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Comments on: Palm Pixi, Pre Plus Review Roundup

Palm Pre, Pixi Plus Review Roundup Contrary to their usual policy, Palm has lifted the review embargo for the new Verizon "Plus" variants of the Pre and Pixi a few days ahead of schedule. Presumably, Palm is looking to generate some free early buzz online prior to the devices' official arrival on Verizon this coming Monday the 25th.

After reading through a number of reviews, the general consensus around the web is essentially that Pre and Pixi in their "Plus" incarnations are solid devices and Palm's finest smartphones yet. However, by offering only minor improvements ranging from evolutionary (Pre) to incremental (Pixi), there aren't enough reasons to warrant existing Sprint customers breaking their contracts to jump ship to Verizon. Catch the review list after the break.

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saved state to a card

Gekko @ 1/21/2010 12:19:00 PM # Q

is not that useful or impressive in practical, real world terms.

my centro can stream live radio and surf the web simultaneously.

bouncing back and forth from a card in webos is not that much different that bouncing back and forth in garnet.

RE: saved state to a card
Scotland @ 1/21/2010 2:18:41 PM # Q
Uh, no - unlike PalmOS, each WebOS card is live, unless the behavior of the application is specifically written to pause (like games that are written using the PDK). Bear in mind that each card has a memory and Linux process footprint associated with it - the fact that WebOS performance overall was still responsive after opening up all those cards is pretty impressive. The Centro comparison is not a good one - open any apps that need real-time performance (music player) in PalmOS and trying to multitask will result in music stuttering... At least it typically did on my Treo 680 (which had the same basic specs). Background music stutters on my Pre I can count on one hand (in 6 months of usage, no less).

To your point - from a functional perspective, yes, most users won't open 50 cards. However, there have been a lot of complaints from users about running out of resources and getting the "Too many cards open" error message when trying to open a new app. This will cut down on those complaints and the need for reboots - both of which increase usability a lot in my opinion. I don't get that message all that often but having this amount of headroom would be very welcome.

Another somewhat less heralded advantage that the extra memory opens up is that the OS can have more background notifications and processes running without affecting usability as well. The extra headroom should also reduce the impact of the inevitable memory leaks that will come out of native processes that use the PDK. Up til now, all processes have been Mojo framework related processes for which Palm has direct responsibility and control. With native C/C++ 3rd party software being a reality soon, going forward, it won't be quite so easy to guarantee that.

Thought I won't switch from Sprint to get one, the Pre Plus definitely seems to warrant the name. I'm already looking forward to the next version of the phone (Pre2?) that will be available on Sprint. It will also be interesting to see what the specs are of devices debuting on AT&T later this year.

RE: saved state to a card
RobertoV6 @ 1/21/2010 2:24:39 PM # Q
Are you INSANE?...
Might as well go back to the stone age with your centro...
Brother, wait until the 25th and at least, borrow one then come back and make that comment...
It is way more pruductive than your centro...
If the phone does not apply to what you do and in fact is easy for you to live with your centro then that's understandable but the Pre is the Pre, now the Plus will be more impressive than what the original Pre was.
Period.
RE: saved state to a card
Gekko @ 1/21/2010 2:47:51 PM # Q

my point was that this so called "multitasking" has very little value in the real world given palm's implementation of it. opening and closing and opening and closing cards is a real bastardized definition of multitasking.
RE: saved state to a card
Gekko @ 1/21/2010 2:55:10 PM # Q

try to continue to play a video or stream LIVE WEB radio (not pandora) on a minimized card while simultaneously using another app. you can't.
RE: saved state to a card
hkklife @ 1/21/2010 3:01:33 PM # Q
Roberto, no offense but there are still many areas where the Centro (and older Palm OS Treos) excel over the current WebOS devices:

