Palm Pre Gets Reviewed

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Jun 2009 11:58 am EDT

The embargoes have lifted and the first reviews of the Palm Pre are alreading filling up the internet. Smartphone Experts' Editor-in-Chief, Dieter Bohn, has already spent a ton of time on the device, and I highly recommend anyone who is interested in learning more about Palm's entry back into the smartphone market to check out his Palm Pre Review. The video above will give you a great overview of the device in just under tens minutes, while the full review gets into the nitty gritty. 

All in all, I think the Palm Pre is a welcome entry into the smartphone game. In some areas it raises the stakes by bringing some very original thoughts to the table, while other facets of the Web OS platform will take some time refine and improve. We've already seen quite a lot of Palm Pre chatter in the CrackBerry forums, so in honor of the Palm Pre's launch we've created a new Palm Pre forum to accompany our existing Apple iPhone 3G forum and Other Smartphones forum. There's no better way to be a knowledgable CrackBerry Addict than to also know about the competition, right?

Reader comments

Palm Pre Gets Reviewed


Do I keep my Bold or go Pre...? After seeing a very impressive review of what this thing is capable of, makes you wonder if RIM is gonna up the ante cos these guys are def gunnin' for them

If you are running .148 on your storm and you don't have some crappy theme, but run the original, then the storm is an amazing phone. I didn't see much that the storm can't do in that video and the phone is a year older.

You gotta remember that the phone in the video did not have 20 apps and was running all the base software. I have 0 complaints about the Storm now that we have decent software...Let's see what the consensus is after the public has been using the pre for a few months...problems will arise with it too...

This site is extremely helpful and one of my favorites, but sometimes people really get very hypercritical of what they have. The grass isn't always greener on the other side...if you want to give it a try, go for it. Don't be surprised when the pre utopia crumbles...

I like my Storm a lot and nothing I've seen for the Pre makes me want to leave my blackberry. This thing feels like cheap plastic and hard to type on according to other reviews. Wait until real users report back and how the Palm environment develops from here on. No one wants old school Palm apps and new users picking this up will not even know about the old Palm software. People bitch about the Storm but enough already especially if you're running .148 now.

the pre does look like palm is on the right track... and they REALLY need to be on the right track right now.

The os looks nice n flashy, which is good. But IMO the device itself is ugly as sin. I'll stick with storm for now. On .148 the thing is a menace

Amen to what shellhorn said. I'm really liking .148 and remember that even though the Pre looks cool and all, it's on Sprint.

i still love that my blackberry has a business feel, but it could've been more suave. would most of you say you use your storm for just business, just personal, or for both? I'm a both guy, but i'm assuming it's mainly a personal thing.

It takes like 30 seconds for an app to open, has no recording capability, has NO EXPANSION slot which is absolutely foolish and the screen is not much better than the storm. The key board looks terrible and cramped. Ok some fancy stuff like multi touch but thats nothing new. Whats so great about this thing??? The storm works fine with .148 on it. If you think your storm is trash then do yourself a favor and sell it on craigslist and go buy yourself a Pre. That solution looks like it will solve all your storm compaints.

Like most of the touch screed devises on the market right now (including the Storm) the Pre seems more for consumer consumption then a business oriented devise. Nothing wrong with that, just not the Bold, Curve or upcoming BBs that will be introduced in the coming months that are truly in support of the business user. The fact that Sprint doesn't support MSN has always been a huge issue for me. I have no problems with that on my 8900... my business as well as personal email are MSN accounts. No MSN, no Pre!

I agree with the poster who said something along the lines of the "grass always looking greener on the other side"... no question that the Pre will have it's issues moving forward. Nothing is perfect and I am sure we will begin reading about OS issues, etc. in the coming weeks as people get their hands on these.

No GSM = No Good. At least not for someone who needs to be able to travel internationally like me. And I love me my UMA access while I do that.
But it's a nice phone. The sort of technology it uses ought to be something RIM can incorporate, though - there's no patent on syncing with online services, after all. I can already Sync with my Gmail and calendar and Facebook, in fact Facebook fills in the gaps in my address book. What's new here? Once again, Blackberry got there first (although only barely, in this case).
Now if only they'd sync my Google Documents....

the storm blows people, i'm done lying to myself and anyone that thinks the storm is a good phone is lying.

its slow, its not intuitive at all, its more of a pain to use than fun. this palm seriuosly destroys the storm so does the iphone

if it was up to me and i had the liberty of choosing my service provider i would have an iphone or a pre, but i am on a verizon family plan that i am locked into which forces me to deal w/ the garbage of a phone that the storm is

you say you "STRONGLY" disagree, seriously give me a list of 3 things that make the storm a better phone than the pre? i'm dying to know .. also what can the storm do that the pre cant? annoy the hell out of the user?

