marketing strategy, and when they finally got a second chance during their launch with Verizon, they started going up against 2-for-1 deals on the Motorola Droid at $200, whose marketing campaign had already established it as a serious competitor.

    Palm's main focus right now should be on makin up the market penetration they've lost. They're already losing money, and if they can't figure out something soon, it's going to be bad news for them.

    All said, I snjoyed the article - hope to see more like it.
  • MDE - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    I'm usually not one to openly complain about grammar, but the dollar sign goes in front of the number. It's $100, not 100$. It's not rocket science, but it makes me feel really dumb when I read it. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Can someone start doing a review of the GPS quality in these phones? My iPhone is great, and I'm sure the Droids and Palms are great too, but I'd like something with a little more powerful --- accurate --- GPS.

    Maybe something that if you take for a run isn't a few hundred feet off. Or something that, if you go for a drive, doesn't show your dot some odd yards back, saying "turn here" after the fact.
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    I have used both standalone GPS units and computer-based programs with USB receivers which have the same problem. Sometimes it just happens, sometimes it is the program lagging. Reply
  • alainiala - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    It truly pains me that WebOS is struggling so mightily, as the last 9 months have been a true joy for me. I picked up the Pre about a week after its launch and have been beyond satisfied with WebOS... I think what really hurt the Pre was its early problems with the hardware and battery life. The sliding mechanism was terrible in the first few months of the Pre's life, and battery life was pathetic until roughly 1.3.5.

    I think its almost a foregone conclusion that Palm is destined to be bought out. It would be a shame, but if it meant the continuation of WebOS, it may not be such a bad thing. I have 2 thoughts on who should be buying out Palm... The more obvious choice is RIM. Blackberry OS is truly getting long in the tooth and would seriously benefit from a innovative new OS. Merging BES connectivity with WebOS and a legit Webkit browser would instantly put RIM back in the race in terms of smartphone innovation.

    My 2nd thought is less obvious, but go with me here... Sony. Sony's Android efforts have been pretty lackluster (Xperia, I'm looking at you). Now, we know that Sony's industrial design is infinitely better than their software development, so a beefed up Pre with Sony's manufacturing prowess would be fantastic. We know that MS is tying Xbox Live into its Windows Phone 7 Series, so it would behoove Sony to do something similar with their mobile devices. We know WebOS is a viable platform for gaming since the release of their PDK, and all their iPhone game ports have thus far proven this. Playstation Network integration on WebOS would get them up to parity with MS and Xbox Live. Sony would have their own mobile OS to call their own and develop around, and WebOS can live on.

    I know its pie-in-the-sky stuff, but heck... better than letting WebOS die an untimely death.
  • jamawass - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Definitely agree with the Sony angle. Their Palm Clie's were fantastic back in the day. Reply
  • ioannis - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    "The plastic-on-plastic mechanism just isn’t all too smooth and that little bit of grinding sound is enough to make the phone feel a little cheap...It may be the nature of the beast when it comes to the hardware from a design standpoint. To keep the device to a reasonable size, yet maintain the size of the LCD, Palm had to hide the keyboard as they did..."

    Sliding keyboards are nothing new and there are numerous examples done right. Take the Motorola Droid for instance. Insanely thin profile and rock solid. Having a sliding keyboard should not be an excuse for the hardware woes.

    Having said that, Palm should reconsider the 'must have a physical keyboard' mentality. Some of the top sellers don't have one...
  • jamawass - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    Even Palm's Tungsten T pda had a rock solid sliding mechanism. Used it for 7 yrs till it died. Reply
  • sheltem - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    I can't remember where I read this but in an interview last year, Sprint was the only carrier willing to give Palm a chance. That is why Palm went Sprint exclusive. Reply
  • wewter - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    I, too, have fallen in love with the WebOS interface. The only thing I am not liking about the PrePlus that I have right now is the keypad, which seems to stick sometimes and shoot me out a random number of letters no matter how hard or for however short a duration I press the key(seems like a software issue).