-System-wise cut & paste on Centro (and EASILY accomplished)
-Superb one-handed navigation on Centro
-Option of using stylus for legacy apps/detailed input work on Centro
-FULL version of DocsToGo w/ full editing/creation capabilities on Centro
-Centro can search system-wide, including email contents, memo contents etc.
-Centro doesn't "phone home" to Palm to report user's location/data habits
-Better/more fully featured classic Palm OS PIMs on Centro. Then you have the availability of DtBk, Agendus etc.
-VersaMail 4 has more overall functionality than the barebones WebOS email app. ChatterEmail (now sadly EOLed by Palm) is even more robust.
-Standard voice recorder app on Centro
-Standard video capture capabilities on Centro
-IR port on Centro
-Memory card slot on Centro
-Voice dialing (shitty execution, but at least it's available) on Centro
-Option of local Hotsync and/or SD-based backup on Centro
-User remappable side button, app & d-pad on Centro for better gaming, quicker
-Less overall lag on Centro, esp. when launching apps
-Home button hold button for most recent apps is "good enough" for me.
-Centro can operate as an unconnected "PDA" without initial carrier activation or maintaining service. Pre/Pixi become paperweights without continued $ (monthly service fee) and an initial carrier activation. What if something bad happens (say, you have to cancel your phone service for financial reasons and your WebOS phone breaks or you are traveling abroad) and you cannot access the PIM data on your device or the Palm Profile backup in the cloud?

Look, in no way whatsoever am I saying the Centro is a BETTER or more modern device than the Pre/Pixi. I am simply saying that Gekko does have a valid point with at least many of the above topics. There remain some very key areas in which Garnet (especially the final, most optimized iteration of it found on the Centro) trounces WebOS for sheer usability.
Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->Verizon Moto Droid

RE: saved state to a card
RobertoV6 @ 1/21/2010 4:34:34 PM # Q
Hkklife,
None taken my brother.
I'm with you... I'm a big fan of my (3) Palm Treos 680... I've been a PalmOS user since early 2001...
Having said that, my comments were because he said that multitasking has "little value" in real world.
It would all depend on what you do with you do for a living and how a phone with multitasking capabilities can actually make you be more productive by the end of the day.
It was implemented because it was about time and needed. For years I've been waiting for Palm to have a device with multitasking capabilities and luckily we all got it.
I know Palm screwed up with a lot of stuff on this WebOS devices and I have already posted some comments to ease my frustration.
At days I'm even thinking of going back to my Treo.

Now, don't forget, I'm with you with every detail of your comment and I really wish one day we had all of those features we used to have but the main point is that Multitasking = productivity.

RE: saved state to a card
Scotland @ 1/21/2010 9:47:57 PM # Q
Well, I'd agree that PalmOS had (and still has) some real strengths over WebOS. The hard button task switching, the 5 way d-pad (I really wish the WebOS devices had a trackball - it would have been great for navigation, text selection, and could have been used by games), and the better PIM apps are all key strengths of PalmOS. That said, multitasking is the one area where WebOS clearly excels - and is arguably best of breed. The cards view paradigm, switching among cards, and card closing (by flicking) is no-brainer easy and fun.

A good number of items in your list, Kris, should be addressed this year. Doc2Go editing and video capture (with EDITING!) will definitely be addressed in first quarter. Some items like backup/synch to PC and ability to pull forward PalmOS memos to WebOS are already addressed by 3rd party apps/solutions. As for PIM apps, I think Palm would do themselves a real dis-service by not coming up with a substantial update to improve the situation and I have a hard time believing that they won't at some point reasonably soon (hopefully 2010) - they can never make substantial headway on corporate purchases if they don't. Search capability should only improve (searching email, memos, system-wide as this has been a common complaint also).

Lack of expandable storage (SDHC/XC) continues to be a major disappointment in my book. I can only hope that they'll have to adopt it at some point (hopefully on Pre2) given it seems to be pretty common on phones not made by Apple and Palm (although devices without an SD slot also tend to have less onboard storage).

Despite the occasional miss, Pre, Pixi, and WebOS continue to be an amazing leap forward. After many years of waiting while PalmOS languished on various Treos, we finally have in the Pre, a modern OS with a superb UI, real multi-tasking, a 640x480 capacitive screen, with a keyboard, with a REAL web browser (and Flash support coming soon as well). Moreover, it keeps getting better as Palm is investing in the platform and addressing shortcomings while adding new features.

RE: saved state to a card
DarthRepublican @ 1/24/2010 4:23:37 PM # Q
Gekko wrote:

try to continue to play a video or stream LIVE WEB radio (not pandora) on a minimized card while simultaneously using another app. you can't.

