Palm Pre Mini-Review

I returned my Pre this weekend, and several folks asked for my thoughts on it and why I returned it. I didn’t keep or use the Pre very long, but I did give it a chance. It’s a nice device to be sure. For a 1.0, it’s really quite impressive.

Things to like:

  • Great browser.
  • Great integration with Google Calendar, Gmail, etc.
  • Fast Sprint 3G network.
  • Crisp screen.
  • Very nice maps/driving directions app which keeps working in the background – could have replaced my TomTom easily.
  • Background processing and multi-tasking.

There were also some things not to like:

  • It feels slow/underpowered.
  • The keyboard is the first physical keyboard I’ve used that might be worse than the iPhone’s soft keyboard.
  • It gets very hot during extended use (like with the driving directions).
  • Form factor, while compact, was a little thick and the plastic body scratches easily.
  • Lacks 3rd party apps – we’ll see how that changes in the future.
  • Copy/paste is a bit hard to use.

Ultimately, I’d choose the BlackBerry Bold or iPhone 3GS over the Pre; but if I had to use the Pre for some reason, I think I’d be just fine with it. I’m interested in developing for the webOS platform, but am a bit in “wait and see” mode right now.