Mobility

Palm Pre vs. iPhone 3G S: The choice I made and why

This year will very likely be remembered as the year of the smartphone (at least in the IT world). A fleet of new devices are attracting new users to the smartphone market, led by the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone 3G S. Since I've been in the market for a new smartphone, see which one I chose and why.

This year will very likely be remembered as the year of the smartphone (at least in the IT world). A fleet of new devices are attracting new users to the smartphone market, led by the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone 3G S. Since I've been in the market for a new smartphone, see which one I chose and why.

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As I mentioned in my article iPhone: Why I may be seduced by the dark side, I am in the market for a new smartphone this summer. The good news is that there are some very strong devices out there right now, including the iPhone 3G S, Palm Pre, Google Ion, Nokia N97, and BlackBerry Tour. The bad news is that I narrowed down my choices to the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3G S (below) and I've had a really tough time choosing between the two.

Since there are other individuals, small businesses, and IT departments deciding between these two high-end smartphones, I decided to lay out my decision-making process in order to provide a little decision support to my friends and colleagues in the business world.

First, I should explain my smartphone requirements. I'm looking for a device to serve as my personal phone, media player, and backup for all of my email, calendar, and contacts. I already have a BlackBerry Curve 8320 on T-Mobile that is my company smartphone from CBS. It handles my business calls and securely manages all of my corporate email and groupware data.

The challenge is that I travel regularly and when I travel my smartphone is my primary computing device. It carries all of my travel itineraries, meeting schedules, and contacts. So, if my smartphone was lost, stolen, or seriously malfunctioned while I was on the road then I would be in serious trouble.

Thus, I need a backup. I need a smartphone that can run all of my corporate Exchange data through Microsoft ActiveSync while functioning as my device for personal calls (minimal), personal text messages, and my personal Gmail account. I'm also looking for a smartphone that can complement the BlackBerry Curve in two key areas where it is weak: mobile Web browsing and media playback.

For me, that narrowed the field to two clear candidates: Palm Pre and iPhone. If I didn't already have a business device and I was looking for a single smartphone that could handle corporate-level security and lots of data entry then the choice would have likely been between the Palm Pre (right) and the BlackBerry Tour, with a slight nod to the Tour because of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) backend and the fact that it will be available later this summer on Verizon Wireless, the strongest of the big four U.S. mobile networks.

In evaluating the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre, I'm equally impressed by the touch screens, software interfaces, and usability of both devices. These two are really the standard-setters in usability and the other smartphones on the market all have some catching up to do. I also felt that both devices were excellent for reading everything from emails to news to documents.

When I had to get down to making a decision, I came up with the following lists that break down the strengths that each of these smartphones has over the other one. I also identified the primary drawbacks to the Pre and the iPhone.

Palm Pre

  • Hardware keyboard
  • Excellent multi-tasking
  • Palm Synergy for bringing contacts and calendars into a single view
  • Separates business and personal data while seamlessly providing a merged look at the data
  • Better mobile network at a reasonable price from Sprint
  • Not locked into iTunes
  • Small form factor and very portable

Biggest drawbacks: Still needs an ecosystem of app developers, Palm and Sprint are both struggling companies

iPhone 3G S

  • Broad array of useful applications that take advantage of the strengths of the device
  • One of the best LCD screens in the smartphone market
  • Works with existing iPhone/iPod accessories (including docks in my office, bedroom, and kitchen)
  • Amazon Kindle app for reading books on the road
  • Great apps for news reading (including USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Reuters, and more)
  • National Wi-Fi network included in data plan from AT&T
  • Superior media player functionality
  • Proven platform with a ton of momentum in the marketplace

Biggest drawbacks: Lack of hardware keyboard, inconsistent AT&T network

My decision

In the end, the maturity of the iPhone platform won out. I was primarily influenced by the fact that the iPhone is now in its third generation of hardware and software and the platform features over 50,000 third-party applications (in just over a year after first releasing the iPhone SDK).