The fact that you have to exclude Pandora which does exactly what you say you can't shows that you're full of crap. Other apps which do what you say you can't: RadioTime, drPodder, TWiT.tv (which is a customized version of MediaFly).
Palm Apologist
Shouting down the PIC Faithful Since 2009
Screw convergence
Palm III->Visor Deluxe->Visor Platinum->Visor Prism->Tungsten E->Palm LifeDrive->Palm TX->Palm Pre
Visor Pro+VisorPhone->Treo 180g->Treo 270->Treo 600->Treo 680->T-Mobile G1->Palm Pre
http://mind-grapes.blogspot.com/

RE: saved state to a card
Gekko @ 1/24/2010 4:58:17 PM # Q

1. can you multitask this? can you even play it?

http://www.bloomberg.com/streams/audio/radio_live.asx

2. do you have an FTP app available?

RE: saved state to a card
Gekko @ 1/25/2010 5:45:10 PM # Q

so is that a yes or a no?

RE: saved state to a card
JEMShoe @ 1/28/2010 1:25:58 AM # Q
hkklife wrote:
Roberto, no offense but there are still many areas where the Centro (and older Palm OS Treos) excel over the current WebOS devices:

-System-wise cut & paste on Centro (and EASILY accomplished)
-Superb one-handed navigation on Centro
-Option of using stylus for legacy apps/detailed input work on Centro
-FULL version of DocsToGo w/ full editing/creation capabilities on Centro
-Centro can search system-wide, including email contents, memo contents etc.
-Centro doesn't "phone home" to Palm to report user's location/data habits
-Better/more fully featured classic Palm OS PIMs on Centro. Then you have the availability of DtBk, Agendus etc.
-VersaMail 4 has more overall functionality than the barebones WebOS email app. ChatterEmail (now sadly EOLed by Palm) is even more robust.
-Standard voice recorder app on Centro
-Standard video capture capabilities on Centro
-IR port on Centro
-Memory card slot on Centro
-Voice dialing (shitty execution, but at least it's available) on Centro
-Option of local Hotsync and/or SD-based backup on Centro
-User remappable side button, app & d-pad on Centro for better gaming, quicker
-Less overall lag on Centro, esp. when launching apps
-Home button hold button for most recent apps is "good enough" for me.
-Centro can operate as an unconnected "PDA" without initial carrier activation or maintaining service. Pre/Pixi become paperweights without continued $ (monthly service fee) and an initial carrier activation. What if something bad happens (say, you have to cancel your phone service for financial reasons and your WebOS phone breaks or you are traveling abroad) and you cannot access the PIM data on your device or the Palm Profile backup in the cloud?

Look, in no way whatsoever am I saying the Centro is a BETTER or more modern device than the Pre/Pixi. I am simply saying that Gekko does have a valid point with at least many of the above topics. There remain some very key areas in which Garnet (especially the final, most optimized iteration of it found on the Centro) trounces WebOS for sheer usability.

Yep. That's why I took my palm pre back in two weeks: sucky PIMs and missed the 5-way, kept my palm centro (which has a crappy web browser and is slow and laggy in areas). I now carry two devices: iPodTouch and my Centro. Pretty happy with this combo.

Centro v. Pre v. Pixi v. Droid v. iPhone: CAGE MATCH!
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 1/29/2010 11:24:34 PM # Q
"Roberto, no offense but there are still many areas where the Centro (and older Palm OS Treos) excel over the current WebOS devices:

