Well the last few days has been pretty active in the cell phone industry. On Saturday we had the debut of the Palm Pre, the supposed “iPhone killer” that was supposed to bring Palm back from the dead and Sprint out of its 3rd place slot in the mobile industry. Monday we had the annual circus sideshow that is the Apple Developer’s Conference keynote where Apple unveiled a few new nuggets including the new iPhone 3.0 OS as well as the new iPhone 3GS hardware. This is a quick review from my POV on both launches, hardware and thoughts.
First I was planning to do a hands-on review of the Palm Pre after I went to the Sprint store on Sunday to play around with it. I’d like to note that prior to my owning an iPhone I had 3 iterations of the Palm Treo (600,650, 700) on Verizon and I absolutely loved it. The problem with being on Verizon is that they don’t really have any “sexy” phones to drool over and I sat over on the red side looking over the fence at the iPhone users. Sure it was a cool device but c’mon, was it really that good? I LOVED my Treo and despite the new phones coming out on Verizon nothing could match the great features and organization of contacts and calendar. My wife and I were fed up with getting nickel and dimed by Verizon and so we jumped ship over to AT&T and go our iPhone fix. And so the love affair began, I do everything on this thing. Anyways I’m rambling, back to the Pre. Gizmodo did their write up of the Pre and I’ve gotta say that I pretty much agreed with them on all accounts (except for the last part about being sick of iPhone). That being said just read their review and you’ll see what I mean. Also of note when I was in store the demo unit the saleperson handed me was down to 48% battery life. I asked how long it’d been since last charge and he said about 4 hours. Digging into the system I found that the bluetooth and wifi were both disabled so I have a feeling battery life on that unit in the wild is probably comparable to current iPhone 3G. I’d also like to note that the keyboard is ridiculously small which was a major letdown for me as well.
Now on to the new iPhone goodness. We got a few expected things such as cut/copy/paste (took long enough), magnetic compass, Spotlight search, processor/memory/camera upgrades as well as some surprises like Nike+ integration, voice control and theoretically better battery life (which is sorely needed). Another nice surprise, if I can call it that, is the pricing of the current 3G dropped down to $99, the new 3GS 16 GB is $199 and 32 GB is $299. The new phone is nice but not a huge “OMG I need to go get it now” kind of thing. I would consider myself a “power user” in that I’m constantly using the phone so I drain the battery pretty fast. For that reason alone I would want to upgrade for the increased battery life and power. As far as the OS 3.0 I already have most of the new stuff like cut/paste and spotlight search via
jailbreaking my phone being resourceful.
Bottom line is I was really, really stoked when I first saw the Pre announced and now that I’ve finally gotten my hands on it I was a little let down. But to be fair I’d probably need to use it for real for a few days to give it a true review. In Apple land we’ll have to see how AT&T responds to demands of current customers and I’m interested to see their explanation of why they’re neutering tethering for now even though the rest of the planet gets it out of the box. For now, I’ll stick with my 3G and be happy.