I was tempted by the powerful multi-tasking of the Palm Pre and its Synergy functionality, but the iPhone's huge selection of apps makes it infinitely more useful at this point. I also wanted a functional media player since I was going to be carrying an extra phone I wanted to be able to leave my iPod behind. That meant that I needed to be able to carry my favorite music playlists along with podcasts and audiobooks. While the Palm Pre is serviceable as a media player, the iPhone is obviously superior because of its iPod roots.

The other big draw to the Palm Pre is that it is on the Sprint network, which offers more consistent network service than AT&T and is even cheaper with the Simply Everything plan.

But, remember that I was primarily looking for a data device. If I was going to be using this as my primary cellphone for voice calls, the iPhone would have had a big strike against it because it's not very strong as a phone and AT&T has problems with its voice network, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area where I travel regularly. However, I typically only make a few personal calls a week with this smartphone, and if I run into connection problems I still have the BlackBerry Curve in a pinch (although I try not to use it to make personal calls since it's a company phone).

For all of those reasons, the iPhone 3G S made the most sense, but as I've noted the Palm Pre was pretty impressive and could be a viable option for many business professionals and companies.

For more insights on iPhone, Palm Pre, and other tech topics, follow my Twitter stream at twitter.com/jasonhiner

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

126 comments
The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

As there have been reports of overheating iPhone 3GS due to faulty batterys. Sad thing is as you cant just pop the battery out and replace it - the whole handset has to go back!

venih1
venih1

Not very helpful since your review was biased as you'll be keeping your Berry for backup -- would've been better if you'd taken it out of the equation; then I think the Palm Pre (which I'm considering), would've been the logical winner.

tripplec
tripplec

I am at a lost how anyone can concider as the thread creator has a Palm Pre which is inudated with bug. You have only to go to one of several Treo forum and read their bug non functional list of issues. One site is //discussion.treocentral.com/ and read up on what you are concidering to buy. Palm has been notorious for releasing product prematurely and this is an example. What good is it if it does not work seamlessly and any device should. They have a long long what to go to fix the software if they ever do remains to be seen. If you need a data enable smartphone with solid data retension, stability, email server compatible and a well working phone. Then the Pre is NOT it. I've been down this road with their Treo line before.

Spiritusindomit
Spiritusindomit

It's been out just over a year. I'm sorry, but I don't care how many times you increment, that's not mature. So far as the 50,000 applications go, I suppose if you want a smartphone as a toy,go for it, but the iphone doesn't have much in the way of business apps.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

He did say it was a second/backup phone. But even then, even if it was my TOY phone, I wouldn't go for an i-Phone just because of the crappy, on screen input. A wee onscreen keyboard that just goes smudgy in seconds. Ever notice that people with i-Phones enter two words then wipe screen, two words then wipe screen, two words, ACK! KEYBOARD! REAL BUTTONS. Even the on screen keyboard, letter recognizer and transcriber for handwriting recognition of my HTC P4000 is easier and uses a stylus and handwriting instead of smudging up the screen every time you want to enter text. Don't likea stylus and can't write? Slide out QWERTYkeyboard does it fine. i-Phone, bah, blech!

GeorgeCarvill
GeorgeCarvill

While it must be nice to have a job where you can pick whatever phone you want, it just isn't reality for most of us. I might like to have an iPhone. But I am a Sprint customer, locked into a contract with three other phones in my family. So the question I need to answer is whether or not the Pre is better than the Sprint phone I am currently using. The answer to that, by the way, is, "no." The Pre does not support voice dial. Since my primary use will be making calls while driving, it's voice dial with my BT headset or nothing.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Headsets Cars (well my car anyway) has integrated bluetooth with an inbuilt voice dial feature that reads the phonebook to the car for the dial, so upgrade the car first!

GeorgeCarvill
GeorgeCarvill

So that would make the cost of the new phone, humm.... $30,000 give or take? For that money I could junk my Sprint contract, buy four iPhones and pay the monthly bill for close to 100 years.

