Sun, 12 Jul 2009 Palm Pre (US) review
New operating system has a lot to like, but is coupled with sub-standard hardware
- Manufacturer: Palm
- Distributor: 02
- Pros: Multitasking card interface lets you run many programs at once; unified email Inbox; message flagging; iTunes media syncing; excellent notifications system; multitouch gestures; Synergy contact system good when it works.
- Cons: Often unintuitive interface; cheap-feeling hardware construction; poor hardware user interface design; physical keyboard is difficult to use; Synergy contact system doesn't always work as advertised; touch screen is not always responsive.
- Min specs: UK pricing to be confirmed, Palm Pre will only be available on O2.
- Price: TBC
- Star rating:
Palm Pre visual voicemail
After having used the iPhone’s Visual Voicemail system, conventional voicemail seems like the dark ages. The Pre will nicely pop up a notification to let you know you have a voicemail, and you can tap it to automatically dial in, but it turns out that server-side voicemail is just as awful as it was in the pre-iPhone dark ages.
Scrolling through lists on the Pre is sluggish at best, and while you can usually search a list (say your music or contacts) by starting to type the term you’re looking for, it requires that you slide out the keyboard. I found myself missing the iPhone's “jump to top” shortcut and its index list of letters on the side of the screen.
Text-selection and cursor-movement are also a pain. While you can tap on the screen to move the insertion point to a designated spot, the imprecision of most people’s fingers make this only slightly more accurate than a good game of hit the piñata.
Instead, you can select text by holding down the shift-button on the keyboard and dragging on the screen; that has its own idiosyncrasies. You can move the cursor by holding down the orange button and dragging your finger around—yes, that dratted orange button again.
And as long as we're talking about the orange button, it turns out that if you want to remove an installed application from the Pre’s launcher, you have to hold down the orange button and tap the icon before you’re presented with the option to delete. Yet one of the many features I actually had to consult the Pre’s manual for.