The Palm Pre has been out for quite a while now but despite that I had not had a chance to actually use it. Like many of you I had only seen WebOS in reviews. What I saw impressed me, but not enough to shell out the money for one.
Well, nothing catastrophic happened but I ended up deciding to get myself a Palm Pre after all.
So, why now? I’m not exactly sure but I guess its a combination of pricing and all the HP take-over news. The buyout (and bail out) of Palm means that resources will be available for both hardware and OS development. That doesn’t really do much for my new Palm Pre as I’m sure future OS developments will be designed for more powerful hardware. But I just…wanted one.
I ended up getting the original Palm Pre as that’s the only one available from Bell. The are selling the Pre at just $299 without a contract. Sure, as smartphones go it is a little old but at that price its a cheap way to at least give WebOS a whirl.
So far, I am really liking this little phone. Yes, it has quirks and problems but not enough to cause geek anxiety. The only thing that is bugging me is the battery life. It is just plain bad. I can get from 8am to 5pm or so but that doesn’t help me for the ride home or for an evening out. I find I have to charge once during the day as well as at night, even if its just a quick top up. Of course, I am using it a fair bit but compared to the HTC Hero I am using there is no comparison.
WebOS itself is a real treat to use. I’ll probably post more thoughts on WebOS later but I am liking its elegance and simplicity. It doesn’t get the geek juices going (ewww… what’s that?!) but it is refreshing to use and took no time at all to become familiar. It lacks options for changing the look and feel and there are too few apps but all the basics are there.
There is an active hacker/modder community for WebOS and most hang out in the forums at precentral.net. I’ve already installed ‘Preware’ which allows for quite a few patches to augment the OS. While it isn’t exactly supported by Palm it doesn’t seem to be harmful at all.
One of the things I wasn’t sure I would like, but do, is the slide down keyboard. It is rather cramped but does a good job of recognizing the right characters when you mash into the keys. I’m actually writing this post on the Pre; something I would not do on many software keyboards. (shakes fist at HTC Hero)
Anyway, I’ll probably be writing more about the Pre but wanted to jot down a few initial thoughts.
If you have any questions about the OS or the hardware of the Pre, fire away.