    The true multi-tasking environment the PrePlus gives you is second to none. I actually had an argument in one of the vzw stores with this woman who was droid-obsessed. Absolutely ignorant of the multitasking and what that means -- but she did have a point with the free voice turn-by-turn directions. And the GPS on the PrePlus doesn't mesh so hot with GoogleMaps; it's initial accuracy screams for improvement. Customers are not going to front 9.99/mo for a VZNavigator service when other smartphone users get the same for free.
  • Chadder007 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I actually like WebOS more than Android. It seems to flow better. Palm really made a bad deal when they selected Sprint to come out with their phone first though. Reply
  • tviceman - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    This is a shame. I absolutely love my palm pre and can't imagine using a different phone OS for a long time. Reply
  • Frixto - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link


    I too was quite surprised when the Pre was announced. It´s a shame what´s been happening so far. I live in the Dominican Republic and so far only one carrier has it (wich is on a CDMA network).

    Are there GSM versions? Why are they so slow to push the devices on to several carriers?
  • techer - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I think AT&T will have a bigger impact compared to Verizon's efforts in selling the Palm Pre. They are the top nationwide network titans but Verizon has more interest in selling the Android phones. This is Palm's opportunity to make a serious comeback with compelling back-to-back commercial TV ads and billboards promoting it's huge presence and unique capabilities through AT&T.

    I have the Palm Pre from Sprint but would love to get my hands on the GSM version of the Palm Pre so I could travel around the world knowing I'm carrying the best multitasking mobile device that allows me to switch SIM cards and lets me share my Internet connection and Local Area network with laptops I authorize and grant access to (BTW, that's monthly-free WiFi routing of course)

    Some of my friends don't know what the Palm Pre can do, but the minute I demonstrate the high-end 3D games like Asphalt 5, they're instantly impressed. Family and friends are relying on me to keep them posted on when it will be available for AT&T so they can make the switch.

    While app counts are growing significantly for the Palm Pre platform, more low-level high performance apps are also surfacing. And low Palm stocks don't seem to have an effect on productivity. Palm Pre developers are now cranking up the numbers with near expectations to surpass the number of Blackberry apps.

  • kelloggs - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I've had both the pre and the pixi and i gotta say, the pixi really is a solid WebOS phone. The build quality bump over the pre alone made it worth the "downgrade". Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    As ever, AT seems to completely ignore the N900 throught out the article even finishing off with the incorrect claim 'WebOS does things no other smartphone can do (yet)'. The N900 can multitask better than WebOS and unlike WebOS it's had full flash support since its release.

    Also it's a bit strange praising WebOS heavily for its great multitasking while claiming it's not possible for it to be usable on Cortex A8 hardware just a couple of days ago in the W7 article.

    I was a big fan of Palm's older PDA's and therefore was very interested in the Pre but after trying one out that was the end of my interest. The interface seemed strange and the hardware didn't appeal much with a low screen resolution and poor keyboard. I much prefer a hardware keyboard simply because it doesn't take up any on screen space and I find the speed better as well as preferring the tactile response. I'm disappointed Android handsets seem to be moving away from hardware keyboards.
  • Tegeril - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    There's always at least one Nokia apologist. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    There's no 'apologist' aspect about it at all - regardless of what you think of Nokia, their platform has considerable merit particularly in the scope of this article. S60 had a simple, efficient multitasking long before the Pre did and the N900 currently has a better system than the Palm Pre uses. In addition the N900 has full flash support well in advance of any other smartphone.

    These are just simple technical facts which there's no disputing yet as per usual, AT reference most of the current smartphone platforms and entirely ignore Nokia.
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    That's nice that it had flash and multitasking a long time ago. What have you done for me lately, Nokia? Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    It's not 'nice', it's something that was blatantly overlooked in the article - AT were quick to bash S60 but now Nokia have produced a newer OS that addresses their criticisms and surpasses many other smartphones it doesn't even get a mention despite praising phones such as the Palms for having an inferior implementation. Reply
  • djc208 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I want Palm to do well I really like the Web OS, but these exclusive contracts are doing more to hurt them than help. Even now, sure the Pre+ is on Verizon, but it becomes difficult to want to buy a Sprint Pre (with the much cheaper Everything plans) when you know you're not getting as much phone as the Verizon guys are.