each phone has different strengths.

on topic

Did i see NO expandable memory on the pre? That's a pretty rough blow

who gives a shit really .. its 8 gb, and the storm is 8gb unless u upgrage which many probably don't.... and i would take the lack of expandable memory just to get the phone

storm users always point out little things like that ... ok so the pre doesn't have expandable memory but it doesnt change the fact that its leaps and bounds ahead of the storm. from another viewpoint .. would you be willing to say that the storm is a better phone than the pre just because it has expandable memory? i dont think so

And it has flash. This is out of the box working. What exactly does BB have on this? Push e-mail? GMAFB. If I did not need BB for BES this would be my device.

This puts my Storm to shame. For those of you that say 148 or.. Well, probably any update makes your Storm "work fine" you're in denial. Our phone is clunky. It's slow. The accelerometer SUCKS. It has serious issues if it's up, down, left, or right most of the time and u constantly have to do the "Storm tilt" to get to be the way you want it. I've done all the udpates, etc. 148 is an improvement from previous versions, but the Storm is STILL clunky. As for the Storm 2 I think it will be the same as Storm 1, minus SurePress. Unless they COMPLETELY overhauled the OS and made it entirely different I think the phone will still be sick and have serious issues. Don't get me wrong, I WANTED my Storm to start feeling better, but it's still sick. I think it's a combination of hardware and definately software issues that hinders it from ever really getting better.

For those that say the Pre doesn't have the ability to add storage, etc. Let's first talk about how RIM can't even make their phones save apps on the 8 gig or 1 gig storage spaces available to it but instead is forced to use it's miniscule device memory. When they address that MAJOR problem, then we can start talking about Pre not being able to add storage. Cause as of right now, I got a whole lot of 8 gigs that would much prefer to used for apps than my Storm's choking device memory.

repeat NOT ditching surepress. You are obviously very well informed, but I disagree; storm is running great. There are advantages and disadvantages to every platform. It just depends on what you like.

Hey kidqwik,

You ever heard of craigslist? If not then enter it your web browser and put your storm for sale. Pre will be out Sunday so go wait outside the sprint store for your 8GB fixed memory phone and enjoy yourself.

1. the battery life is terrible - seriously - just bing/google it
2. no recording video
3. no camera zoom
4. no syncing with outlook on regular pop email
the only way to get your contacts onto the phone is if you happen to have gmail and you put your contacts into gmail (which I refuse to do -due to security)
5. no calendar sync at all again unless you use google calendar- soo horrible because many people happen to make calendar appointments 'out in the field' and you cannot even invite attendee to get them to outlook
6. the keyboard is difficult to use because you have to reach down into the keyboard to type and I find myself unable to type very well at all (unlike my curve)
7. it's totally cheep feeling and looking- the sides where the keyboard pull out are sharp and you can seriously hurt someone or yourself
8. many of the 'synergy' features are actually not that innovative; like for instance combining your email messages and instant messaging into a single list - duh the messages folder on most blackberrys already have that as well as integrating facebook, twitter, and many other application messages
9. it has no DATA Roaming- so if you are not in sprint network area you have NO data- that's right not even sending a picturemail
10. the speakerphone is seriously quiet- quieter than blackberry 8330 -and that is pretty quiet
11. if they're almost out of business after selling millions of centros - then they have to literally sell 10 million of these just to not be out of business by next year- i seriously doubt they will sell that many but I guess it is possible

overall I was not impressed and I had serious hands on with this phone

Why is pinch zoom so great? Just because it looks cool.

I quick tap on the Storm and you are zoomed. 1 thumb, 1 handed.

I don't get it.

Half the time the Storm doesn't let you quick tap. On some webpages I have to load the menu bar and do the Zoom In and do that over and over to get closer to something. Quick tap Zoom on the Storm is unreliable.

both double tap, and highlight pause and click methods work just fine, the only time i use the zoom tool from the bottom bar is to zoom out in stages rather than the full zoom out that the back button makes use of

Work paid for the phone and pays for the plan... If they'd pay for my Sprint bill I'd gladly switch. The 8 gigs fixed memory that lets you store like oh.. EVERYTHING on it including apps is much better than the memory leaking, not enough memory to store a bunch of apps even when the phone is gutted of like extra files/programs etc, meager 128 MEGS of memory that the Storm has. Of course if you put down your Storm for 5 minutes and pick it back up, you may have gone from 32 Megs to 20 megs because it has Alzheimers...