DBOConnor
DBOConnor

The PALM PRE is in it's early development, just like the Iphone that has had several upgrades. These smartphones have now become expensive disposable toys. I refuse to rush and get these gadgets until there are at least 2 or 3 versions and the prices drop from the outrageous $500 and $300 prices to $99. The Iphone from last year that went for $200 was up for sale at $99. What does this tell us all about running out and getting the new toys? I will wait it out.

onephatcat
onephatcat

Sprint kicked me off their network because I was roaming too much on an "unlimited roaming" plan. I wanted to get a Palm Pre, but guess what, it was a Sprint phone. The only service that really works well in rural California for me is AT&T. So, I finally gave in and ordered an iPhone. I don't understand why a company like Palm would want to lock themselves to one carrier like that instead of accessing a much broader market with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and whatever else is out there.

FrostyTS
FrostyTS

" I don't understand why a company like Palm would want to lock themselves to one carrier like that instead of accessing a much broader market with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and whatever else is out there. " You do realize...that iPhone is locked into AT&T right?.... and that Palm only has a 6 month agreement with Sprint. This part really has me wondering about your location: "So, I finally gave in and ordered an iPhone." Are you so far away from anything that you must order your phone instead of driving to a store to pick one up? If the answer is yes, then I think the problem is that you might just be a little too "rural" for any real network coverage. ;) I don't know about AT&T's coverage of your location, but if it's not cost effective for them to run data (because you are the only one on that tower) then you might have problems with data even on the iPhone.

drewcollier
drewcollier

you missed the biggest failure with the PRE. it will not connect to active sync if the PIN Lock setting is enabled. this is huge for the enterprise folks. if your company requires a pin on the phone from the exchange server, and they should, you'll never connect until Palm updates the OS.

david.valdez
david.valdez

There are two reasons why I cannot, in good conscience, spec the Pre in my enterprise: 1. They did not secure either an iTunes nor an ActiveSync license, so both services could be disabled at any time by a simple software update 2. The Sprint network may be more consistent where you live, but here it's the fourth out of four carriers, so I cannot endorse it. I've sent email to all my GMs stating that IT will not support the Palm Pre due to its unsupportable, hacked features. Palm had a chance to lay a golden egg, but then they had it come out of a different orifice.

rathornton
rathornton

The severely disappointing battery life & horrendous AT&T service make the iPhone a bad choice - IF only it were on the much more reliable Verizon network I could overlook the battery. But the dropped calls, the static, the poor customer service - all on a network that is supposed to be the best - sorry, I am jumping from the AT&T ship as soon as I can afford to.

FrostyTS
FrostyTS

It's kind of funny that no one is really talking much about using these phones....as phones. =P So, I just wanted to mention that the Pre has awesome voice/sound on both ends. I've had several compliments about the quality of the actual phone call. The speaker phone works great as well.

Norm Cimon
Norm Cimon

It was a relatively easy choice for me since (1) AT&T would not allow me to keep my existing phone number Sprint could do that, and (2) Sprint service is superior out here in rural Oregon where I live. Both my personal and company email were trivially added to the Pre's list of email accounts. I have one client who recently took down web mail, where I have another address to their Intranet email but that will hopefully be back up soon. If so, the device would easily let me do that. The other features are useful but not essential. That said, the web interface, browsing capabilities, and the sound are all very good on the Pre. The interface and screen quality are outstanding as well. The apps will come since this is an easy system to work with, and they're already appearing.

csmith
csmith

Everyone is different but, I can't finger paint my email sorry!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Superior because of i-Pod? I find i-Pod the worst form of music quality, the worst prorietary interface available in th eMP3 player industry. They offer NOTHING that competetive players don't already offer while other players offer far greater output quality, better batttery life, a much better tone control system (EQ, Bass boost etc) and an ability to play multiple formats (including FLAC that is supported on Samsung players). i-Pods are bottom of the barrel as far as music playback capabilities are concerned. But they are neato and everyone has one so they must be better! As far as the touch screen, despite the fact tha Apple integrated multitouch technology, the base screen technology and durability is behind the pack by years. They bought a failed capacitive touch company and modified their technology, that was proven useless and rarely used. By 'improve', they added multi-touch chips for functionality, but that doesn't detract from the failed, unreliable base technology (which is not the same, popular capacitive touch introduced by Elo/Tyco). It looks nice and feels nice but it isn't accurate and isn't durable. Compared to single point capacitive touch and 5-wire resistive touch it isn't durable anyway, compared to IR and Accutouch it is an equal. The only place where I can see your choice as being valid and worthy is that it is your second phone and you already have a smarphone. You like the multimedia interface compared to others, but Apple's i-Phone does not record video or edit video. It's camera is that of a 10 year old cell phone. It pales in comparison to smart phones with full Windows Media Player, you can't run a database, even a personal one and synch it with anything else. As a second phone to have a neato online store and games, i-Phone has some merits, as a synch device or backup (meaning you would have to rely on it being able to do your office tasks too) it doesn't even come close to being SOMEWHAT worthy. Despite your conclusions, which I feel are flawed and based on media hype, you clearly decided to get an i-Phone because they were popular. They were trendy and all the other kids have one. Your findings and comments actually make the Palm a better choice, based on your needs. Face up to the facts, Jason! You are even fooling yourself now.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