    I was so ready to go to a Pre when they came out on Sprint. I'd still consider it except that I'm still stuck with not being allowed to have a camera phone at work, which means all but one or two Blackberries are off limits if I want to take it to work, which is where I spend the most time out of the house. And honestly I don't need a smart phone bad enough to want to pay for a BB and the service to go with it. The Pre was cool enough to justify it, the BB is not IMO.

    I know I can remove the camera but buying a device and then voiding the waranty by purposely breaking it just seems stupid. Sure, us camera restricted people are a small portion of the market, but it's really frustrating to watch all this cool tech come down the pipe and outside BB be completely ignored by every other cell phone maker on the market.

    Well, have fun in smartphone land, I'll probably have my little old Sanyo for the rest of my life now.
  • Sherlock - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    2 mins 40 secs to boots a lot quicker than that. Reply
  • neogodless - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    [quote]Of course when we’re talking about performance, the Pre still has a leg up on the Pixi, and the Pixi Plus has the same leg up on its non-plussed predecessor, in that the original Pixi still lacks WiFi.[/quote]

    [quote]If you are going to be viewing a lot of media and browsing the web, you probably want the extra real estate the Pre’s screen provides, as well as the WiFi (assuming you’re on Sprint, if you’re on Verizon it’s moot, so congrats). If you’re used to having a phone that feels more indestructible, you’re going to prefer the Pixi. I’ve been using both phones for a few months and it’s a very hard decision for me. Most of the time I say Pre – it’s just a little more powerful with its WiFi and larger screen.[/quote]

    I swear you just updated it because earlier I was very confused as to whether the Pixi Plus had WiFi or not. You seem to omit the fact that it does in several places! Anyway, this does seem to clear it up for me. Thanks!
  • neogodless - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Well, the Quote button doesn't work... but neither does doing it by hand. Neat! Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Yeah I'd love to see the comment section fixed (at least to kill the spammers). I'm also pining for a mobile friendly version on the site-- it's just a little tough on the eyes on my iTouch. Just friendly requests, Mr Anand. :) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    The comments section will be much improved with the new site :)

    We can talk about Mobile AT after the new site launch :)

    Take care,
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    Music to my ears! I love your content over the other sites I visit. It's gotta say something when your readers are willing to squint through your articles. ;) Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I think it's the long Sprint-exclusive contract that potentially killed Palm here. If it had launched on Verizon first (or preferably on several major carriers), I think it would have had a better chance to take off. But it slumbered on #3 Sprint while the iPhone 3GS and Android won the customers on #2 and #1.
    Now it's finally available on #1 Verizon, but everyone knows the platform is struggling. Now, amazing news of Windows Phone 7 further erodes Palm's chances.
  • inspire - Thursday, March 25, 2010 - link

    I disagree with you there - Sprint has the advantage of 3G coverage, 4G speeds, and the most affordable data plans available. What killed the Pre was that neither Palm nor Sprint were able to mount anything resembling an effective marketing campaign at launch - it took 3-6 months before anything halfway decent really came out, and even then it was from Sprint.

    Also, if you read the article, you'd realize that the platform isn't struggling at all - the sales are. It's trouble with Verizon is that the Pre & Pixi basically blew their 4 month lead they had on the Droid, and now that they've come to Verizon, the Droid is simply a better deal.
  • mschira - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Well In Australia you can't even get them with a mobile phone carrier, be it the Pre nor the Pixi.
    I don't know about Europe but if its that they don't support the GSM mobile standard, then you can't get them in Europe either.
    Sorry but that's not the best strategy to sell a device...
  • juzz86 - Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - link

    In fact, the only way to get one in Australia is from Europe, because they've got exclusivity on the GSM version through O2 (for now). There are 'factory' unlocked ones on eBay, but with QWERTZ (German) keyboards and astronomical (AU$1100+) price tags. I've just purchased a used handset to have a try on, and even that was AU$600. The only saving grace? Tri-band HSDPA. Here we come NextG! Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I agree. The service is a large factor when choosing hardware. A large part of the core smart-phone functionality is the "phone" - with a bad provider, it doesn't matter how brilliant the hardware is.