Don't pay any attention to your memory for a while...
Delete all the stupid themes (there are a few good ones, but most people dont run them.)

You will be shocked...people pay way to much attention to the memory thing...

Pick your phone up, start using it and the memory goes back up.

Thank you patches for curing my own memory obsession...I am now your disciple attepting to spread the good news!!!

I still love meterberry, but only to watch how the system memory jumps back up when in use...kinda fun!!

memory fluctuates. In any device. That's how memory works. You use it.

The system will reallocate needed memory on its own. If you are not satisfied with that, "there's an app for that" get something like memoryUP pro and try it out. Might work out for ya.

The less you obsess over free memory, the happier you will be. I don't notice any performance difference from 45mb to 10mb of free space at all

128MB is what is reserved for application memory, it doesn't matter what the total amount of onboard memory is (the Storm does have more, 1GB total I believe), it only matters how much is allotted to certain resources. The "fixed" memory only means that it will be more difficult to transfer stuff from one phone to another or expand the amount of total storage.

I only have one added theme, the Icon Glowing Sliding Top Dock one that before 148 seems to have very little memory drain. My memory has gone done to like 15 and 7 megs lately without additional apps running in the background, etc. When I Quickpull I have about 32 right now. Watching it drop from 32 to 7 without using it is painful. If I let it hit 0 the phone will explode. :)

The phone does lose memory when idle, but it will go back up when you start using applications, including the browser...

just try it...I promise you will be happier with your phone...

I do a quick pull maybe once a week...more out of habit then necessity...

Again, I did this because I got tired of hearing patches say to do it..

In my opinion no one should be allowed to complain until they try this...

It looks really smooth and quick, I'm not a huge palm fan buts looks very impressive and intuitive. The issue I have with my Storm is that when people say "remove all your themes and apps and just run the standard and its really fast!" it makes no sense. If RIM is going to allow people to have themes and additional apps and so on, on your phone as one of the selling points, than it should be built to handle it. The Storm is a fine product, but it still needs a lot of work.

I hear ya...

Themes and weather apps I'd recommend staying away from...

For weather go to the weather channel, put in your location and look on the top left of the will have a create shortcut button...That provides a direct link to your weather and it doesn't kill your memory. Or, if you just need the basic info get the new Quick Launch (best app period) and the weather can show at the top of the Quick Launch pop up..

But I never said get rid of apps, I have about 30 apps on my phone!!!

Get rid of weather apps, get rid of (most) themes, and pile on the apps...

that's what drives me crazy, they put out a product that has all these abilities, and capabilities.....but if you want it to run fast you can't use some of them because it will slow it down. To me, being a graphic designer, having the ability to use custom themes was a selling point, unfortunately it creates a trade off, which to some is worth it, to others its not. That's like giving someone ice cream for desert but than saying FYI if you it you'll get fat. makes no sense.

The fact that there are themes out there that really do work great makes it clear to me that it can be done. The beauty of the Blackberry is that they have left it open to 3rd parties to do as they please. So you get lots of stuff, but not everyone puts out a good product. I actually do use a theme on mine. I have found 2 that I really like that don't kill my memory and keep my BB running smooth.

bbleather hidden today plus (probably the smoothest theme I have found)

Blackberry Pro v3 (Only had it a couple days, but seems to be really working great)

I'm not saying these are the only two, just saying they are the best I've used (Pay or Free)

Everyone wants everything to be open source, and I agree, but if it is you have to be a little more discerning on the software you use...

I know Plazmic is not perfect, but they have left that open as a possibility. You can't compare the demo above (out of the box "theme") with a custom themed BB and complain...

If you take home a piece of meat, and burn the crap out of it on the grill, you can't blame the farmer...

With this kind of system anyone can write any app or theme. RIM has no control over the quality of coding that joe schmoe might be using to create his app or theme.

I mean... they COULD control every little app etc and have strict standards like apple. But then you lose the open-ended nature of the system. It's great because anyone can write anything for it for any price. You are not restricted in this fashion. Gotta take the bad with the good

You need a case prying tool just to take out the battery. It looks like he is running his thumb nail between the phone and the battery cover in order to take it off. Do that enough times and it's gonna start to hurt.

who the heck has sprint? I live in Boston, and couldn't name one person. Verizon has the best coverage, so it's hard to leave. I'm holding out, and will struggle with my Storm. I've had Blackberries for over 10 years now, but loyalty only means so much....