You know that quote is way out of context. I said the MEDIA PLAYER on the iPhone was superior to the Pre because of its iPod roots. As for the music playback, I don't care much about codecs, bass boost, and all that because I spend most of my time listening to podcasts and audiobooks, so I just need something that lets me quickly and easily get that content and iTunes (desktop and on iPhone) is the fastest. Otherwise, I can't stand iTunes (it's not even as good as WinAmp or MusicMatch from circa 2002). The biggest draw to the iPhone is the maturity of the platform and the apps. Give the Pre a year or two and it will likely erase much of that advantage. But the iPhone apps make that device infinitely more useful than others, due to a lot of terrific work from third party developers.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

On the contrary, I find that a major drawback to i-Phones. Smartphones allow for development of applications, i-Phone will allow devlopment but not availability unless Apple has approved it. If Apple has a database app, how many others will they allow you to buy from their store? When I got my first smartphone, I was in telecom, I had a custom database designed on Access and also available for Winmobile (FREE) that offered industry specific features that let me compile a quote and send it via bluetooth or WiFi to the client's printer. I work within the security industry now, we just had a trade show last week where everyone was displaying their latest phone based app for viewing your cameras on the go. When on vacation you can check in on the baby sitter, see if the sprinkler is off, make sure your home or business is okay. There were only TWO vendors who had it available (one now and one upcoming), and approved by Apple for use on i-Phone, costing in excess of $120.00 per phone. There were more than a dozen who offered it for WinMobile and at no cost or a very low cost. In most cases it was just a download that you'd could use with their surveillance system. So where is the better choice? With i-Phone you have little or no choice at all, with WinMobile you can choose whatever system you want and they usually have the free pap to go with it. Do you think Apple will offer such industry specific applications? Apple will sell you apps that would normally be free on WinMobile. I have found many developers will offer free mobile versions and sell their server based and PC based versions of software. Apple would have to allow it into their store and then sell it to you. Maturity with i-Phone is self imposed by Apple too. Their first device was a horror show, absolutely useless as a phone and a data device. So they revised it, then they cam out with 3G in such a short time they should have just held off and then opened with the 3G. As a result they APPEAR to be developed and improved. But really they ha dno business with their first releases, which were garbage compared to ANYTHING on the market at the time and they were certainly not worthy of release. "Terrific work from third party developers?" C'mon, your wife must be a third party devloper for i-Phone or something, in which case yoru bias is justified. There are THOUSANDS more apps available for WinMobile, BECAUSE it is a more matured and many more third party developers have offered their own terrific work themselves, from their own website with their own support system and often at no cost or at least a low cost.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I am far from passionate about Windows Mobile, but it does work, is not clunky in my case, I run HEAPS of apps and have extended memory just to hold a 19,000 contact database. Slower or not, it does more, more is available and it actually works, for me anyway. I am not passionate about Windows Vista either, BUT, I cannot say it doesn' run like a top oon my notebook (with only 2GB ram) and I run heaps of Audio video editing software, all office prgrams, web design (the entire Adobe Master Collection) etc. all without issues. So how can I jump on the bandwagon and say that Vista sux, is slow, bug ridden and unresourceful? I pile on the software and it just works all the time for me. I cheat and download a lot of software when I can't justify the company buying it, mainly for trials and one off projects, so I have more than most average users who would need to buy apps. Seriously, Jason, I am NOT a Windows fanboy, but until it fails me, how can I justify jumping on the hate MS bandwagon when I have no legitimate reason to, other than to be like all the other kids. I had a guy in the office last week who told me, 'Vista sux, I bought a new laptop and it ran like crap, blah blah blah." Turns out he'd bought an XP notebook and installed Vista on it, running Aeroglass, menu animations etc. all running at full prettiness and only had 1GB of RAM. He then said, I put XP in and it ran fine! No kidding? Of course he didn't realize his problem was not teh OS, he just listened to the VISTA SUX people and went with it. THESE are the types of people dissing MS just because they have NO idea what they are talking about and it's cool to join the pack and makes him seem like a person in the know. I drove a Pinto in 1993. It was the last model they made (1980)an ESS Sport. I pulled the 2.3L and rebuilt it in trade school for a side project. It ran like a clock, had mroe horsepower (stock rebuild) than most other new cars that year, was rock solid, safe (gas tank issue was moved 2") and reliable. I could beat 4cyl Mustangs, Honda's etc of fthe line it was a riot. YOu say Pinto and pople think BOOOM! THe Pinto had a gas tank that was 2" too far back in the car, for 6 months of their production run. That 6 months of production, trashed the Pinto name for all models all years. MEdia hype screwed Pinto. It was better than all north American competitors, Horizon, Chevette, Vega et al. But media hype and the name Pinto meant BOOOOOOM! Explorer's had an issue with a tire manufacturer arguing THEIR recommended pressure over Ford's. Pepople that run teh tires overinflated (32-35PSI) had issues with tire separation and Ford Explorer's were quickly named the Rollover Kings, Ford Exploders. Ford argued that it was the tire manufacturer's fault and recall expense, Firestone said it was Ford's low pressure recommendation. Once settled, Ford took back all tires and even on USED Explorer's they make sure to send you a notice to have your tires, including spare replaced at no cost, they are ALL tracked through vehicle registration. But they STILL live under teh media's spin that they are unreliable, unsafe vehicles. It's complete horsecrap, just like the Vista and WinMobile haters. Sure it's not perfect and sure in a poorly built or maintained device they may suffer, but not everyone faces such issues. Sorry for length, I thought examples would help you see hwo these things are spun out of proportion to include entire corporations when the problem lies and is easily resolved with components.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

