Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why I Bought A Palm Pre

I've been debating for a while between Android vs WebOS, all touch screen vs physical keyboard, now vs later.  Yesterday I made my fateful decision by buying a Palm Pre Plus from Verizon Wireless.  Unfortunately, the two stores in town were out of stock (that sounds good for Palm though, I think?) and they ordered it.  Needless to say, I'm really excited.  This is a big step up from my Centro.  But how did I come to the Pre?  Why not wait?

Operating Systems
Let me tell you a story about my wife's Motorola Droid.  When the 2.1 update came out, she dutifully updated her phone.  It bricked.  The system constantly rebooted.  Being tech savvy, I could have Googled the solution and fixed her phone perhaps.  However, I figured the fine folks at Verizon would just reload the firmware.  Oh, how wrong we were!  She ended up with a refurbished Droid.  We spent $200 on a brand new phone to have it replaced with a refurb due to an update error.

Now you could blame Verizon for this and I'm apt to do so but if Android had something akin to the WebOS Doctor.  The WebOS Doctor is a program for your computer that allows you to reload the firmware for your woeful Palm at home.  If there had been a similar program for Android, my wife would still have her original Droid.

Form Factors
I'm quite use to my Centro with its small keyboard.  I've tried the keyboards on the Droid and LG Ally (which has a reputation as an excellent keyboard).  I've also tried touchscreen keyboards.  For anyone doing any serious typing, touchscreen can't compare to a physical keyboard.  Plus, I can text one handed on the Centro or the Pre although two is much quicker.

The portrait slider on the Pre is also easier to flip out and text on in a hurry compared to the Droid or Ally.  As a bonus, this gave the Pre a smaller form factor and makes it more pocket able.  I don't like bulky phones and if I can't through it in my pocket, it won't work for me.

Upcoming Devices
I'm concerned about the trend to constantly make phones with larger screens.  As I previously stated, I need pocket size.  The Dell Streak is 5 inches!  5!  Five!  Yes, that's huge.  Even the Droid X or HTC Evo coming in around 4 is quite large.  If I need to use a large screen, I will hop on a computer.  This is supposed to be a portable alternative to a computer or even a tablet.  The Pre fit the bill for me.

I suspect that upcoming renditions of the Pre will feature larger screens and thus becoming heavier too.  That's not what I'm after.  I rather get the Palm Pre while its still available.  There's also the issue that there's no perfect time to buy.  I could have waited for the next greatest thing but I'd be using my Centro for years.

I'm curious why other people settled on the Pre or have stuck with it.  Do you think I made a good choice or are these superfluous considerations?