The Keyboard, it’s so, Real

Push up on the bottom of the Pre’s screen and the keyboard awkwardly slides out from under it. You’re supposed to push up from the middle of the Pre’s screen to do it properly apparently. Either way you go about it, what you reveal isn’t any virtual keyboard - it’s a real 35 key QWERTY keyboard:

Hold down the orange button to use the alternate function on each key and hold down the shift button to yell at someone. There are dedicated @ and . keys as well as a Sym key that brings up a software keyboard (gasp) that lets you enter a variety of symbols.

The size of the keyboard means that it does take some getting used to. You can be quick with it, but not right off the bat. It takes some practice but once you get there, it won’t be a limiting factor. In fact, the biggest limit to how fast you can type is the fact that the Pre has no intelligent predictive text engine. It will capitalize new words for you and insert apostrophes when appropriate, but if you misspell a word it won’t correct it on the fly. Coming from the iPhone, this is a huge omission (Apple probably holds the patent on awesome predictive text input, Palm would probably have to clean Jobs‘ toilets weekly to get access to that one).

I must admit: the physical keyboard is nice. I’m not really much quicker with it than I am on the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, but it’s not about speed - it’s about feedback. It’s nice to just be able to push buttons, I know what I’m hitting and I don’t have to worry about whether my finger is a millimeter too far to the left or right. And yes, you can type while you’re driving (although it’s still possible on the iPhone, just easier with a real keyboard). And yes, you really shouldn’t be doing that.

Index Oh Hashmir, I’ve Used This Title Too Much Already
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  • viciki123 - Monday, February 22, 2010 - link

    http://www.weddingdressonlineshop.co.uk/23-mermaid...">http://www.weddingdressonlineshop.co.uk/23-mermaid... Reply
  • jmyette - Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - link

    I've been very disappointed by the Pre and had to switch back to my Treo 700p. I'd say of you like Palm OS and its effective PIM applications (calendar, contacts, tasks and memos), you probably won't like the Pre. Otherwise, I think the Pre may be a good choice. The best review of the Pre I found:

    http://palmprelansing.blogspot.com/2009/07/pre-rev...">http://palmprelansing.blogspot.com/2009...pre-revi...
    http://palmprelansing.blogspot.com/2009/07/pre-rev...">http://palmprelansing.blogspot.com/2009/07/pre-rev...

    Reply
  • s1ugh34d - Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - link

    I'm lost on why the Iphone is the definition of a phone. Last I checked my HTC WinMo phone has just about all the same features. Can't a palm be compared to The Touch Pro. I see the journalistic approach, using palm vs apple. But others mentioned android why is anandtech so in love with their Iphones...

    Also wouldn't cell phone fall under "mobile" on the tab bar.
    Reply
  • s1ugh34d - Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - link

    I missed the messaging part. Since Iphone users can't use it, they don't know what multiple messaging is. Palringo, a WinMo/blackberry app, runs every IM service you ever had.

    Love the magnetic charger, My toothbrush has that, and I always thought that it should be used for small devices.

    The palm does kick a little Iphone butt, but WinMo blows that phone away, they just need multi-touch on the touch pro2
    Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Saturday, June 27, 2009 - link

    A coworker of mine says the phone gets really hot when in use for extended periods of time. Not sure if it's from the backlight for the display or just the battery discharging. Either way, the result is a very hot phone and apparently a discolored screen. He's replaced his already once because of some yellowish discoloration at the bottom edge of the screen that spreads the more it's used. Reply
  • macs - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - link

    Guys take a look at the new HTC Hero with Android
    Reply
  • macs - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - link

    Sorry
    This is the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKTDSfbcbBU&eur...">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKTDSfbc...r%2FHTC&...
    Reply
  • bored2tears - Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - link

    Techies, come on! Really? Are we such navel-gazers that we don't get it? Sure, my original Palm, my Tilt and my HTC phone could do stuff that the iPhone and the Pre can't do (yet). But that's not the point.

    It's ease of use!!!! The satisfaction of the UI!

    I don't hit the start menu so I can scroll through file manager. I don't mess around with crappy windows mobile UI to find stuff. And when the new WM comes out, it will prove that ease of use is the point. That's the iphone feature that everyone wants to copy, and rightfully so. The companies get it while the techies play their little "mine is better than yours" one up spec game.

    You can turn on my music on the iPhone and surf the web or open another app, etc. AT THE SAME TIME. That's what people want and do. Only people without an iphone don't know that there is some level of multi tasking. I can play most games or use most apps on the iPhone without stopping the music. If I close my web browser to open another app, my web app doesn't go back to the home page. That page stays open. When I click on the web app again, I'm where I left off. Why do I need to have my web browser open while I'm in another program anyway? Now if I'm using something like Pandora, it's a problem. (And that level of multi-tasking would be welcomed Apple!) If I use the pre, I don't have this issue at all. Either way, these phones are initially made for joe public to understand not just for sammy supertech savvy to gush over. And yet, these phones can go up the scale from casual user to business user like myself.

    Anyone who's used the pre for an hour knows how absolutely cool it is. And that's a big factor. It's easy to use. Sure it's powerful and I still think these two smart phones (AND the G1) are great. But it's the UI stupid! That's what sells the phone. Don't hate them because they're beautiful. ;-) There is something under the hood.
    Reply
  • Ehsan - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - link

    Hi Anand,
    I am sorry to ask but am bit curious did you use non formated sites for facebook & Slashdot because of too much discrepency of my Iphone 3GS and your numbers of it.
    Also I was wondering if you can do a app launching test on Iphone 3GS with a 3rd party app as most of the native apps run services in background (I found this by installing backgrounder app from Cydia after jailbreak on 3G and found that many native apps were running in background already). So its not launching from standstill if its half running.
    Thanks.
    Ehsan
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - link

    Att's network is completely useless. Their plans are INCREDIBLY overpriced, and they nickle and dime the living crap out of you... I will NEVER get any cell phone from ATT.

    That being said, cell phones need to transition to voip over WiiMax, once a Nationwide (world wide) WiiMax network is set up.

    Data plans need to be INFITINE data, non of this 5GB per month bullshit!! Text IS data, as you said. Voice, well, is kind of data, and should be ALL data soon.

    I don't think sprints network is reliable enough to switch though.

    Battery life needs to hit 20hrs+.

    I want a smart phone from LG, that I OWN, not that BELONGS to a cell phone company. So I can buy the phone, and take it to whatever network I want, Verizon, Net 10, Boost, Sprint, whatever. LG makes great stuff.

    Can you PLEASE review the LG smart phones that ARE out, like the Env, and the other one that costs like 30 bucks more... I forget the name right now.
    Reply

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