is passionate about Windows Mobile. :-) I knew there had to be one out there somewhere! I only agree with you in one area: Windows Mobile (and BlackBerry, for that matter) have a lot more line-of-business apps than iPhone or Palm, but those aren't useful to the general body of users. Those biz apps alone will keep Windows Mobile relevant for several more years. However, iPhone has only been on the market for two years and it has already surpassed Windows Mobile in market share. Plus, WinMo is under heavy pressure from BlackBerry and Palm for corporate business. Microsoft is going to have to do a major reboot of the OS in order to keep it relevant in the larger smartphone market.

enriquehernz
enriquehernz

One deciding factor between Palm Pre and iPhone: No multitasking. I rest my case.

trancify
trancify

My solution: Verizon cell phone for voice, the new Verizon MiFi device for data access for up to 5 devices, and an iPod Touch. Works great.

zage
zage

I'm not of those who are technozombies that jumps to a new tech because the market dictate so... when I buy something, longevity is one of the characteristic I look for because I try to get the most from it and I don't want to waste my money... I'm not controlled by the market every time they decide to say that you have to...also reducing that futile acquisition helps reduce toxic waste that affects the environment... For me the first flaw I saw in iphone is the unremovable battery... you need to have the recharger all the time to have the device ready... I think a biz-man doesn't have time to be charging its dependable device every time... charging it frequently approach its end-of-life more faster... when it gets its end-of-life you have to depend on Apple Dealers for the replacement... So that's why I like it with removable batts.. I bought some of them to reduce the memory-effect (and also are more ez to carry) that the frequent recharge do... when the batt has its charging level low, I change it...I avoid the restriction of having the device hooked up to a charger by using an external recharger when I get home... Apple and Sony are two companies that I try to avoid, their tech is of HQ, but they create a virtual monopoly by creating products that aren't dynamic and compatible with other manufacturers...they are only compatible with them...also EXPENSIVE!!! For the smartdevice, I prefer mine (not an iPhone) because I having it doing more than when it was original.... for those that understand me!!! >:-> And as closing statement, iPhone is an iPod with phone functions added.... those are my two cents!!!