-System-wise cut & paste on Centro (and EASILY accomplished)
-Superb one-handed navigation on Centro
-Option of using stylus for legacy apps/detailed input work on Centro
-FULL version of DocsToGo w/ full editing/creation capabilities on Centro
-Centro can search system-wide, including email contents, memo contents etc.
-Centro doesn't "phone home" to Palm to report user's location/data habits
-Better/more fully featured classic Palm OS PIMs on Centro. Then you have the availability of DtBk, Agendus etc.
-VersaMail 4 has more overall functionality than the barebones WebOS email app. ChatterEmail (now sadly EOLed by Palm) is even more robust.
-Standard voice recorder app on Centro
-Standard video capture capabilities on Centro
-IR port on Centro
-Memory card slot on Centro
-Voice dialing (shitty execution, but at least it's available) on Centro
-Option of local Hotsync and/or SD-based backup on Centro
-User remappable side button, app & d-pad on Centro for better gaming, quicker
-Less overall lag on Centro, esp. when launching apps
-Home button hold button for most recent apps is "good enough" for me.
-Centro can operate as an unconnected "PDA" without initial carrier activation or maintaining service. Pre/Pixi become paperweights without continued $ (monthly service fee) and an initial carrier activation. What if something bad happens (say, you have to cancel your phone service for financial reasons and your WebOS phone breaks or you are traveling abroad) and you cannot access the PIM data on your device or the Palm Profile backup in the cloud?

There remain some very key areas in which Garnet (especially the final, most optimized iteration of it found on the Centro) trounces WebOS for sheer usability."


Very well said, hkklife. How about you do a head to head comparison ("Cage Match") of a 128 MB Sprint Centro stock, a 128 MB Sprint Centro with TealOS, a Pre, a Pixi, a Droid and an iPhone and see which does day to day tasks and phone functoins more easily? Then spend $30 adding DateBk 6 and some free apps like HandyShopper, tryda, NVBackup, TCPMP, etc to the Centros. This could get ugly.

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Palm looking good in 2010

Scotland @ 1/21/2010 2:51:59 PM # Q
I think Palm is going to have a good year in 2010. Between getting their phones on the two largest US carriers, the addition of additional carriers worldwide, having their development tool and app distribution strategy in place (App Catalog out of beta, PDK available, Ares being GA), and WebOS rapidly maturing along with more capable phones to use it, they are well positioned to expand their sales a lot in 2010.

Looking at the competitive landscape, this much seems pretty safe - Apple's position seems secure, Android should continue to rise, WinMo will probably continue to rapidly decline (will Win7 Mobile stop the decline? and when will Win7Mo be available?), and Nokia's Symbian should continue a slow decline (until they have a new UI available).

I think the player most at risk from Palm (at least in the US) is probably RIMM - especially in the consumer space. As the generic smartphone most US consumers are currently using (they have more marketshare than Apple) but with a rapidly aging OS, they are suddenly looking rather dated beside Palm's offerings. With Verizon and AT&T both slated to sell Palm devices, not to mention Android, I think RIMM will have a real challenge getting consumers to purchase Blackberries over these other new devices. Please note that I'm saying consumers here - I think RIMM will continue to be strong with corporate buyers.

We'll see... Should be interesting!

RE: Palm looking good in 2010
SeldomVisitor @ 1/21/2010 4:49:42 PM # Q
I don't think very many buyers compare Palm devices to Rim devices.

Instead the comparison is probably Apple to Rim, maybe large-screen Android to Rim. And maybe generic large screen to Palm. Maybe.

But not Palm to Rim.


RE: Palm looking good in 2010
Scotland @ 1/21/2010 7:50:42 PM # Q
I think you're thinking about the Storm - which I believe only accounts for a small percentage of their sales...

Blackberry Bold, Curve, and Tour are all candybar smartphones with a built-in exposed keyboard - i.e. a dead-ringer for the Pixi which is the exact form-factor that Palm pioneered with the Treos. The Pearl doesn't have a full QWERTY keyboard (yes, like all BBs it has good dictionary look-up, word completion). The Storm hasn't set the world on fire as a large/full screened design.

Like Palm, RIMM isn't as strong in the app space as some of the competition.

Other than inertia in the consumer space, their strong carrier relationships, and their still relatively strong presence with corporate email solutions, what is selling Blackberries? Their corporate email presence is weakening due to Microsoft liberally licensing their client-side Exchange APIs (to Apple, Google, Palm) during the last few years, and the BB OS is aging and the BB user interface needs a refresh. Finally, does anyone buy a BB to play games? - Palm has the potential to generate more excitement with their platform in this area.

Unlike Palm, RIMM does have deeper pockets, though - so, worst case, they can sacrifice their profit margins if they really want to maintain their market share. Given increased pressure from Apple, Android and Palm in the US, my guess is that they will.

