The Palm Pre was released today, and as a current customer of Sprint and user of the Palm Treo, this intrigues me. I TRIED to get Palm to give me one for free to review, but they did not. This was their first mistake.
If it comes to pass that I haven't purchased one of these little buggers (I've been in the market for a new phone) within, let's say, the next three weeks, it is more than likely that Sprint will be moments away from losing my business. There are seemingly solid reasons for considering the Pre, and I will be (considering it).
But in every review I have read so far, no one, to my knowledge has said that the Pre is better than it's closest rival, AT&T's Apple iPhone. But they all say that the Pre is exceptional. Why might I stick with Sprint & Palm?
First, the keyboard. The slide out qwerty is a big advantage, as the thought of using a touchscreen interface for all text related activities is not an enticing one. On this, obviously, the iPhone loses points.
poor, poor Pre: hilariously, an image search for "Pre" on google turns up, on page 1, a graphic, graphic image from the website (which apparently exists): www.beautifulcervix.com
Secondly, the fact that I am already a customer, and already comfortable with the Palm platform (though the Pre platform will be much different, no doubt), makes me an ideal candidate to jump at the opportunity to own and operate the extraordinary new phone.
I had a third inviting feature that I was going to write about the Pre, but it turns out, the Pre does not actually have video recording capabilities. I took this for granted, considering my 3 year old Treo has video. But alas, no.
With Apple set to release information about the new iPhone OS and likely an entire phone upgrade as well, Sprint is well likely to lose my loyalties. Pre's inability to entice user's like myself does not bode well for its, or Palm's long term viability. But, perhaps, one of two things could happen.
a.) I could go into that Sprint store tomorrow, touch the machine, and fall in love. That qwerty keyboard really is a plus. And as of today (but maybe not as of tomorrow) the Pre has the superior camera.
b.) They lose me, and users like me, but manage to corner enough of the growing market to be a player in the game long enough to innovate even greater, more enticing designs.
In the end, I feel I am likely to get the new iPhone in a month or two when it is released, leaving the Pre the also-ran that which almost could. The wildcard in all of this is a laptop/netbook set up, with a Skype and a bluetooth. Can anyone affirm that this would work?
Other wildcards and bygones (at this point) include the Blackberry Storm (still in the game, but a longshot) and the HTC Touch Pro (once the front runner, has lost significant footing since I first touched the thing @ Best Buy a few weeks back, and especially when I got to play around with one @ the Sprint store last week... soooo slow [I thought the Pre came out on 6/3 for some reason, that's why I was there]).
Why an iPhone?:
The new iPhone being announced very soon will no doubt be amazing, with rumored features such as a 32GB model, video recording (perhaps) and more.
Every single person I have met that owns one is exceptionally happy with it.
My monthly bill could actually drop going to AT&T from Sprint.
I have, and love, a Mac, so why not get the phone which is most compatible with my other computer (contact between my Mac and my Treo can be characterized as minimal to non-existent, despite numerous frustrating attempts).
The new camera will rival the Pre's pretty much no matter what.
App store: thousands upon tens of thousands of useful and useless apps for the iPhone,as compared hundreds to thousands of apps for the Pre, with one reviewer experience significant meltdown when trying to access these apps.
Screen: despite all of these other things, one of the first disappointments I had with the Pre was the size of it's screen. iPhone has it beat by .4 inches, which is a significant 12% larger.
Music: I know it is possible to get music on your Treo, but I have never done it, and why would you want to, really? The Pre is rumored to have iTunes compatibility, but this may not last forever, and why not just go with the machine that will work seemlessly forever? I will be excited to be able to listen to podcasts and music straight from my phone. It is just what I was looking for when I bought the Treo way back when, though that never seemed to work out.
In the end, an iPhone with a video recorder will be too much to ignore. Were Apple to unleash a shocker next week and reveal a phone with video and a qwerty, well then the gods of portable phonemanship would have to bow their heads and shake the hands of the men behind the iPhone's creation.