amol_heda
amol_heda

It's a biased article from a iTunes loaded user! Jason has a focus on getting his iTunes into his phone device. That itself sets the article up for a bias. I am a iPhone user and I have not been able to get all my contacts and calendars in from my previous device for the last year or so. I don't want to pay for any additional software or devices to do such fundamental tasks! As mature a platform as iPhone can be, I think such fundamental weaknesses are still not addressed.

mehinindiana
mehinindiana

I faced a similar choice, but I went with the Pre. For me a hard keyboard was a necessity. I got it on day #1 and so far am delighted. I used a HTC Touch Pro with Windows Mobile (after several Treo's) before purchasing the Pre. With Windows Mobile I felt like I had been cast away to He**. What still astounds me on the Pre is how simple everything is...no complex menus, no 25 questions - it just does what it does very elegantly. you are right about other phones having a need to catch up. The Pre and IPhone have raisd the bar significantly. Now, lt's hope by this time next year there are 50,000 apps for the Pre. Let the competition begin.

bretferris04
bretferris04

you've totally overlooked far superior platfroms from HTC??????

bretferris04
bretferris04

you've totally overlooked ar superior platfromsfrom HTC??????

jpdecesare
jpdecesare

Jason, I develop software in Visual Studio 2008, my teeth are sunk into SQL Server and Oracle daily, I adopted Office 2007 and Vista the moment they came out, and am already running 7 RC as my main OS on my dev machine at work. Add in the 16 Microsoft cert exams I've passed in the last 9 years, and it's obvious I embrace Microsoft and corporate technologies. But when the smoke clears, Apple has done the iPhone so incredibly well, I'll never subject myself to arguing with the cramped ugly UI's in Windows Mobile and the Palm OS again (and forget Blackberry, I almost stomped on it after 3 hours). All those phones feel like you have to work to get what you want. The iPhone is this incredibly fun breath of fresh air. Every phone has some drawback, but if I'm going to have a phone, it might as well be the slickest and most intuitive UI out there. Apple excels in that arena, no arguments needed. Good choice!

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Yes, it just had the numbers 0-to-9 to dial, a hash key and a star key. Can't get any slicker or more intuitave than that. No confusion there. No need to translate either. No arguments needed!

ketan_san
ketan_san

With so many people needing to separate business/work and personal phone calls, why not consider the option of dual-SIM phones? Why is it that there are so few good dual SIM phones available in the market? Could someone please look at the PROs & CONs of this option?

dweil
dweil

One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises in my short time with my Pre is the discovery of Pandora. I've already created the maximum 100 radio stations, and I find that this facility in may ways negates the need for traditional media storage and playback. Pandora will not only shuffle my favorite artists individually or collectively, it provides an excellent gateway to new music discoveries. And all while consuming virtually ZERO gigabytes of storage. Of course, Pandora also would provide the same benefits on the iPhone, so this doesn't really provide any edge to the Pre. But I think it does at least minimize, if not eliminate, any edge that the iPhone has in the area of media playback, unless we're talking about non-music media.

Alondo
Alondo

I didn't realize what I was missing until I got this app for my iPod Touch. When I saw it was coming to the Pre on day 1, I knew I was going to pick one up on day one. My only complaint is the quality of the audio ,even on high quality, through Pandora (noticeable when I hook my Pre to my car radio). It is very convenient, nonetheless!

FrostyTS
FrostyTS

If you are driving around and streaming audio, you will be tower hopping, and there will always be places where a signal is stronger or weaker. Not to mention, some towers will have more traffic than others, all of which will affect your music download (this goes for any network). ;) I listen to Pandora on high quality over the standard Sprint connection while at work, and it sounds great through the headphones.