I was a former Treo owner, and I love Palm. I think that this device has some great potential, but as a former user, I too am not very impressed as I thought I was going to be. I was planning on making it a personal phone and use my BB for business. It lacks things that I figured would have been improved upon and doesn't have the esentials it should. I am honestly left scratching my head over Palm's decision to get away from the Treos. If your new to Palm, it may interest you, but IMO if your a current/former Palm/Treo user your going to be very disappointed. A few points.

1. The phone is cheaply made. Not well planned or constructed. It does not have the durable feel of Palms other devices. If you have owned a Treo, you will know exactly where I am coming from. For this reason alone, I am no longer interested and moving on.

2. Although much easier to get navigate then the Treo, I felt the touchscreen was little difficult to select in different areas. Still better than what we have with the Storm.

3.The volume seems low even at the highest setting. I don't remember seeing or beig told by the rep that there is a ring/vibrate option. If your in crowded or noisy area, I'll bet you won't hear it.

4. It very much resembles a "sexy" Centro. Which I remember, was not very sexy.

5. The screens resolution is poor or at least what I saw was. The Storm still has better resolution hands down. Probably the best on the market, and yes this would include the iPhone.

6. I too was interested in the calander. It's crap. Business people, you will probably not care for it. I do however like how smooth navigating through contacts and docs is. Fantastic!!

7. The keyboard. Are there not enough slider phones already. It feels delicate and I got the feeling that it will eventually wear out and if your not carefull with it, it will break. Seriously, if you drop this phone with the keyboard out, I hope you have insurance because you will need it. Even a light impact IMO, would take this phone out of commision.

browser is freaking sweet. I wish the Storm could have multiple web browsers open in the background like the Pre. The multi-touch pinch to zoom isn't that big of a deal for me. The page rendering and speed is far superior on the Pre than the Storm. Not sure why RIM can't get the browser right. Like many have stated, RIM is getting further and further behind the tech curve. They really need to step it up. Just about every smartphone out there has RIM's browser killed.

Right now, my next device will be the iPhone. No way I'm taking another gamble with the Storm 2. However, Pre is coming along pretty nice. The iPhone is just way faster in terms of page and app transitions...not to mention a TON more apps. Only if I could get it on VZW's network.

I think RIM seems best at designing phones for their feel and look. When it comes to the tech, and most namely software development, they fall behind. Blackberry OS's all pretty much look the same and do the same. Sure we have variations, but 4.7 and the Storm do not play nice. I'm no Apple fanboy, but when you pick up an iPhone and use it, the interface is fluid and flawless. Sure they have cut/paste issues(soon to be fixed), but the Storm's OS is best described as "clunky and slow". RIM needs to get somoe new blook in with their coders and be a little more inivative and think about design, usability, and hard/software harmony. You can make a touch screen phone, but when you end up having to update your phone's OS all the time with unofficial leaks to get make subpar improvements over six months I feel like I'm running updates on PC. It shouldn't be this way with a phone. Sure Apple has software updates too, but.. The Storm has one through what.. Like a dozen or so in six months and it STILL doesn't run smoothly. This isn't a good sign for Storm 2.

come on how stupid can they be 8GB onboard. What if I drop my phone in water or it gets fucked up some other way? How the fuck can i get my shit off it???

RIM better get it together quickly. I enjoy blackberries but they need to come out with another OS with a slick UI. I know blackberries are great for businesses but as they become more and more saturated in the consumer market, users are going to want a better looking and "cool" OS. I mean clicking through folders and various screens to get to things is a little played out. Like I said, I enjoy blackberries and I am chilling with my Bold now, but why can't I have a phone that's reliable and cool too? Of course, blackberries have a certain level of "coolness", but the UI is seriously lacking.

The Pre ok to me but I don't like the slide out keyboard in portait mode. That looks ugly.

ALL BB os versions are lacking graphically.

The storm was a step in the right direction graphics wise, but not enough to make it compete with these hardware accelerated GUI phones. It's the half breed BB between classic BBs (dry as bones OS w/ no transitions or style) and iphone style (lots of flash and polish, but lacking a lot of bb features: expandable storage, mass storage mode, custom themes/apps without the need of a storefront)

The pre seems to lean more on the iphone side of the spectrum, hopefully they dont pale in the features dept.

I do hope that storm 2 will be like palm pre and if thatb were to happen, it will be a great buy for most customers !!

i just watched the video and all the features that shows there, I must say its awesome.the browser is super fast and he screen moves superfast not like my storm which hangs every 2 min while working on it lol.anyways. thanks for the upload and congratz to anyone who owns this sick machine.

