To Pre or Not to Pre

Tom and I each obtained a Palm Pre in August along with a contract via Sprint. Despite Verizon’s commercials about no dead zones, we couldn’t get ANY service out here at our house. I had to find places in the yard to stand so I wouldn’t lose a call. So we called Verizon, they tested at our house, and they declared us an official dead zone. This meant we could get out of our contract early with no penalty. Nice.

At first, we were thinking we’d get the iPhone with AT&T. But we heard horrible things about AT&T, and we decided to just go with Sprint. Sprint has really strong coverage in our area, so we started looking into their phones. The Palm Pre really appealed to us, and that’s what we ended up getting. The main thing that endeared the phone to me was that it was similar to the iPhone in it’s interface, but it was smaller and had a qwerty keyboard. Something about me just prefers buttons I can push more than buttons on a touchscreen, at least when it comes to texts.

Palm Pre, Closed and Slid Open.
Palm Pre, Closed and Slid Open.

Now I’m not like most people in this way: I like my phone, but I’m not going to try to convert you. I’m just going to talk briefly about what has been good, and bad, about owning this phone. So all you Apple Fanboys just chill. No need to deck me with your top 1,000 reasons I should own an iPhone and why all other phones were manufactured by Satan. And if you think I’m being silly, just trust me when I say it’s almost impossible to discuss any phone other than the iPhone once an iPhone owner enters the room. Don’t take it personally iPhone owners. I love you, friends, but you know it’s true.

Ok. Now that we are done with the disclaimer. The iPhone DOES have some awesome qualities. It’s one of the most (if not THE most) popular phones out there for a reason. It has great apps and a cool interface. Plus it’s like owning a piece a piece of popularity. People recognize the iPhone everywhere you go. And I think that really appeals to a lot of iPhone owners.

The Pre had several people on board for creating it that used to work for Apple. So the interface is pretty much the same, though a lot of people don’t seem to realize this. After I got the Pre, a friend/coworker of mine who loves his iPhone was bound and determined to show me how much better his phone was. He sat with our phones out for an hour and tried to find one thing that his phone offered that mine didn’t. He couldn’t find anything. But he did concede that it was pretty awesome the way we could minimize whatever we were doing (an app, the dialing screen, texting, email, whatever) and switch from one to the other without having to close anything. We have free apps. We can store tons of music to listen to on it. We have a good camera. We can copy/cut/paste text. We can have email, text, internet, and a phone call all going on at once.  We have the same stuff, pretty much.

But one of the best things about having this phone is having it with Sprint. I’d never used Sprint for phone service before, and my experience so far has been great. The coverage has been great for us. I rarely go places that I have no service. The people in the store I’ve gone to have also been really nice and helpful. Usually if you have a problem with your phone, you have to convince the people in stores about your problem really being a problem. When I had an issue, they took one look at my phone and said they would try to fix it or give me a new one. I’m getting a new one today.

That leads me to my problems with the Pre. Apparently, some of their stock went out with “bad batteries.” Basically, Tom got a good phone and battery. I got a defective phone and defective battery. Double Whammy. My phone started turning itself off not long after I got it. I would have to take out the battery, put it back in, and turn it back on. After a while, it would freeze up for hours. Then it got to where the whole touchscreen wasn’t responding to my touch. The only thing I could do was make calls out, and that’s because I had the qwerty keyboard to type the number in with and press enter. I couldn’t hang up though. So if the person I called didn’t answer, and I left a message, I had to take the battery out to hang up the phone. It totally stunk. Tom had none of these problems. But Sprint said a very few people have experienced this and that they were replacing those phones and batteries. No hassle. No convincing them. That was nice.

The only other thing I would say is a bad thing about the Pre is that the battery life is short (even with a good battery). You need to turn off the wi-fi when you aren’t using it so that it’s not constantly looking for a signal, or the battery will be low in a matter of a few hours. But with the wi-fi off except when you need it, the battery lasts longer. And if you put it on Airplane Mode while you work (which I did, because we couldn’t bring phones into the school), your battery will last for several days without needing a recharge.

Other than the Pre and the iPhone, I’ve heard really good things about the Droid. Tom and I have some friends that have the Droid, and they love it. Unfortunately, I don’t know much more about it than that. And that it’s the phone Google made that Verizon is really pushing.

Now, if we can do it nicely, I would love to hear what everyone likes and dislikes about their phones? Especially the Droid or any phone I didn’t mention. Though, iPhone and Pre owners, I welcome your comments too. I’d also like to hear what you think of your service provider. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint…etc.


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