    I'd also like to add that I criticized software keyboards at first, but have since learned to live with them. What I'd still like is a bigger screen than the iPhone - an expandable touch screen is where it's at.

    If I wanted a keyboard, I'd be fine with going back to the Palm/Compaq iPaq/Handspring days and get either a bluetooth keyboard, or a plugin keyboard to the native port. My guess is that you could make a thing sleeve that sticks on to the bottom of the phone to make it look just like the treo/blackbery/pixy, and still have that large screen.

  • mschira - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Yea, where is the small leather sleeve that carries and protect an iPhone whilst having a small keyboard build in.
    That should be a no brain top seller, making the iPhone a better organiser for those who want a hardware keyboard.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    thin sleeve* Reply
  • taltamir - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    [quote]When it was first unveiled, Pre and its new operating system WebOS, instantly generated tremendous buzz across the smartphone and tech industry as a sort of resurrection for Palm, and possibly the first (at the time) legitimate competitor to Apple’s iPhone[/quote]
    Are you saying the android OS is not a legitimate competitor to iphone / palm pre? (android was released before the palm pre)
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I believe Joseph meant that at the time of the Pre's release, it was the closest to the iPhone. Android has since matured tremendously, both as an OS as well as in terms of available hardware platforms. It's definitely a viable competitor at this point.

    In my experience, all three OSes have their strengths and weaknesses. There are things that webOS does that iPhone/Android do not do, and vice versa.

    I'll be addressing a lot of this in an upcoming look at the new AT&T Google Nexus One.

    Take care,
  • pookguy88 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I'll be looking forward to that article Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    I think the general view has been that Android 1.x wasn't bad, but that it took Android 2.x before you could really call it an iPhone competitor. Reply
  • deputc26 - Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - link

    Where's the Android handset reviews? unlaunched WM7S-covered iPhone-covered, WebOs-Covered..... Something is missing.... Reply
  • mendeh - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    I am not sure what happened behind the scenes but I think it is clear to me that Palm's troubles are directly attributable to launching after the Droid on Verizon.

    Essentially iPhone, WebOS and Android staked out their carriers early and Verizon was left with really only Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. This left a lot of customers without a "modern" OS, and created a major opportunity for either Palm or Google. Whoever was going to launch on Verizon and tap into that huge customer base that really wanted an iPhone but would never switch to AT&T would blow up over night. I think that if Palm had launched the Pre on Verizon before the Droid things would be a lot different today. Back in the 1.5/1.6 days on T-Mobile, Android was in similar position as Palm. It had yet to reach a critical mass. As soon as the Droid launched on Verizon though we witnessed the rebirth of Android and what we now know as the 2 horse race between Google and Apple.

    I really do think WebOS is dead and it is kind of a shame. I also think that some of this is Palm's fault because the Pixi is just a complete waste. They would have been much better served to create a 2nd device with a bigger screen and essentially the same form factor as the Droid. Trying to go low-end with the Pixi when the Pre is already selling for practically the same price was just not smart.
  • tedsc - Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - link

    The Pre came out well after the iPhone and aspired to meet the hardware spec... I think webOS is very interesting but I cannot for the life of me figure out why Palm is putting such a great OS on such a mediocre hardware platform.

    I am currently in the market for an upgrade over my Tilt and while their are many interesting choices of OS and hardware, their are certain standards that seem to baseline the discussion:

    1. >= 1ghz processor
    2. >= 800x400 resolution

    it is only a matter of time until a slider keyboard Android or Meego phone comes out on either a moorestown or snapdragon platform. So you have to ask yourself if the OS is compelling enough to endure hardware that is so passed it's prime?

    I really hope Palm is picked up by a company like HTC or LG that is already pushing the hardware envelope and needs an elegant OS to really compete with Apple.
  • avionicspro - Friday, July 16, 2010 - link

    I am a tech guy and regularly try and use new gadgets. That said, this phone is terrible ! It drops more calls than I can even begin to tell you about. I just received my warranty exchange because the original phone kept rebooting, locking up and the headset would squeal when plugged in.

    I'm looking forward to getting my contract renewed next month, putting this one back in the box and forgetting about it all together.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now