Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Some gripes and thoughts on the Palm Pre. By a HTC Winmo fan.

I am currently a Sprint wireless customer (don't groan! they are treating me very well) and I have a HTC Touch Pro. Great phone. Lots of features, etc. If you have been living under a rock, Palm is trying to revive it's business by bringing out the Palm Pre phone. So far estimates are over 500,000 sold since it's June 6 debut. I love the Palm Pre, and could have had one a long time ago, except i am waiting for it to get some key features before i take the web OS plunge:

1) I want more apps. Like, several hundred. This is supposed to be something which makes the pre comparable to the Iphone and separates it from Winmo. Now that the SDK is officially out for developers, I would hope that apps by the dozens are added weekly, but it has been pretty slow. On the other hand, the homebrew community has an apps catalog over 100 now, and with some basic linux knowledge and following of directions you can root your Pre, place it in developers mode, and mod it to your heart's content (see precentral.net)

2) Hack for the ability to force roaming. On most Winmo phones, the application files and files which control the entire phone can easily be accessed using the "file explorer," Entire communities exist (ppcgeeks, xda-developers.com) which write programs (most for free!) that you can use to mod or edit the functions of your phone simply using a usb cable or text message download. For instance, Sprint since last year has taken away the user's ability to force the phone to roam on another network, even if Sprint service is available. This seems fine until you realize that the phone will fight for sprint service even if you cannot complete a call before switching over to another network. This is a real pain, as a lot of the time if you are in the boonies you will be stuck with a phone with unusable sprint service. A .cab file was made which restored the ability to force roam, all one had to do is put it on the phone and open it, and voila! Under network settings, force roaming is an option. In my opinion, the locked down nature of the Iphone and other verizon smartphones is the reason I will never switch carrier. Sprint is known for not locking down attributes and abilities of phones, such as file transfer by bluetooth and GPS.

3) Video capabilities. Why this wasn't implemented at launch i will never know!
I have also discovered that the Pre lacks the ability to zoom in before taking a picture, something the Touch Pro does.

4 )Improved battery life
The Touch Pro has pretty bad battery life, so I will let this one slide; I would probably get the extended 2600 mah battery anyway.

5) Louder ringtones and customizability options. I have read that the ringtones on the Pre aren't as loud as expected, to the point where some people can't hear their phone ring. As a former Nextel customer, this is a sin. At the very least, the phone manufacterer can ensure that the phone makes itself heard in everyday life situations. Also, I would like the ability to customize a ringtone to a contact's incoming text message.

6) More space. I understand that it only comes with 8GB of space (7GB usable) and no room for a memory card, like the Iphone. This is crazy. In 2009, people want the ability to add disk space. My 2008 Touch Pro allows MicroSD cards up to 32GB! Don't charge me extra to have built in space and not give me the ability to add to it. I do have a feeling that later generations of this phone will have more space, like the Iphone.

Now, don't get me wrong. Most of the things on this list i am sure can be done by OTA updates, which would be great. It's a sexy looking phone with a revolutionary OS, wonderful touch screen and processor abilities, and lots of buzz. An actual Iphone competitor. However, unless I can get it for less then retail, I probably won't be making the jump from my trusty touch pro anytime soon.

Here is a side by side comparison between the HTC Touch Pro and the Palm Pre (via phonescoop.com):

Compare Phones

PhoneHTC Touch Pro (CDMA)Palm Pre (CDMA)
Current U.S. CarriersAlltel
U.S. Cellular
Verizon Wireless
Global AvailabilityReleasedReleased
Avg. User RatingOOOo.
User Reviews
User Reviews
Add PhoneRemoveRemove
ModesCDMA 850
CDMA 1900
CDMA 850
CDMA 1900
Weight5.3 oz
4.76 oz
Dimensions4.01" x 2" x 0.71"
(102 x 51 x 18 mm)
3.9" x 2.3" x 0.67"
(99 x 58 x 17 mm)
Form FactorSlideSlide
Battery LifeTalk: 3.8 hr
Standby: ?
Talk: ?
Standby: ?
DisplayLCD (Color TFT/TFD)
480 x 640 pixels
Colors: 262,144 (18-bit)
320 x 480 pixels
Colors: 16.7 million (24-bit)
Platform / OSWindows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC)(proprietary)
Memory328 MB8 GB
Phone Book Capacityshared memoryshared memory
HTC Touch Pro (CDMA)Palm Pre (CDMA)
GPS / LocationYesYes
Adjustable Text SizeYes-
Digital TTY/TDDYesYes
Hearing Aid Compatible-Yes
M4 (very compatible)
Multiple LanguagesYesYes
Polyphonic RingtonesYesYes
PC SyncYes-
Multiple Numbers per NameYesYes
Picture IDYesYes
Ringer IDYesYes
Voice DialingYes
Speaker-independent (automatic)
Custom GraphicsYesYes
Custom RingtonesYesYes
Real-Music RingersYesYes
Data & Network
Flight ModeYesYes
Packet DataYes
1xEV-DO rA
1xEV-DO rA
WAP / Web BrowserYesYes
Predictive Text EntryYes-
Side KeysYesYes
Text KeyboardYes
Touch ScreenYes
Memory Card SlotYes
microSD (TransFlash)
Email ClientYesYes
MMSYes *Yes
Text MessagingYesYes
Text Messaging TemplatesYes-
Headphone Jack (3.5mm)-Yes
Music PlayerYesYes
Photo & Video
3+ megapixel
3+ megapixel
Streaming VideoYesYes
TV OutputYes-
Video CaptureYes-
To-Do ListYesYes
Voice MemoYes-
Speaker PhoneYesYes
* Some versions only
HTC Touch Pro (CDMA)Palm Pre (CDMA)


Ebony said...

looks like the touch pro is still better... no point of switching yet??

lilcellus said...

i got the palm pro and i think its just as good as a pre