RE: Palm looking good in 2010
nastebu @ 1/30/2010 1:17:53 AM # M Q
RIM's market share is increasing, no? Despite the supposedly dated OS, RIM's profits are way up I think. I can't imagine that Palm feels like they have the edge in mind share right now, although WebOS might be better software.
RE: Apple looking good in 2010
Fake Jeff Hawkins @ 1/30/2010 7:32:53 PM # Q
"RIM's market share is increasing, no? Despite the supposedly dated OS, RIM's profits are way up I think. I can't imagine that Palm feels like they have the edge in mind share right now, although WebOS might be better software."

RIM has been cutting prices to keep marketshare. Apple has been more focused on maximizing per-unit profits. Once iPhone expands to a few more carriers, watch Apple start their full court press and begin to put the hurt on RIM. iPhone is the hot phone and the platform can easily do email. iPhone For Business is the NeXT growth market for Apple and these gains will come primarily at RIM's expense. Imagine a smaller-screened iPhone with a physical keyboard and turnkey MS Exchange support on Verizon in summer 2010. RIM's only response would be to "pull a Centro": sell Blackberrys at a loss and try to make it up in volume. Not exactly a great strategy, as Palm has so eloquently demonstrated.

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Multitasking? Think about it.

hgoldner @ 1/21/2010 6:37:10 PM # Q
Love the talk about multitasking. Let's try to remember that multitasking means doing more than one thing at a time, and doing so less competently than if you were only doing one thing at a time.

If you're looking at your calendar, that's what you're doing. If you're looking at it while talking on the phone (which one may need to do), that's alternating between different tasks. Even an Intel processor doesn't so much 'multitask' as it does switch back and forth very quickly (unless you're talking about multiple core processors, and even then the system sometimes has to alternate between which program is providing output at any given moment).

And how many times have we dealt with poorly behaved applications that 'steal focus' while supposedly running in the background.

Let's stop talking about multitasking and focus on task-switching. That's what we are really doing.

Yeah, it's nice to have 50 cards open at once, but if you can't do global cut-paste, that's a serious negative, for instance.

RE: Multitasking? Think about it.
chrish @ 1/22/2010 8:44:06 AM # Q
I don't understand the point of your comment.

Are you suggesting that having the ability to have one application that is updating and processing while you are working in another isn't useful because of the technical process that the system uses to accomplish the feat?

RE: Multitasking? Think about it.
LiveFaith @ 1/22/2010 9:23:28 AM # Q
Of course the "system" is not "multi-tasking". It is just swapping resources back and forth so rapidly that the user hopefully does not realize it. For the user, who cares what process is happening in the background.
Multitasking is important for the user, not the system. If the user can functionally use the device for more than one thing at a time, then it "multitasks". The ability to do a Scroogle.org search while on a voice call, and then use the calculator to do quick math and then look back at the web page while talking and listening is valuable. Regardless of the "simplistic" architecture which underlies that process.
Pat Horne
RE: Multitasking? Think about it.
LiveFaith @ 1/22/2010 9:32:17 AM # Q
BTW, I agree with the "global cut/paste" comments as well as a host of other WebOS shortcomings as compared to Garnet. Personally, I could live with Garnet functionality as is, as long as the OS could handle data and voice at the same time.

Although, it's a bit arcane, I multitask using Palm OS on my Treosauras all the time. I can listen to Web radio with PocketTunes, and surf the web, pop up a calc in a window, then check memory, battery etc in a window, get a call which shuts off the radio, end the call and the radio resumes, and I continue to surf. All this assuming the poor thing does not crash. :-D

Palm OS aint bad, but a robust OS is certainly welcome.
Pat Horne

RE: Multitasking? Think about it.
Gekko @ 1/22/2010 9:54:16 AM # Q

practical reality is that there's not much i could do on my pre that i couldn't do on my centro. unfortunately, there's a shit load of stuff i can do on my centro that i couldn't do on my pre.

reverend - as you probably know, you can't do simultaneous voice and data on cdma at this time. that's one advantage to gsm and at&t.


RE: Multitasking? Think about it.
LiveFaith @ 1/24/2010 7:39:49 PM # Q
... there you go pumpin ATT again. Hehe, actually having EDGE gives the worst of both worlds right now.
Pat Horne
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