Kruppster
Kruppster

The "killer app" for me was Logmein ignition and VNC which both give me remote control over mine and clients computers. I don't know if its available on the pre or any other phone but every micron of screen real estate is crucial to me and the Iphone has the most. In addition, I was pleasently surprised with being able to add functionality like "Flashdrive" which lets me use my Iphone like a network drive so I can upload utilities to "broken" computers that are on the network but can't access the internet. Basically it just keeps getting better. I wish I could tether but "Fu.." AT&T who I suspect is dragging their heels so they can figure out how to charge more for it. I plan to get another Iphone when my contract renews and Jailbreak my old one which I can then use for tethering and other apps that only work on "Broken" Iphones. It has even replaced my car GPS (Gave the old one to the wife) after buying a car mount that holds it in place, charges it, and broadcasts music through my radio. I still won't buy an apple computer (why pay 3x more for the same hardware) but the Iphone is a winner for me.

FrostyTS
FrostyTS

I had VNC and an SSH/Telnet client on my Palm Treo. If they would just release the friggen SDK to the rest of the world, I'm sure those would be available again fairly quickly. =P With the built in zoom features of these phones (Pre and iPhone and others?) screen size isn't too big of an issue for me any more.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

No it doesn't, its smaller than HTC's. VNC is available for WinMobile too, straight form teh developer not from i-Store. That's two myths that are just ....myths.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

when displaying pictures of $100 bills on the screen I guess :-) Bada-boom!

GoodOh
GoodOh

I have heard some fairly loud and sustained wailing about very poor battery life on the Pre. Any comments on that aspect from those who know more than me.

shipping
shipping

I have a Pre. After playing around with it myself and having the same concers, I discovered that if you turn off Googles Anonymous data collection in Location Services, the battery drain goes away. My phone now lasts a day and a half at least, and no more hot phone!!!

Alondo
Alondo

I am going to try this and see if it helps. I hadn't paid attention to the fact that this option was enabled.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

My HTC SMart phone runs about two weeks. Synching and my database daily, playing music, I record videos on it and send product shots out, I use the handwriting recognition full time (especially when meeting clients and jotting notes, you all know how bad my typing is), I browse the web, Google Maps for cirections to clients etc. It is a full time day to day use business device. And again a full 1 1/2 to 2 weeks betweeen charges.

rajan.sowri
rajan.sowri

I really do not know why your reviews are limited to US when there are TechRepublic readers all over the world. This kind of review won't help us in any way. Keep in mind when you review a product next time. Look foward to product reviews globally.

FrostyTS
FrostyTS

I just wanted to point out that the Pre has an app for reading books now, although I don't think it's from Amazon (I haven't dug into it yet). There are also apps for news: Sporting News AccuWeather (love this one) AP News Express Stocks The New York Times Today Show And there are other apps that include news feeds like "Where", which is another of my favorites. Now if Palm would just release their SDK to the rest of us nerdy folk!

gem
gem

I just spent three hours + talking to India. Short story is that Exchange Active Sync doesn't work on the Pre. The Pre will not accept valid SSL certificates, even if you manually D/L them to the phone and import through the Certificate manager. "We are seeing much of these calls" said "Amanda Smith". "Our engineers speak that they know of the problem and are working at it". My local Sprint rep is getting flooded with calls as well. He thinks about a month. We shipped all Pre's back and are sticking w/ BB for the time being. The good news is that the WEB site you have to register with at setup does allow you to control data on the device - it backs the device up and you can erase the device remotely. Barely a shadow of BES, but better than nothing.

drbayer
drbayer

I purchased a Pre on Friday, and was able to set up EAS as easily as on any other smartphone I've worked on, the iPhone included. In fact, the Pre extends the functionality of EAS beyond what I've seen others provide. The Pre will sync your Exchange tasks in addition to calendar, contacts, and email. I have enjoyed playing with the iPhones that I've set up for users in the past. There are 2 major drawbacks to them that have prevented me from getting one - the on-screen keyboard and AT&T. I prefer a hardware keyboard but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. I have had very poor experiences with AT&T Wireless coverage, pricing, and customer service, so I have avoided the iPhone specifically because of the provider.