After the long wait since CES, I picked up my Palm Pre yesterday from the Sprint Store in Sunnyvale, CA. Here is my quick and dirty review.
- Initial setup was easy and painless - created a Palm Profile with basically just an e-mail address and then watched a short video about using the device
- Added a Yahoo email account with just e-mail address and password (didn’t need to know server address, port, etc.)
- Added Exchange account using settings for Active Sync given by the hosting company that runs my server (a little tricky, but could have been much worse)
- All of my contacts / calendar entries transferred down to the Pre w/o incident and Synergy handled any duplicates (i.e. multiple contacts for the same person show up as one)
- App Catalog - Very easy to choose an app and download it. I recommend checking out the LinkedIn and Fandango apps.
- Web browser seems to support Chinese characters (useful for the site I get my Chinese lessons from). My BlackBerry Bold didn’t display Chinese, so this is an improvement.
- Streaming web audio on the Sprint network - I streamed a high bitrate (1 meg per minute) .mp3 file without any hiccups.
- Security / Lock - Able to set a simple 4 digit PIN that is easy to enter when unlocking the device
- The included carrying bag is felt or something soft and helps keep the device clean
- Google Maps quickly finds my current location and is very responsive
- The videos from the YouTube app look great
Areas to improve
- Application launch time needs to be about twice as fast - Every now and then after I have tapped on an icon I wait for the app to launch and I think, “Did I really tap it”. I am sure Palm made it as fast as they could, but it needs to be faster.
- Browser / PDF reader linkage - I clicked on a .pdf file on chinesepod.com and the browser told me the file type was unsupported. However, there is a PDF reader on the device. My guess is that chinesepod.com (and probably other sites), don’t set the correct MIME type for the .pdf file. It would be good if the browser could deal with that anyway.
- Browser - Would like to be able to download and save .mp3 files, not just stream them.
- App Catalog - I know that Palm needs to move ahead cautiously to make sure 3rd party apps don’t destablize the device, but it would be great to see more apps.