Nick vs Pre


Amanda and I migrated to Sprint over the weekend and picked up a couple of Palm Pre handsets.

Sprint’s service has been fine so far, we’ll see if there’s any billing or customer service fiascoes to deal with over time.

Good parts about the Pre:

  • Compact hardware
  • Slick OS
  • Screen
  • WiFi
  • Google integration (contacts, address book, mail, maps, chat, etc)
  • GPS
  • Synergy
  • Homebrew Community – there’s an active homebrew app/tweak development community with a few good repositories of such stuff.  I wonder how much of the official App Catalog‘s efforts are being thwarted by the increasingly popular homebrew stuff.  In all seriousness, is it that tough to get software approved for proper distribution?
  • ‘developer mode’ easter egg of searching for upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart
  • Browser – The Webkit browser is pretty quick at rendering webpages.  It handles zooming, panning, and scrolling nicely
  • Touchstone charger – although kinda pricey, inductive charging base is pretty sweet.

Bad Parts:

  • Battery life – some of this can be mitigated by changing data sync settings, screen timeout settings, and GPS settings
  • Select/Copy/Paste – Gestures for managing these are a bit cumbersome
  • it can be a bit slow.  for example, i have about 300 well-populated contacts.  the address book can take a few seconds to come up
  • Smallish keyboard takes some getting used to.  The ‘alt’ key is annoyingly close to the / key, which is the alternate for q (typing URLs is a pain.)

What I miss and might come later:

  • having both a ‘d-pad’ and touchscreen like previous Palm devices.  Makes it easier when you have to move one character over.  🙂
  • Screen brightness control – homebrew to the rescue for now though
  • on-screen keyboard – this one can be done with homebrew apps but nothing official yet
  • ability to remove some of the carrier-provided default applications

Essential Official Apps:

  • TweeFree – Twitter client that’s fast
  • Pandora – music genome project, 40 hours/month of free music
  • Facebook – Faster than the mobile site but less featured
  • Yelp – Location-based business reviews (restaurants, stores, etc).  I wish you could update/post from it though.

Essential Homebrew Apps:

  • Preware – Framework for installing homebrew apps
  • drPodder / PrePod – Podcast client which supports downloads for offline listening
  • Battery Icon and Percent
  • Brightness in Device Menu – saving battery
  • Calendar Month View Default
  • Call Duration in Call Log
  • Char Count in Messaging – Finding out when you’re close to 160 characters
  • GPS in Device Menu – Easier access to turning off the radio, saving battery
  • Just Charge by Default
Categories : geek  mobile  reviews

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