RIM says that this is there first touchscreen, yada yada yada so they should be "excused" NO fuck that. I bought a phone and paid premium pricing for it. Went on a data plan and got SHIT.

THATS what the storm should have been able to do. anyone saying that the storm is great is lying to themselves. Its so fucking slow and doesn't have any innovative features. I've look downloaded leaks quick pull everything and the phones just not worth it. So i got a curve.

RIM f**ked up and now they better watch their back. Apple and RIM because the pre is coming out firing.

Oh and everyone saying that the pre is built cheap. I've had 3 palm phones in the past and none of them were built cheap.

Rumored that A.J. went from an iphone to a pre a few months ago and loves the pre because it didn't scratch up like her iphone always did on the back. Its made for durability.

Phone's looking pretty nice/pretty tempting. Will be interested to see when it comes out if it runs into a ton of issues like the storm did, or if it was a well thought through and planned out phone.

... even when it comes to the Storm 2, I think RIM's biggest vulnerability to its competition is not fixed. Of course, I'm speaking of its OS. I can appreciate that RIM strives to maintain as much backward compatibility from one OS to the next because the Enterprise world demands it and, let's face it, the Enterprise world made RIM what it is today. On the other hand, RIM's strong play into the consumer market is exposing how they are sometimes hamstrung by the fact that they need to keep strong ties with the Enterprise world by not doing anything too radical with the OS.

I think, at the very least, RIM needs to start making devices that are not restricted to such a small amount of memory where the apps and app databases are stored. This is one page they could take out of the iPhone book. I don't know if the Pre allows full data space usage like the iPhone, but if it does, it better allows people to take full advantage of one of the smartphone's most important features... apps. Of course, Palms non-smartphone devices in recent history were at least able to run apps from SD cards. So, I think until RIM revamps the way their OS deals with storage space and the app location limitations, they are going to be behind on the software front. That's a real shame, too, because they have a lot to offer hardware wise. Still the best physical keyboards in the biz, after all.


I have always been a PALM since 1990's. From their PDAs to the treo. I just recently owned a blackberry because of the hype that surrounded it last year. I have been praying for palm dive into the prey once again with another smartphone but it didnt happen last year. So i went on to get a blackberry storm which by the way i love.
I have posted gripes and like for the storm because for me the UI of the storm leaves much to be desired. Although a contender in the smartphone industry, storm falls short, in my own humble opinion, but much better than the palm treo that i owned for 3 years.
Her comes the Palm, and OMG. My prayer is answered. User interface for this new kid on the block (Palm not really a new kid on the block) and the first reviews all over the internet just outstanding. Storm's reviews are sub par and critics bashed the storm.
The PRE however has so much good reviews, much more than the iphone or any other smartphones for that matter.
I truly believe PALM PRE will revive PALM. I can not believe PRE actually is making iphone users turn their heads. UI and functionality is a STORM and an IPHONE combined.
PALM ... i tip my hat off you. And when Palm Pre comes out for verizon, i will get it once its out. DEFINITELY!!!
My storm will still be with me, but the PRE took the lightning out of the storm.

1st, my compliments to CB for even mentioning the Pre in its blog. lol.

2nd, I owned 2 Palm Treo's before switching to BlackBerry. The few things I sorely miss about my Treo's are 1) the touch screen + keyboard combination, 2) silent shutter for camera use, 3) spectacular recording quality when the Palm is used to record meetings, lectures, etc.

If the app developers - especially Google - return to the Palm platform, I will very seriously consider switching back to Palm when Verizon gets this baby.

the pre is cool, but its no storm... the storm still hasnt reached its maximum potential due to obvious reasons (anyone tried .148) but it will. the iphone is in its third version and still cant match the storm feature for feature.. and for that matter; neither can the pre.

Pre = No SD card slot, only 8GB of flash memory. No virtual keyboard, I mean come on... Slap that browser into landscape and need to type somthing in? Oh crap ya can't! You have to actually put the phone back to portrait to type the url in! LOL!!

Can we talk?
The Palm Pre is the worst phone I have ever had. I have been with sprint for over 12 years with the same number. Only out of loyalty and a hint of stupidity, I have continued to stay with sprint despite the fact that I would like to have an iphone. Today I have the Tour and I will say that it is 155% better than that of the Pre. Please keep in mind I have never had a BB and am still learning to use it. The battery of the Pre start to finish is about 6 hours tops. You can not change the tone of your message notifications. The keyboard is way to small. They are known for freezing up and I replaced mine after 36 hours. NO JOKE. My list does go on. Overall, do yourself a favor and get yourself any other phone than this one.