Palm Pre — Succotash

I don’t really like to rant, but sometimes I think a PSA is required…

I picked up a Palm Pre last week, and took it back after like five days. I loved my many Palms — I found the original charger for my very first Palm Pilot the other day. Right now, I have a Treo 700p, which was one of the first touch-screen, web enabled, awesome happy smart phones out there, and after a week with the Pre, I’m more than happy to keep it for a little while.

I actually went through TWO Pre’s. After seeing reviews online about them being “slow”, but still pretty good all around, I make the following prediction: Something is very wrong with SOME Pres — enough to be a big problem, and either Palm is just replacing affected phones or people just aren’t complaining loudly enough. I say this because there are enough people who are happy with their phones that they certainly couldn’t have had the experience I did, so something must be different.

In short, I had two major problems. First, the phone was so slow as to be completely unuseable. Yes, lots of reviews say that it’s slow, but they don’t give any real examples. Here’s one for you: it took me THREE MINUTES to make a phone call not even using the Contacts app (I typed the phone number in directly). The contacts list never worked for me. I waited until it was finished syncing with my Facebook and Google addresses and it NEVER let me scroll to the bottom of my contact list. It would always hang at some point “loading” more contacts and never let me scroll any farther.

That’s just inane.


My screen flickered on and off for no reason — I have video of it taking 45 seconds for the screen to come on and STAY on (not BOOT, mind you, just open the charged, turned on phone). No apps running, no syncing going on, nothing.

Battery life was abysmal. Not “bad” not, “I nearly made it through the day”… no… an overnight charge (9+ hours) got the battery to read 80% charged, and spending less than five minutes browsing the web and trying to make a phone call the phone was DEAD 90 minutes later.

So I took it back, and got a replacement Pre, and exactly the same thing happened.

Either there’s a really crappy batch of Palm Pres out there, largely in the Dayton area, or I’m just really unlucky, or something. I’m at a loss. There are plenty of comments around from other people with the same problems, but we seem to be a small percentage of the Pre population.

Still, even if the apps worked as advertised (Try with spotipromo), the phone wasn’t as useful as an old Treo or the Blackberries out there, so, for the forseeable future, no Palm for me. YMMV.

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